Eli Ridder | Report
In following the Ontario government’s mandated free-speech policy for post-secondary institutions, the province’s 24 public colleges agreed to a single, umbrella policy announced on Monday.
The policy was developed by a task force of senior college leaders in collaboration with the College Student Alliance, legal experts and others, a press release by Ontario Colleges said.
“The policy statement is primarily based on the Statement on Principles of Free Expression and has five core elements,” read the release.
It defines freedom of speech and a commitment to allow open discussion and free inquiry. There is also a statement included saying “it is not the colleges’ role to shield members of the college community from ideas they disagree with.“
A few commentators have attributed the statement to the case of teaching assistance Lindsay Shepherd of Laurier University, who was fired for showing a controversial video featuring Jordan Peterson.
“The policy describes the procedures for handling complaints and ensuring there is compliance.”
“Freedom of expression is fundamental to the dissemination of knowledge and to encouraging creative thinking,” said , the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario.
“We’re committed to the open discussion of diverse ideas and respecting everyone’s right to express their opinions.”
The University of Guelph-Humber is referring to Humber College and the central Guelph campus for its free speech policy, The Avro Post reported in September.
It follows a mandate set out by Premier Doug Ford and his government in August.
It is not clear whether the joint-college policy will apply to Guelph-Humber, or whether the university will fall under whatever is implemented at the University of Guelph.
More details to follow.