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Letter: Farrow’s criticism of West unfounded

Two professors connected to Laurentian University say there is no evidence to support the Liberal candidate’s criticism of the NDP candidate when it comes to the CCAA 
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We understand from reports of the Sudbury riding candidates’ debate, that the Liberal party  candidate, David Farrow, alleged that the current NDP MPP, Jamie West, was absent for the past four years, particularly with respect to the Laurentian University insolvency claim and its aftermath. 

We found this a surprising misrepresentation of the facts – and we should know, because we are  among the 116 terminated Laurentian University faculty members. We are also members (and  one of us is an administrator) of the “Save Our Sudbury” (SOS) organization, which has been  active in the community since the first week of February 2021 when Laurentian announced their  Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) insolvency claim.  

We have checked the SOS social media feeds for any evidence that Mr. Farrow has participated  in any of our events that have taken place since February 2021. The name “David Farrow” does  not appear anywhere in our membership records, petitions or volunteer lists.  

Furthermore, we can find no evidence that Mr. Farrow attended Save Our Sudbury public  forums, town-hall meetings, Paris Bridge demonstration, our two car rallies, debates, our recent  first anniversary (of the insolvency announcement) events, our Lake Ramsay skate-in event, our student panel discussion, our sacred fire event, or our recent commemoration of the firing of 194  Laurentian employees, held in person last month at Thorneloe University.  

There is no sign of any participation by David Farrow is in any of our records. Nothing.  

Mr. Farrow’s name doesn’t appear on our petitions, or the membership list of the “Save Our  Sudbury” Facebook Group, which has almost 2,300 members listed and has been the single most  active source for news and debates about events related to the Laurentian CCAA insolvency  proceedings.

But we know for a fact that Jamie West was there. We’ve seen him at dozens of meetings,  events, rallies, panels, town halls, commemorations — you name it, and he was there, most often with France Gélinas, who has also been an incredible supporter of our efforts to seek justice for the city of Greater Sudbury and those both directly and indirectly affected by the Laurentian insolvency claim.

Now, we’re not suggesting that David Farrow should have attended any one of our dozens of  events over the past 15 months – that’s his choice. And it might be that we’re mistaken and Mr. Farrow has perhaps participated in an event to stop the CCAA. But maybe he should avoid  throwing mud at people who actually have been supportive of our efforts from the very  beginning, and repeatedly.

Conversely, we’ve enjoyed the full participation of MPPs Jamie West and France Gélinas – who  have turned up at dozens of SOS events. Just visit our Facebook page and you’ll see these two  representatives of Sudbury and Nickel Belt appeared at our events again and again.

At the federal level, we have had at least half a dozen conversations with the former federal  Liberal MP for Sudbury, Paul Lefebvre, on the possibility of using some federal funding to ease  the devastation faced by terminated Laurentian employees, so let’s give credit where credit is  due. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Lefebvre couldn’t convince his governing Liberal Party colleagues to put an end to the CCAA insolvency process as it applies to the public sector – either now or in  the future. This is odd, since the CCAA law is federal, and the federal Liberal Party has remained  the governing party in power throughout this debacle. 

Let us be clear that we are speaking only for ourselves, and not for the organization “Save Our  Sudbury,” but we have been witness to the events related to the Laurentian insolvency since day  one, and Mr. Farrow might do well to keep well away from any accusations of “missing  persons” during candidate debates.

Credit should justifiably go to those who were by our side and that credit should go to the two  members from Sudbury and Nickel Belt: Jamie West and France Gélinas.  

Reuben Roth, Ph.D. 
Professor Emeritus,  
Laurentian University 

David Leadbeater, Ph.D.  
Adjunct Professor, Economics 
Laurentian University