CFS results possibly nearing release

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Just got this email from URSU today:

The University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) is disappointed to learn that the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) intends to release the results of the 2010 Local 9 Referendum on Continued Membership as early as Wednesday, March 9, 2011, despite prior issues remaining unsettled. This action is a breach of the agreement, imposed upon URSU, to get the final ballots counted on December 17, 2010. URSU has continually contacted the CFS in the hopes of coming to an agreement and releasing the results. After numerous phone calls and emails, URSU attempts to resolve the issues have gone unanswered.

On March 7, 2011 URSU received a letter from Todd Burke, legal counsel for CFS, stating their intent to release results breaching previous agreements. “We’ve wanted the results released and have been attempting to do so for months,” stated Matt Steen, URSU Vice President of Operations and Finance. “But we have serious concerns about the course that has been taken and find the timing questionable at best.”  

With campaigning underway for URSU’s General Elections, and ballots being cast in just one week, on March 16 and 17, it appears the CFS is willing to break its previous agreements with URSU and release the results. URSU interprets this as an attempt to interfere with a local student election, which violates CFS’ long-claimed policy of non-interference with local student politics.

URSU has and continues to be committed to releasing the results to students as soon as possible. After CFS imposed an embargo on results until all outstanding issues were resolved, URSU has been unable to release results due to legally binding contracts: a confidentiality agreement and a jointly signed letter dated December 15, 2010. URSU has always operated under the belief that protecting student interests cannot be done through violating legal agreements with working partner organizations. URSU continues to be open to negotiating an agreement to release the results as is illustrated by multiple attempts to contact CFS. It comes as a surprise that CFS will release results without attempting to resolve outstanding issues from the 2010 referendum. According to the letter from the CFS’ lawyer, URSU has until 5:00 PM this Wednesday (March 9) to acquiesce to a joint statement releasing the results without a proper resolution to the issues or fulfillment of the jointly signed agreement.

“URSU’s aim has always been to abide by the processes agreed upon by both parties prior to ballots being cast and we’re disappointed the CFS is releasing the results in this manner,” says Steen. “We’re wondering why the CFS has decided not to work with URSU and has failed to honour an agreement they themselves agreed upon. This appears to be the pattern of behaviour in our relationship with the CFS over the past several years. We’re also questioning why CFS decided to release the results at this specific time. Why now? Why not before or after the Election?”

We'll have more as we get it.

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