On Tuesday January 24th, 2017, the University of Toronto Student Union (UTSU) issued a statement outlining how UTSU executives no longer support membership to the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). With grievances listed, UTSU says membership to the CFS “is something that [UTSU]…can no longer support.”
UTSU states how the 14 motions presented at the CFS general meeting, including motions to “prevent non-student staff from attending CFS meetings as delegates” and others regarding minutes taken at meetings and electronic voting systems, were not debated and were subsequently deferred to the next meeting.
UTSU also notes the surprise request by the CFS to approve an audit during the opening session of the meeting and explain its ties to a “secret bank account” discovered recently. UTSU reports that it inquired on the details of the account three separate occasions but did not receive an answer from the CFS. UTSU explicitly asked whether or not the funds from the secret bank account were used to fund specific candidates in local elections.
While UTSU is not allowed to initiate decertification, it says it will support all efforts calling for a referendum on CFS decertification. UTSU outlines that it supports the existing You Decide campaign, that is lobbying for the chance for students to partake in a referendum to continue or end the University of Toronto’s involvement in CFS.
This statement, signed by four out of seven UTSU executives, including President Jasmine Wong Denike, is one more addition to the continued movement against membership in the CFS, which has included the suing of the University of Toronto Graduate Student Union (UTGSU) for voting to leave in 2008.