by Editors (What's Left) last modified 2019-02-15T13:48:56-04:00
A collection of articles related to the Ford Government's cuts to higher education and the attack on democratic student organizations in Ontario.

Public outrage growing after Doug Ford's claims he can stamp out 'crazy Marxist nonsense' on campus | National Observer

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 16, 2019 10:51 AM
Public outrage over Doug Ford's claim his Ontario government cut funding to student unions to fix "Marxist nonsense" is growing, with politicians and education unions decrying an expected hit to a broad range of services. Ford delivered his complaint about students earlier this week in a fundraising email that called for Progressive Conservatives to send money in support of his government's efforts to stifle the free speech of students. The email specifically noted that the government was making it optional for Ontario university and college students to pay some fees that were previously attached to their tuition. Ford said that this change would help his government stamp out the expression of some political ideas.

Why is Doug Ford attacking student newspapers? | Toronto Star

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 16, 2019 10:29 AM
"Ford’s strange digression through the world of campus organizations may produce less light where more is required or create a scenario in which student journalists are subtly discouraged from doing precisely what the premier claims to want, which is holding expensive public institutions to account."

Doug Ford’s fearless fight against the Communist threat on Ontario campuses | Martin Regg Cohn

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 16, 2019 10:25 AM
"By deploying his deadly serious powers as premier, Ford whips up his own base — while pandering to everyone’s base instincts. His sudden attack on student unions is just the beginning. For the premier’s rhetoric applies equally to labour unions — don’t be surprised if he one day reprises the U.S.-style right-to-work laws that make membership optional for free-riders."

A student union must always be political | UTMSU VP External

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 15, 2019 12:46 PM
Last month, the UTMSU saw a huge victory with our course retake policy being approved by Governing Council, one that was seven years in the making. This was achieved by the student union remaining true to its objectives for fairness in academic policies. Thinking and believing that students deserve more and better is the essence of being political, and must be how we reach those goals.

The Impact of "Voluntary Student Unionism" on Services, Amenities and Representation for Australian University Students | Australian government

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 15, 2019 12:41 PM
The Australian Government is committed to providing young people with a dedicated suite of youth‐focussed policies. Part of this commitment is ensuring that university students have access to the amenities and services they need, including child care, health care, counselling and sporting facilities, as well as independent and democratic student representative bodies. The previous government’s voluntary student unionism (VSU) approach has made it difficult for many students to access these services.

Doug Ford Boasts About Cutting Funding For Student Unions

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 15, 2019 12:35 PM
Ontario Premier Doug Ford dumped on student unions in a fundraising pitch to supporters of his Progressive Conservative party Monday. "I think we all know what kind of crazy Marxist nonsense student unions get up to," the email, signed "Doug," said. His government announced Jan. 17 that it would end mandatory university student fees that fund unions, student newspapers and clubs. The government also lowered tuition by about 10 per cent across the board, while axing grants that let low-income students study for free.

Students Are Planning A Global Strike March 15 on Issues of Climate and the Future

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 14, 2019 11:36 AM
Students are organizing a strike on March 15th to pressure the government to adopt more comprehensive environmental policy. The movement started in Sweden. These students are organizing along with students around the world on a variety of issues ranging from climate to gun violence. The unions are supporting the strike from around the world in the US, Australia, and UK. Here in Canada, Quebec students are organizing around climate, but there obviously many other issues that will appear during the strike. This will be the first strike and there has been a call for a general strike for climate in September.

Rally at Queen's Park: Feb 19 at noon | Campus Coalition

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 15, 2019 12:49 PM
Rally at Queen’s Park to kick-off a week of actions. Tuesday, February 19: 12PM to 3PM What better way to welcome back the government than throwing them a Welcome Back Party with students from across the province? Join us for a rally at Queen’s Park filled with entertainment, student and solidarity partner speakers, some cupcakes and petition collection.

Fears raised over impact of tinkering with student fees | Toronto Star

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 10, 2019 09:16 AM
At the York University food bank, shelves and refrigerators are stocked to try to keep up with growing demand — but this crucial service, funded by student fees, could be in jeopardy. That’s because the food bank is operated by the students’ union and beginning in the fall all post-secondary students will be able to opt out of ancillary fees considered non-essential, such as those earmarked for student associations.

OCUFA report reveals systemic discrimination and harassment in use of university student questionnaires | OCUFA

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Feb 07, 2019 03:15 PM
The report finds that student questionnaire scores fail to accurately reflect teaching quality and that their results are not suitable for determining faculty pay, promotion, tenure, or contract renewal. Student questionnaire results are skewed by many factors outside an instructor’s control, including class size, time, subject, and the professor’s race, gender, or accent. Additionally, the report finds that current SQCT practices facilitate the harassment of faculty, compromise educational quality, and are not an appropriate metric for determining university funding levels.

The nefarious political agenda behind Ontario’s war on university fees | Sandy Hudson

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 04, 2019 09:33 AM
"Independent student organizations, student unions and the student press have a strong history of advocacy and contributing to social change in Canada. These organizations often organize against government policies that are harmful to the members of their organizations, much like labor unions. In the case of students’ unions, in particular, they see themselves as advocacy organizations primarily tasked with fighting to make education accessible, whether that means taking on the university administration or the government itself. This is a nuisance to a Conservative government. What better way to reduce the strength of public critique and weaken the ability of student advocacy groups to influence government policy in the long term than to cut these organizations off at the knees?"

Binders full of enemies — Part 2 | Lana Payne

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 02, 2019 04:15 PM
"The government rolled back important legislated changes that would have made workplaces more fair, eliminated a wage increase for the lowest paid workers in the province, dumped the new sex education curriculum and an expert panel designed to combat violence against women — to name a very few. Most recently, Ford and his government declared war on post-secondary students and their student unions, by attacking affordability and student unions’ source of funding: membership dues. Funding used to advocate and organize for free or affordable education. Funding that helps pay for important student services on campuses. He has proposed a regulation allowing students to opt out of paying union dues to their student organizations."

Ford Government’s Post Secondary Education Announcement Made Worse As Further Details Are Confirmed | Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Feb 02, 2019 04:11 PM
"Following the Ford Government’s announcement on post-secondary education yesterday further details have emerged that confirm any benefit students may experience from a reduction in tuition fees will be offset by other reckless changes being proposed. These severe changes will be felt across the province by students and their families, faculty, staff and administrations."

Did Doug Ford consult any students for his “For the Students” plan? | Michael Bueckert

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:20 AM
"With the entire college and university sector united against Ford’s initiative, the question is: did they even consult any students on this “For the Students” plan? When asked directly about this following her press conference, and then later on CBC’s Power and Politics, Minister Merrilee Fullerton was unable to name a single student or student organization that she had consulted."

How Ontario's plan weakens student power | Nora Loreto

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:21 AM
"Doug Ford knows that a united and effective student movement can topple a government, like they did in 2012 in Quebec. Ford knows that students can stop bad policy, as students at Ryerson stopped their institution from implementing a new free speech policy. A movement that has space, resources, legitimacy, history and stable funding is a threat to Ford. He’s working hard to eliminate the threat. Unsurprisingly, the politician has chosen to eliminate a threat through an attack on free association and a free press. "

Ford's cynical politics and higher education | Graham Cox

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 18, 2019 12:04 PM
The announcement on post-secondary education by the Ford government was a showcase of the new cynical politics of the right-wing. It was painful to watch. The minister, looking as excited as a drowned cat, delivered an announcement of massive and destructive change to higher education in this province using an ugly caricature of Orwellian language.

A bad day for students: funding cut disguised as tuition cut, will cost students more and hurt Universities | CUPE Ontario

by Roxanne Dubois — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:22 AM
“These cuts were made without consultation with the University sector, and will have damaging impacts for students for a long time to come”, said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “Doug Ford’s insiders have attempted to cover up a devastating attack on students with a paper-thin discount on tuition that will cost students more in the long run”.

Ford’s Reckless Post-Secondary Education Scheme Will Ensure Only the Rich Can Afford an Education, says OFL

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:22 AM
“The introduction of the ‘Student Choice Initiative’ is an attack on the democracy and autonomy of student unions, which are not-for-profit organizations founded by and for students,” said OFL Executive Vice-President, Ahmad Gaied. Services and representation provided by student unions are paid for by dues that are democratically set by members. These critical services include the coordination of health and dental plans, transit passes, food banks, sexual violence support centres, and academic support and advocacy services. There should be no government interference in students’ democratic decision making. These reforms stifle students’ ability to mobilize and organize on campuses. It reduces political debate and speech on campus as student unions are a necessary platform of engagement for students.

Unifor signals deep concern over PC cuts to colleges, universities | Unifor

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:25 AM
"Ontario's colleges and universities need increased investment to deliver high quality, public post secondary education. The PC's slight of hand won't work here. Today's announcement is a cut, plain and simple," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. Unifor is in support of fully-accessible, public post-secondary education. The union is also concerned that the announcement includes a direct attack on students' unions. "Students' unions are democratic, independent organizations that provide vital services and advocacy for all members," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. "We have seen Ford's strategy at work before: if you don't like your opposition then silence it. This autocratic attack on students is cynical and obvious."

Reckless government announcement threatens education quality and students’ rights | OCUFA

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:25 AM
Without increased public funding for Ontario’s universities and colleges, the Progressive Conservative Government’s announced tuition fee reduction is nothing more than an ill-conceived political gimmick designed to distract Ontarians from damaging cuts to the province’s already under-funded postsecondary education system. OCUFA is generally in favour of tuition fee reductions but not at the expense of core funding and sound student financial aid policy. OCUFA is concerned that the fee reduction, OSAP cuts, and changes to ancillary fees were announced without consulting any stakeholders at the province’s universities or colleges. This demonstrates a government pursuing a political agenda, not one interested in good public policy or helping students.

Doug Ford: WE are the Students | Canadian Federation of Students

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:26 AM
Today’s announcement is a devastating one for students and workers in the post-secondary sector in the province of Ontario. The announced “Student Choice Initiative” is a transparent attempt to bankrupt students’ unions in the province who are the most critical of sector underfunding and cuts to needs-based grants. The 10% tuition fee reduction is nothing more than a red herring. The proposed cuts to OSAP will harm those students most in need. Moreover, without an increase to operating funds for institutions, this tuition fee reduction will most likely come at the hands of cuts to campus workers and services. Students and workers in the province of Ontario will fight this announcement. This government does not represent students. Students were not consulted in this process. The Ford government is looking to dismantle public post-secondary education and is attempting to eliminate the opposition to do it. #WeAreTheStudents

Ford Sets Students and Post-Secondary Education on Disastrous Path in Ontario | Canadian Federation of Students

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:26 AM
“The Doug Ford government has attempted to spin this announcement as a 10 per cent reduction in tuition fees when in reality Ford’s plan will increase out-of-pocket costs for students, diminish the quality of education students receive and undermine crucial student supports on campus,” said Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. “The reality of loans-based financial aid programs is that students from low-income families pay more for their education in the long-run. This announcement will make life harder for students and their families.”

Where does economic critique come from? | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Oct 03, 2016 10:48 AM
Following the global economic crash of 2008, there has been a lot of discussion about the need for a re-think of mainstream economic thought. While this "orthodox" economics held claim to the economic growth before 2008, it completely failed to predict the economic crash and seems unable to deal with the aftermath. Unfortunately, while the economy they supported collapsed, the theories that set the foundation for the economic crisis have not lost their dominance.
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