Today, the Government of Ontario passed legislation that will sever the Northern Ontario School of Medicine from Lakehead and Laurentian Universities. Since the introduction of this legislation, Lakehead and many community partners have sought to build awareness of how this decision will impact program accreditation, costs to taxpayers and students, and existing research, university and community partnerships. At the same time, we have also put forward innovative solutions that would have maintained and strengthened access to high-quality education and research in Northern Ontario through a continued partnership between Lakehead and NOSM. We are thankful to the thousands who have come forward to voice their opinions.
Though we continue to have grave concerns about the means by which this decision was made – without consultation with our University, Senate, faculty and staff, nor with healthcare providers, Indigenous communities, and regional business leaders – we know we must now turn our attention to the future.
There are still many important details that need to be explored as the Government moves its agenda forward. Lakehead is committed to engaging in productive and collaborative consultations, however we will continue to uphold a position that does not undermine our University, nor the thriving academic environment we have worked so hard to grow.
We hold firm in our belief that we are stronger in the North when we work together, and that Lakehead is vital to high-quality medical education in Northwestern Ontario.