Back to top

News / B.C. minister exits cabinet over political interference

News / B.C. minister exits cabinet over political interference

B.C. Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Selina Robinson resigned on February 5, following comments she made about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier, CAUT joined the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of British Columbia (FPSE-BC) in calling for her resignation for allegedly interfering in internal personnel matters at Langara College.

“Political interference into the internal affairs of universities and colleges must never be countenanced as it undermines their independence and the academic freedom of faculty that is necessary to preserve, share and advance knowledge,” wrote CAUT executive director David Robinson in a letter to B.C. Premier David Eby. “By intervening publicly and directly with the college administration the minister has violated these fundamental principles.”

Langara College conducted an internal investigation into comments Dr. Natalie Knight made at a demonstration on October 28, 2023, about the Israel-Gaza conflict. The investigation concluded Dr. Knight’s comments did not violate the law or any college policies.

On January 25, Minister Selina Robinson used her X account, formerly known as Twitter, to call for the termination of Dr. Natalie Knight. Within 24 hours of the minister’s posting, Dr. Knight was fired from the college.

In response to the minister’s resignation, FPSE stated that concerns about “government intrusion” are not new to the post-secondary sector. FPSE expressed readiness to engage with government on the issue.

Related

February 2024

News / Ontario: Blue-ribbon panel calls for increased post-secondary funding

A government-appointed “blue-ribbon panel” concluded last November that Ontario’s post-secondary... Read more
February 2024

Letter to the Editor / We must address antisemitism as part of EDI in Canadian Higher Education

By Lilach Marom I’m a Jewish education scholar who works on issues of equity, diversity and... Read more
/sites/default/files/styles/responsive_low_constrict/public/bulletin-2023-petermcinnis_0.png?itok=OFXIOCdQ
February 2024

President’s message / The malaise in post-secondary administrative recruitment

By Peter McInnis For some time now, we have observed a troubling situation in the recruitment... Read more