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CMPAC’s Assessment of Bill 166: Safeguarding Academic Freedom in Ontario’s Post-Secondary Institutions

The Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) presents an in-depth assessment of Bill 166, also known as the Strengthening Accountability and Student Supports Act, 2024, recently passed by Ontario’s legislative assembly. 

This assessment delves into the potential implications of the legislation on academic freedom and freedom of expression within Ontario’s post-secondary institutions. While recognizing the commendable objectives of the bill, CMPAC raises significant concerns regarding its potential impact on the autonomy and integrity of academic institutions. The assessment highlights the broad discretionary powers granted to the Minister of Colleges and Universities, particularly in shaping anti-racism policies on campuses, which may jeopardize academic autonomy and integrity. 

Moreover, CMPAC expresses apprehension about the potential suppression of legitimate debates, especially on contentious geopolitical issues like Palestine, and the ambiguity surrounding definitions of hate, racism, and discrimination within the bill. Furthermore, the assessment underscores the risk of unprecedented political interference in academic affairs, potentially compromising the foundational principles of democracy and academic freedom. To address these concerns, CMPAC calls for robust safeguards to protect the autonomy of post-secondary institutions and ensure compliance with existing legal frameworks. Access the full assessment and recommendations below.


  • CMPAC Assessment of Bill 166 pdf (177kb)