Friday, February 23, 2018

Eye on the National Student Movement: February 7, 2018 issue

February 7, 2018 by Greg Pratt, managing editor

In our January 24, 2018 issue, we reported that the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) had proposed March 7 to 9 as dates for a referendum to be held at Camosun so students could decide if they want to defederate from the organization. The Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) had agreed to those dates, but the CFS is now saying the CCSS needs to propose new dates.

CFS bylaws state that a referendum cannot happen if there are outstanding fees. As previously reported in Nexus, the CCSS had been remitting CFS fees for several years to the British Columbia Federation of Students (BCFS), a provincial component of the CFS that says it is a separate legal entity from the national organization. The total amount of the fees is approximately $200,000.

This story originally appeared in our February 7, 2018 issue.

The CFS claims the referendum cannot happen until those fees are remitted to the national CFS office; the BCFS claims it can keep those fees because it is a provincial component. (They are holding the fees until the CFS remits money that it owes the BCFS, a portion of which is also Camosun student fees: when students pay fees to the CFS, a provincial allocation is supposed to be remitted to the BCFS, and the CFS has not been remitting that.)

The CFS did not respond to the CCSS’ agreement to the referendum dates and told Nexus that it is waiting for the CCSS to propose new dates that will give the BCFS time to remit the $200,000.

The CCSS then told the CFS again by email that it has accepted the March 7 to 9 dates and believes the CFS should honour that, as the CCSS remitted its CFS fees to the provincial CFS component, a practice that was historically accepted.

On February 3, the CFS sent an email to the CCSS saying the March referendum dates were only suggested as possible dates by the CFS and weren’t confirmed.

The CFS bylaws state that a referendum cannot happen between April 15 and September 15; Camosun students will continue paying into both organizations until this is settled.

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