Students across the province are marching across university and college campuses this Wednesday to protest the recent changes to OSAP. The march, which was organized by the Canadian Federation Of Students, is meant to give strength to the growing opposition from students against the Ford government's proposed changes.
Once the Ford government came into power, the Liberal government’s aide to low-income families in the form of grants was significantly reduced in favour of a new system which will put a higher emphasis on loans, as opposed to the generous grants which were given out by the former government.
The PC party will also be removing a six-month grace period which was initially installed to give students a chance to pay back their loans without interest fees.
Students involved in the protests have formed large crowds, flooding various campuses across Ontario. Photos and videos of the event show protesters chanting and organizing sit-ins as they fight to have their voices heard:
Hundreds of Ryerson students taking part in a walkout and protest against the Ford Governments recent changes to OSAP, Austin’s funding, and student run organizations pic.twitter.com/YlE4VUPWXp— Momin Qureshi (@Momin680NEWS) March 20, 2019
Students have also been spotted holding up signs that read “defend the right to organize” and “fight for independent student voices”, a clear reference to the government’s controversial changes to the education system:
@UofT @UofTNews St. George campus students protest outside Simcoe Hall. Part of a province wide walk out to protest the Ontario government’s cuts to post secondary education @CBCAlerts @CBCNews @OntarioPolitics #Ontario #educationcuts #CBC pic.twitter.com/4DuKOtuCcr— Marie Morrissey (@CBCMarie) March 20, 2019
So, how is Doug Ford handling all of this? Ford’s most notable reaction happened last month in House after NDP Leader Andrea Horwath grilled the Premier on the issue, asking him to leave the student body alone while they exercise their right to protest – to which Ford responded:
After some student activists shout and get ejected from the public gallery during a question about #OSAP, Premier Doug Ford says “Here’s an example of indoctrination, what we just saw up there.”— Mike Crawley (@CBCQueensPark) February 19, 2019
Then after sitting down he adds, “They’re gonna be good socialists.” #onpoli pic.twitter.com/sQkvYpI4T8
“That’s how they train our kids…with a filthy mouth. They should have their mouths washed out with soap.” shouted Ford in reaction to Horwath's question. Ford had also allegedly labelled the students as socialists, but no substantial evidence of that quote was ever verified.