QUEEN’S PARK – Premier Doug Ford faces criticism from the NDP who claims the Prime Minister included a favor for Evangelical Pastor Charles McVety in Bill 213, granting him Christian university status .
Kitchener-Center NDP MP Laura Mae Lindo – who is the spokesperson for anti-racism – held a virtual press conference on Tuesday, criticizing the Government of Canada’s inclusion of Christian College in the bill to to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Buried and hidden in this omnibus package is a plan to give Canada Christian College, led by Charles McVety, the right to see itself as a university and to grant degrees,” Lindo said. “In other words, the Prime Minister is using the cover of the pandemic to bestow political favors on his far-right friend.”
Annex 2 of the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020 repeals the definition of “college” in the Christian College of Canada and the School of Graduate Studies in Theology Act, 1999 by deleting the term and replacing it with “university”.
If adopted, the new name of the school will become University of Canada and School of Graduate Theological Studies, which will allow it to offer a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science.
The school is currently authorized to award degrees in theology.
Nick Di Cecco, spokesperson for the Office of the Minister of Colleges and Universities, said on Tuesday that legislative changes represent a standard process of legislative approval that has taken place for many private faith-based institutions in Ontario over the past 20 years.
In order for a private faith-based institution to operate in Ontario, be recognized as a university, or have expanded degree-granting authority, Di Cecco said it must undergo an independent review by the University’s Quality Assessment Board. post-secondary education.
“Each institution then relies on ministerial consent and its own separate legislative act introduced and passed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to reflect the review of the PEQAB,” he said.
McVety, a conservative social political activist who came to light when he campaigned for the repeal of same-sex marriage, was a staunch Ford supporter in the 2018 election.
He has been a proponent of curtailing the sex education curriculum in Ontario and has been outspoken over the years about his positions against the environmental movement, Darwin’s theory of evolution, and Islam.
The school, founded in 1967, moved in 2018 from its original Toronto campus to Whitby and employs around 70 teachers. It states on its website that it has graduated over 6,000 students since its inception.
In 1982, the Ontario Ministry of Education revoked the school’s right to award degrees, but a successful motion in 1999 by former MPP Frank Klees returned the school’s power to award diplomas.
McVety has been the school president since 1993. The school did not return a request for comment.