HAMILTON — Chris Glover, Ontario NDP critic for Colleges and Universities, was in Hamilton today to talk to students about the impact of Doug Ford’s decision to cut OSAP grants and saddle students with more debt.
Earlier this year, the Ford Conservatives announced that they were ending “free” tuition, cancelling the six-month grace period on student loan interest, and letting students opt-out of some student union dues.
“Too many Ontarians were struggling under the weight of crushing student debt loads before Ford decided to make it harder to get grant money,” said Glover. “Life for students is only going to get worse as Ford starts the clock on interest payments before the ink on their diploma is dry.”
Ontario already had the lowest per-capita post-secondary funding, the highest university tuition fees and the highest student debt levels in the country. Ford’s cuts will force low and middle-income students to take on even more debt to pay for their education. This will take a toll not only on their finances, but also on their mental health.
“Forty-six per cent of Ontario university students score above the cut off for anxiety and depression,” said Glover. “The Ford government’s decision to download more debt onto students will only add to their stresses and make their mental health worse.”
“Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP believe that students deserve better than to choose between giving up their dreams and racking up debt. That’s why New Democrats continue to call for student loans to be converted to grants and all interest on student loans to be eliminated.
“And it’s why the NDP won’t back down in the fight against Ford’s plan to make it even harder for people just starting to build their lives.”