During its meeting on October 23, 2020, the YUFA Executive Committee passed a motion in support of this letter by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), in which it calls on Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities, the Hon. Ross Romano, to change course on the government’s decision to give university status to Canadian Christian College. The motion further mandated the Executive to send to Minister Romano its own letter of protest, which the Executive Committee sent on October 26, 2020 and appears below.
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The following letter was sent by the YUFA Executive Committee on Monday, October 26, 2020 to Ontario’s Minister of Universities and Colleges, Hon. Ross Romano:
Hon. Ross Romano
Minister of Colleges and Universities
Ministry of Colleges and Universities
5th Floor, 438 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M7A 2A5
October 26, 2020
Dear Minister Romano,
I am contacting you on behalf of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA), which is the professional association and certified bargaining agent for approximately 1,600 faculty, librarians and archivists, and post-doctoral visitors at York University.
Our members 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. We will not repeat any of his bigotry in our letter; it is well documented.
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.
Prof. Terry Maley
York University Faculty Association
CC: Mina Rajabi Paak, Policy Analyst, Community and Government Relations, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. MRajabi@ocufa.on.ca
Tom Rakocevic (Humber River—Black Creek), MPP for York University. TRakocevic-QP@ndp.on.ca
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. Kwynne.email@example.com
Mike Shreiner, Green Party of Ontario. Mschreiner@ola.org