A Canadian Christian school was denied official university status after a governmental board allegedly falsified the details of the school’s application.
Canada Christian College (CCC) is a mid-sized seminary near Toronto. In August of 2020, the school applied to obtain university status in hopes of adding non-theological degrees to its existing 14 degree program. The school ran into trouble when the Post-Secondary Quality Assurance Board — known as PEQAB — allegedly misrepresented the college in its recommendations report to the Minister of Colleges and Universities.
Part of the PEQAB process is to subject applicants to a preliminary panel review. The panel is designed for applicants to recognize their shortfalls and get their policies up to PEQAB’s standards before an official submission. According to Michael Reardon, the CCC’s academic dean, the school hit 23 of the benchmarks and fell short of 12.
Reardon told The Daily Wire that the school’s faculty worked tirelessly to adjust their policies and hire staff to meet PEQAB’s benchmarks. When the school submitted its final application in May, Reardon said that the application “met or exceeded” all of PEQAB’s benchmarks. In fact, the CEO of PEQAB dubbed the application “very thorough” in a response email to the school.
Following a May 18 application review, CCC was denied university status.
PEQAB sent the Minister of Colleges and Universities a two-page recommendation accompanied by a nine-page summary of the materials used to make the recommendation. Upon review of the recommendation, CCC uncovered that PEQAB submitted its recommendation to the Minister of Colleges and Universities using the school’s original panel application — which fell short of the benchmarks — instead of the updated version that the school submitted in May.
For instance, the governing board claimed that the CCC fell short of the minimum number of seven board directors required for a university. PEQAB’s recommendation claims that CCC only had five board members, though the school’s May application reflected the two additional hires to the board.
PEQAB also claimed that CCC didn’t have policies on curriculum development, cyberbullying, sexual harassment, computer disaster relief, and financial investments. The CCC’s final application included all of these policies as well as a fully audited financial statement accompanied by a confirmation letter from the independent auditor.
Reardon told The Daily Wire that PEQAB not only excluded policies and documents from consideration, it also illegally leaked private information of senior administrators at CCC. This included cell phone numbers and home addresses of senior administrators and confidential documents.
In January, the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner confirmed that the privacy breach violated Ontario’s Privacy and Personal Information Act of 2002. Reardon claims that the privacy breach led to death threats and media attacks directed at the college and its faculty.
James Brown, the CEO of PEQAB, sent an email to Reardon apologizing for the privacy breach.
“I am writing to notify and to apologize to you for a breach of privacy, contrary to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,” Brown said. “We deeply regret this breach, and PEQAB has taken steps first to acknowledge it and second to revise our posting protocols.”
CCC has been the subject of poor media coverage in the Canadian press. The school’s president, Charles McVety, was an outspoken critic of Ontario’s sex-ed update that taught elementary-aged students about gender fluidity. McVety has been accused of being “homophobic” and “transphobic” for opposing these changes. McVety has also been dubbed “Islamaphobic” for holding pro-Israel views.
An article from the Toronto Star reported that a PEQAB insider was concerned about approving CCC for university status. PEQAB claims to be an unbiased, nonpartisan governing body.
“It does hurt the reputation of PEQAB, and we did voice these concerns,” an unattributed insider told The Star. “It doesn’t make us look good … We will never say ‘Yes’ to something we are not 100 percent satisfied with — if they want to be a university, it’s going to be tough.”
In a video detailing the school’s application process, Reardon claims that PEQAB is biased against the conservative institution.
“It is clear that PEQAB did not want a conservative, Bible-believing college to gain university status,” Reardon said. “It is clear that PEQAB did not want a college that supports Israel and fights anti-Semitism gaining university status.”
PEQAB did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.
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