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Toronto-Colleges and Universities Minister Dianne Cunningham was put on notice at a recent meeting with the Canadian Union of Public Employees that CUPE members would mobilize to fight the introduction of private for-profit universities in Ontario planned for 2001.

“We made it clear to the minister there are many people in the province who are opposed to for-profit education and will fight to strengthen our public system. Ontario taxpayers want accessible public post-secondary education. And they dont want to see their tax dollars subsidizing the profit margins of private schools,” said Brian OKeefe, CUPE Ontario secretary-treasurer.

Already CUPE along with the OFL and student and faculty associations is working on a plan of action to fight the Tory initiative.

In the United States private post-secondary schools get 30 per cent of their income from direct and indirect government subsidies. Private universities will siphon funds away from public universities and lead to the deterioration of our public system.

“If the Tories get their way there will be less government funding going into our accessible, public system and it will suffer as a result,” said OKeefe who also criticized the minister for forging ahead with the introduction of for-profit schools prior to any substantive public consultation taking place.

“Essentially what the Tories did, was say we are moving forward with this regardless and then they held a deficient consultation process that excluded key groups. The lack of real consultation was just another example of how this government shuts down our democratic processes,” said OKeefe.

For more information please contact:

Brian OKeefe
CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer
(416) 579-7414

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774

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