Politicians and labour leaders joined students across the province Wednesday to protest rising tuition fees.

Thousands of students turned out at various demonstrations including a march to Queen's Park in Toronto to demand the Liberal government apply money in a new grant scheme to reduce tuition fees for all students.

Students say the Liberal tuition grant implemented last month excludes two-thirds of all post-secondary students.

Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan also called on the province to scrap its tuition rebate grant and instead replace it with an across-the-board tuition fee reduction that would reduce upfront education costs for all students.

"Premier McGuinty has allowed Ontario's tuition fees to rise from fourth place to the highest in Canada and his current proposal is a transparent way to soften the blow of an increasingly exclusive education system," Ryan said in a release.

"When the premier promised to reduce tuition fees, students believed him. Many of them even voted for him. Students and their families expect him to deliver on his promise."

Students presented a 40,000-signature petition to the legislature last year asking the rebate program be used to fund a 13 per cent cut in tuition fees for all students.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said education remains accessible and is still a good deal. Duncan said Ontario is among the best in funding institutions and providing grants and loan provisions.

"That's more progressive because it focuses the money on students and not on institutions," he told reporters.

With files from CTV Toronto's Colin D'Mello and The Canadian Press