Canada’s unions: Protect our public institutions

May 3, 2022

Canada’s unions are asking the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to ensure no other publicly funded institutions follow in the footsteps of Laurentian University and file for bankruptcy.

“When Laurentian University declared bankruptcy, it pulled critical education programs out of Sudbury and its surrounding communities.” said Lily Chang, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress. “A university like Laurentian provides jobs, education and opportunities for a community to progress towards a better future. The federal government must act now to ensure no other publicly funded institutions follow in Laurentian’s footsteps.”

The Minister should take steps to amend the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to exclude publicly funded institutions from seeking bankruptcy protection.

Institutions like Laurentian provide vital programs specific to the communities around them. The loss of the university’s tri-cultural mandate to support French, English, and Indigenous communities will impact surrounding communities for years to come.

“The implications of the declaration by Laurentian’s board are far-reaching and attack the very core of what it is to be a public institution,” said Chang. “Our public institutions are entrusted to use our tax dollars with accountability, transparency, and integrity. There was a clear lack of oversight and a failure of responsibility to taxpayers in this situation.”

The CCAA was never intended for public institutions, because these public entities are meant to be accountable to taxpayers. If a university is allowed to go through this process, so too could our health care system or elementary and secondary education institutions. The federal government must take action now to ensure the CCAA is never again used to destroy a university or any other public institution. They must act now to protect faculty, staff, students, families and communities.

Send a letter to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada. Urge him to ensure that no other publicly funded institutions follow in the footsteps of Laurentian University:

https://canadianlabour.ca/campaigns/protect-public-institutions/

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