2019-09-30_thumb This article is more than 2 years old

Private Education Company Offers To Let High School Students Pay For Classes Cancelled by Doug Ford

“Private education companies are attempting to capitalize on what they see as an opportunity to profit,” teachers say

A private, for-profit education company is taking advantage of Doug Ford’s cuts to education to sell students classes online that they used to get for free.

After only one budget, the Ford government’s cuts have resulted in hundreds of teacher layoffs, bigger class sizes and fewer elective courses to help students meet university admission requirements.

But Blyth Education, a private, for-profit education company saw an opportunity. Just recently, it launched an advertising campaign to woo students worried about class cancellations risking their futures.

One ad, spotted on Instagram, shows a student holding a sheet of paper listing a “2019/2020 high school schedule” with a number of classes listed as “cancelled.”

“Are you missing electives this semester?” the ad asks. “Don’t fall behind because of cancelled classes!”

The ad notes that the company offers 160 Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) electives at its private schools.


Other ads the company is running on Facebook tell teenage students they can earn a high school diploma through “online courses.”

“Students in Canada and abroad are able to earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) completely online through Blyth Academy,” their website notes.

“Our private online courses cover all areas of the curriculum,” their website adds. “Because our online courses are available at any time and from anywhere, you can fit your learning to your life, and not the other way round.”


The Blyth Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from  PressProgress about the strategy behind its ad campaign.

But Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation president Harvey Bischof told PressProgress the company’s ads are capitalizing on Ford’s cuts.

“When you take a look at the ads, they are situated perfectly in the environment that Ford has created,” Bischof said.

“It is clear that the Ford policies have created an environment that’s ripe for schools like Blyth academy to promote themselves.”

According to the Blyth Academy’s website, fees for Canadian students cost $495 for Grade 9 courses and $595 for Grade 10 to 12 courses.

Students who can’t afford those fees upfront can use a credit repayment plan through a company called “PayBright.” PayBright’s website indicates that interest rates start at 7.95%, depending on the the client’s credit score. Some plans also include payment processing fees.

Liz Stuart, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, said its not surprising private companies are trying to profit by filling holes in Ontario’s public education system created by Ford’s cuts.

“Doug Ford’s Conservative government is making reckless cuts that are causing chaos in Ontario’s world-class publicly funded education system,” Stuart told  PressProgress, noting his cuts are “increasing class sizes,” “removing vital supports for at-risk students” and “attempting to undermine the professionalism of teachers.”

“Private education companies are attempting to capitalize on what they see as an opportunity to profit.”

Bischof also noted that the Ford government’s requirement that high school students now take four credits of e-learning courses opens up even more avenues for private corporations to take over public education.

“They have not made clear at all who will be delivering this program,” he said.

“There’s a made-to-order opportunity here to outsource the delivery of e-learning to some private institution.”

Earlier this year, after the Ford announced his cuts, PricewaterhouseCoopers began sending e-mails to Ontario guidance councillors offering Tim Hortons gift cards for insider information on how students select courses.

PwC specifically referred to the provincial government’s decision to introduce mandatory online courses.


PressProgress is powered by readers. Not by advertisers.

We’re not a corporate media outlet. We’re a small non-profit news organization that produces award-winning journalism with support from our readers.

If you see value in ad-free, non-profit journalism that holds powerful interests accountable, please consider making an investment in our work today.


Invest in Our Journalism
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-05-013 News

Doug Ford’s Budget Includes a Hidden $1.3 Billion ‘Decrease’ in Education Funding

Related Stories


Ministry of Colleges Shut Down Ontario PC Candidate’s Private College After It Ran Unaccredited Program

View the post

Anti-Union Lobby Group Has Received Millions of Dollars From Doug Ford’s Government Since 2021

View the post

Doug Ford and Jim Watson Have No Records of Man Who Held Secret Negotiations With Ottawa Convoy Leader

View the post


Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.