CAUT Statement on National Aboriginal Day

(Ottawa— 21 June, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) marks National Aboriginal Day on June 21, 2017 against the backdrop of the150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.

It is an appropriate moment to reflect upon both the countless contributions of Aboriginal Peoples, and also the historic wrongs committed against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities in Canada.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has documented the many pressing issues still requiring attention, and its report points to the critical role education policy can play in supporting the reconciliation process.

Indigenous rights, including the right to education, are inherent rights enshrined in Treaties, the Canadian Constitution, and international agreements. CAUT is committed to restoring, renewing, and regenerating Indigenous practices, languages, and knowledge.

On this year’s National Aboriginal Day, CAUT asks governments to provide new resources to support Aboriginal students to access post-secondary education, and urges academic staff associations and universities and colleges to support Indigenizing the academy by working together to establish equitable policies and practices that involve Aboriginal Peoples and Indigenous Knowledge in all aspects of campus life.

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers

(o) 613-726-5186 (c) 613-222-3530

CAUT stands by Louise Briand

(Ottawa — June 6, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) vehemently condemns the unfair and disrespectful treatment Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) faculty representative Louise Briand is being subjected to by the institution’s board of governors.

In a letter addressed to the chair of the UQO board of governors’ Governance and Ethics Committee, CAUT has highlighted the fact that the institution has a duty to respect Professor Louise Briand’s academic and political freedom as well as her freedom of expression.

In CAUT Executive Director David Robinson’s words: “We ask that you recognize the invaluable contribution of members of the board of governors from the university community as well as that of the permanent observers representing professional and support groups.”

CAUT represents over 70,000 academic staff across Canada.


Quebec Court protects researcher confidentiality

(Ottawa – June 1, 2017) A Quebec superior court judge has retracted his own ruling from last January that required a Université du Québec à Montréal professor to violate the confidentiality of research participants.

In a case in which the Canadian Association of University Teachers intervened, Justice Marc St.-Pierre ruled May 31 that the circumstances of Maillé’s promise of confidentiality met the four criteria of the “Wigmore” test for determining whether a communication is privileged.

“We are extremely pleased that the judge chose to uphold researcher-participant confidentiality,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “The decision confirms that it is in the public interest for researchers to conduct their work with a promise of anonymity to study participants.”

The case involved the work of then graduate student Marie-Ève ​​Maillé, who interviewed 93 people in 2010 about a controversial wind farm being built in the Arthabaska region of Quebec, and promised them anonymity.

After local residents launched a class action lawsuit against wind farm company Éoliennes de l'Érable Inc., Justice St.-Pierre ruled last January that Maillé, now an adjunct professor in social and public communications, must disclose the names of people who took part in her research.

Maillé requested a review of the judgment after receiving a letter indicating she could be held in contempt of court for refusing to comply.

Robinson notes that this latest judgment builds upon a 2014 case involving academic privilege and researcher-participant confidentiality, also from the Quebec Superior Court.

In that instance, CAUT funded a legal challenge on behalf of two University of Ottawa criminology professors resisting police efforts to obtain records related to a study about male escorts. One of their subjects was accused murderer Luka Magnotta.

Justice Sophie Bourque denied Montreal police access to taped interviews the professors had collected, upholding for the first time the rights of researchers to protect confidential information necessary for their academic work.


CAUT seeks release of Esmail Abdi

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Iranian leader Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei to ask for immediate release of Mr. Esmail Abdi, General Secretary of the Tehran Teacher Trade Association.

CAUT seeks release of Esmail Abdi

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Iranian leader Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei to ask for immediate release of Mr. Esmail Abdi, General Secretary of the Tehran Teacher Trade Association.

“The blatant disregard for Mr. Abdi’s rights to freedom of association, expression and the right to travel contravenes the central tenets of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a convention to which Iran is a signatory,” wrote CAUT executive director David Robinson.

Mr. Abdi was singled out for his leadership role and legitimate participation in trade union activities, apprehended on false charges and sentenced to six years in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where he’s been on a hunger strike since April 30.

Mr. Abdi’s condition is reportedly deteriorating, and he is not allowed to communicate with a lawyer or family members. CAUT’s letter calls for all charges to be dropped and for his immediate release.


CAUT requests urgent return of Dr. Hassan Diab

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is dismayed that Canadian citizen and former Ottawa resident Dr. Hassan Diab remains imprisoned in France after his extradition there in 2014.

Until 2007, Diab engaged in the life of an academic, conducting research and teaching sociology at Ottawa-area universities, but was arrested by RCMP in 2008 after French authorities accused him of involvement in a 1980 terrorist bombing in Paris.

The allegations against him are based on secret unsourced evidence and what many view as deeply flawed handwriting analysis. Diab continues to deny involvement in any terrorist activity.

CAUT urges you to sign the petition calling upon the Government of Canada to work towards the immediate granting of bail for Dr. Diab and securing his urgent return to his family and home in Canada.


CAUT’s 2017-18 Executive Committee

At the 82nd Council meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, delegates elected officers for the next year.

President James Compton and Vice-President Brenda Austin-Smith were re-elected. Also re-elected to another term were Peter McInnis (St. Francis Xavier), Chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee; John Kingma (Laval), Representative-at-large (Québec); Kelly Anne Meckling (Guelph), Representative-at-large (General); and, Kevin Kane (Alberta), Representative-at-large (General).

Four new members were elected to the Executive Committee: David Newhouse (Trent), Representative-at-large (Aboriginal); Sarika Bose (UBC), Chair of the Contract Academic Staff Committee; Pat Armstrong (York), Co-Chair of the Equity Committee; and, Blanca Navarro Pardinas (Moncton-Edmunston), Representative-at-large (Francophone).

“I’m looking forward to working with our new executive over the next year as we continue to defend academic freedom and push for better funding for post-secondary education and research, and better working conditions for all academic staff,” said CAUT President James Compton.

Below is the complete list of Executive Committee members for 2017-18.

President: James Compton – WESTERN ONTARIO (UWOFA)

Past President: Robin Vose – ST. THOMAS (FAUST)

Vice-President: Brenda Austin-Smith - MANITOBA (UMFA)

Treasurer: Yalla Sangaré - SAINTE-ANNE (APPBUSA) 

Chair, AF&T: Peter McInnis - ST. FRANCIS XAVIER (ST.FXAUT)

Chair, CBEBC: Terri Van Steinburg- KWANTLEN (FPSE)

Chair, L&A: Carla Graebner - SIMON FRASER (SFUFA)


Co-Chair, Equity: Pat Armstrong – YORK (YUFA)

Co-Chair, Equity: Wesley Crichlow - UOIT (UOITFA)

Representative-at-large (General): Kelly Meckling – GUELPH (UGFA)

Representative-at-large (General): Kevin Kane – ALBERTA (AASUA)

Representative-at-large (Aboriginal): David Newhouse – TRENT (TUFA)

Representative-at-large (Quebec): John Kingma – LAVAL (SPUL)

Representative-at-large (Francophone): Blanca Navarro Pardinas - EDMUNSTON (ABPPUM-CE)



Déclaration de l’ACPPU à l’occasion du Jour de deuil national 2017

(Ottawa— 28 avril 2017) L’Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université (ACPPU) joint sa voix aujourd’hui à celle des syndicats et des associations d’employés dans tout le pays pour souligner le 26e anniversaire du Jour du deuil national à la mémoire des personnes mortes ou blessées au travail.

Vingt-cinq ans se sont écoulés depuis ce 9 mai 1992 où la mine de charbon Westray à Plymouth (Nouvelle-Écosse) explosa, tuant 26 mineurs. À la suite de cette tragédie, au prix d’une dure lutte, travailleurs et syndicats ont obtenu du gouvernement fédéral des mesures de protection importantes en matière de santé et de sécurité dans le cadre d’une loi faisant des violations aux normes de la sécurité au travail des délits criminels.

Réfléchissons particulièrement cette année au fait que, malgré cette victoire, des travailleurs continuent de mourir ou d’être blessés au travail, peu d’accusations ont été portées en vertu de cette loi et une seule peine d’emprisonnement a été infligée. 

À l’occasion du Jour de deuil national, l’ACPPU demande aux gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux de faire un examen de conscience, de déterminer pourquoi si peu d’employeurs ont dû rendre des comptes, et à investir dans la formation des policiers et des procureurs de la Couronne. L’ACPPU exhorte également les ministères du Travail, les services policiers et d’autres autorités compétentes dans les provinces à mieux travailler ensemble, pour que les décès au travail injustifiés appartiennent de plus en plus aux choses du passé.  


Pour de plus amples informations, contactez :

Lisa Keller, agente de communication de l’Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université, 613-726-5186 (bureau), 613-222-3530 (cellulaire),



CAUT Statement on the National Day of Mourning 2017

The Canadian Association of University Teachers joins with unions and employee associations across Canada in marking the 26th National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

It has been 25 years since the explosion of the Westray Mine on May 9, 1992, which killed 26 coal miners in Plymouth, Nova Scotia. Following the tragedy, workers and their unions fought for and gained significant health and safety protection under federal legislation that criminalizes violations of workplace safety.

Despite this victory, we will reflect particularly this year on the fact that workers continue to be killed or injured on the job, few charges have been laid pursuant to the legislation, and only one prosecution has ever resulted in jail time. 

On this Day of Mourning, CAUT urges provincial and federal governments to closely examine why so few employers have been held to account; to invest in training for police and crown prosecutors; and for provincial labour ministries, police forces and other involved authorities to improve collaboration so that senseless workplace deaths can be minimized.  

Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c);

This Earth Day CAUT is marching for science

To celebrate Earth Day, the Canadian Association of University Teachers urges you to join millions around the globe and participate in the March for Science. 

The March for Science is a celebration of science. We get together as a diverse nonpartisan group fighting for robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We call for political leaders and policy makers to develop evidence-based policies in the public interest.

Earth Day is also an occasion to reflect on climate change and the implications and challenges of tackling the problem. Academic staff has a special responsibility and a unique opportunity to be part of the solution. There are practical, concrete actions that you and your staff associations can take to reduce the threat.

Across Canada and the globe, staff associations and researchers are building expertise. On campus, action against climate change is focusing on three main fronts:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint of campuses
  • Teaching and Research
  • Political Advocacy

Canadians view academic staff with extraordinary legitimacy. This credibility lends you both power and the responsibility to forcefully present the case for confronting climate change.

This Earth Day, walk the walk, or talk the talk, but let’s do something.

There are many satellite marches planned in Canada. Register now  to march in Washington, or across Canada, or register to join any march virtually by digital live-stream.


CAUT welcomes Science Review recommendation for new funding

The Canadian Association of University Teachers welcomes today’s release of the report of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review, and the recommendations for a funding increase of $1.3 billion for basic, non-targeted research.

“The report makes it clear that basic science and scholarly inquiry in Canada have been seriously underfunded for much of the last decade,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “The most important recommendation in today’s report, and one that we urge the government to act on, is that Ottawa significantly and rapidly increase its investment in independent investigator-led research.”  

Robinson notes the report also calls for a better-balanced allocation of funding across the three federal research granting agencies.

“The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, while representing the largest constituency of university researchers, has been the poor cousin for years. The report rightly notes that there is a need to allocate new funds across the granting councils in a more balanced way to ensure more opportunities for those scholars in the social sciences and humanities,” adds Robinson.

Robinson says CAUT also welcomes the report’s recommendations to support Indigenous researchers and to improve equity and diversity in federal research programs, including the setting of “hard equity targets and quotas where persistent and unacceptable disparities exist.”

The report further recommends the creation of a new National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation (NACRI) to provide broad oversight of federal research programs, and to develop and harmonize funding strategies across the agencies. It also calls for improvements to the oversight and governance of the granting agencies. 

“When considering these changes, it will be critical we ensure that governance of the granting councils is reflective of the active research community and operates at arms-length from government,” adds Robinson.

Read CAUT's analysis here.


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, 613-820-2270 or

CAUT worried for the future of Central European University

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) wrote to the Hungarian government to express concern about proposed legislation threatening the internationally prestigious Central European University (CEU).

In its letter, the CAUT notes that amendments to Act CCIV on National Higher Education, if passed, will make the institution’s continued operation as a free and independent international graduate university impossible.

“For 25 years, CEU has played a global role in advancing knowledge and scientific inquiry,” says CAUT President James Compton. “Academic freedom and university autonomy are fundamental pillars of all democratic societies. The proposed legislative changes would undermine those pillars and set a dangerous precedent for other institutions in Hungary.”


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, 613-820-2270 or


Come support the March for Science on April 22

This Earth Day, April 22, countless people around the globe will stand up and March for Science. The Canadian Association of University Teachers supports the Science March and urges you to join in the many satellite marches planned in Canada.

Please register now to march in Washington, or across Canada. You can also register to join any march virtually by digital live-stream.

The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity, and as a foundation to uphold the common good.

We must stand together to face down forces seeking to discredit scientific consensus and restrict scientific discovery. How can we afford not to?