Don Cherry's honorary degree sparks protest
Some faculty members of the Royal Military College of Canada are protesting that hockey commentator Don Cherry is receiving an honorary degree from the school.
The school's senate voted to grant an honorary degree to Cherry for his work in supporting the Canadian Forces.
But the honour upset some members of the faculty. At a recent faculty board meeting, some members passed a motion expressing their dissatisfaction that Cherry will be a recipient of the degree.
As well, a statement by French professor Catherine Lord was obtained by local media in which she criticizes the senate's decision, saying Cherry was not worthy of the honour because of statements he has made in the past.
"On many occasions he publicly expressed his contempt for many groups of the Canadian population, notably for the French-speaking Canadians, for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community and for the immigrants," Lord wrote, according to the Kingston Whig Standard.
"What message will RMC send, in celebrating Don Cherry, to the students coming from these groups? And what will the Canadian people remember from RMC, as a serious and prestigious institution?"
Capt. Cynthia Kent, a spokesperson for the college, said Cherry is receiving the degree because he has been a big supporter of the Canadian Forces and their families.
"Not just by words but also by his actions," she told CBC News.
Kent said Cherry has made a number of appearances and visits to boost morale and drawn attention to the work and sacrifice of the Canadian Forces and their families. She said he is also being honoured for his charitable work.
Kent said the faculty vote against Cherry was symbolic and does not bind the college or the senate. She said there was no official count taken but that a majority of those present did support the motion in a show of hands.
It is not known how many members of the faculty were present for the vote.
As for Lord's comments, Kent said: "People are entitled to their opinions."
Cherry was the centre of controversy recently after he criticized a group of retired NHL enforcers. He later apologized.