Press Release re: Dismissal of Motion on May 2nd, 2021
PRESS RELEASE, May 3, 2021 - Yesterday, May 2, 2021, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the University of Sudbury's motion, on Friday, April 30, to overturn Laurentian University's unilateral termination of the Laurentian Federation. For several months, the University of Sudbury and its representatives have been working diligently to defend the interests of University of Sudbury, its students, and its communities during the Laurentian insolvency crisis.
The University of Sudbury is extremely disappointed by this decision. Firstly, Laurentian University is violating its long-standing commitment to the Federation based on dialogue and mutual respect with its federated partners, which have existed since the federated universities created Laurentian University more than 60 years ago. Even more shockingly, Laurentian University is hampering the University of Sudbury's ability to meet its quasi-constitutional obligations under the French Language Services Act, while blatantly ignoring its own quasi-constitutional obligations.
John Meehan, S.J., President of the University of Sudbury, stated: ‘We believe that termination of the federation is not in the best interests of our students, faculty, employees and the communities we serve. We are currently awaiting the reasons for the decision to determine the next steps in this process and will communicate any updates that may be necessary.’
Dr. Meehan added: ‘We are very proud of what has been accomplished at the University of Sudbury with the Indigenous communities. We will continue to work with and support all of their initiatives to ensure that they will have an educational institution by, for and with Indigenous communities themselves’.
Pierre Riopel, Chair of the Board of the University of Sudbury, stated: ‘It is important to act without delay because the current financial debacle at Laurentian University is causing irreparable harm to Francophone students, present and future, as well as to the Franco-Ontarian community’.
Mr. Riopel added: ‘The University of Sudbury will diligently pursue its commitment to become an independent francophone university, so that it be able to not only deliver the courses it currently offers in French, but to offer the French-language programs and courses that Laurentian University has ceased to offer or that it is inadequately offering to meet the needs of the Francophone community’.