PCs claim Liberals dumped the Bishop from St. FX

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HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative MLAs and St. Francis Xavier University alumni, Allan MacMaster and Pat Dunn, believe the Liberals’ decision to remove the Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish as the school’s Chancellor was done without broad consultation.

St. FX

“I can’t imagine why the Liberal government would want to take responsibility for dumping the Bishop,” said MacMaster. “Very few members of the St. FX family are even aware of this action.”

Today, in the House Committee on Private and Local Bills, MacMaster moved an amendment that would protect the Bishop's role as Chancellor until a broad consultation process had been completed. The Liberal majority on the committee, led by Lloyd Hines, the MLA for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie, voted no.

Dunn says the decision to dump the Bishop without broad consultation does a disservice to those who have invested in the rich heritage and culture of St. FX University.

"There are thousands of voices left out of this important decision-making process," said Dunn. "It's irresponsible for the Liberal government to allow this rushed decision before we reach out to those who deeply cherish the traditions of this institution."

Liberal MLAs, including Randy DeLorey, the MLA for Antigonish and St. FX graduate, did not object to the changes.

“St. FX had a tradition of standing for the poor and marginalized, the 'little guy', giving people in rural NS a chance to share in the abundant life,” said Father MacDonald quoting Fr. Coady, who attended committee at the Legislature today. “It is a sad day when the Church is being evicted from the University they founded."

“The education of so many St. FX students happened because of the charity of the highly-educated clergy,” said MacMaster. “This and the work of the Sisters of St. Martha and the donations of local Catholics of modest means, subsidized the educational experience of those who wear the X ring.”

Organizations: House Committee on Private, MLA for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie, FX University MLA for Antigonish

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  • trenton resident
    May 04, 2014 - 20:12

    I have a daughter who plans to attend St. F X next year. I'm in favour of this decision - we aren't Catholic and aren't religious for that matter - but we do pay a lot of taxes to the provincial government and St. F X receives the majority of its revenue through provincial transfers. Why should a man representing a specific religious denomination automatically become the head of this publicly funded university? If Mr. MacMaster and Mr. Dunn are so concerned about the process, then why don't they lead the charge to make St F X a 100% private university - then they can appoint whomever they want as chancellor. Until that happens, so long as it is public, a church should not have any position in its administration, whether titular or actual.