QUEEN’S PARK — In the Legislature, MPP Peggy Sattler raised concerns regarding OSAP's punitive clawbacks, and urged the government to end these unfair provisions.
"Since 2015, London West residents Sandy Mikalachki and Nicole Spriet have helped outstanding low-income students attend post-secondary with a Mikalachki Scholarship of $5,000 for up to four years. This government’s changes to OSAP, however, mean that the scholarships they award to some of the most impressive and deserving students in Ontario are clawed back, a policy they view as both merciless and inane," Sattler explained.
Sattler shared a story about a recent recipient of this scholarship, whose single mom was on Ontario Works. "She had earned a 92% average while managing to save $6,000 by working two jobs, seven days a week. For these efforts, she was punished with a $2,200 reduction to her OSAP grant—effectively, a 37% tax on her savings—and another $1,100 reduction for each of the four years of her scholarship. Her OSAP loan was also reduced. Since RESPs are excluded from OSAP calculations—as they should be—Sandy asks: “Are we saying to these impoverished kids, ‘Good that you saved but you should have known at age 13, while your heat was being turned off, to open up an RESP’?
"Sandy’s campaign to end these unitive clawbacks has taken on new urgency with the rising cost of living hitting low-income families the hardest. Sandy says, and I agree, that helping low-income students to break the cycle of poverty should not be a partisan issue."