Student Choice Initiative defeated in Ontario Divisional Court

24 Novembre, 2019, 00:24 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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Last January, the government announced a number of changes for the post-secondary sector, including a 10 per cent tuition cut, changes to the financial aid system as well as making many ancillary fees optional to give students' choice and help them save money.

In a unanimous decision, an Ontario Divisional Court ruled that the Doug Ford government's Student Choice Initiative (SCI) was "unlawful", according to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).

The council will attempt to secure more funding from the Justin Trudeau government for health care, broadband infrastructure and transit, and also to work to end interprovincial trade barriers and attract worldwide investment to Ontario, the government says.

"Requiring that universities allow students to opt out of student association fees and other "non-essential" services is inconsistent with the universities' autonomous governance", a panel of justices said in the ruling released on Thursday.

"This is a historic day for students", said Weiler, adding that student governments, food banks, support for LGBT students, legal clinics and campus radio stations and papers were all impacted by the government's changes.

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Kayla Weiler, the Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario representative, said she is unsure if the fee schedule and full funding for those groups can resume for next semester or next year.

"We are sitting on the edge of our seats", Mackie said.

Jenessa Crognali, press secretary for Attorney General Doug Downey's office, said the ruling is being reviewed.

But the CFS has called it an attempt to silence voices that hold the government accountable, such as student unions and campus media. "As this matter is in the appeal period, it would be inappropriate to comment", she wrote in an email.

NDP critic Chris Glover said the government should foot the bill for the funding shortfalls being experienced by campus services such as food banks and equity organizations.


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