Schools sought to join lawsuit
By Mark Brown
More universities are considering joining Western's University Students' Council's multimillion dollar lawsuit against the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario over the ownership of Travel Cuts.
USC President Ian Armour has been approaching several of the schools which attended the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations conference held two weeks ago in Ottawa and last week's general meeting of Canadian Campus Business Consortium in Montreal, trying to convince them to join the suit. Currently, only the University of Alberta's Students' Union has announced their intention to join with the USC in the suit.
There are as many as 65 schools eligible to join the suit, Armour said. He added every school which is a member of the Association of Student Councils-Canada is eligible. "We are just looking for support. This is something that is a concern for students across Canada."
At this point, the USC is more interested in getting schools involved in the suit as moral and financial participants and not as plaintiffs, Armour added.
Ted Chiasson, president of Dalhousie Student Union, said he has been waiting for these meetings to find out more information from the USC about the suit, before taking the matter back to his council. He added the issue will be left up to Dalhousie's student council to decide if they want to join the suit.
"Money is going to purposes that Dalhousie students don't agree with," he said.
Still, Chiasson said he wants a better analysis of what the end result of the case might be. "We want to ensure we don't kill Travel Cuts." He added it is important to ensure the Canadian Federation of Students, also named in the suit, is not destroyed either.
The meetings over the last two weeks have allowed some student councils, such as the University of Manitoba Students' Union, to get some firsthand information about the case.
Scott Wilson, vice-president of Manitoba's Students' Union, said he will also approach the matter cautiously. "This is a pretty serious matter and we are not going to hurry with it."
The issue is pretty well known now, but there are still a lot of issues which need to be discussed, Wilson said. "People have a lot of questions. That's why we are having these information sessions."
Up until last week, the MSU had been relying on the information they receive from the press, he added.
While there is no deadline set for schools to announce whether they would be interested in joining, Armour said he expects a number of schools may announce their support some time in mid-January.