The Ontario New Democrats are calling on Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities to apologize for likening Algoma University to Canada Christian College.
Chris Glover, the NDP Critic for Colleges and Universities, accuses Ross Romano, who is also the MPP for Sault Ste Marie, of denigrating Algoma University by comparing it to a school run by Charles McVety – who Glover says is known to espouse Islamophobic, homophobic, and transphobic views.
The subject came up as Canada Christian College pursues new degree-granting powers.
During Question Period in the Legislature, Romano was asked about that application.
In response, Romano spoke of the process involved in approving such an application, and referenced the Post-secondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) and used Algoma and OCAD University as examples of institutions that would be required to follow the same process.
Glover called it “appalling” that the Minister of Colleges and Universities would draw any comparison between Algoma University and Canada Christian College.
“Students, staff and faculty will be horrified to learn that Sault Ste. Marie’s local MPP is talking about the place they study and work in defending the government’s troubling attempt to legislate new degree-granting powers for a school run by someone known to espouse hateful views,” says Glover. ““Mr. Romano should not be denigrating a distinguished institution like Algoma University to make excuses for a wrong-headed move by the Conservatives aimed at helping (Premier Doug) Ford’s bigoted friend McVety.”
Romano maintains that he was using Algoma as an example of an institution that has gone through the process.
“When I first became Minister of Colleges and Universities, I learned that the process to create programs and degree granting institutions was cumbersome and time consuming,” says Romano. “As the Minister of Colleges and Universities, I immediately made changes to rectify those issues and created a fair and streamlined process. Algoma University and OCAD University went through that process last year.”
“There is currently legislation in the house that is being debated. A part of that legislation relates to three post-secondary institutions obtaining degree granting approval and status as a University,” Romano continued. “The process that is being followed here, in this legislation, is the exact same process that Algoma University and OCAD University went through last year.”