Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Ontario conservatives hit Leftist speech at colleges with a one-two punch

Why should ALL students be forced to support Leftist publications?

During the 2018 election campaign, Doug Ford made a bold promise to protect free speech on university campuses. “We will ensure that publicly funded universities defend free speech for everybody,” Ford said at a campaign event in May 2018. Schools, he said, were placing too many limits on free speech.

In August 2018, Ford, by then Ontario’s premier, followed through on that promise: according to a directive from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, all post-secondary institutions had to introduce free-speech policies by January 1, 2019 — or face funding cuts.

Last week, the Progressive Conservatives announced another big change: a 10 per cent tuition reduction and the option for students to opt out of so-called non-essential fees, which include the levies that support many student newspapers and campus radio stations — important vehicles for free speech.

A reduction in student-generated revenue would come as a major blow to publications such as the Varsity, an award-winning University of Toronto newspaper that has a weekly circulation of 18,000 and has been around since 1880.

“The money we get from a student levy is instrumental for us to be able to not only produce and distribute a newspaper but also fairly pay the people that work for us,” says Jack O. Denton, the paper’s editor-in-chief. Revenue from student fees, he notes, accounts for the majority of its yearly budget and covers the salaries of 27 part-time employees and Denton himself, who is the sole full-time staffer during the school year.

Stephanie Rea, communications director for Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities, said in an email to TVO.org that “post-secondary students are capable adults who deserve the right to decide what initiatives and services they wish to support.” She added that all student organizations will remain protected by the Ontario Campus Free Speech Policy.



Anonymous said...

How about they start charging a fee to get the paper? If still not enough money, maybe its time has past.

Bird of Paradise said...

Make liberal snowflakes pay for everything they want