BC University Pissed That Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Will Become Its Chancellor

The University of Northern BC prides itself on being a "green university," so having James Moore, the former Tory Industry minister, take the position seems like an odd choice.

by Manisha Krishnan
Dec 1 2015, 4:51pm

James Moore. Photo via Flickr user Heather

Students and faculty at the University of Northern BC are fighting the appointment of former Conservative MP James Moore as chancellor of the school, claiming that he's basically the antithesis of everything they stand for.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition opposing the recent decision to have Moore step in as ceremonial figurehead of the school.

"His own actions are decidedly inconsistent with many of the core values and principles embodied in UNBC's mission statement," reads the petition.

Located in Prince George, BC, UNBC has dubbed itself "Canada's Green University" due to its commitment to sustainability. It seems the UNBC community is having a hard time overlooking Moore's 15-year tenure as MP "in a government that did not celebrate diversity or the free and open exchange of ideas."

Specifically, they have beef with the former government's tendencies to muzzle scientists, make any kind of meaningful policies to address climate change, stifle democratic dissent, refuse to order an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, and invoke racist, wedge politics.

They also brought up that time Moore, former Industry minister, was a dick when asked a question about poor, hungry kids. "Is it the government's job—my job to feed my neighbour's child? I don't think so," he said at the time.

The petition closes with a strong anti-endorsement.

"It is our firm conviction that Mr. Moore's installation as Chancellor would do grave damage to the reputation and the long-term welfare of this institution, and for this reason that we firmly reject his appointment by the Board."

Ryan Matheson, chair of the school's board of governors, told the Vancouver Sun it's "unfortunate" Moore is being judged by his previous political associations (which he never made any attempt to distance himself from).

Matheson said the appointment stands.

"He has 15 years of incredible experience in public service, has a passion for the university, and he wants to give back in this way."

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