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OTTAWA, Ont. – The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) condemns Carleton University’s Board of Governors for attacking freedom of speech, by asking undergraduate student board member Shelley Melanson to step down because she spoke out against the administration’s recent handling of labour relations.

Carleton is stooping to new lows, trying to shut down debate and curtail freedom of speech by pressuring a member who spoke out about the university’s handling of the current strike and labour crisis at the university to resign,” said CUPE national representative Susan Arab, representing 700 workers currently on strike at Carleton. “Instead of trying to find a solution to the crisis, the university seems to be digging a hole for itself that’s getting deeper and deeper.”

Shelley Melanson, president of the Carleton University Students Association, was also elected to represent undergraduate students on the university’s Board of Governors, with a term running to June, 2008. Today, the Board of Governors asked Ms. Melanson to resign from the board because of a perceived conflict of interest over comments she made about labour relations at Carleton.

CUPE represents 700 professional, office, technical and support staff at Carleton University, on strike since September 5 to fight for an equitable collective agreement.


For further information, please contact:

Susan Arab, CUPE National Representative: 613-237-0115 or 613-769-7553 (cell)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications: 416-292-3999