Public Shut-out of UofO President’s Cross-examination over Funding Decision
March 14, 2012
University of Ottawa
Dear President Allan Rock,
I write to echo UofO Senator, Hazel Gashoka’s statements of yesterday (below), regarding your decision to deny public observation of your upcoming cross-examination in the St. Lewis vs. Rancourt lawsuit. You will be cross-examined on your affidavit submitted in response to the defendant’s Champerty motion, which alleges that the University is improperly paying all of the plaintiff’s (Professor Joanne St. Lewis’) legal fees in this case.
It is deeply disturbing that, as a holder of public office, you would deny the public and the media access to observe your sworn testimony about how and why you have decided to spend University resources, which are provided by student tuition fees and government funding, on this litigation.
Furthermore, the Civil Liberties Association of the National Capital Region (CLA-NCR) has issued a public statement on Monday stressing the societal importance of public access to the cross-examinations in this case, which includes your cross-examination hearing (LINK).
Please respond immediately to student and community demands for transparency in your actions as President, by retracting your decision to bar the public from observing your testimony in the Champerty motion. I repeat Ms. Gashoka’s request for a letter of apology to the university community.
Please respond to this e-mail immediately.
Graduate Student Representative to UofO Senate, Sciences section
Cc: Members of Senate, concerned community members, media