President welcomes Ontario budget as good for students

Lorna R. Marsden, president and vice-chancellor of York University, has welcomed the announcement of improved access to student loans for more than 50,000 students through a $20.9 million enhancement to the Ontario student assistance plan, which will also be harmonized with the Canada student assistance plan.

Marsden noted that the Ontario government’s budget announcement yesterday will provide status quo funding for universities over the next two years as the government conducts its review of post-secondary education. The University looks forward to more details about how the funding will work in practice following the review.

The choice of former premier Bob Rae to lead the promised review of post-secondary education was also welcomed by Marsden, who looked forward to working with him to ensure that Ontario’s universities maintain their high quality, remain accessible for students and accountable to Ontario’s taxpayers. The government’s promise to provide compensation for both years of the recently announced tuition freeze will give all parties time to provide input into the review process, she said. The York University community looks forward to playing the fullest possible role in the review, she continued.

Marsden also noted that yesterday’s speech by Finance Minister Greg Sorbara made particular mention of the priority for a subway to York University and funding for an environmental assessment of the proposed subway route to York’s Keele campus.

“I am pleased that Minister Sorbara chose York University as a prime example of the need to improve Ontario’s transportation infrastructure and reduce gridlock,” said  Marsden. “That’s good for York and the entire northwest quadrant of the GTA.”