Early this year, Doug Ford's government announced multiple changes that would be introduced to OSAP for the upcoming year. Among these changes were OSAP's shift to focusing directly on low-income families and getting rid of the six-month interest-free grace period. Since this announcement, students from around the province have been protesting. On March 20, Ontarians will continue to protest these OSAP changes by holding a province-wide walkout.
This Wednesday, March 20, students from 13 separate universities and colleges will ban together and walk out of their classes at noon. The main reason for this walkout is to call on the province to provide more grants for students who wish to attend post-secondary school.
Hosted by the Canadian Federation of Students, the walkout is meant to show "the Ontario government that we will not tolerate their attacks on students,". The CFS announced through their Facebook event that out of the universities that are participating, the University of Toronto and York University will be among them.
The University of Toronto St. George Campus will start their walkout at Sid Smith at 10 AM where they will be handing out free brunch and banners before marching through campus at noon.
With Doug Ford's government eliminating free tuition as well as a variety of other changes, many students are stressing that they may not be able to finish their education if the government doesn't reconsider.
Since the announcement, many students have taken to social media to describe why they are walking out and how these OSAP changes will affect them.
Know of at least 3 people reduced to stress tears over the new #OSAP changes. Wonder how many people are going to have to put their education on hold for this bullshit— Kait Morris (@KaitRhea) March 15, 2019
I only have 1 year left until I graduate and this is the hardest year yet. And with Ford’s changes to OSAP idek if I can afford it. I really want to drop out 😅— Morgan (@MorgaanLaughlin) March 18, 2019
the osap changes really fucked with my plan to pay off my loan and am gonna have to make up an extra $9k if i want to pay it off before i finish school 🙃— franchesca lina (@franchescadm) March 7, 2019
PSA: March 20th at 12pm there will be a student walkout protesting changes to OSAP! @fordnation wouldn’t understand what it’s like not having money and struggling to pay thousands to attend school, buy textbooks ect. Sign the Petition! https://t.co/RRNO6uQLLL via @CdnChange— Ｓｋｙ™️ (@httpskydottcom) March 14, 2019
@fordnation ruined my birthday with the post-secondary education cuts. As a mature student this does not sit well with me.#ontariostudents in post-secondary and high school need to HAVE A NATIONAL WALK OUT DAY.#onpoli #osap— Ashley Bouman (@ashleybouman) January 18, 2019
This isn't the first time that students throughout Ontario have joined together for this issue. On February 4, thousands of students from around the province joined together for a march for student rights.
A petition was also created to stop Doug Ford's cuts to OSAP. So far, it has gathered over 280,000 signatures.