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Statement on Police Action on Campus

The Faculty Association is steadfastly committed to the academic freedom rights of our members, and the rights of everyone in the campus community to have free expression and to peacefully protest.

Regarding recent events on campus, we have been seeking to gather as much information as possible regarding the decision-making processes used by the Administration and the police in making the decision to take these actions.

If any of our members feel that their academic rights have been directly affected by any actions of the Administration, we invite them to contact us.

On Monday, I, along with other Faculty Association Presidents met with the Minister of Advanced Education. Although the meeting was on Bill 18, we raised concerns about the Administrations’ actions with the Minister. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services, Mike Ellis, has asked the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to investigate the police action in clearing the encampments both here at the U of C and at the U of A. We will continue to work with our sister Associations across Alberta in following up on this incident.

We have also been in contact with the Canadian Association of University Teachers. They remind us in their recent statement, “Universities and colleges must be places that foster debate, dialogue and free expression.” The University of Calgary’s Statement on Free Expression echoes this important value, though it also reminds us that free expression is subject to reasonable limits imposed by law.

Lastly, our colleagues in the Faculties of Law at Calgary and the University of Alberta have written a strong piece entitled “An Open Letter Regarding the Response to Recent Protests at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary,” which reminds us of the rights of all people in Canada and that universities in Alberta are not “Charter free spaces.”

Kent Donlevy

The Faculty Association of the University of Calgary

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