Present: 24 people. Including Lynn McDonald, Elizabeth Trott, Ronald Stagg, Rose Dyson, Carolyn Lynn Edgar, Phyllis Creighton, Harry Malcomson, Robert Timko, Patrice Dutil, Sue Macauley.
Chaired by Ronald Stagg
Recorded by Rose Dyson
- Update on letter to Premier Ford, etc., increase in Friends numbers, Next Steps, outreach to alumni, media committee, other business, mission statement, next mtg.
- Letter to Premier Ford with copies to leaders of all opposition parties.
- Report from Lynn that letter was sent with 38 signatures. Over 200 more collected since which will go out with a second copy of the letter. One response received from Andrea Horwath’s office so far. Not satisfactory. Unlikely she, herself, read it. It included acknowledgement that Egerton Ryerson made a significant contribution to public education in Ontario but that the University’s namesake “can no longer be disentangled from separate schools, segregation, the genocide of indigenous Peoples and cultural erasure”. Lynn has sent in a response urging Horwath to familiarize herself with Ryerson’s life and legacy and, as a former federal NDP MP herself, offered to brief Andrea and the Caucus on it. She urged us all to write letters to Horwath refuting her claims. Also to contact our fellow provincial members objecting to the NDP leader’s position on the issue.
- A brief talk was given at the Arts and Letters Club on November 30th by Rose Dyson. A number of additional signatures for the Letter were subsequently gathered. Both Betty and Lynn were in attendance as well. Thanks to Betty for setting up the opportunity for discussion of the issue and distribution of relevant information.
- A press release developed by Joyce Hall was sent out to various media outlets. Rose Dyson had an interview on November 30th with CP24. That generated a few more signatures and positive feedback.
- Betty Trott will approach Rob Oliphant. She has also indicated support for the initiative at Ryerson University to have an indigenous name precede the Ryerson name but that TWO of them would prevail. Limited support from faculty at Ryerson. due to job security concerns.
- Broadview Magazine has turned down several offers for articles on Egerton Ryerson including one from an indigenous person.
- Robert pointed out that E.R. addressed behaviour of parliamentarians in his work and that should be highlighted. He objected to preoccupation on the part of politicians with getting elected or reelected taking precedence over the public interest. Ryerson was a man of deep moral character. That needs to be better highlighted. Point might be used to shame sitting MPPs into better behaviour.
- Lynn said we need more blog pieces for the website. Direct quotes from E.R. would be helpful as well.
- Ronald Stagg and Patrice Dutil are working with Parks Canada on a new statement for Plaque on Ryerson. Consensus was that the wording “can’t be neutral”..
- Harry Malcomson predicts the university’s name will not be changed and that time is on our side.
- Need for outreach to alumni, indigenous students association, among others was emphasized.
- Some doubt expressed as to whether or not provincial legislation is required for the University name change. For now we are proceeding on the basis that it is necessary.
- Mission Statement is in the works.
Next meeting: Sunday, December 19th 3 pm.