Students take Ontario government to court over optional fee policy

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TORONTO — The Canadian Federation of Students has launched a court challenge against the Ontario government’s decision to allow college and university students to opt out of certain fees.

The group, along with the York Federation of Students, filed a notice of application for judicial review asking the Ontario Superior Court to quash the policy directive.

They say it will cut funding for student associations, campus newspapers, student legal aid clinics and sexual diversity offices.

The students allege that the government issued the directive for improper purposes, unfairly targeting student unions, and interfered with the autonomy and independence of schools.

They point to a Progressive Conservative fundraising email from Premier Doug Ford, in which he bemoaned what he called “crazy Marxist nonsense” from student unions and said he “fixed that” by making student union fees optional.

Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton says the initiative was created to make sure that students had more control over how they spend their money.

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