Laneway house projects in Ottawa and Toronto target students

Ottawa has opened the door to a new type of affordable housing that has gained popularity in other cities like Vancouver. Coach houses—small residential units built on existing lots—were made legal in Ottawa last year, a first for Ontario cities. “People don’t have to buy more land, and they get more housing at a reduced cost,” said Tim Moerman, a city planner that helped bring coach houses to Ottawa. “But to me the real benefit is that it allows people to get more creative with housing.” The University of Toronto (U of T) is one such organization exploring affordable housing options. The school has announced a pilot project to build two laneway houses near campus, according to a recent release […]

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Declining college enrolment could lead to more costly tuition

Changes to Ontario’s student loan program can’t come soon enough for the province’s colleges. Falling enrolment at post-secondary institutions has been particularly disastrous for colleges. Without action, it could potentially send schools into nearly $2 billion of debt in eight years, according to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, an advisory firm. “The government has been only funding colleges for enrolment growth,” said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “What that means is if your school’s enrolment goes down two per cent, you get less money from the government.” Franklin said an aging population likely means that enrolment will keep falling. “We’ve just hit a period in time where the echo boom has just gone through post-secondary [education],” Franklin […]

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Ontario keeps tuition rate hikes in place

The Ontario government has announced it will leave the existing tuition cap framework for universities in place for another two years. The existing framework means schools can continue to raise Ontario tuition fees by as much as three per cent a year, a cap that has some student advocacy groups upset. “It’s a framework that isn’t particularly good for students,” said Gayle McFadden, spokesperson for the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)-Ontario. “What we were calling for was a framework that calls for no increases.” Ontario Ministry of Education spokesperson Sean Greson said the government will use the next two years to ease the switch to a new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). “We decided to maintain the existing framework to […]

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Groups criticize upcoming Ontario grant, government spending

Changes are coming to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) next year: good news for some students, but not for those critical of the Ontario Liberals’ spending. The provincial government introduced the Ontario Student Grant (OSG) this spring. The grant, which comes into effect in Sept. 2017, will cover tuition for students whose families earn less than $50,000 a year. But the grant may increase the amount that Ontario taxpayers pay towards education—contrary to initial claims made by provincial finance minister Charles Sousa—according to a Globe and Mail article published on Nov. 28. In the article, Deb Matthews, the deputy premier and minister of advanced education and skills development, said it was “quite possible,” that provincial post-secondary spending could rise […]

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Debt clock makes tour across university campuses

Canada’s federal debt is more than $633 billion. By the time you’re finished reading this, Canada’s fast-growing debt will probably be thousands more. Generation Screwed, a project started by the Canadians Taxpayers Federation to inform young Canadians about how debt impacts them, brought a giant “debt clock” to 13 campuses across Ontario and Quebec earlier this month. The group brought the clock to Carleton on Sept. 12, and was even “thrown off” Laval Campus for “unsanctioned activism,” according to the Toronto Sun Aaron Gunn, executive director of Generation Screwed, said the tour aimed to bring an awareness of debt to Canadian students. “Students need to worry about it because it’s a long term issue,” Gunn said. “Nothing’s going to happen […]

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