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CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 2015

University of Calgary under fire over ties with energy company

The University of Calgary is facing criticism over its ties with energy giant Enbridge.

A CBC investigation has uncovered concerns that Enbridge may have interfered in the university’s Centre for Corporate Sustainability after the company provided a donation.

“Universities have an obligation to actively defend the academic freedom of professors,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “If the allegations are true, the University of Calgary administration will have to be held to account.”

Emails obtained by the CBC show that Enbridge sought to influence decisions about membership on the centre’s board, staffing and student awards.

University president Elizabeth Cannon has also come under fire for a potential conflict of interest for her simultaneous role as a director of Enbridge Income Fund Holdings, for which she received $130,500 last year.

The university’s board of governors has announced an independent review of the charges, but has yet to confirm an implementation date, terms of reference, or the name of the investigator.

Robinson says the case has national implications and that CAUT is likely to launch its own investigation into the matter.