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Provincial budget: Free college & university tuition for low income families

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Feb 25th, 2016

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University and college will soon be free for students from low-income families in Ontario, but prices are going up on wine, tobacco, gasoline and heating for most homeowners.

In its latest budget, Ontario’s Liberal government says it is on track to eliminate a $5.7-billion deficit in the next fiscal year largely thanks to managing program spending and fighting the underground economy.

But the government is reluctant to acknowledge that revenue from the partial sale of Hydro One and $1.9 billion expected from a new carbon pricing system are major factors to getting into the black.

The showcase pledge in the government’s 2016-17 budget – its ninth consecutive in the red – is to introduce an Ontario Student Grant that would entirely pay for average college or university tuition for students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less.

Under the new program, half of students from families with incomes of $83,000 will qualify for non-repayable grants for tuition and no student will receive less than they can currently receive.

Taxes on cigarettes are rising $3 per carton and wine prices will also rise.

More to come

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