TORONTO – Students and workers have concerns about the recent announcement and financial support provided by the Ontario government to Laurentian University. The Ministry of Colleges (MCU) and Universities announcement on December 16, 2021 does nothing to support students, faculty and workers– including those who were terminated by the CCAA– nor the future stability of Laurentian University.
Despite this announcement, the CCAA process continues to destroy Laurentian University. The new engagement by the MCU and the Province does nothing to address all the programs, faculty and students who were cut from the institution. This new action by the Ontario government is simply an attempt to save face with the public while controlling the outcome of the privatization of Laurentian University and set a dangerous precedent of privatization and government interference for the rest of the Post-Secondary Education sector.
Laurentian University also announced the resignation and the appointment of new members of the Board of Governors (BoG). The new members of the BoG will not only be appointed by the Ministry, but also replace previous members of the Board. This is a complete disregard for democracy by appointing more government officials in the vacancies left by the resignation Board of Governors members.
The actions of the MCU do not address the disclosure of documents to the Auditor-General or the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, which was motioned by the Speakers Warrant before the legislature concluded for the calendar year. The financial announcement nor the appointment of government officials does not interrupt the CCAA process but continues the corporate restructuring and top-down governance approach at Laurentian University. This will not lead to a sustainable future for Laurentian University and the local community, and will continue the dismantling of the longstanding institution for the interests of privatization. The Ontario government should have properly funded post-secondary education from the beginning rather than allow Laurentian University to enter into the CCAA process.
The Federation demands:
- The Province of Ontario, in cooperation with the Federal government, brings the CCAA process to a close by providing emergency financial commitments to claimants.
- Laurentian University President Robert Haché and every member of the Board of Governors resign.
- Following these resignations, Laurentian University should be placed in the hands of publicly appointed trustees for a limited period until more open and collegial policies are adopted.
- The lack of leadership and failures of Laurentian’s Board of Governors to act on behalf of Laurentian as a public university must be subject to a public enquiry, and those responsible must be held accountable.
The Canadian Federation of Students (including the CFS-Ontario) has signed to support the Tricultural Committee’s N’Swakamok Reconciliation Declaration: For an Equal and Truthful Trilateral Path to University Restoration at Sudbury, and supports the Committee’s call for the development of new independent Indigenous, Francophone and Anglophone institutions in Northern Ontario.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the oldest and largest student organization in Ontario, representing over 350,000 college and university students in every region of the province.