Volume 92, Issue 93

Wednesday, March 24, 1999


Second election possible

Liberals claim tuition decrease

Waterloo announces hike

Western to give high school students early admissions

"VP-fun" Cousineau says so long

Celebrity suicides raise bigger issue


Campus crime catches fire

Caught on campus

Liberals claim tuition decrease

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

Earlier this week Ontario Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty released his party's stance on post secondary education. While some of the proposals were welcomed, there are still some outstanding questions to be answered.

The highlights of the plan include rolling back tuition fees, making part-time students eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program and allowing students to earn up to $1,800 during the school year without having it deducted from their OSAP, as the current limit is $600.

Some students are encouraged by the direction the Liberal party has taken, especially towards increasing funding to the universities, but are curious about how the Liberals would fund their proposals and what level tuition would be rolled back to.

The question regarding where the 10 per cent would be taken from was one the Liberals are not ready to answer. "That is sort of one of the questions we are going to be determining answers to at a later time," said David Caplan, Liberal critic for youth issues.

Projections made by the party show the total cost of their plan at $155 million. This would ensure the universities would continue to receive the same amount of money as in previous years.

Caplan said he believes a lot of the money is available, suggesting the Liberals should look at cutting costs through eliminating television advertising, which he said costs taxpayers $100 million. Caplan believes this money should be allotted to post secondary education. "It's simply a matter of priorities."

Rob Savage, press secretary for the Ministry of Education and Training, said the Tory government is not too sure how believable the Liberal plan is. "We don't know how they will pay for it."

Savage also rejected Caplan's suggestion that most of their plan could be paid for by putting an end to advertising since the figure Caplan gave was "certainly not for one year."

While pleased with most of the proposal, Nick Iozzo, University Students' Council VP-education, criticized their proposed 10 per cent roll back of tuition since it is still more than students can pay.

Similarly, Andrew Boggs, executive director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, called the Liberals' plan a good first step but said it did not go as far as what the New Democratic Party has proposed. He explained while the Liberals' plan to freeze tuition and presumably roll back tuition 10 per cent from 1998/99 levels, the NDP want to re-regulate tuition and roll it back to what it was before deregulation.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999