I am writing today to update you on OCUFA’s intervention in the Laurentian CCAA insolvency proceeding, as well as our continuing pressure campaign to demand that the Conservative government end the insolvency proceeding and immediately provide LU with stable and secure funding.
You will recall that in our first court appearance, we demanded that the correspondence between our Ministry and Laurentian University be unsealed and made available to the stakeholders and the public. The Judge refused to unseal the correspondence, and provided reasons for doing so on February 26th. Generally, it was his view that disclosure of the Exhibits could be detrimental to any potential restructuring of LU.
On March 5th , OCUFA filed a Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal the Judge’s decision. We took this action in coordination with LUFA and CUPE. In addition, CAUT submitted a letter in support of the motion. At this time, we await a response from the Appeal Court.
You can read coverage here: profs-appeal-order-sealing-correspondence
Last week, OCUFA and our allies targeted Minister Romano at his constituency office in Sault Ste. Marie. AUFA, along with the Sault Ste. Marie labour council and its affiliates, demanded funding both for Laurentian in the short term, and for all northern universities. Tony Fabiano, Vice President, was quoted in a number of articles on the rally.
Media coverage of the LU insolvency was extensive last week, and covered a range of key issues. The Toronto Star ran both an editorial, and a column by Martin Regg Cohn calling out the government for failing to adequately fund Laurentian: Cohn column;
LU President Hache put out a statement attempting to reassure the campus community that the CCAA was a constructive process; we responded immediately with a press release to set the record straight on the faculty, course and program cuts the administration was planning: CTV news and OCUFA website.
Last Wednesday, OCUFA joined the union heads at a special meeting of the Ontario Federation of Labour to build an even stronger front in the pressure campaign against the Ford government. Many unions have pledged support both in the immediate fight back in support of LU, and the longer struggle to ensure that the CCAA does not get used against any other broader public sector institution in the future.
OCUFA has also launched a new campaign website, northernsolidarity.ca, to amplify our efforts to advocate for more funding for Laurentian and to recognize the important role played by universities in Northern Ontario. The website currently includes recent news about developments at Laurentian, a summary of the issues, and recommended resources and actions for supporters and supporting organizations.
And finally, OCUFA staff will be reaching out to the action point people at each faculty association in the coming days to link you with other faculty associations along with our Executive members to take actions between now and the end of April to support LUFA.
Jenny J. H. Ahn
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)
Office: 416-979-2117 ext. 229
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, ON Canada M4Y 1M7