Isn’t it shocking when the Québec government seems to care more about academic freedom than unions of university teachers?

Bambi posted the promising news from Québec about its will to come up with a bill to protect academic freedom at its universities, as per the post shown further below. This bill is called Bill 32.

Today, Bambi learned that the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) does not like parts of this bill. It is asking the government of Québec to work with academic staff associations (

On which planet does CAUT seem to live to say the following: “For academic staff, the strongest protection for academic freedom in Quebec and the rest of Canada has been through labour law. The legislation should not jeopardize that legal foundation.”

If academic freedom foundation is that strong in today’s Canada why are we increasingly observing cases of censorship (suspensions, terminations, final firing, etc.)?

Jointly, across all the known cases of attacks on academic freedom, we can even wonder if being a tenured professor in our Canadian colleges and universities still concretely mean anything today?

At least, CAUT informed us that it welcomes parts of the proposed bill 32 ( However, the article above does not tell us which parts are NOT acceptable and why.

Perhaps even more shocking for Bambi was to also read that the union of faculty members of Laval University, entitled “Syndicat des professeurs et 
professeures de l’Université Laval”
(SPUL), “prefers no bill than this bill” ( Again, we are not fully clear of the reasons behind this rejection of the proposed legislative framework.

To come back to CAUT, the latter seems to consider that, with the proposed bill 32, a potential concern would be the following: Universities may become dependent on the provincial government… but Bambi feels like reminding CAUT that education is a provincial jurisdiction precisely, not a federal one. Is CAUT equally concerned about the dependence of our universities on the federal government, through funding of certain programs? It is only natural to become too loyal to the hand that feeds us in life. Plus, some of such programs may, directly or indirectly, relate to the mindset underlying many of the attacks on academic freedom (regardless of the cause célèbre of the moment).

To conclude this post, unions must be fully transparent with their members, and the general public, about what they do not like in Québec’s proposed bill 32 and why.

3 thoughts on “Isn’t it shocking when the Québec government seems to care more about academic freedom than unions of university teachers?”

  1. I’m not certain but at first glance it seems like it could be a reasonable attempt to reign in the woke madness of thought control that now plagues society. As for teachers’ unions, they never did much for me, neither did librarians’ unions. Bottom line, teachers must have academic freedom, just as journalists and librarians need theirs and somebody says the N-word in public it should be for a good reason within a socially acceptable context.

  2. The problem with academic freedom as a contractual right in collective bargaining is that the right belongs to the union, not to the individual professor, and is only meaningful to the extent that the union is willing to enforce it.

    Put another way, it means that there’s a right to “academic freedom” to spout views that are aligned with the union’s. Almost always, these days, that means an unlimited right to present far-left “woke” views, and many certainly do that. If you have any views that your union doesn’t agree with, you’d better keep them to yourself… unless they’re closely aligned with the employer’s.

    So, in other words, academic freedom as a collective agreement right means… the right to agree with the majority, as interpreted by the union.

    Surely CAUT can’t be blind to this.

    If they’re not blind to it, they must be actively working towards this situation by their position. In other words, under cover of “academic freedom”, what they’re pushing for is a situation where the local union has effective control of what are allowable opinions.

    It appears that the Quebec proposal instead makes academic freedom an individual right, overriding union control.

    Anyone against that is… a part of the problem, not a part of the solution. I question their motives. All the more so considering that it’s quite obvious how contractual academic freedom has utterly failed as a way to produce anything but… uniform thought.

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