The Local Executive Committee (LEC) of OPSEU Local 417, representing Counsellors, Partial Load Faculty, and Full-time Faculty at St. Lawrence College, stands in solidarity with Laurentian University students, staff, and faculty.

Laurentian University is a vital part of Northern Ontario. The LEC recognizes that this relationship extends to students, staff, and faculty in Eastern Ontario as well, who are part of the Laurentian University community through two degree programs offered at St. Lawrence College (SLC). While the SLC community has been assured that our program offerings are not impacted by the layoffs and program cuts announced for Laurentian University, we will continue to support our Local 417 membership as Laurentian management attempts to navigate the current insolvency process.

Regardless of our geographic location or our direct connections to post-secondary institutions, chronic underfunding of education in Ontario affects us all. OPSEU Local 417 joins Region 6 Locals in calling on Premier Ford and Minister Romano to immediately intervene to halt the CCAA proceedings and resulting program and employment cuts. It is imperative that Laurentian receives short-term funding and protection from the Province. We also implore Premier Ford and Minister Romano to more closely examine long-term funding supports required to secure and stabilize post-secondary institutions in the North and all of Ontario in order to keep publicly funded education accessible to the people of Ontario.

Solidarity with each other and our colleagues at other post-secondary institutions is more important than ever. OPSEU Local 417 will continue to monitor this situation closely and provide information and support to members.