The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, representing 350,000 students across the province is in solidarity with the students, faculty, and staff at Laurentian University. We join with Laurentian University Faculty Association in demanding that insolvency proceedings stop and the Ontario government immediately secure funding and end these cuts.

In February, Laurentian University applied for creditor protection under the federal Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) with the knowledge of the Ford government. The lack of public funding from the Ontario Government has manufactured this crisis, making this the first time a public post-secondary education institution has sought insolvency protection in Canada.

This forces Laurentian university into an inappropriate process typically reserved for private businesses, creating severe consequences for the University and the whole of Northern Ontario.

Laurentian University is a vital institution providing high-quality education for over 9,000 students. Northern communities depend on the educational and employment opportunities generated by the University.

The CCAA restructuring process has detrimental and devastating effects for both undergraduate and graduate students at Laurentian, where 60 per cent of students are the first in their family to go to university. With close to 70 programs cut, students will not be able to complete their degrees as planned at the time they accepted their offer of admission. Northern Ontario already has limited choices for colleges and universities, especially  in terms of access to a fully francophones post-secondary education. Indigenous studies have also been cut, which is one of the first programs of its kind in Ontario, and this cut targets the education opportunities for Indigenous students, faculty and their communities. The Greater Sudbury area benefits greatly from the bilingual and the tri-cultural mandate of Laurentian University offering a community hub, a centre for increased diversity, growth and research in the region unlike any other and has become essential for the prosperity of Northern Ontario. Laurentian University is Sudbury’s third largest employer, the massive job losses announced will further impact the community which is already struggling with pandemic related job losses.

The call for public, accessible, and fully funded education is vital in the call to support Laurentian University as well as for students across the province. This crisis at Laurentian could be stopped at any time by the Ontario government. The government has a responsibility to properly fund and support institutions, rather than watch Laurentian fail financially, resulting in a heavy-handed restructuring process. Students and workers demand to see proper public funding and for this crisis to be the last of its kind in Ontario.

Despite the clear responsibility of the Ontario and Federal governments to adequately fund our institutions, the government has been inactive in responding. It was recently revealed that Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano had known about Laurentian’s financial situation for at least six months prior to filing for the CCAA process. The Ministry has said that the government will wait until Laurentian has gone through austerity measures proposed by the CCAA before acting. Laurentian cannot wait for these major cuts to happen. It is also shameful and unacceptable to see Minister Romano who is MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, another Northern Ontario region, to ignore the gravity and the negative precedence this sets for the region. Students in the North deserve better than a missing minister, an uninterested provincial government, dismantling cultural and language specific programs, and undemocratic processes where they are left out.

This crisis cannot be resolved by more cuts and changes in management. There have already been cuts. Last summer, Laurentian cut 17 programs across 13 academic departments. These cuts came a few months after the cancellation of Theatre and Motion Picture Arts at Thorneloe University. A very large proportion of the cuts in the summer were in French language and arts programs. The only way past this crisis is to stop the CCAA process and secure proper funding from the Ontario government for Laurentian University.

 We, the students call for the Ontario government to:

  1. Put a stop to the CCAA processes immediately and fully fund Laurentian University until it is financially stable;
  2. Stop the proposed program cuts and guarantee that students will be able to complete their programs as planned at Laurentian University and the previously federated universities (Thorneloe University, Huntington University, and the University of Sudbury);
  3. Ensure that research funding for graduate programs and their faculty members are restored;
  4. Immediately stop the layoffs to faculty and staff and secure their employment through the proper bargaining processes.


In Solidarity,

  • Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario// Fédération Canadienne des étudiantes et étudiants-Ontario
  • Laurentian University Graduate Students Association // Association des Étudiant.e.s aux Études Supérieures de l’Université Laurentienne, Section/Local 110
  • Association des étudiantes et étudiants Francophones de L’Université Laurentienne, Section/Local 88
  • Continuing Education Students’ Association at Ryerson, Section/Local 105
  • University of Toronto Students’ Union, Section/Local 98
  • Trent Central Student Association, Section/Local 71
  • Society of Graduate Students at Western University Executive, Section/Local 47
  • Organization of Part-time University Students of the University of Windsor, Section/Local 106
  • Graduate Students Association of the University of Ottawa // Association des Étudiant.e.s diplômé.e.s de l’Université d’Ottawa, Section/Local 94
  • Association des Étudiantes et Étudiants de l’Université de Hearst, Section/Local 114
  • Nipissing University Student Union, Section/Local 20
  • York Federation of Students, Section/Local 68
  • York University Graduate Students’ Association, Section/Local 84
  • Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, Section/Local 99
  • Lakehead University Student Union, Section/Local 32
  • Association Générale des Étudiants et des Étudiantes Collège Boréal, Section/Local 112
  • Carleton University Students’ Association, Section/Local 1
  • Carleton University Graduate Students Association, Section/Local 78
  • Association des Étudiantes et Étudiants de l’Université de Hearst, Section/Local 114
  • University of Windsor Student Alliance, Section/Local 49
  • University of Guelph Central Student Association, Section/Local 54
  • Glendon College Students Union // Association des Étudiante.e.s du Collège Glendon, Section/Local 93
  • Association of Part-time University Students at the University of Toronto, Section/Local 97
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union, Section/Local 35
  • Grenfell Campus Student Union, Section/Local 36
  • Association étudiante de l’Université de Saint-Boniface, Section/Local 38
  • Brandon University Students’ Union, Section/Local 37
  • Graduate Students’ Union of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Section/Local 100
  • University of Manitoba Students Union, Section/Local 103
  • University of Toronto Mississauga Student Union, Section/Local L109
  • Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Students Association, Section/Local 56
  • Canadian Federation of Students-Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia
  • Canadian Federation of Students-Manitoba
  • British Columbia Federation of Students