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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.


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