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COU Statement: Response to the Passing of Bill 276 – Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act
June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021 – “Ontario’s universities are disappointed that Bill 276 – Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021, has passed with Schedules 16 and 28 essentially unchanged. As stated last week, we are deeply concerned that, in doing so, these Schedules will disrupt the student experience, threaten the autonomy of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and Université de Hearst (Hearst) and undermine the financial sustainability of Ontario’s Northern communities.

Separating these institutions from their partner universities puts both institutions at risk and further destabilizes postsecondary education in Northern Ontario.

In our submission to the Standing Committee on General Government, COU put forward a proposal that would help ensure student success, institutional competitiveness on a regional and global scale, as well as a reduction of resource and infrastructure duplication.

With a shared goal of ensuring a vibrant postsecondary education sector in Ontario that will educate students and prepare them for good jobs, bolster our health-care system, conduct innovative research and grow Ontario’s economy, Ontario’s universities will continue to work with government.

We are requesting that the Bill is not proclaimed until meaningful conversations have been held with key stakeholders and to bring forward the necessary amendments later this year. This will help ensure these two important Northern institutions are given the proper foundation for their future success.”

– Steve Orsini, President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities