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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
February 11, 2016
Canadian Excellence

WLUFA/CAS Newsletter, 2010-11, Issue 5

Wilfrid Laurier University’s clarifications and corrections website is an opportunity for Laurier to provide comments and necessary corrections to information written and published about the university by other sources.

The left-hand column of the site contains excerpts from stories published about Laurier using the exact wording from the original source. Items bolded in the left-hand column text are directly addressed in the right-hand clarifications and corrections column.

Bolded items represent a selection of key points, but may not be an exhaustive list of all erroneous or misleading information contained in the article. In other words, readers should not assume that all un-bolded statements are correct as originally written.

 Original Story

A Crisis of Priority?

1. Crisis capitalism has two possible modes of operating.  On the one hand, an actual crisis creates conditions for implementing policies which would otherwise be impossible.  On the other hand, the appearance of crisis allows business and government to engage in the same practices without the losses associated with an actual crisis. 

2. Clearly the latter is the better case scenario.  

3. No doubt the international crisis is real enough, but this does not mean every aspect of the economy is affected.  Nonetheless, even those parts of the economy not affected can take advantage of the general concerns evoked by the word “crisis”. 

4. This is clearly the strategy of Wilfrid Laurier’s administration in their current negotiations with CAS members.

5. In his October 2010 column in InsideLaurier, Laurier President Max Blouw wrote that because, for the first time ever, students were fully funded by the Ontario government, Laurier actually had a substantial surplus in its operating budget.  Estimates are that this surplus is as large as 16 million.

6. Strikingly, however, in the context of negotiating compensation for CAS members, the terms “crisis” and “economic uncertainty” re-emerge.    

7. One can only wonder what has happened to the surplus euphorically announced in October and why fully funding students does not translate into fully compensating those who perform the tasks that constitute the reason there are students at all. 

8. As the CAS bargaining team enters conciliation, it is time to let the students know what the administration is not doing with their money!


(see below)

4. Laurier’s administration has no such strategy. The University is committed to reaching an agreement that is in the best interests of the institution and its students. However, we have to do so within the current environment of government-directed restraint.

5. The province only committed to full funding for 2009-10 and 2010-11. 

Laurier's 2009-10 surplus, which is available in Laurier's public audited statements, was approximately $9.3 million.

7. Dr. Blouw did, in fact, explain in his October column how Laurier’s 2009-10 surplus was to be allocated. Here is what he wrote:

"While the surplus is welcome news, it does not mean Laurier is flush with cash, nor does it mean our financial challenges are over. There is no shortage of demands on the university’s finances, from paying down debt and accumulated deficits to investing in facility maintenance and tackling our serious pension solvency and going-concern deficiencies.

"Consequently, the university will use the 2009-10 surplus to ease anticipated budget pressures over the next three years; to pay down deficits on a number of capital projects; and to help fund a variety of important initiatives, such as ITS capital renewal projects, Laurier’s co-hosting of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2012, and an emergency broadcast system, to name just a few."