Ontario government "reviewing" ancillary fees — sometime

Minister Milloy says government is looking into the alleged "illegal" fees, but won’t provide a timeline

One year after the launch of a $200 million lawsuit against Ontario’s public colleges over disputed ancillary fees, Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities John Milloy says his government is reviewing ancillary fees charged by colleges to make sure they comply with Ministry regulations.

The disputed fees are extra charges for items and services traditionally covered by tuition, such as libraries and computer labs.

The lawsuit was dismissed by the Superior Court of Ontario in March with the court stating that it was the responsibility of the government to enforce its own regulations.

“The court case threw a bit of a curve ball,” said Milloy. “We were taking a look at ancillary fees. Now that the court case is officially over, it’s given us a chance to look at things from a new perspective.”

He said the review is ongoing and could not commit to timelines for action if the review finds the fees violate government policy. Asked if the review would be complete by September when college classes begin again, the Minister stated repeated there is no timeline.

The Canadian Federation of Students — which was involved in the class-action lawsuit in an advocacy role — says the Minister has known about the fees for a long time and he shouldn’t need a review to act.

“We’ve seen the policy. We know they shouldn’t be charging these fees,” says Shelley Melanson, CFS-O Chairperson. She called on the Minister to immediately enforce the regulations and to protect students from these fees.