OTTAWA, Nov. 23, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Students across Canada converged on
the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) general meeting to protest
CFS' refusal to liberate students who have voted to leave the CFS. CFS
is currently involved in multiple lawsuits trying to force students who
have voted in democratic referenda to leave the CFS to continue paying
CFS fees indefinitely.
"Since 2009, students at about 15 schools have petitioned to leave the
CFS, yet no student organization has successfully left without a
lawsuit. In several cases, students have voted overwhelmingly to leave
the CFS in democratic referenda. CFS has refused to recognize the
results and claims that these students are still members and owes CFS
fees", explains Jonathan Mooney, Secretary-General of McGill's
Post-Graduate Student Society (PGSS). PGSS members voted 86% in favor
of leaving the CFS in 2010 but CFS refuses to recognize the results and
continues to demand fees.
"CFS' refusal to release students who have voted to leave CFS
demonstrates a complete lack of respect for freedom of association.
Students are being held hostage by an organization with questionable
transparency and accountability, lobbying the federal government when
education is a provincial matter", adds Melissa Kate Wheeler, President
of the Concordia Student Union (CSU). CSU members voted 72% to leave
the CFS in 2010 but CFS still claims they are members and owe CFS fees.
CFS' process to dissociate is intentionally filled with hurdles and
technicalities designed to trap students into paying CFS fees forever.
CFS uses student money to pay lawyers to litigate against any student
organization trying to leave, when this money should serve students'
Students from over ten schools across Canada protested with giant
lobster traps today at the CFS annual meeting to denounce CFS' abusive
practices towards the democratic will of its past or actual members.
Lobster traps illustrate how CFS works: students can get into CFS, but
can never get out.
Students at McGill's Post-Graduate Student Society, the Concordia
Student Union, and the Graduate Student Association of Concordia are
involved in lawsuits with the CFS, while students from the University
of Toronto Graduate Student Union, Capilano Students Union, Laurentian
University Graduate Students' Association, and the Dawson Student Union
have petitioned to leave the CFS this year.
McGill's Post-Graduate Student Society (PGSS) is the representative body
for the 8500 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at McGill
The Dawson Student Union (DSU) is the representative body for the 11000
students at Dawson College.
The Concordia Student Union (CSU) is the representative body for the
36000 undergraduate students at Concordia University.
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) of Concordia University is the
representative body for the 7500 graduate students at Concordia
The Capilano Students' Union (CSU) is the representative body for the
7500 graduate students at Capilano University.
SOURCE: POST-GRADUATE STUDENTS' SOCIETY OF MCGILL UNIVERSITY (PGSS)
For further information:
McGill's Post-Graduate Student Society (PGSS)
514 686 4770
Dawson Student Union
514 743 4374
Melissa Kate Wheeler
Concordia Student Union
514 432 5125
Graduate Student Association of Concordia University
514 655 6687
UBC Students' Union - Okanagan
250 515 2188
Educational Issues Coordinator
Capilano Students' Union
604 789 6660
Laurentian University Graduate Students Association
705 929 9135