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MRU head says profs have right to free speech but will look at student concerns

So far, more than 1,600 people have signed the petition to fire Prof. Frances Widdowson

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Mount Royal University has responded to a petition calling for the firing of a “racist” professor, saying it backs the right of free speech within the institution.

But they also say employees of the southwest Calgary institution have the responsibility to cultivate a “equitable, diverse and inclusive environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”

The petition was launched Tuesday after the Western Standard published a story about Prof. Frances Widdowson and her battle against what she calls the “woke” culture on campus.

So far, more than 1,600 people have signed the petition started by Kenna Fraser.

“Frances Widdowson is a racist professor who works at Mount Royal University. This is a call to demand that the university condemns Widdowson’s hateful actions against the BIPOC community and that she is terminated for her racist remarks,” states the petition.

“I’m not comfortable having a professor who believes residential schools should be considered an “opportunity for Indigenous children to get an education that normally they wouldn’t have received,” said petition signer Sara Buzreba.

“She is completely disrespectful to Indigenous history, BIPOC, and all minorities fighting for systemic change. Her words are disgraceful to this university and MRU’s reputation.”

Tim Rahilly, President and Vice-Chancellor of MRU, issued a statement Thursday afternoon.

“When views are expressed by a member of the MRU community, it does not mean the institution shares these views. Within the bounds of Canadian law, people have the basic right to freely express their ideas,” said Rahilly’s statement.

“Equally valid are obligations that all employees have to cultivate an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence. 

“Giving credence to both is challenging, but not impossible. We are reviewing the concerns in light of our strong commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression and our established expectations of the behaviour of all members of the MRU community.”

The controversy comes just as MRU professors on Tuesday and Wednesday joined their colleagues across the country in a “Scholar Strike” – walking out of classes in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Prof. Frances Widdowson said in an interview with the Western Standard the BLM movement has “destroyed MRU” and she “doesn’t recognize the institution anymore.”

“You’re supposed to be teaching. That’s your job. You can go on strike to protest police brutality but what does it have to do with you?”

“A ‘woke’ faculty is now in charge. This isn’t going to be good.”

Up next for Widdowson is research into Canada’s residential school history.

“What people don’t realize is that these Indigenous children were able to get an education that normally they wouldn’t have received,” she said adding the term “genocide” to describe residential schools is incorrect.

 

One campus student group blasted professors for walking about calling them “bandwagoneers.”

“This is nothing but empty virtue signalling,” said Wyatt Claypool, president of the Mount Royal University Campus Conservatives Club.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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UPDATED: Saskatchewan election called

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will send the province into an election Tuesday.

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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will send the province into an election Tuesday.

Moe took to twitter Monday night to tell voters they would be going to the polls in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tomorrow, I will ask Lt. Gov. Russ Mirasty to dissolve the Legislature,” Moe tweeted.

“This will be quite a different #skvotes campaign –but a very important one that will ask Saskatchewan voters one question: Who do you trust to lead Saskatchewan’s economic recovery?”

When the legislature was dissolved, Moe’s Saskatchewan Party held a 46-13 lead over the NDP.

Moe was sworn in as premier in 2018.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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CORY MORGAN WEBCAST: Wild goose hunt, Alberta style

An interview with Jason Siliker of Canadian Premier Hunts on the multiple times that the RCMP interrupted his goose hunt.

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B.C. Liberals vow to cancel PST for one year; return at 3 per cent

“Everybody pays the PST, so everybody saves under the B.C. Liberal plan,” said Andrew Wilkinson

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B.C. Liberals say, if elected, they will help the economy recover by removing the 7 per cent provincial sales tax for one year.

After a year, a Liberal government would set the PST at 3 per cent until the economy recovers.

The federal GST is currently 5 per cent.

“British Columbians have lost confidence in the direction of the province and the weak economic record of the NDP. B.C. families and small businesses need help now, which is why a B.C. Liberal government will immediately eliminate the PST for one year — saving you money right away, getting more people working, and bringing investment back to B.C.,” said B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson.

“Countless people are still out of work, small businesses are facing bankruptcy, and the public health threat from COVID-19 is still very real.

“Eliminating PST puts more money in people’s pockets, stimulates growth for struggling small business, and helps British Columbians who are struggling to get by. This is a vital step to rebuild our economy.”

The Liberals say a family of four earning $60,000 per parent will save $1,714 in the first year, followed by an additional $979 in the second year. 

“Everybody pays the PST, so everybody saves under the B.C. Liberal plan,” said Wilkinson.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the pledge.

“We pay the PST on everything from used cars to toilet paper so this would save everyone a lot of money,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the CTF.

“The best way to save people money is for governments to stop taking so much of it in the first place.

“We hope all of the parties can match or beat this promise so we can get serious about tax cuts during this election.”

In the 2019-20 budget year, British Columbians paid more than $7.5 billion in the PST.

“We need to do all we can to jolt our economy back to life and eliminating the PST would clear a lot of hurdles for working people and struggling businesses to get things rolling again,” said Sims.

“People know how to spend their money much better than the government does.”

B.C. residents go to the polls Oct. 24.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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