Ontario college, university students plan walkouts to protest government funding changes

Ontario post-secondary students stage a march from Yonge-Dundas Square to Queen's Park on Feb. 19, 2019. Global News

TORONTO – Students at Ontario colleges and universities plan to stage walkouts on Wednesday to protest the provincial government‘s changes to post-secondary funding.

The Progressive Conservative government eliminated free tuition for low-income students in January while imposing a 10 per cent across-the-board tuition fee cut, and made several once-mandatory student fees, such as those that fund campus organizations and clubs, optional.

READ MORE: Ontario government to cut post-secondary tuition fees by 10%

The Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students says students at 13 colleges and universities have already signed up to walk out of class at 12 p.m. on Wednesday.

The group is calling on the province to provide more grants, rather than loans and to eliminate tuition fees for all students.

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The previous Liberal government had increased the number of grants and made it possible for low-income students to attend college or university free of cost.

Under that program, low-income students could qualify for grants large enough to cover the full cost of tuition under the previous plan, but now a portion of the funding they receive will be a loan.

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