Professor Ricardo Duchesne’s academic freedom defended by UNB in wake of racism complaint

Prof. Ricardo Duchesne says he challenges students to rethink the values of multiculturalism. (CBC)

UNB defends prof’s academic freedom in wake of racism complaint

Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang had asked university to investigate teachings of sociologist Ricardo Duchesne

CBC News Posted: Jan 07, 2015 9:34 AM AT Last Updated: Jan 08, 2015 12:54 PM AT

A University of New Brunswick vice-president is defending a professor’s academic freedom in the wake of a recent complaint of racism.

Kerry Jang

Kerry Jang, a Vancouver city councillor, had asked the university to investigate the allegedly racist views of Prof. Ricardo Duchesne, who argues that the influx of Asian immigrants is threatening Canada’s European character.

Jang contends the sociology professor’s comments constitute hate speech.

“He was drawing comparisons to say Hong Kong and Japan, its teeming dirty cities and things like that — saying all Asians are dirty,” he said.

Last summer, Jang complained to Robert MacKinnon, a UNB vice-president in Saint John, and said Duchesne was damaging the university’s reputation.

“He was pushing one perspective and using his university affiliation to get it across,” said Jang. “That is not proper academic work. Period,” he said.

University backs professor Ricardo Duchesne who says Asian immigration damages Vancouver

University backs professor who says Asian immigration damages Vancouver

IAN BAILEY, VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

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The University of New Brunswick, citing academic freedom, is supporting a professor who claims that Asian immigration has damaged Vancouver.

In a statement issued Wednesday on sociology professor Ricardo Duchesne, a university vice-president said the school’s mission and values support freedom of thought and expression while maintaining the highest ethical standards and a respectful environment.

Robert MacKinnon also said a complaint about the issue by Vancouver city Councillor Kerry Jang has been “carefully reviewed and addressed.” However, the statement provides no detail on that process or outcome.

The university declined to provide more detail Wednesday or an interview with a university official.

Mr. Jang scoffed at the response, calling it “vague,” and said he has never heard from the University of New Brunswick about the issue, which first flared up last summer when he became aware of Prof. Duchesne’s views.

“I don’t know if they actually did anything and this is just a way of defending a faculty member, circle the wagons,” said Mr. Jang, who is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.

He said Prof. Duchesne is using academic freedom to hide poor scholarship. “He’s only providing one view to students and shaping their minds,” he said. “That whole academic enterprise of why we send our kids to school to become broad thinkers is not being upheld.”

Ratna Omidvar: “The people who sit in boardrooms and hold corporate power look like Old Canada; they don’t look like New Canada.”

Ratna Omidvar on growth through diversity: ‘The people who … hold corporate power look like Old Canada’

ELIZABETH PINNINGTON

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

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In a six-week series of interviews, Canadians with a variety of experiences discuss the major challenges our country is facing and how best to address them. This instalment deals with increasing the innovativeness of our economy.

Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, was interviewed on Oct. 16 by Elizabeth Pinnington, a consultant with Reos Partners.

Yuen Pau Woo: Within 10 years, Vancouver will be a majority “Asian” city

Yuen Pau Woo.

Yuen Pau Woo on Canada’s connection to Asia: ‘We have to figure out our energy relationship’

MONICA POHLMANN

Special to The Globe and Mail

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In a six-week series of interviews, Canadians with a variety of experiences discuss the major challenges our country is facing and how best to address them. This instalment deals with taking our place in the world.

Yuen Pau Woo, former president and chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, was interviewed Sept. 4 by Monica Pohlmann, a consultant with Reos Partners.

POSSIBLE CANADAS ON TAKING OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD

Pohlmann: What keeps you up at night about what’s going on in Canada?

Woo: Complacency. Canada has been blessed with numerous natural endowments and political and institutional assets. But we are slipping on many indices and our position in the world could deteriorate sharply. The usual story for why Canada didn’t fall into a more severe recession in 2008 is that we have strong banks and a good financial regulatory system – for example, that we didn’t have a subprime mortgage problem like the U.S. That’s all true. But we overlook the fact that China saved Canada from a more severe recession. If you look at what kept growth from falling even further between 2008 and 2011, the answer is Chinese demand. Exports from Canada to China doubled between 2008 and 2013. Exports from Canada to the rest of the world, including to the U.S., still have not caught up to the levels they were in 2007.

TORONTO: Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX), wants to “saturate Canada’s powerful industry networks with diaspora leaders”

Diaspora Leadership

November 2nd, 2014

Ratna OmidvarAt a recent academic panel discussion in Toronto on “The Power of the Diaspora Networks in Canada” at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX) chose to focus her remarks on diaspora leadership.

Focus on diaspora leadership

Ratna Omidvar: I want to focus my remarks on diaspora leadership, because I think a discussion on the rise and influence of immigrants in the areas of trade and investment must be about the rise and influence of political and business leaders who are immigrants.

In other words, it’s not the size of the diaspora communities in Canada that makes them influential, it’s the success of individuals within those communities. For example, how does a Canadian bank expand in Latin America? A successful business model aside, they will be better able to attract those markets by employing people who understand Latin America, and just as important, who have business connections in Peru, Columbia, Mexico, and Chile.

The good news is that diverse talent is a Canadian strength. We boast some of the world’s most diverse cities, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Toronto is Canada’s most diverse city, with more than half its residents not born in Canada. Close to half (47%) are visible minorities. Together, we comprise more than 200 distinct ethnicities and there are over 140 languages and dialects spoken.

FORT MCMURRAY: Over 10,000 Muslims have settled in the city so far

A day in Fort McMurray: Upgraded trucks, million-dollar homes and bitumen paintings

PHOTOS BY IAN WILLMS FOR ROB MAGAZINE

Special to The Globe and Mail

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Canada has staked its future on the oil sands. In November, Report on Business magazine together with Thomson Reuters examine what that means both at home and abroad. Read more from the issue at tgam.ca/oil.

A typical day in Fort McMurray — the city of 77,000 where the median age is 31 years old. Life revolves around work, family, religion and blowing off steam at the end of a long day.