ALL OUT NOVEMBER 8TH 2023
Call to Action
On the 8th of November 2023 we will go ALL OUT for the National Student Day of Action! Students across Canada will be out demanding for a system of post-secondary education that is free, of high quality and accessible to all.
Student movement leaders are visionaries. We passionately believe that at the core of a just, equitable and fair society is a system of public post-education that is accessible to everyone. A key part of our vision is for the Government of Canada to act on the internationally recognized right of all people to education. Generations of the student movement have taken up this fight. We have found that our strength is in our numbers and that working together has achieved important victories for accessible education. However, year after year, campus administrators refuse to advocate alongside students for increased public funding and choose to hike our tuition fees and cut campus funding as short sighted piecemeal solutions.
The federal government chooses to waste billions of dollars on writing-off defaulted student loans, administering complex student aid programs and paying out inefficient education tax credits rather than directly funding public post-secondary education and removing cost barriers for everyone upfront. As a result, college and university education is becoming increasingly out of reach for students from low-income backgrounds, who are disproportionately Indigenous, racialized students, trans students, students with disabilities, and students raised in single-parent homes. While some provincial governments have begun to make improvements to access through the introduction of strong needs-based grants programs, without introducing new post-secondary education funding, these student aid policy changes can only be seen as band-aid solutions to a growing problem.
We have never lost sight of our ultimate goal - free education - and our student movement must take a collaborative cross-country, coordinated action now to escalate the demands of our Fight the Fees campaign and pressure decision-makers to take a stand. We will unite the fight by connecting the struggles of students from British Columbia all the way to Newfoundland and Labrador. We will capture headlines in order to reach a wide audience with our story. We will build broad-based public support for free, fully public education in Canada. We will engage the students we represent by spending weeks and months on the ground, connecting face to face and hearing their concerns. We will engage the next generation of the student movement. We will be ALL OUT on November 8th for the National Student Day of Action!
Day of Action Principles
While students’ unions in your province may be fighting for specific goals in the context of your provincial government and current post-secondary education policy, the following national principles unite our struggles in all parts of the country.
Free and Accessible Post Secondary Education
Education is a right. Everyone should be able to access post secondary education and skills training barrier free, without the barrier of cost or student debt. This means the elimination of all tuition fees and the introduction of grants covering the other costs of education such as housing, food, textbooks, and transportation. We believe that education is a public good that should not be tailored to private interests.
Grants not loans
Students who have accessed financial support graduate with high amounts of debt and pay more for the same education. In July 2020, the total amount of student loans owed to the government surpassed $22.3 billion, the legislated ceiling set by the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act. Even with free education, students still face the rising cost of living. Students need more accessible grants and all loans should be converted into non-repayable grants.
Everyone must be given an equal opportunity to access post-secondary education and training. Post-secondary education is increasingly out of reach for those who cannot afford the upfront cost of tuition fees or unfairly take on massive amounts of student debt. This looks like supporting students with disabilities, honoring Indigenous learners Right to Education, and fairness for international students. Universal post secondary education is a pathway towards liberation.
Supporting Students with Disabilities
In addition to free post-secondary education, students with disabilities deserve the right to accessible campuses. Free education coupled with the right support ensures that students with disabilities have barrier free access to post-secondary education. Post-secondary institutions must provide the appropriate exam accommodations, assistive technologies and support services to allow students with disabilities to fully engage with studies.
Honoring Indigenous Learners’ Right to Education
Post-secondary education is a right of Indigenous people. This right was guaranteed in several foundational nation-to-nation treaties. Honoring Indigenous Learners Right to Education means ensuring all Indigenous learners are able to pursue post-secondary education without cost. Honoring Indigenous learners' right to education also means dedicating more funding towards programs and institutions that teach and preserve Indigenous languages, culture, and history to Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners at post-secondary institutions across Canada.
Fairness for International Students
In Fall 2021, average tuition fees for international undergraduate students were $33,623, with some paying over $50,000 —this is five times more than the fees paid by domestic students. International students. Fairness for International Students means regulating international student tuition fees, ensuring they pay the same amount as domestic students, and eventually, the elimination of all fees. Fairness for International Students means streamlining and simplifying the path to Canadian citizenship which includes granting international students permanent residency. Requiring provinces and territories to guarantee the same access to public health care as Canadian citizens. Permanently removing the working hours cap and not using international students as a temporary measure for labor market issues. Besides considering post-secondary education and immigration paths, international students deserve community spaces to grow and learn about their student rights—understanding that advocacy will not result in immediate deportation.
Increased funding for Graduate Students
The elimination of tuition will improve graduate students’ access to post-secondary education. It is imperative that the government fund graduate research and challenge an increasingly commercialized and restrictive research environment. The vast majority of federally funded graduate and postdoctoral scholarships amount to less than minimum wage. The value of graduate awards has remained largely unchanged for 20 years, and postdoctoral fellowships increased by only $5,000 in the same time period. In addition to increasing funding for graduate students, boosting the Canada Students Grant program and expanding eligibility to include graduate students will increase graduate student access to education. Finally, the creation of more dedicated research fellowships for Indigenous and international students is necessary to ensure that the Canadian research environment is representative of all students.
Barrington St | 11:00 am AST
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Newfoundland and Labrador
Rally 1 - St. John's
Memorial Clock Tower | 11:00 am NST
Rally 2 - Corner Brook
Grenfell Campus AS Atrium | 11:00 am NST
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Queen’s Park |
110 Wellesley Street W | 2:00 PM EST
Parliament Hill |
111 Wellington Street | 2:00 PM EST
Laurentian University |
935 Ramsey Lake Road | 10:00 AM EST
Nipissing University Student Union Centre | 2:00 PM EST
University of Windsor |
CAW Student Centre | 2:00 PM EST
The Study | 12:00 PM EST
The Learning Commons | 12:30 PM EST
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social media to stay updated!
Manitoba Legislative Building | 11:00 am CST
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University of Regina Students' Union
Rally begins at the Riddell Centre | 11:00 AM CST
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