April 15th, 2021

NDP calls on Ford to remove Romano and stop the cuts at Laurentian

QUEEN’S PARK – After Doug Ford’s minister of colleges and universities, Ross Romano, failed to act to stop the massive cuts announced at Laurentian, the NDP called on Ford to fire him, and provide Laurentian the funds the university needs now.


NDP MPP Jamie West (Sudbury)
“Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano said he knew about Laurentian’s financial problems for more than six months before the CCAA process began. Minister Romano stood by and did nothing to protect Laurentian University or the three Federated Universities He did nothing to protect the University of Sudbury’s Francophone and Indigenous students. He did nothing to protect Nursing, Psychology, and Social Work students from Huntington University. He did nothing to protect Arts, Theatre and Women’s Studies students from Thorneloe University. He did nothing to protect Laurentian.

If he’s not willing to do anything, then he should not be the Minister. This is why we’re calling on Premier Ford to remove Minister Romano from this portfolio. And to appoint a Minster who will save Laurentian.”

NDP MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt)
“Northern universities and colleges allow young people to choose the North. To choose to go to school close to home and to stay, to live, work and raise their family here in the North. It’s shameful that Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano has decided he’s going to allow massive cuts to Laurentian University— not only because of the critical importance of Laurentian University to the Sudbury and the North, with its two languages three cultures mandate — but also because it makes us worry for the other northern colleges and universities. If the minister won’t stand up for northern post-secondary education, he shouldn’t be the minister.”

NDP MPP Michael Mantha (Algoma—Manitoulin)
“Ford and Romano’s lack of action will cost Northern Ontario’s economy and development for years to come. Laurentian plays a critical role in training our region’s future workforce and stopping the exodus of young people out of northern communities. Families, businesses and organizations were counting on well-trained Laurentian graduates to fill in the many good jobs available across Northern Ontario and grow our region’s economy.”

NDP critic for Colleges and Universities, Anti-Racism, Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre)
"If Laurentian University is not safe, no post-secondary institution is safe. The ripple effect of Minister Romano's refusal to save Laurentian University is already being felt. He has ignored faculty at Laurentian and faculty across the province demanding he urgently invest in Laurentian. If Minister Romano refuses to ensure Northern universities have access to the unique programs developed by Northern Ontarians for Northern Ontarians, he must be removed.

As the Anti-racism critic for this province, cutting Indigenous-led programming established at Laurentian University provides yet another example of how Minister Romano has left the important work of investing in racial equity on campuses unfulfilled. It is clear that Ontarians expect that any Minister overseeing post-secondary education should deliver on their obligations to uphold the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and to protect students, staff and researchers. It is time for Premier Ford to do the right thing and remove this Minister."

NDP Francopone Affairs critic Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay)
“The Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano claimed again and again that students would not be affected by Laurentian’s dire situation, and his lack of action. Now we see students losing their programs, professors fired, and Northern Ontario education devastated. Romano didn't keep his word and he should leave office. It’s time for Romano to leave office. It's time to stop the cuts at Laurentian now.”