March 9, 2021
Ontario’s labour movement is united in solidarity with faculty, staff and students at Laurentian University. On February 1, Laurentian University sought creditor protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) due to financial challenges. This concerning move comes after years of eroding public funding for colleges and universities in Ontario paired with poorly considered and reckless administrative decisions made by the University.
“The situation at Laurentian is unprecedented,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President, “not only will it impact over a thousand good jobs in the Greater Sudbury community, but it is also concerning for the whole post-secondary sector, and broader public sector workers.”
Laurentian University is a vital institution in Northern Ontario with a student population of over 9,000 and a staff and faculty complement of over 1,500. As an institution with a tricultural mandate, Laurentian provides unique French programming, and is an important hub for Indigenous learning and research. It is a critical part of the economic, cultural, and social life of Sudbury and Northeastern Ontario.
Despite Minister of College and Universities, Ross Romano’s responsibility to step up and provide Laurentian with the funding it needs to secure the public institution’s long-term future, he has been largely absent, including missing a 500-person community town hall hosted on March 2.
“Post-secondary institutions are important community hubs that provide good jobs,” said Coates, “we urge the provincial government to step-up, provide Laurentian University with the support it needs, and address the chronic underfunding to post-secondary institutions that has led to this devastating situation.”
The Ontario Federation of Labour will continue to work with labour and community partners working to address the situation at Laurentian, and advocate for greater public funding for post-secondary education across the province.
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
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