CFS loses another court battle to UVic

Referendum set for March 29-31


Another week, another court battle between the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) and the Canadian Federation of Students. And another victory for the UVSS.

When we last left this wacky escapade (which is wasting tens of thousands of dollars intended for student advocacy), the two were in a court case over whether a petition of UVic students gathered nearly 18 months ago was valid grounds for a referendum to defederate from the CFS. After some deliberation, the judge deemed the petition valid, and allowed the referendum to go ahead.

The CFS had other ideas though, refusing to agree to a date for the referendum until the UVSS had paid back what they claimed was a $129,058 debt. So they went to court on Friday, in a case that should go on for a while, and—

(cue the visual of  picking up an imaginary phone, listening to someone on the other line and nodding)

I’m sorry, I’m being told the judge immediately mandated a referendum be held March 29, 30, and 31. So, with five weeks before the vote, there should be some quiet before active campaigning begins, at which point—

(again cue the imaginary phone)

I’m sorry, I’m being told that the students’ society at Camosun College, another post-secondary institution in Victoria, just approved unlimited spending to convince UVic students (who, last I checked, are not Camosun students) to vote no in the referendum.

This is nothing new for the CFS. They’ve always been fairly open that students sometimes campaign for causes at schools they don’t attend. It’s been just three years since seemingly every BC student politician got a leaked copy of a referendum “war plan” outlining the possibility of CFS loyalists across the country to campaign against Kwantlen University’s attempts at leaving.  And when you think about it, if you believe—as CFS people do—that they are the national union for students, and one of those members was trying to leave, thus weakening the student movement, wouldn’t you do everything you could to try and get them to stay?

It’s charming, in a way, how every breakup between the Canadian Federation of Students and a member school seemingly happens more or less the same way. A lovely, amicable relationship devolves into blackmail, lawsuits and former best friends yelling at you to stay loyal. Ah, university relationships.

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CFS loses another court battle to UVic

  1. The “War Plan” documents did not refer to Kwantlen alone but to the independence referenda at SFU, Kwantlen and the Graduate Society at UVic.

    For an especially damning story, go through the document for list of who would be hired at supposedly independent student unions – some with unionized staff with a say in hiring, and some for positions that were filled at the time – and count how many of those came to pass.

  2. The University of Regina held a referendum for leaving CFS early in the fall 2010 semester. We are still yet to see any results. It was a simple yes or no vote, no confusion, count them and get out of CFS. What a waist of money for a university. Its not the $12 a student that bothers me, its the hundreds of thousands that could be going towards MY school.

  3. Why is this still going on? Give up already CFS, let it go. If your principals are worth this much effort people will just come back two years later. The best way to prove your organization works is to let people leave and wait for them to come back. Unless they don’t, in which case your organization is broken.

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