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Message from the president: ‘Concordia’s peaceful diversity is a great strength’

Alan Shepard issues a statement regarding Bill 62
November 1, 2017
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By Alan Shepard

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Dear fellow Concordians,

I am writing to provide an update on what we know now about Quebec’s new Bill 62 with respect to the values and practices here at Concordia University.

As you are aware, the law was adopted on October 18, and subsequently the Government of Quebec defined objectives for the application of this legislation on October 24.

The regulations themselves have not yet been provided and are not anticipated for several months to come. That’s important because for now it gives us time to express the values of the Concordia community regarding any proposed regulations that may be applied to universities in the future.

I have heard from several members of the Concordia community who are concerned about the implications of Bill 62, and in particular for Concordia. I am also concerned.

The university and its founding institutions — Loyola College in 1896, and Sir George Williams University in 1926 — have served Quebec for more than a century. Among our unifying values as a secular university is a profound dedication to freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and access to higher education.

Today our university community represents a broad range of nationalities, cultures and faiths. This peaceful diversity is a great strength. It’s important to the future of our university. It contributes to the vitality of Concordia and Quebec.

Concordia already adheres to all of our legal obligations regarding the fundamental rights protected by Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

With all of these points in mind, I know that members of the Concordia community, including me, are concerned that the law and its regulations to be adopted in the coming months may effectively limit academic freedom and access to education.

I invite anyone with concerns on this matter to write me at alan.shepard@concordia.ca, so that I can continue to express to the government the depth of our commitment to the cardinal principles at the root of our great university community. 

Alan Shepard
President



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