Some Quebec universities, CEGEPs miss deadline for sexual violence policies
In Quebec, several CEGEPs and two universities have failed to adopt a policy to prevent and fight sexual violence on campus by the Jan. 1 deadline set by the province.
The provincial government published a list of post-secondary institutions on Thursday that have complied with the measure, including Concordia University and John Abbott College.
Two Montreal universities and more than a dozen CEGEPs are notably absent from that list — including McGill University, the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Dawson College and Marianapolis College.
Bill 151 was passed into law by the previous Liberal government in December 2017 following several high-profile sexual misconduct allegations in Quebec.
It requires all post-secondary institutions to adopt a policy to prevent sexual violence by Jan. 1, 2019 and implement it by September 2019. It has to be separate from the school’s other policies.
Under the law, they must also have formal complaint procedures, safety measures for social activities and support services in place.
Montreal universities working to catch up
Both McGill University and UQAM said on Friday their institutions are working toward adopting a new policy.
At McGill, the current rule, which was implemented in 2016, remains in place.
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“Throughout the fall of 2018, it has been carefully reviewed through extensive consultation with our campus stakeholders to ensure that our revisions to the policy reflect both the requirements of Bill 151 and the needs and goals of the McGill community,” said associate provost Angela Campbell in a statement.
“These revisions to the policy will come to the senate and the Board of Governors for approval this semester. In the meantime, McGill’s current policy and the resources associated with it to prevent and fight sexual violence, remain active and in force.”
UQAM spokesperson Jenny Desrochers said the French-language university’s new policy surrounding sexual violence will be adopted over the next few weeks.
“In the meantime, our policy against sexual harassment is still in effect,” she said.
‘Unacceptable’ says minister who put forth law
Quebec Liberal MNA and former minister for higher education Hélène David, who put forth Bill 151, expressed her disappointment about schools lagging behind the deadline.
On social media, she described the finding as “unacceptable.”
“The fight against sexual misconduct must be a priority,” she said.
David also called on Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge to intervene. She said he should put more effort into ensuring all universities and CEGEPs adopt the policy without delay.
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