Open for business, connected to military contractors, purposefully opaque

All placards Today, Principal Suzanne Fortier laid out her plans for her tenure at McGill in a talk titled “Open, Connected, Purposeful: McGill and the Next Five Years.” Demilitarize McGill and supporters showed up to tell the principal that McGill’s future will not see military research go unchallenged.

Speech banner and placardsFortier recently told the McGill Daily, “I don’t think there’s any problem in doing research for the Department of National Defence”, adding that she thought McGill’s military research was being conducted in an open and above-board fashion, and dismissing concerns about the heavy redaction of documents obtained through Access to Information requests.

Throughout her career, Fortier has pushed for increasing collaborations between universities and industry, such as those that put McGill resources to work in service of defence contractors Bombardier and Lockheed Martin as well as American and Canadian militaries. In supporting these collaborations, Fortier has made clear that her vision for McGill includes an investment in the continuation of armed conflict — which serves as both market and testing ground for the weapons technology developed at McGill — and a commitment to protecting those relationships at the expense of transparency to students or members of the public requesting information.

Despite the rhetoric of transparency and accountability, Fortier’s neoliberal, profit-driven agenda is fundamentally no different than that of her predecessor, Heather Munroe-Blum. Let’s show her that our resistance is as strong as ever!

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