Government must change course on decision to give university status to Canada Christian College

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Following the alarming news that the Ontario government is trying to discreetly pass legislation that will give the Canada Christian College and several other private institutions university status and the ability to award degrees, OCUFA sent the following letter to Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano raising concerns about the legislation and urging the government to change course.

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

October 22, 2020

Dear Minister Romano,

I am contacting you on behalf of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), which represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians across the province.

We are alarmed that your government is intending to discreetly pass legislation that would allow the Canada Christian College to call itself a “university” and award degrees. Broadly, we are concerned about emerging efforts to privatize postsecondary education in Ontario and to give private institutions degree-granting privileges that will undermine the quality and accessibility of postsecondary education in Ontario.

This is especially evident in the case of Canada Christian College where Charles McVety, who runs the college, openly holds deeply rooted Islamophobic, transphobic, and homophobic views. McVety has been embroiled in several controversies resulting from his discriminatory beliefs. See, for example, here, here, and here.

The Ontario government should not grant accreditation and degree-granting privileges to institutions that do not meet the anti-discriminatory and anti-hate speech principles outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. It is imperative that the government protect religious minorities, the queer community, and other marginalized groups. At the very least, the government should do no harm. Allowing the Canada Christian College to call itself a “university” and to award degrees in our province would most certainly harm these marginalized communities and allow hateful and discriminatory speech to persist. Your Ministry must change course on this urgent matter.


Dr. Rahul Sapra,
President, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
Associate Professor, Dept. of English, Ryerson University

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.

2 Responses to “Government must change course on decision to give university status to Canada Christian College”

  1. Richard Wenghofer

    Canada Christian College should not be permitted to grant degrees for all of the reasons outlined in Dr. Sapra’s letter. There are also other reasons for not allowing this to happen. First, there is the issue of religious liberty itself. While Mr. McVety will no doubt stand on an argument of ‘religious liberty’, his past comments and behavior make it abundantly clear that he would deny that same liberty to others who have religious beliefs that differ from his own. Second, the university market is already oversaturated. Yet another degree-granting institution would be bad for the post-secondary sector as a whole.

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