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