The Canadian Politician (Toronto) – Ontario college and university students still reeling from the cuts to their student union budgets and the elimination of free tuition initiated by the previous Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne, took their angst to Queens’ Park where they disrupted legislators. The students were protesting the removal of mandatory student fees that have assisted student unions across the province to provide what they consider vital services and programs to enhance the student experience.
But Ford in a fund-raising email to conservative party members, slammed those unions and noted that he was going to put an end to the “crazy Marxist nonsense,” a reference to his perceived politicization of student unions. Also at the top of the agenda for the students was the elimination of free tuition for students from low-income families.
The Ford administration has noted that the province cannot afford this program at this time, and has made part of the money for the free tuition repayable. Under the Ford plan, students from families that make $175,000 that received some funding will no longer qualify for assistance. That amount has been pegged at $140,000 in a bid to reduce the $13.5 billion deficit left by the previous Liberal government.
The students, angered by what they considered significant rollback of gains made under the Liberal government, vented their anger by spewing obscenities at the premier from the gallery, disrupting the legislative proceedings. The premier in response, admonished the students and blamed their alarming behaviour on the opposition whom he stated led them astray. He said, “That’s how they train our kids, with a filthy mouth. They should have their mouths washed out with soap. That’s what they should have, because that’s embarrassing.”