Regina profs pan free tuition for soldiers' kids
A scholarship program for the children of dead soldiers is raising questions among some professors at the University of Regina.
They say they're concerned about Project Hero, a program that pays the tuition of students who have had a parent die while on military duty for Canada.
More than 80 universities and colleges in Canada have committed to the project, which pays for four years of tuition, plus $1,000 for books.
U of R president Vianne Timmons announced two weeks ago the university would provide the scholarship, but that has led to a campus controversy.
Sixteen professors have signed a letter to Timmons stating the program glorifies military action and they don't want their school to be part of it.
Among those with concerns is Jeffrey Webber, who teaches political science and who says the name of the program celebrates military intervention abroad.
"We think this is a glorification of the Afghan effort," he said.
Group proposes alternative
Webber said it's not that they are against helping the children of the Canadian military.
"Why stop at the question of dependents of Canadian Forces personnel? There's all kinds of people who are killed in workplace accidents," he said.
As an alternative to the program, the group says there should be universal access to post-secondary education.
The program was started about a year ago by Toronto businessman Kevin Reed and retired general Rick Hillier.
"We just thought it was the right thing to do for these men and women in uniform," said Reed, who's an honorary lieutenant-colonel of the military's Canadian Brigade Group service units.
Reed said he's never heard of any kind of protest associated with the program.