New Brunswick

UNB professors chastise colleague over immigration views

Ten University of New Brunswick professors are criticizing a colleague over his views that too much immigration undermines the European character of Western civilization.

10 sociology professors pen open letter criticizing views of Ricardo Duchesne

Professor Controversy

6 years ago
Group of sociology profs reject colleague's controversial views on immigration. 2:15

Ten University of New Brunswick professors are criticizing a colleague over his views that too much immigration undermines the European character of Western civilization.

Paul Peters, a UNB sociology professor, signed an open letter with nine colleagues that said they believe Ricardo Duchesne’s views “void of academic merit." (CBC)
The sociology professors published an open letter in the Toronto Star on Monday after a so-called white students group at Toronto's Ryerson University provided a link to an interview with UNB professor Ricardo Duchesne.

Paul Peters, a UNB sociology professor, who signed the open letter, said the group wanted the public to know that Duchesne does not speak for them.

The letter called Duchesne's views "void of academic merit" and the professors wanted to publicly distance themselves from their colleague.

Three Toronto universities have been tearing down this poster in recent days, saying the group behind it was not allowed to place it on their campuses. The group linked to comments made by Duchesne.
"There is a concern of having UNB — it's seen as a reflection of our values," Peters said.

"And we did want to distinguish our views from the views he promotes."

The letter did not faze Duchesne, however.

The sociology professor said on Wednesday that he has no relationship to the colleagues who denounced them.

Duchesne said their newspaper letter just proves his point that there are things people cannot say on campus.

Duchesne said he believes he's not demeaning anyone, instead he is just standing up for the European nations that helped create Canada.

Duchesne has been the centre of controversy before. A Vancouver city councillor called for UNB to investigate his views earlier this year. (CBC)
​Duchesne has also said he challenges students to rethink the values of multiculturalism.

This is not the first time that Duchesne's views have created controversy.

In January, Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang asked UNB to investigate Duchesne's views and he wrote to the university and said the professor was harming the university's reputation.

Jang said the sociology professor's comments constitute hate speech.

The university has said it reviewed the complaint and said it stands behind the principle of academic freedom.

The UNB professors said in the letter that Duchesne should submit his theories to academic peer review.

"We encourage Dr. Duchesne to publish in more detail his work on the 'threat' to Western civilization and to, therefore, engage in extended academic debate to see if any others agree with his assessment," they wrote.


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