The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa will be going to court after nine students filed suit in small claims court over the U-Pass. The U-Pass is a mandatory program that all University of Ottawa students pay into in exchange for a bus pass. The program was approved by a student referendum in February and came into practice this fall at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. The plan costs students $145 per semester.
Nicolas Fleet, one of the parties to the claim told the Ottawa Citizen that he is “concerned about student liberties” and that he is a “victim of the U-Pass,” because there is no option to opt out of the program, even for students who live in residence or close to the campus. “I think it’s an issue of minority rights, that as people who live close to our downtown campus we are being marginalized and ignored,” he said. The plaintiffs also allege that the referendum process flawed, that it lacked a clear question and an impartial process for reviewing complaints.
U of O’s student president, Tyler Steeves told the Citizen he was disappointed. “They’re trying to make a point, I get it. But it’s unfortunate that student money is going to be wasted defending this thing.”