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Harsh fines for college scams

Private career colleges in Ontario will face fines of up to $250,000 for taking advantage of students, starting next month.

Private career colleges in Ontario will face fines of up to $250,000 for taking advantage of students, starting next month.

The Liberal government announced the fines in response to a critical report from the provincial ombudsman about Bestech Academy, which operated campuses in Stoney Creek and St. Catharines.

Bestech Academy, which offered courses in gas technician training, closed last year leaving students and staff out of pocket.

The new penalties for private career colleges start with fines of $250 to $1,000 for first offences, and can escalate with repeat offences to a maximum of $250,000.

Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy says the government will also appoint new provincial offences officers to inspect the 580 private career college campuses in Ontario.

There will also be a public relations campaign to help students choose a government-approved private career college program before enrolling.

The fines will not apply to Ontario’s community colleges, even though the ombudsman found problems at Cambrian in Sudbury and led to complaints from students at George Brown college in Toronto.

 
 
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