Federal election candidate for the People’s Party of Canada Dana Metcalfe states regarding Memorial University of Newfoundland President Vianne Timmons’s recent media comments, “I don’t like how she played the woman card.”
Metcalfe says, “I believe that all people are capable of accomplishing great things no matter what their gender identity is. I do not feel it is fair to say that she is a woman and should be viewed differently in her interview. She is in a position of authority and has proven herself in her perspective field.” Metcalfe states that a better approach instead of a personal response would have been for Timmons to explain why the hikes happened, who was responsible, and to set a further direction for a resolution to the issue. She says, “those responsibilities come with the career and should remain professional and not about her as an individual. The hikes essentially have nothing to do with her gender rather her position at the university.”
Regarding the university’s decision on tuition, Metcalfe says, “I am 100 percent in opposition of doubling tuition.” She says that if the federal government can come up with a billion dollars to implement a vaccine passport, they should be able to fund the education system in the long term more adequately. She even goes as far as to say that it should be a priority, “federal funding would be better spent to subsidize students or the university to invest in the taxpayers of tomorrow. Education is an investment to a strong economy.”
Metcalfe states that she agrees with the placement of the posters as a call to action. She says, “Freedom to exercise your human rights is absolute…” Metcalfe then says, “Calling for someone’s resignation is different than an attack on a person it is her position on this matter, not her personally. It would not matter who was in her position; the call to action would have been the same.”
Regarding different opinions on campus, Metcalfe states, “A university is a place to work, but it is also a place to learn. So, it is not limited to the viewpoints of the staff but also the perspective of students. Both need to have mutual respect. Without staff, there would be no university, and without students, there would be no university. When it comes to importance, both are equal and should allow room for communication and conflict resolution.”
Metcalfe argues in favour of the right to demonstrate “protests are an exercise of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Therefore, as unsavoury as it is to some, it is essential in a democracy to exercise those rights. That is how we prompt change and resolution. Protest happens when two perspectives are in opposition. One should never use their powers to suppress another or determine how one’s freedoms are exercised.”
Hopefully, this is the first of many articles on this web page with election candidates expressing their views on post-secondary education.
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the webpage owner.