The Ontario government’s Student Choice Initiative (SCI), which gives students the option to opt out of certain incidental fees, was apparently suggested to the government by a campus free speech club, the concept having circulated for years within campus conservative communities.
In interviews with The Varsity, the University of Ottawa Students for Free Speech (uOSFS) Vice-President Michele Di Franco confirmed that the group had suggested the policy during a Free Speech Roundtable with the government on August 30, 2018.
Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities (TCU) Merrilee Fullerton attended the Free Speech Roundtable at Queen’s Park. The goal of the discussion was for the government to receive input from campus free speech groups to issue free speech guidance to universities.
Di Franco noted, however, that the “government seemed to be ambivalent about [the opt-out option], (at least when we spoke to them).”