November 22, 2019 – 12:00 AM
TORONTO—Unifor stood in solidarity with elected student leaders from the Canadian Federation of Students and the York Federation of Students at a media conference this morning to announce the successful legal challenge of the Doug Ford government’s Student Choice Initiative.
“From day one, we called on Doug Ford to scrap this unlawful attack on Ontario’s post-secondary students and institutions,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We welcome the Ontario divisional court’s unanimous and decisive ruling that the governments’ attack violated the bedrock principles on which Ontario universities have been governed for more than 100 years.”
The Ford government sought to undermine student organizations across the province and the democratically allocated student funds for a wide range of services at post-secondary institutions across Ontario.
The funds went directly to benefit student unions, campus radio stations and newspapers, sexual assault survivors’ services, women’s and LGBTQIA-positive spaces, Public Interest Research Groups and many others.
“The Ford government has been dealt a serious blow in its attempt to silence students and de-fund groups that disagree with their conservative agenda,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Director. “I am proud that workers and students stood shoulder to shoulder to fight for our fundamental rights to organize.”
The Ford government directly threatened students’ unions across the province by creating conditions to defund them, intervening in institution and student union independence.