On Campus

Students protest Toews honourary degree

University of Winnipeg valedictoria slams Conservative cabinet minister

There was an uncomfortable moment Sunday at a convocation ceremony for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews when the valedictorian slammed her school for awarding the minister an honorary degree.

Erin Larson didn’t name Toews specifically, but told the audience she wasn’t proud to be sharing the stage with this year’s recipient of an honorary doctor of laws from the University of Winnipeg.

Rob McGregor, who earlier in the afternoon protested the decision to award Toews the degree, says Toews looked at his convocation program during Larson’s remarks.

The protesters argued Toews didn’t deserve the honour because of his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, as well as other issues.

Larson also encouraged her fellow graduates to donate money to human rights causes rather than to the university’s alumni fund.

One person in the audience booed Larson, but McGregor says she received a standing ovation at the end of her speech.

The Canadian Press

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