OCUFA succeeds in getting universities exempted from harmful bankruptcy laws

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

TORONTO, June 20, 2024 – After years of advocacy, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and its allies have successfully secured passage of federal legislation that will exclude public universities from the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA).

OCUFA welcomes news that the House of Commons Bill C-59, which included the amendments to CCAA and BIA, passed the third reading in the federal Senate on June 19 and is awaiting Royal Assent to be passed into law.

“Public universities are not businesses and should not be treated as such, and this bill is a crucial piece of legislation that will protect university students, faculty and staff from corporate-style restructuring policies that prioritize creditors over the public interest,” said Jenny Ahn, Executive Director of OCUFA.

The news comes more than three years after Laurentian University filed for bankruptcy under the CCAA and BIA. The unprecedented move led to devastating program cuts and jeopardized the futures of nearly 1000 students. It also resulted in massive job losses for faculty and staff and disastrous ripple effects in Sudbury, Ontario, with an estimated economic cost of over $100 million.

“We saw to it that the catastrophe caused by Laurentian’s bankruptcy will never happen again. Years of OCUFA campaigning have paid off, and together with our allies, our advocacy has resulted in a more secure future for our vital public universities,” said Nigmendra Narain, President of OCUFA.

“We thank the federal government for listening to OCUFA, its 30 member organizations, and its allies, to protect the educational institutions that set up our youth for success and drive economic growth and social development in our communities,” he said.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents more than 18,000 faculty, academic librarians, and other academic professionals in 30 member organizations 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, contact: media@ocufa.on.ca