CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith writes to Members of Parliament on the Laurentian Insolvency

(OTTAWA – March 11, 2021)

CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith has written to thank Members of Parliament Lindsay Mathyssen and Charlie Angus for recent meetings with them on the Laurentian insolvency. Jean-Charles Cachon and John Peters also participated in the meetings. (Letters of appreciation were also subsequently sent to MPs Alexandre Boulerice, Carol Hughes, and Joel Godin, as well as Senator Lucie Moncion.)

Austin writes that “As you know, Laurentian University plays a critical role in supporting Francophone and Indigenous education and it is an essential economic driver for Sudbury and the region. The current situation threatens to greatly impact what makes this institution such a unique and important contributor to the community and to the excellence of Canadian research. We are also greatly concerned at the loss of the allocated funds from the Tri-Council funding agencies jeopardizing research.

“Existing Francophone and bilingual institutions, like Laurentian, are especially at risk from the pandemic and long-term chronic underfunding. CAUT calls on this government to take immediate action and commit additional funding to ensure the vitality of official language minority institutions.

“We are also seeking federal leadership to work with provinces and territories to fix the broken funding model which as at the root of the issues we are seeing with the sector. A stronger public post-secondary
education system is critical to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges and to improve quality of life for all.”