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IMPORTANT Information re: Access 2000
******Please Circulate Widely******
ACCESS 2000 INFORMATION and EVENTS
WHAT: One-day student strike.
WHEN: Wednesday FEB 2, 2000 (A schedule of Ottawa area events will
WHERE: Campuses across Canada.
WHO: Students, teachers, workers and all those concerned about education
WHY: because it affects YOU! Carleton students (both grads and
undergrads) voted 85% in favor of a one-day strike on Feb. 2. Senate
will be holding a meeting on Jan. 21 where Richard Van Loon (president
of the university) will discuss a motion to provide academic amnesty for
all students (e.g. no assignments will be due that day). The Senate
Executive of the University of Ottawa will be endorsing a similar
The federal government has cut more than $7 billion for education and
training in the last 5 years. In Ontario, the Harris government has
slashed college and university funding by $539 million – a cut of 25%.
Underfunding affects the quality and accessibility of post-secondary
education by causing tuition fees to skyrocket, class sizes to grow,
library collections to shrink and library hours to be cut back,
enrollment to decline, technology to fall behind, and support services
such as academic advising to be cut. It results in services being
contracted out to the private sector, who do an inferior job at the cost
of university employees’ jobs. Underfunding means more classes and less
preparation and research time for educators. This drastically affects
the quality of courses.
2. USER FEES
Tuition fees have increased on average by more than 125%, since 1990. In
Ontario, deregulation of graduate and professional programs has resulted
in fee increases as big as 400%. Tuition fees prevent many students
from having access to post-secondary education. Despite having frozen
fees for years, Québec recently imposed higher fees for out-of-province
students - other provinces are threatening to do the same. Most
industrialized nations in the world do not charge fees for higher
3. NATIONAL GRANTS
Average student debt at graduation now exceeds $25,000, up from $8,000
Students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds are most likely
to forgo post-secondary education for fear accumulating debt. Grants
will significantly reduce student debt levels. Savings will be realized
by reductions in administrative costs, education tax credit claims and
payments to the banks, which now run in the $100s of millions annually.
Transfer payments for post-secondary education, health and social
welfare were cut drastically in 1994 as a major part of the federal
government's deficit reduction strategy. Five years later, the deficit
is not only in check, a surplus of more than $12 billion is expected in
the coming year. These solutions only require a small portion of the
surplus to be reinvested, leaving billions of dollars for the federal
government to address underfunding of health and social welfare programs
and maintain a surplus.
1. The federal government must restore $3.7 billion in earmarked
transfer payments to provinces in the 2000-2001 budget. (This would
restore federal funding to approximately 1993 levels)
2. The federal government must work with provinces to reduce tuition
fees and bring about the eventual elimination of user fees for
3. The federal government must replace the Canada Student Loans Program
with a comprehensive national system of grants.
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