TORONTO, ON - Members of the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC), which represents over 435,000 faculty, staff, and students from every public postsecondary education institution in Ontario, are calling on Ross Romano and the Ontario government to provide Laurentian University with the necessary funding to secure the future of the university.
Laurentian University is a vital public institution in Northern Ontario, which educates over 9,000 students each year, provides over 1,500 good jobs, and is essential to the well-being of the Greater Sudbury area. The university and its faculty teach students studying for careers crucial to the future of Northern Ontario, including nursing, science, teaching, and social work. Further, as part of Laurentian’s tri-cultural mandate, the university provides unique French and Indigenous programming, including courses that incorporate Anishnaabe traditional teachings. It has become a hub for Indigenous learning and research.
As a result of Ross Romano’s inaction and years of government underfunding, Laurentian is now looking at cutting programs, jobs, and important research—including eliminating vital French and Indigenous programs. These cuts will be a major loss to local communities. Northern Ontario thrives on the education, employment, and research generated by universities and colleges like Laurentian. This is a wake-up call to the provincial government that Ontario’s postsecondary institutions are underfunded and the time for action is now.
Students, staff, and faculty should not have to pay the price for the poor governance practices of an underfunded public institution. Ross Romano knew about Laurentian’s difficulties for six months, more than enough time to avoid this crisis. He knew what was coming and chose to do nothing, putting Laurentian’s future at risk.
Robust postsecondary education is a foundational piece for building back our economy. The OUCC calls on Ross Romano and the provincial government to step up, take responsibility, and provide Laurentian University with the public funding it needs to protect students, research, and jobs.
- Sébastien Lalonde, Chairperson - Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario (CFS-O)
- David Simao, Chair - Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario University Sector
- Rahul Sapra, President - Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)
- RM Kennedy, Chair - Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) - College Faculty Division
- Janice Hagen, Chair - Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) - College Support Division
- Harvey Bischof, President - Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
- Craig Reynolds, Regional Executive Vice-President - Public Service Alliance of Canada-Ontario
- Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director - Unifor
- Marty Warren, Director - United Steelworkers District 6
- Janice Folk-Dawson, Executive Vice-President – Ontario Federation of Labour
The Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC) represents over 435,000 faculty, staff, and students from every public postsecondary institution in Ontario. It includes members of the Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Unifor, and United Steelworkers.
For more information or to set up an interview contact:
Ben Lewis, OCUFA Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or [email protected]