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. LLindo-QP@ndp.on.ca
Chris Glover (Spadina—Fort York), the Official Opposition’s Colleges and Universities critic. CGlover-CO@ndp.on.ca
Kathleen O. Wynne (Don Valley West), Liberal Party’s Colleges and Universities critic. email@example.com
Mike Shreiner, Green Party of Ontario. Mschreiner@ola.org