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CAUT supports call for public inquiry into Laurentian University crisis

(Ottawa – December 6, 2022) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is joining with the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) in calling for a public inquiry into the actions of Laurentian’s administration during the recent financial crisis.

“The manufactured financial crisis and unnecessary cuts have been devastating,” said LUFA President Fabrice Colin. “However, the revelations we have learned about since those cuts were made make clear that an independent inquiry is needed and that it is needed now.”

Previously sealed documents reveal that the university turned down financial support from the province. Instead, it opted to file for insolvency under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), leading to the termination of nearly two hundred staff and the closure of 69 programs affecting over 900 students.

“An independent public inquiry is necessary to hold those responsible for financial mismanagement to account and prevent another crisis like this from happening elsewhere,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson.

The Auditor General of Ontario said it was unnecessary, inappropriate, and ultimately destructive for Laurentian University’s senior administration to pursue insolvency protection rather than accept government assistance.

“The Liberal government needs to take action to ensure that publicly funded universities and colleges never again exploit federal insolvency laws that are designed for the private sector. The CCAA needs to be amended,” Robinson added.