Deb Matthews Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Digital Government has said that “Over the past month, I have heard from students about hardships they have experienced as a result of this strike. It is clear that they have borne the brunt of this situation. That’s why we are taking these measures to ensure students have the support they need to complete their studies, and continue working towards an education that will allow them to succeed in a highly-skilled workforce”
Ontario is ensuring that college students returning to classes following the strike will receive the support they need to complete their studies. The province has required colleges to establish dedicated student support funds with net savings from the strike that will assist students who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the strike.
Full-time domestic and international students will be eligible to receive up to $500 for incremental unexpected costs they incurred, such as additional child care fees, rebooked train or bus tickets or January rent. Ontario expects that students will be able to apply to their college for financial assistance through the fund starting this week. Any strike-related support will not count against a student’s OSAP assessment.
Students who decide to withdraw from college because of the strike will receive a full tuition refund. Apprentices can also apply for a full refund of classroom fees if they are unable to complete their in-school training for reasons related to the strike.
These financial supports for students were determined through consultations with student leaders and their provincial associations and colleges. The province will continue to work with students and colleges to finalize implementation plans in the coming days.
Supporting college students is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.