Non-answers from Ont. gov on York strike - Macleans.ca

Non-answers from Ont. gov on York strike

Queen’s Park owes York students answers, but haven’t given any yet

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UPDATE: Maclean’s OnCampus spoke with the Minister’s staff today and we’ve been promised an interview with the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities following the end of the York University strike.

A spokesperson for the Ministry says they don’t want to interfere with negotiations at York and are not able to answer questions at the present time.  They also don’t want to speculate on what might happen and are advising students to monitor the York University website for updates on the strike and financial supports for students.

Keep checking OnCampus regularly for the most up-to-date information on the 2008 York University strike.

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Eleven days ago, I tried to ask Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and University John Milloy a few detailed questions related to the York University strike. Specifically, the questions were related to government support for York students affected by the ongoing York strike.

That day, I submitted the following questions to the Ministry by email:

Will OSAP payments by administered in January if the strike is ongoing?

What assistance is available for students if there is an extension of classes into May, will their receive addition OSAP funding while maintaining the $7,000 repayment cap?

What government supports are available for students who are laid off from work-study placements?

What supports are available for students laid off from non-work study on-campus jobs?

Some students have been working during the strike. Due to the use of tax returns by OSAP, this could result in receiving overpayment notices. Is OSAP going to account for the strike when issuing assessments?

I emailed the Ministry earlier today to ask the status of my request. Ministry staff responded to my emails with an answer that didn’t address issues that are the responsibility of the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities.

I’ve emailed back asking for more. I will wait until 4 p.m. tomorrow in the hope that the government answers (or at least says it is reviewing the situation) my questions before posting the exact statement sent to me by Ministry staff.

I’m hoping this blog post will get somebody’s attention in the government and somebody in the Minister or Premier office will be kind enough to provide answers to students.

The government owes students answers, especially since the government is allowing this strike to continue without end. Had the government acted to end this strike, there is a real possibility that students would not face many of the OSAP-related questions I’ve sent them.

Or maybe the opposition is right and the government doesn’t care. I hate to admit it, but I’m starting to wonder myself.