A Joint statement from:
Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington
John Oliver, Member of Parliament for Oakville
Sonia Sidhu Member of Parliament for Brampton South
Omar Alghabra, Member of Parliament for Mississauga Centre
Sheridan College is a world-renowned institution, and its students across Oakville, Mississauga, and Brampton are at the heart of our communities. We know that students – like those at Sheridan – are the future of our province. We should be supporting them and their education, not making it more difficult for them to afford to go to school.
The provincial government’s unfair policies around optional student fees are causing Sheridan College students to lose their public transit passes. While Sheridan students voted overwhelmingly in favour to bring in U-Passes across all three campuses in last year’s student referendum, the Ontario government is ignoring their voice, and jeopardizing the future of an important tool to make life more affordable for young people. It is impossible to implement a transit system for students without mandatory enrollment, something the provincial government recognized by allowing existing post-secondary education institutes like Brock University and Western University to maintain mandatory fees for their transit pass.
We must focus on growing the economy for all Ontarians and all Canadians. This cannot be done without talented, educated graduates from our colleges, universities and trades programs. In order to finance postsecondary education and training programs, our students need to be supported, not saddled with debt. We know that affordable transit is the make-or-break reason that allows some students to afford an education at all. If they forced to use their own vehicles, it will further clog our already busy GTA roads.
Unlike the provincial government, our federal government is working with municipalities and focusing on public transit. The federal government continues to make historic investments to enhance public transportation in our communities, while the provincial government refuses to pick up the slack. The U-Pass would have built local transit ridership while relieving traffic congestion on arterial roads and supported our students.
We call on our local MPPs to fight to keep this sustainable, affordable option for their students. It is impossible to run a transit network for students with optional-only fees – something the provincial government respected with existing transit system passes, but not with Sheridan’s U-Pass.
We urge all Sheridan students who voted democratically to implement U-Passes across their three campuses to contact their provincial MPPs and tell them to stand up for Sheridan students.
“This was an initiative that began 12 years ago, and was something that I championed when on Oakville Town Council. I was so pleased when students voted to implement the Sheridan U-Pass, and am deeply concerned about the ability of Sheridan College students to access affordable transit. The U-Pass is a terrific program and one that has been proven at other educational institutes. It is time for the Conservative government to reverse their decision to exclude Sheridan College students from affordable public transit.”
Pam Damoff, MP Oakville North-Burlington
“Sheridan is a world renowned institution that develops world renowned students. The ability of our students to access affordable transit to meet their educational needs is imperative and must be supported. The U-Pass is a great investment in our students. I call on the Ford Government to roll-back this decision.”
John Oliver, MP Oakville
“It is heartbreaking to realize that Doug Ford and his Conservative allies would rather stand on the wrong side of history when it comes to every single vital issue, than actually take actions to help people. They would clearly rather spend time posing for photo ops at gas stations to stand up against our attempts to protect the environment for our children, than provide them with the tools they need to grow from strength to strength. I am deeply disappointed in this decision by Premier Ford and I hope that MPPs will stand up for the students of Sheridan.”
Sonia Sidhu, MP Brampton-South
“We should strive to make education more accessible, not less so. Students should have the ability to pursue their post-secondary education regardless of their income. Unfortunately, recent policies enacted by the Ford government is making it harder for students to access post-secondary education. Such misguided policies will undermine Canada’s economic and social growth. I call on the Ford government to consider the impact of their decisions and reverse course.”
Omar Alghabra, MP Mississauga Centre
- The U-Pass is a student transit card that gives all eligible Sheridan students unlimited ridership on all public Oakville, Mississauga (MiWay) and Brampton (including Züm) transit routes, and provides a direct route between the Davis and Trafalgar campuses.
- U-passes reduce the cost of transit for all students. A mandatory U-Pass fee of $197.15 would be applied to eligible Sheridan student ancillary fees each semester, giving them discounted and unlimited transit for each semester they are enrolled as full-time students, an average savings of over $300 per term for comparable usage.
- Education institutions with existing transit system passes have been grandfathered, but Sheridan’s U-Pass, which was to be implemented in September, has not been respected.