May 28th, 2024

Canadian university teachers fear Alberta gatekeeping bill threatens academic freedom

By The Canadian Press on April 17, 2024.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith makes her way to the podium to introduce legislation addressing agreements between the federal government and provincial entities in Edmonton on Wednesday April 10, 2024. A national organization of post-secondary teachers is calling on Alberta to either change a proposed gatekeeping bill or scrap it altogether. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – A national organization of post-secondary teachers is calling on Alberta to either change a proposed gatekeeping bill or scrap it altogether.

The bill would give the province the right to veto federal agreements with provincial bodies, including post-secondary schools.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers says such political intervention threatens academic freedom given Premier Danielle Smith has said she wants to ensure funding aligns with provincial priorities.

Executive director David Robinson says research is best served when based on scientific merit rather than political ideology.

The bill is still being debated in the legislature.

Robinson says if the bill passes, his group will explore going to court to challenge it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

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