TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne says it is unacceptable to her that two Ontario colleges are operating campuses in Saudi Arabia that don’t admit women students.
Niagara College and Ottawa-based Algonquin College have been operating men-only campuses for a couple of years in two cities in Saudi Arabia, where Sharia law forbids the education of women and men in the same classes.
Colleges and Universities Minister Reza Moridi, who had earlier said it was up to colleges to determine the student makeup on their campuses, said Thursday he was concerned that women were excluded from the Ontario-run campuses.
Wynne says she told Moridi to meet with the two colleges as soon as she found out about the situation, which she says has “got to change.”
Progressive Conservative critic John Yakabuski calls it a “stretch” for Wynne not to have known Ontario colleges are excluding women from their Saudi campuses, and says she’s only expressing concern because the media picked up the story.
Ontario provides $1.44 billion in funding to its 24 community colleges, with Algonquin getting $103 million for the current fiscal year, while Niagara College received $45 million.