Former Alberta Minister Takes Shots at Critics of University of Calgary President

The Canadian Press, November 21, 2015 | Go to article overview

Former Alberta Minister Takes Shots at Critics of University of Calgary President


Former minister defends university president

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CALGARY - Former Alberta finance minister Jim Dinning has come out swinging against critics of a University of Calgary president who's been under fire over concerns about corporate influence.

Dinning, who was university chancellor from 2010 to 2014, wrote an opinion piece for the Calgary Herald where he refers to the detractors of Elizabeth Cannon as "those who now slag her from the comfort of their tenured La-Z-Boy."

An independent review will probe the university over concerns about corporate influence at the school following media reports alleging Enbridge interfered at the university's Centre for Corporate Sustainability after the company provided a donation.

The investigation was ordered by the institution's board of governors.

Dinning, who served as a cabinet minister in Ralph Klein's Progressive Conservative government, says criticism of Cannon and her efforts to attract more funding are "unwarranted."

He calls Cannon "an academic with superlative credentials" who is "unbending when defending academic integrity."

"During my time as chancellor, I was on the front lines to witness the dedication, passion and tireless energy that Elizabeth and her executive team devote to the university and the province," Dinning wrote in an opinion piece posted on the Herald's website on Saturday.

"It is through this lens that I find it unconscionable that the very people Cannon works so hard to support have turned on her. Why? Because she is a strong woman? Because she demands the best from those she leads? …

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