Ontario Students Plan Vast Lawsuit Over Community-College Fees

June 06, 2007

Two college students in Ontario announced today that they intended to file a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit against the Canadian province’s 24 community colleges of applied arts and technology, and have notified the Ontario government that they will submit a statement of claim within two months, the CBC reported. That claim must be ruled on by the court before a lawsuit can proceed.

In a news release, the students, Dan Roffey and Amanda Hassum, accuse the colleges of collecting ancillary fees on top of tuition charges and using them for purposes, such as capital projects and academic operations, not permitted by law. Ms. Hassum and Mr. Roffey, who say they represent thousands of students who have paid the fees over the years, are seeking damages of 200 million Canadian dollars, or about $189-million.

Chris Bentley, the provincial minister of training, colleges, and universities, noted that the ancillary fees had been around for decades, but said the Ontario government took the complaint seriously. —Karen Birchard