COPE Ontario Statement on the Stabbing at University of Waterloo

COPE Ontario Statement on the Stabbing at University of Waterloo

On Wednesday, a Professor in the Gender Studies and Social Justice department at the University of Waterloo, along with two young students, was attacked and stabbed by a 24-year-old former student. The attacker hid in plain sight among the other students.

COPE Ontario extends its deepest sympathies to the victims of this attack and condemns this heinous act in no uncertain terms. We believe that all workers have the right to work in a safe workplace, all students have a right to a safe classroom, and all people have a right to express their identity without the threat of violence.

COPE Ontario also believes that, in order to meaningfully address such a horrible act, we must not view it in isolation but, instead, look at its broader context.

We must acknowledge that this attack took place during Pride month and was motivated by the attacker’s hatred of gender expression and gender identity. As we noted during our Pride month statement, there has been a rise in hate crimes targeting sexual orientation across Canada since 2020. The rights of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are frequently under attack and the attack in Waterloo is, sadly, only one example of the threats that the 2SLGBTQIA+ community face on a daily basis. As members of a union spanning across a wide variety of public and private sectors, we must continue the fight to eliminate hate and inequalities from our workplaces, our communities and in all areas of society.

In the aftermath of the murder of 14 women at École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989, Canadians not only debated violence against women and gun control laws but, also, the ways in which the spread of anti-feminist rhetoric contributed to the massacre. The attack at the University of Waterloo shows us that this anti-feminist rhetoric continues to persist and harm those who work to challenge it and make positive change.

At a moment in time when the rights of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and women are continuously under attack, COPE Ontario is in solidarity with Professor Fulfer and the two students who remain in serious but non-life threatening condition. We not only condemn Wednesday's attack but also the systems and policies that emboldened the attacker.

An injury to one is an injury to all.



Patty Clancy, Director, COPE Ontario  Lorrie Vanderslius, President, COPE Ontario

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In Toronto: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at the south side of Nathan Phillips Square across from the Sheraton, 123 Queen St. W. We will march to the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park which is in session — local Members of Provincial Parliament from across Ontario will be there.

There is a designated space at Queen’s Park for people with mobility issues who cannot join the march. Meet us at Queen’s Park in front of the Ontario Legislature. The march will arrive at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m.

Across Mid- & Southern Ontario: There will be buses/transportation to the Toronto protest. Look on the Ontario Health Coaltion website for details about buses and how to reserve a space or email [email protected].

In Northern Ontario (N. Ontario locations where it is too far to travel in to the Ontario Legislature):

Sault Ste. Marie: Gather at 12 p.m. noon at Roberta Bondar Pavilion for protest and march. Contact Al Dupuis at the Algoma Health Coalition [email protected].

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The measure would dismantle the existing system of 14 Home Care and Community Support Services organizations across the province and turn them into one unwieldly structure. Unions have asked the government to consult with them on how to avoid the labour relations turmoil that will result. 

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COPE Ontario Interim Director Glenn Wheeler (centre) joined OPSEU President JP Hornick, ONA President Erin Ariss, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn and NDP Health Critic France Gelinas at a media conference at Queen's Park.




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