Both the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) continue in their actions to support faculty at Laurentian, and to work to ensure what happened at Laurentian is not repeated elsewhere.
CAUT is directly calling on all members, incuding YUFA members, to write to the MPs to ask them to support amending the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to exclude publicly funded institutions from bankruptcy protection from creditors -- the process Laurentian's Administration invoked that led to the layoff of a large number of faculty and the cancellation of many academic programs. Please see CAUT's call to action below:
The time is now to remind MPs that we need to take action to prevent more crises like what we saw at Laurentian University. We have just a few days before MPs break for the summer and head into a potential fall election. We must protect public institutions from being underfunded and filing for bankruptcy. This devastates students, staff, families and communities.
Send a letter to your MP. Ask them to press for amending the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to exclude publicly funded institutions from seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors. The federal government must act now to ensure the CCAA is never again used to destroy another university or any other publicly funded institution.
OCUFA has created a resources site and tool kit for members to stay informed and to show solidarity with Laurentian faculty. Check OCUFA's website as well as www.northernsolidarity.ca.
See also the following actions taken by other faculty associations in Ontario:
• On April 29th, the Canadian Military Colleges Faculty Association sent a letter to the Laurentian University Board of Governors calling for the termination of President and Vice-Chancellor Robert Haché, as well as his senior administrative team. The letter also calls for the rebuilding of the university’s Board;
• On May 5th, members of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association passed a motion calling for the resignation of Minister Romano and President Haché and his senior administration team;
• On May 7th, members of the Lakehead University Faculty Association passed a motion also calling for the resignation of Minister Romano, as well as President Haché and his senior administration team.
• On May 14th, the King’s University College Faculty Association (KUCFA) released a statement of solidarity in support of LUFA. The statement calls for the provincial and federal governments to challenge the CCAA process and fully fund Laurentian University in support of its multilingual mandate that service Indigenous students and Northern communities. It also calls for the protection of all universities from private insolvency proceedings like the CCAA, as well as the protection of collective bargaining rights and collective agreements at all Ontario universities.
Other actions in support of Laurentian faculty include:
• Save our Sudbury (SOS) Coalition: Click here for a list of calls to action and ways to stay involved in SOS.
For many faculty members who received termination notices or whose teaching contracts were not renewed for the following year at Laurentian and the federated universities, Saturday, May 15th was their last day of work. To mark the occasion, the SOS coalition held a solemn gathering honouring the vast contributions made by faculty and staff both to the academic community as well as the broader Sudbury community. There were powerful musical and theatrical performances which ended in participants calling out President Haché and Minister Romano on their terrible decisions and inactions. The event lasted for over three hours with faculty, staff, students and community members sharing stories of grief, hope, and resolve to continue fighting!
• Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Petition
The CLC has launched a petition calling for the exclusion of public institutions like Laurentian University from accessing the CCAA. Specifically, the ask is to amend the CCAA to exclude publicly funded institutions from seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors. Please sign the petition and distribute it as widely as possible.
• Auditor General Investigation
On May 5th Nickel Belt NDP MPP France Gélinas received support in the Ontario legislature to have the provincial Auditor General investigate how Laurentian University became insolvent. Gélinas’ motion was passed at the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Haldimand—Norfolk Conservative MPP Toby Barrett who sits on the Committee said he wasn’t aware that this had happened at Laurentian prior to the vote.