Sask. premier disappointed by Project Hero critics
Premier Brad Wall says he's disappointed that a group of University of Regina professors are protesting a scholarship program for the children of fallen soldiers.
Earlier this week, CBC News reported that 16 professors had signed a letter to University of Regina president Vianne Timmons about Project Hero.
Under the program, which the school launched several weeks ago, children of members of the military who died while on active duty receive free tuition for four years, as well as $1,000 for books.
Dozens of other post-secondary institutions across Canada have also adopted the year-old program. However, the Regina professors say Project Hero glorifies military action and they don't want their school to be part of it.
One of them, Jeffrey Webber, told CBC News he's not against helping children of Canadian military members, but believes the program celebrates, among other things, Canada's military intervention in Afghanistan.
Such talk caught the attention of Wall, who noted the provincial government helped set up the program in Saskatchewan.
"I'm very, very disappointed in these comments from these University of Regina professors about Canadian imperialism," Wall told reporters Thursday.
Also jumping into the fray was Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre MP Tom Lukiwski, who issued a press release that called the protest "sad" and "heartless."
Lukiwski demanded that the professors withdraw their letter and issue an apology to all Canadian soldiers and their families.
Officials at the University of Regina say they've received many calls and comments from alumni and others about the dispute.
"We appreciate that people obviously feel very strongly about this, on both sides," University of Regina vice-president of external affairs Barb Pollock said.
While the university is a place where diversity of thought is encouraged and the professors are free to express their opinions, they won't change Project Hero at the university, she said.
"The program is continuing," she said.