More than a dozen student associations from B.C., Ontario and Quebec announce intention to leave CFS

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Group looking to create a third national students union

Jane Lytvynenko — CUP Ottawa Bureau Chief and Kalina Laframboise — CUP Quebec Bureau Chief

Cfs_logoMore than a dozen post-secondary institutions across Canada have begun a move to leave the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) according to a press release sent out Wednesday, Sept. 4. The CFS has 83 members across the country; Ontario has the most members.

The press release cites “lost traction in a number of provinces” as the reason for the movement. With 15 schools involved this marks the largest exodus from the organization since 2009, when 13 schools wanted to leave the CFS. This time Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Capilano University from B.C.; the University of Toronto Graduate Student Union, Ryerson University, York University and Laurentian University from Ontario and Dawson College from Quebec have confirmed they will apply to host a referendum.

With the intent to mobilize against the CFS, Dawson College is the last member of the province of Quebec to attempt to leave the federation.

Currently, Concordia University’s Concordia Student Union and Graduate Students’ Association, as well as McGill University’s Post Graduate Students’ Society are undergoing legal battles with the CFS to recognize the results of their referendums and leave.

“You can’t be Canada without the province of Quebec,” said Nicholas Di Penna, the francophone spokesperson for the campaign and former director of external affairs for the Dawson Student Union. “They wouldn’t really be able to call themselves the CFS without the major province of Quebec.”

Ashleigh Ingle, the spokesperson for Ontario, Central, and Eastern Canada, said other universities looking to defederate do not want to be revealed because they’re in the early stages of petitioning.

More on this story as it becomes available.

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