QUEEN’S PARK — On Monday morning, Doug Ford sent out a fundraising email that confirms his recent attack on student unions — one that allows students to opt-out of select student fees in order to undermine the student unions — is a politically motivated revenge plot.
“Doug Ford is attacking student unions because he doesn’t want students to be able to organize to fight against not only this round of cuts, but the next round as well,” said Chris Glover, Ontario NDP Colleges and Universities critic. “He is downloading billions of dollars of debt onto students who already face the highest tuition and student debt levels in the country.”
Ford’s email read: “I think we all know what kind of crazy Marxist nonsense student unions get up to. So, we fixed that. Student union fees are now opt-in.” The email was signed “Doug” and requested a donation to the PC Party.
“This is an unfounded, unwarranted attack on young people who are serving their fellow college and university students. It’s ludicrous for any leader, in any country, to attack students, their organizations and the services they count on,” said Glover. “Student unions provide transit discounts, grad photos, student events, clubs, copy centres, and food banks because so many students can’t afford both the tuition fees and food. Who will provide these services?"
“Students deserve better. They count on the services and supports student unions provide — to protect their safety and mental health, to promote wellbeing, and to create more opportunities on campus.”
Glover said Ford’s attack on student unions is a double-whammy, since Ford is already making things worse for students by cutting grants, ending the “free” tuition program, and charging more interest on student loans.
“Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP believe students deserve more from their government, not less. That’s why New Democrats will continue to stand up for students — and their elected student unions — in the face of Doug Ford’s attacks.”