Ontario budget leaves much to be desired for post-secondary school: Liberal MPP

Ontario's latest budget not up to snuff for the province's post-secondary institutions, according to Liberal MPP Ted Hsu. Global News

At first glance, the provincial budget tabled Tuesday seems like a win for Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.

The Ford government announced 1.3 billion dollars for colleges and universities. However, local Liberal MPP Ted Hsu says it isn’t cause for celebration.

“It’s not a good news budget for Ontario post-secondary education. And it’s been a bad news budget for the last five years,” Hsu told Global News Friday.

Hsu adds the money was already announced a few months ago after an independent panel reviewed the province’s financial commitments and suggested $2.5 billion in funding.

But that’s not how it played out.

“So the government came back and said instead of two and a half, let’s do $1.3 (billion). And so they didn’t even meet the very modest request from their own blue-ribbon panel on what post-secondary funding needs to be,” Hsu said.

Story continues below advertisement

According to Hsu, another reason the budget is bad news for post-secondary schools is the changes to the number of international students they can take on.

Fewer international students mean less money for places like Queen’s University, but also St. Lawrence College, which relies heavily on those numbers through their private college partner, he said.

Click to play video: 'Issues with Howe Island ferry leaves residents feeling stranded'
Issues with Howe Island ferry leaves residents feeling stranded

In a statement to Global News, St. Lawrence College President Glenn Vollebregt said, “Colleges like SLC must adjust and reduce where necessary to try to regain a stable position while continuing to train people for the jobs our region needs filled.

“The fact is that the IRCC decision will lead to fewer students coming to Kingston and Eastern Ontario to study, to live, and to work.”

Echoing the sentiments from St. Lawrence College, Queen’s University said in a statement of its own, “While out-of-province students make up a small proportion of Queen’s students in comparison to the number of Ontario students, we have always welcomed students from across Canada and expect that to continue… they are an integral part of the Queen’s community.

Story continues below advertisement

“We are still assessing the impact of the international study permit cap allocation on the university.”

The province is also hiking tuition fees for international students, which could make Ontario a less desirable place for them to study – meaning the funding coming into Ontario’s higher education could fall even further.

Sponsored content