Liberal budget fails Ontario students

Ms. Peggy Sattler: My question is to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. According to the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, our province is failing an alarming number of post-secondary students. Fully two thirds of students are worried that they won't have enough money to complete their degree. At approximately $8,000, Ontario has the highest undergraduate tuition fees in Canada and concerns about taking on huge debt loads are causing some students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, to think twice about university education. How can the minister defend a budget that does nothing to improve access to post-secondary education, does nothing to reduce barriers and make sure we are leveraging the talents and skills of all of our young people? Hon. Reza Moridi: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for that question. Since we came to office in 2003, we have invested heavily in secondary and post-secondary education. Actually our higher education plan with a $6.2-billion investment has been and is the biggest and the largest investment in post-secondary education in the past 40 years in the history of this province. As a result of these heavy investments in our post-secondary education, we have created 170,000 more spaces for our students so that our young people can get a higher education in our universities and colleges. We have reduced tuition fees by 30%. The member opposite and her party actually voted against that 30% reduction. This saves $530 million to our students in order to be able to continue their education.

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