How much will tuition cost next year? That will be decided tomorrow, Thursday June the 2nd.
Will there be a home you can buy when you graduate? That will be decided tomorrow, Thursday June the 2nd.
How much OSAP funding will you get? That will be decided tomorrow, Thursday June the 2nd.
Will we finally get the 25C GO Bus back? That could be decided tomorrow, Thursday June the 2nd.
So, you may be asking, what is happening on Thursday June the 2nd? It is the Ontario Provincial Election. Tough it lacks the drama of a federal campaign, the people elected to provincial government have almost exclusive power over government functions like education, healthcare and transportation. The winning party will control the $150 billion dollars the province spends each year. If you want cheaper tuition, more transit service, or wider highways, you will want to pay attention.
The current government, headed by Doug Ford and his party the Progressive Conservatives, has been in charge since 2018. Before that, the Liberal party had been in power for almost 15 years. Important changes were made by Doug Ford when he took power, such as a tuition freeze, a 25% budget reduction for OSAP, and the elimination of rent control for units opened after 2018.
Here’s a quick fact sheet that compares the party platforms on several policy planks relevant to students (and aspiring homeowners).
|Tuition||1-year tuition freeze||Continue tuition freeze||?|
|OSAP||?||•Reverse OSAP cuts||•Reverse OSAP cuts
•Convert all loans to grants
|Housing Affordability||•Build 1.5 million homes over 10 years||•Build 1.5 million homes over 10 years||•Build more homes|
|Housing Regulation||•Help municipalities streamline development approvals||•Add a vacancy tax to homes
•Remove developer’s permits if they sit on their property
|•Add a vacancy tax to homes|
|Renting||•Invest millions in improving capacity at the Landlord and Tenant Board||•Apply rent control to all rental properties||•Apply rent control to all rental properties
•Give financial assistance to those who can’t afford rent
|Transit||•Increase student GO discount to 40% (already in effect)
•Two-Way all-day GO trains between Kitchener and Toronto (in previous budgets)
|•$1 fares per ride until 2024
•Fund ION Stage 2 to Cambridge
•Two-Way all-day GO trains between Kitchener and Toronto
|•Two-Way all-day GO trains between Kitchener and Toronto|
Now that you are informed, don’t forget to vote tomorrow, Thursday June 2nd, and let your voice be heard!
†: The Progressive Conservatives did not release a platform, but instead, because they are in government, released a budget a few weeks earlier which is used for this comparison.