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In face of protests, Mulroney says tuition changes in ‘best interests of students’

York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney was speaking at an event in Bradford West Gwillimbury a day after Lakehead University students protested the Ontario government’s decision to cut free tuition for low-income students

One day after a group of angry university students protested the Ontario government’s tuition and grant changes, York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney said the moves will make post-secondary education “more affordable.”

Students in Orillia stormed Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop’s office Tuesday, upset with changes like cutting free tuition for students from low-income families.
Speaking at a Bradford Board of Trade event Wednesday, Mulroney brought up the provincial government’s decision to lower tuition for low-income students by 10 per cent but made no mention of cutting the free tuition.

“We’re ... taking action to make college and university more affordable. Under the previous government, college and university tuition proved to be the highest in Canada. Students and their families deserve more access to more affordable post-secondary education, and this is essential for our economy.”

When asked after her keynote address about the province dropping free tuition, Mulroney told BradfordToday the provincial government is “focused on making sure it’s sustainable.”

“We’ve got to make sure we can afford … to support this generation as well as future generations,” she said. “While I understand there were some protests, we believe this is in the best interests of students and the province.”

Mulroney said lower income students “will still be available for grants, and we’ve cut the tuition so it’ll be more affordable.”

There are no post-secondary institutions in Bradford West Gwillimbury, but about 30 protesters, including some from Lakehead University, rallied in Orillia earlier this week.

"The Progressive Conservative government announced a 10 per cent tuition fee cut. You would think we would be excited,” said Sami Pritchard, national executive representative of the Canadian Federation of Students—Ontario, at the protest.

“But Premier (Doug) Ford, we are no stranger to your antics. This 10 per cent cut was introduced only to mask the attacks on student aid, on student organizations and on university funding. This announcement is devastating for both students and workers in the post-secondary education sector. This plan will diminish our quality of education.”

- With files from Nathan Taylor


Jenni Dunning

About the Author: Jenni Dunning

Jenni Dunning is a community editor and reporter who covers news in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.
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