Politicians Point Fingers over Laurentian University Insolvency

Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre says more could have been done to help Laurentian University before it declared itself financially insolvent, but a lack of communication stymied the process, CBC News reported. Laurentian's restructuring under the insolvency process allows it to stay operating while dealing with its financial situation, but dozens of programs and staff have been cut. Lefebvre said that when he met with Laurentian officials in December 2020, there was no mention of cutting 100 professors and another 80 staff. The university announced it had entered insolvency proceedings on Feb. 1. The mass layoffs and program cuts took place on April 12. He said he reached out to Mélanie Joly, minister of economic development and official languages, for help in January. While testifying before the standing committee on official languages Wednesday, Joly said she asked the provincial government to discuss the future of Laurentian University and French-language post-secondary education. "We initiated a discussion with the province of Ontario, since they are ultimately responsible for the good management of post-secondary institutions in the territory, to offer our assistance," she told the committee. "We haven't had any feedback." Joly said during the standing committee that she was aware Laurentian had suffered losses due to COVID-19 as colleges and universities across the province had as well.He said he reached out to Mélanie Joly, minister of economic development and official languages, for help in January. While testifying before the standing committee on official languages Wednesday, Joly said she asked the provincial government to discuss the future of Laurentian University and French-language post-secondary education. "We initiated a discussion with the province of Ontario, since they are ultimately responsible for the good management of post-secondary institutions in the territory, to offer our assistance," she told the committee. "We haven't had any feedback." Joly said that during the standing committee that she was aware Laurentian had suffered losses due to COVID-19 as colleges and universities across the province had as well. But the province says it did not receive any formal communication from Joly's office or the federal government with respect to helping stave off an impending financial crisis at Laurentian University in January. But the province says it did not receive any formal communication from Joly's office or the federal government with respect to helping stave off an impending financial crisis at Laurentian University in January. Read more.

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