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In most parts of Canada, we are suffering under shockingly bad officials. British Columbia is dealing with a pandemic of a novel coronavirus which emerged late last year but spread early this year when travellers brought it to a ski resort and infected workers who were living in close quarters, and our federal government just found 6 billion dollars to lend to an airline when a lot of people and communities are waiting for less expensive things.

In Ontario, one of these crises is at Laurentian University, whose administration has just entered bankruptcy protection at a closed Senate meeting. They have laid off approximately 100 faculty and closed 60 programs including one of only three midwifery programs in Ontario, all Francophone history at this bilingual university, and all history education above the bachelor’s level. The faculty are being notified by email in the first week of exam season. Faculty have strongly suspected that the university had financial troubles for some time but the administration refused to provide sufficient information until it was too late. Dr. Janice Liedl, the chair of the history department, is my only trusted source about what is happening (she abandoned her blog for birdsite sadly https://twitter.com/jliedl). There is an open letter to the provincial government on Google Docs here (link).

Edit 2021-04-18: Pundit Alex Usher, who is generally harshly critical of faculty and student unions, asks the following about the withdrawal of a line of credit which the administration at Laurentian claims triggered the crisis. “Did the bank actually withdraw the line of credit? If so, why? Or, did Laurentian University’s President actually choose to renounce the line of credit in order to provoke a crisis? (The careful wording of Haché’s affidavit is ambiguous on this point).”