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Freedom of Expression Committee

Letter to UofO Pres. Gilles Patry, from Claude Haridge, 30 March 2007
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Claude Haridge, P.Eng.
Electro-Mechanical Engineer
Terrapoint Canada Inc

Dear Mr.Patry,

I am a former Electrical Engineering student from Ottawa University and a regular attendee for both the Activism course and the Cinema Politica film series. I understand that both of these may not be available next year despite the high attendance rates from both students and community members. I’m at a loss as to why and I wish this could be explained to me. From the thought provoking material and lively discussions, this has always been a unique and wonderful learning experience in critical thinking.

The people attending the Activism Course and Cinema Politica series include young and old, rich and poor, students, government workers, professionals, homemakers etc. We are people wishing to be more aware of the complex issues in the world today and perhaps thinking how to make things better for everyone. Isn’t this a good thing?

When I took electrical engineering here in the Fall of ’78, I never really thought or learned about making a difference in this world. The Activism Course has done that for me and hundreds of others. How many courses offered at your University have ever generated so much interest in keeping it going?

This needs to be seen as an opportunity to put the University of Ottawa on a leading front for making a better world. I realize that there are some administrative people who don’t like the course and I see this as mostly political, entirely undemocratic and against the university ideals of providing everything needed to reach our potential. Ironically, they couldn’t have picked a more difficult course to try to close down. We need someone in your position to overcome this petty nonsense and make things right. Can we count on your support?

If you can make the Activist Course happen with Denis Rancourt as professor and the TA support we need, you can be sure you will be remembered by all of us, and there ARE lots of us!

Have you been to one of the classes or film presentations? I would like to invite you to see for yourself what people think of it and what a progressive thing this is. This Friday’s March 30th film is about the IMF’s influence in Jamaica. I promise you a warm and friendly welcome if you show up! People start to gather at 7PM, the film starts at 7:30PM, followed by discussions, in the MacDonald Auditorium.

Thanks for reading this and I would most like to hear your acknowledgement and comments.

Kind Regards,


Claude Haridge, P.Eng.
Electro-Mechanical Engineer
Terrapoint Canada Inc

see also: Letter of Support by Claude Haridge, 1 Dec. 2006

back to: Letters to Patry 2007