OCUFA pleased with decision to deny university status to Canada Christian College

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TORONTO, May 26, 2021 — The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is pleased that Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano has accepted the recommendation of Ontario’s Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) and, as a result, will deny university status to the Canada Christian College (CCC). After conducting an in-depth review of the private college’s operations and educational programming, PEQAB found that the CCC did not meet the standards required for it to be given university status or grant additional degrees.

The CCC had no reasonable right to university status to begin with. As a private institution, awarding it additional degree-granting privileges would have undermined Ontario’s university system. Further, Charles McVety, the president of the college, openly displays deeply rooted Islamophobic, transphobic, and homophobic views.

“Minister Romano and the Ford government attempted to circumvent the established process for ensuring the academic integrity of Ontario’s postsecondary education institutions,” said Rahul Sapra, President of OCUFA. “However, months of public pressure on the Ford government, combined with the recommendation from PEQAB, made it politically impossible for Romano to move forward.”

Mr. McVety and the CCC have long been embroiled in controversy. These include McVety advocating for the removal of gender identity from the sex education curriculum in Ontario schools, advocating for the teaching of creationism in Ontario schools, and calling Islam a danger to Canadian society. McVety’s alarming views also inform the teaching and pedagogy at this private institution where his wife Jennifer McVety and son Ryan McVety also play central roles directing operations and programming.

This very public history made it all the more perplexing that Minister Romano and the Ford government passed legislation to grant the CCC university status in December, months before PEQAB completed its review of the CCC’s application and made its recommendation to government. OCUFA and its member associations have been actively advocating against the granting of university status to the CCC. Ontario faculty and academic librarians communicated their concerns to the Minister and the PEQAB Board through numerous letters, raising public awareness of the issue in the process.

“The government must now formally repeal Schedule 2 of Bill 213 that granted the CCC university status and the ability to grant additional degrees,” said Sapra. “There must be no opportunity for the college to become a university in the future.”

“Instead of forcing through this legislation that the government now has to scrap, Minister Romano should have listened to university faculty and academic librarians and waited for PEQAB’s recommendation,” said Sapra. “We are pleased that Romano has accepted PEQAB’s recommendation, but this debacle is further evidence that the Minister has lost his way and should step down.”

OCUFA has lost confidence in Minister Romano, whose poor stewardship of Ontario postsecondary education system has destabilized the sector and pushed Laurentian University into financial crisis. The government should have never pushed forward with their attempt to grant university status to the Canada Christian College. Minister Romano should step aside and make space for someone who believes in the importance of Ontario’s public university system.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.


For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Ben Lewis, OCUFA Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or communications@ocufa.on.ca