Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus says he'll 'fight like hell' against cuts at Laurentian University
TIMMINS -- A parliamentary committee heard Laurentian University president Robert Hache explain some of the massive cuts made at the school. Hache also heard from others on how they're being impacted.
"We have to save it and I’m going to continue to fight like hell," said Charlie Angus, New Democrat MP for Timmins-James Bay. "This university means a lot to people in every one of our communities."
Offered in English and French -- and for Indigenous students -- the university's midwifery program was one of dozens cut as part of the university's insolvency process. Hache said the program did not bring in enough revenue and was expensive to run.
“Laurentian has been working with the other programs in the province and is communicating options to help students make informed decisions about their future to ensure they complete their degree," said Hache.
That doesn't sit well with the Association of Ontario Midwives. Elaine Blais, director of Indigenous Midwives, said there are 130 Indigenous midwives practising in Canada, with 30 in Ontario. She is asking the federal government to act.
“By developing a funding strategy to ensure Indigenous midwifery is core-funded; commitment from the federal government to provide a mechanism to hire midwives and provide housing and infrastructure for midwives in Indigenous communities," said Blais.
Angus pressed Hache on how he cut close to 200 teachers and staff and 69 programs.
"He tells us that he had multiple meetings with province and the feds before they went into bankruptcy protection," he said. "The only thing I can take from that is that they were told you’re on your own."
Angus said he's using all the tools he can at the federal level to try and stabilize Laurentian.