Canada Christian College should be denied university status

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In a letter to Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano, the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition, of which OCUFA is a member, has raised concerns about the privatization of postsecondary education in Ontario and the government’s efforts to grant university status to the controversial Canada Christian College.

Hon. Ross Romano
Minister of Colleges and Universities
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
5th Floor, 438 University Ave
Toronto, ON M7A 2A5

November 2, 2020

Dear Minister Romano,

We write as representatives of the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC)—which represents over 435,000 faculty, staff, and students from every public postsecondary institution in Ontario.

We are very concerned that your government is tabling legislation to permit the Canada Christian College to call itself a university and to award degrees in arts and sciences, and we urge you to reconsider.

Charles McVety, who runs the college, holds long-standing discriminatory islamophobic, homophobic and transphobic views. As he is a close ally to Premier Ford, we are additionally concerned that the government is handing out political favours and disregarding the college and its founder’s troubling record of advocating for discrimination. We are also concerned about growing efforts to privatize postsecondary education in Ontario. Privatization and giving private institutions degree-granting privileges will undermine the quality and accessibility of postsecondary education in Ontario.

We deeply value Ontario’s postsecondary education system and its contribution to our communities and society. This is why we are extremely concerned that the government would consider granting degree-granting privileges to institutions that promote discrimination.

Allowing the Canada Christian College to call itself a university and to grant degrees in the fields of arts and sciences would undermine the integrity of postsecondary education in Ontario. In addition, it would threaten the safety and standing of equity-seeking communities in Ontario.

Degree-granting institutions recognized by the government must meet the anti-hate and anti-discrimination standards of the Ontario Human Rights Code at a minimum. This is essential to ensure that our postsecondary system is accessible and equitable and that students, faculty and staff of religious and other equity-seeking groups feel safe and valued within our system.

We urge you to act to ensure the safety and respect of all those in the postsecondary sector, including members of equity-seeking communities. Therefore, we ask that you withdraw the provision in Bill 213 regarding the change in the status of the Canada Christian College and awarding it the power to grant degrees.


The Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition

  • Janice Folk-Dawson, Executive Vice President – Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)
  • RM Kennedy, Chair – Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) – College Faculty Divisional Executive
  • Rahul Sapra, President – Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)
  • David Simao, Chair – Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)- Ontario University Sector
  • Harvey Bischof, President – Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
  • Craig Reynold, Regional Executive Vice-President – Public Service Alliance of Canada (Ontario Region)
  • Sébastien Lalonde, Chairperson – Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario (CFS-O)
  • Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor

CC: Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre), the Official Opposition’s Anti-Racism critic.
Chris Glover (Spadina—Fort York), the Official Opposition’s Colleges and Universities critic.
Kathleen O. Wynne (Don Valley West), Liberal Party’s Colleges and Universities critic.
Mike Shreiner, Green Party of Ontario.

One Response to “Canada Christian College should be denied university status”

  1. Howard Doughty

    In addition to concerns about the “content” of the curriculum at CCC, I want to emphasize the matter of “quality.”

    In recent decades the postsecondary landscape has been complicated by all sorts of “innovations” – from Ontario colleges being authorized to grant “degrees” to efforts to promote “microcredentials” and even to replace “transcripts” with “portfolios,” course outlines with inventories of “acquired skills,” and all sorts of other potentially problematic changes that, under the guise of attempts to maximize “paths to success.” bring considerable confusion to educators and students alike. Add to that the trend toward private sector corporations “partnering” with educational facilities to provide “job training” with the cosmetic of “academic education” and it’s not hard to see how all of this could end up in a sort of intellectual Hobbesian “war of all against all” with the cerebrally fickle “markerplace” ultimately determining the “value” of education and the pertinent standard of “truth.”

    The CCC case is doubly disturbing on its merits for it contemplates both a problem of content and quality – in addition to opening the door to special interests acquiring academic credibility. The time for stepping back is now!

    A thorough, thoughtful assessment of ALL postsecondary education is needed if the entire system is not to descend into further chaos.

    Some novel ideas are doubtless meritorious. Others are corrosive and corruptive. We need to take control of the current situation before it takes control of us.

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