Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

We cannot trust this government to fix a mess of their own making in Ontario’s colleges and universities

Published on January 26, 2024
Ford’s Conservatives have no idea where the problem is and refuse to invest in public post-secondary institutions. 

SUDBURY – Ford’s Conservatives have announced half-measures to address the crises facing Ontario’s colleges and universities, which fails to acknowledge the desperate need for investments in public post-secondary institutions, provide necessary student support, or address the reality facing many international students in Ontario. 

Jamie West (Sudbury), the Official Opposition NDP critic for Labour, Training & Skills Development issued the following statement:

“Under this government’s watch, we have seen universities forced to file for bankruptcy. It is abundantly clear that this government would rather see post-secondary institutions close than cough up the investments needed to keep them afloat. They have been asleep at the wheel for the past five years while public colleges and universities languished, paving the way for a predatory private, for-profit education system that has only harmed students.
“The Conservatives are focused on punishing public colleges and universities and creating uncertainty for students enrolled in programs starting this fall, instead of immediately committing to making public colleges and universities whole by increasing per student funding and cracking down on private fly-by-night ‘strip mall’ career colleges and diploma mills that are taking advantage of students and our system.

“It was the Conservatives who lifted the moratorium on public-private colleges in 2019. Now, they are sloughing off their responsibilities to public colleges and universities instead of helping them, forcing students and the institutions themselves into a future of uncertainty.”

  • Under the Ontario Liberals, per-student funding declined year after year while they increased tuition fees to some of the highest in the country – forcing domestic and international students to foot the bill for decreases in public funding.
  • Ontario has ranked last on per-student funding in Canada under the Liberals from 2010-2018, a trend that continues under the Conservatives today.
  • Ontario’s funding for public colleges’ domestic students are among the lowest of any province in Canada
  • Ontario’s Blue Ribbon Panel Report found that in 2021-2022 compared to the rest of Canada, Ontario’s funding per college student is only 44 per cent and per university student is 57 per cent
  • This announcement is going to leave colleges and universities in even more uncertainty. In a recent release, Colleges Ontario said the international student visa announcement was a "new and unexpected administrative hurdle has resulted in total chaos for students. The entire system for Ontario is frozen."