Tuition refunds offered to students as Ontario college strike ends

Kathleen Wynne

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Around 500,000 students have been out of class since the strike by 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians began October 15.

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About 12,000 college faculty are slated to report for work Monday with 500,000 students returning to their campuses starting Tuesday.

"We will do everything possible to make sure students have the opportunity to be successful", she said. "Because when we need help, we couldn't even find anybody [who] can give us a hand", she said.

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The back-to-work legislation was introduced earlier in the week with the NDP forcing debate on the issue in Queen's Park, but the Liberal majority passed the bill on Sunday, Nov. 19 on third reading without NDP support.

Fall classes will resume January 3, 2018 with the term ending January 16, according to the college's official website.

"They keep telling us, stay on top of your courses, which is not fair".

Flay, 20, is part of a student collective from 24 Ontario colleges that launched the suit last week, seeking compensation for lost class time and a full refund for students forced to drop out.

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Pat Kennedy, president of the union local that represents faculty at Algonquin College, said students have legitimate concerns about completing their semester.

But the letter didn't include the details many students are seeking - including how their courses will be affected, given that there are only five weeks left before classes end on December 22 for the holiday break.

"The province will continue to work with students and colleges to finalize implementation plans in the coming days". "That's a lot of stuff we've missed now".

"Students who decide to withdraw from college because of the strike will receive a full tuition refund", reads the news release.

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"That is our money that's going in, and that's our time being wasted", Flay said. Students may have had to extend rental leases or cancel holiday plans. The province says students facing financial pressure because of the longer semester will be able to apply for assistance.

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