Ontario college students launch class-action lawsuit for tuition refunds

Class-action lawsuit intends to give students “a fair voice” in dispute over tuition fees with colleges

Updated Nov. 20 at 4:45 p.m. with a comment from George Brown College


Fourteen students from 10 different colleges have started a class-action lawsuit seeking damages for services they say colleges have not provided during the strike.

The class action seeks to recover damages on behalf of all students enrolled at the 24 colleges across Ontario according to Charney Lawyers, the law firm representing students in the lawsuit.

Claims in the lawsuit have not been proven in court.

George Brown College is one of the defendants in the suit. Colin Simpson, the college’s interim executive dean, said that it was premature to comment on this issue at this point. Simpson added that the college’s faculty and administration is doing everything possible to “make sure that the students receive the education that they’ve signed up for and that they are graduate on time.” 

Simpson could not confirm whether the college had received a statement of claim related to the suit.

“The students are asking the colleges to come up with a fair proposal with respect to their return to the classes and the compensation to the classes they lost,” said Ted Charney, principal of Charney Lawyers.

Around 300,000 students at 24 Ontario colleges have been out of class since Oct. 16, when a strike by college faculty started.

“I just really want students to have a fair voice and not be used as pawns is this situation,” said Amy Visca, a paralegal student at Mohawk College and one the plaintiffs. “We paid for quality education and we should get what we paid for.”

Visca is also one of the students that needs to complete their semester in time to complete a scheduled exam in order to graduate.

“I would like to have my transcripts by the time I was promised them, but I’m also hoping to get compensation for the time that I’ve lost,” she said.

Students affected by the ongoing faculty strike can register to receive more information about the lawsuit at: collegefeesclassaction.com

Prior to the strike, a petition was launched by students demanding tuition for each day missed due to the strike. The petition now has more than 130,000 signatures.

Prior to the strike, a petition was launched by students demanding tuition for each day missed due to the strike. The petition now has more than 130,000 signatures.

Share

Ontario college students launch class-action lawsuit for tuition refunds