Monday, 23 September 2019

Through the so-called Student Choice Initiative, introduced by Premier Doug Ford’s government on January 17, post-secondary students in Ontario will have the ability to opt out of paying fees for democratically voted-on student services In solidarity with students in Ontario, and recognizing the dangerous precedent this could set for students across the country, students have released a letter calling for legislaiton to be passed in Nova Scotia protecting students unions.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia (CFS- NS) has been informed that they are not invited to the first meeting the government’s newly reinstated provincial Sexual Violence Prevention Committee to address sexual assault on university campuses. This decision comes as continued retaliation by the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, Labi Kousoulis, against the CFS-NS, after an op-ed was published in The Coast on March 15 that was critical of the Liberal government’s decision to vote down campus sexual violence legislation.

The Department of Education will no longer meet with CFS-NS representatives because it didn’t like a Coast op-ed written by its Chairperson, Aidan McNally. The editorial was critical of the government’s unwillingness to deal with sexual violence on campus. “It is our responsibility to hold elected governments accountable to students, not to placate them. If we are doing the latter, we are not serving our members’ interests. The decision of this government to shut students out of representative spaces due to criticism is unacceptable,” writes the CFS-NS provincial executive committee in an open letter.