Doug Ford’s so-called “Student Choice Initiative” threatens the existence of The Leveller.
In 2010, Carleton graduate students voted in a referendum to fund The Leveller with $1.50 per student per year, pegged to the Consumer Price Index.
Ford’s initiative is aimed at wiping out progressive voices on Ontario campuses and will destroy student associations, campus newspapers, and campus-based radio stations — alongside numerous other independent, non-profit organizations.
University administrations do not control our groups and neither does the government.
It is students that choose to either fund or defund us — and to increase or decrease funding amounts — by voting in referendums, on questions that are brought forward by students.
In the past decade, right-of-centre and far-right students at Carleton – the tiny Tories who cut their teeth on university campuses and who are now employed in the vile ranks of the provincial and federal Conservative political parties — have invested considerable resources trying to take over student unions. They even succeeded when it came to Carleton’s undergrad union, CUSA.
They also ran multiple defunding campaigns against their declared enemies, such as the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG). But students have chosen to continue funding these organizations.
Facing defeat after defeat, these right-wing assholes have now conspired at the level of provincial politics to eliminate these important organizations once and for all.
Ford’s restructuring of postsecondary education in Ontario is a political attack on the independence and very existence of democratically-mandated student organizations.
Look Doug, we’re reasonable people here at The Leveller. We understand the value of compromise, of trying to see things from our opponents’ perspective. We see a certain logic — a perverse, incomplete logic, admittedly — in voting with your dollars.
So we promise to retract everything on this page the day students get to opt out of paying university executives’ salaries, or the day citizens get to opt out of paying taxes for the military.
Until that day…
Fuck you Doug Ford — and your little minions too. Get your grubby fingers off of our student organizations!
For deeper analysis, please see our companion article, 10 Years of The Leveller — Will this year be our last? To get involved with The Leveller, email email@example.com. For ads or donations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.