The Ontario college strike has entered its fifth week as of Monday, officially making it the longest college strike in Ontario's history.
And while striking faculty members began voting this week on a forced vote that could end the college strike and have students back in class as soon as Tuesday, students have once again taken action of their own.
Students affected by the college strike have launched a class action lawsuit against Ontario colleges in light of the ongoing strike and the negative impact it has had on their lives, studies and bank accounts.
The lawsuit currently includes 14 students who have come forward to potentially stand as representative plaintiffs for all of the near 500,000 students affected by the strike.
Legal counsel for this suit are from the firm Charney Lawyers, who proposed the class action against Ontario's 24 colleges on Tuesday.
The notice of action presented by Charney Lawyers states that Ontario colleges have broken contracts with students by failing to provide vocational training and a full term of classes.
As such, the class action lawsuit is seeking reparations for the lost time and money of college students. The lawsuit is proposing full refunds for students who decide they no longer want to continue with their programs, as well as refunds "equivalent to the value of the lost instruction" for students who are planning to complete their programs.
Meanwhile, the Ontario government has ordered colleges to create a fund with savings from the strike to help students that are experiencing financial hardships. Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews has estimated that Ontario colleges have saved about $5 million so far that can be contributed to the fund.