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COU Statement: Response to Ontario Fiscal Update 2020
March 25, 2020

TORONTO, March 25, 2020 – “Ontario’s universities welcome the introduction of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 provided by Ontario’s Minister of Finance Rod Phillips today.

We support the provincial government’s commitment to providing vital investments into the health care sector and economic support to help Ontarians and the business community meet the complex challenges they face in these uncertain times.

COVID-19 impacts every aspect of life in our province and we support the government’s initiative to respond to the immediate needs of students, graduates and families during this challenging time. The changes to OSAP included in today’s announcement will provide relief to recent graduates and families in the coming months. Graduates will benefit directly from the suspension of interest and payments for 6 months and streamlined process for repayment.

With a shared responsibility to address the urgent needs of the province and to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians, our communities and the province, Ontario’s universities are also doing their part.

Whether it’s through ground-breaking research discoveries, supporting local public health, or by volunteering in our communities, the individual and collective efforts of our students, researchers and faculty play a significant role in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario’s universities play a vital role in shaping Ontario’s future by educating the next generation of talent, conducting life-saving research and supporting the province’s social and economic infrastructure.

Ensuring that Ontario’s universities and colleges are in strong financial positions to help communities through this period and to spur regional economic growth through Ontario’s recovery is more important than ever.

The financial implications for universities will be broad and increasingly complex. While many of the costs are not yet known, and will be influenced by the duration and scope of this pandemic, the government can provide much needed support to ensure institutions are able to recover.

As we face the challenges of COVID-19, Ontario’s universities will continue to partner and support the work of government. By working together, we can develop new ways of thinking to slow the spread of COVID-19, support the academic success of our students, continue to foster innovative research and ideas and help strengthen and restore Ontario’s competitive economy – creating a better future for our students, communities and the province.”

– David Lindsay, President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities


COU is the voice of Ontario’s universities, promoting the value of education, research and innovation that leads to social, cultural and economic success.

For further information, please contact:

Brian Kellow
Senior Public Affairs and Media Relations Officer
Council of Ontario Universities
416-979-2165 ext. 262
Email Brian Kellow