TORONTO - The Canadian Federation of Students says Premier Dalton McGuinty should not be pleased to see Ontario taking the lead in one category - the highest university tuition fees in the country. A 2009 Statistics Canada report shows Ontario has surpassed Nova Scotia for the highest fees in Canada, with university tuition averaging $5,951 per student.
The report found undergraduate fees in Ontario surpassed the national average by more than $1,000, while graduate tuition fees exceeded the national average by $2,600.
Shelley Melanson of the students' federation says Nova Scotia put the brakes on fee increases and reduced tuitions while Ontario has continued to "rocket ahead" with tuition hikes.
Ontario students paid the fourth highest fees in the country when McGuinty cancelled a tuition fee freeze in 2006.
Since then, tuitions in the province increased between 20 and 36 per cent, which the students' federation says makes Ontario the most expensive place in Canada to get a post-secondary education.
Melanson says McGuinty's track record on tuition fees is shameful, and notes that more than 80,000 students have signed postcards since the start of the school year to tell him just that.
College and university students from across Ontario will rally outside the legislature Nov. 5 to protest high tuition fees.
"Today, Ontario's students pay the highest fees in Canada, while studying in the largest classes," Melanson said in a release.
"There is no question that Ontario's students are losing out."
Universities in Ontario saw the largest increase in tuition in Canada, forcing more students to take on significant debt just to stay in school, said Dan Moulton of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.
"We should be number one in quality, accessibility, and affordability, not setting new records for highest tuition," said Moulton.