ORILLIA How have unions positively contributed to your community, your family, or yourself?

If you’re a student who can answer that in 250 words you’re in the running for the first North Simcoe Muskoka & District Labour Council (NSMDLC) post-secondary grant program.

With the affects of COVID weighing heavily on workers and students, the new program will help one student looking to learn virtually or possibly in class come a new term.

Students who will be attending a publicly-funded post-secondary institution in the fall of 2021 can apply for a $500 grant to help offset the rising costs of post-secondary education in Ontario.

“With the rising costs of post-secondary education in this province, we want to be able to help lighten the load on working families and young people,” says Mike De Rose, president of the NSMDLC.

“We know that one of the most significant barriers to attending post-secondary is the financial one.  Our colleges and universities are getting more and more expensive, and for working families, they just don’t have the means to pay for it.”

Students may qualify for the grant if they are accessing (or will access) the Ontario Student Assistance Program, are attending a college or university and live in North Simcoe, Muskoka, Parry Sound, Collingwood, or the surrounding areas.

“We know that students are exiting their degree or diploma programs with record-levels of debt.  They’re at the beginning of their adult lives, and they are already saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  The average student debt in Ontario is around $28,000,” De Rose said in a release.

We call on Premier Doug Ford and his government to address the affordability of post-secondary education.  It’s supposed to be accessible to all Ontarians.”

To learn more about the eligibility criteria and to apply for the grant, potential applicants can visit the Labour Council’s website at

The North Simcoe Muskoka & District Labour Council is committed to supporting workers, their families, and their communities through political action and  advocacy.

The labour council is calling on the province to provide more financial assistance to students and colleges and universities.