The University of New Brunswick has applied for a judicial review of the Labour and Employment Board’s March 2 ruling compelling UNB to reinstate a women’s varsity hockey team.
The decision to apply for a review comes after many weeks of consultation. While UNB respects the ruling of the Labour and Employment Board, it disagrees that the reclassification of the women’s hockey team was the result of discrimination on the basis of gender.
Other concerns around implications of the Labour and Employment Board’s ruling include the long-term financial stability of the university. Universities across Canada are facing financial difficulties due to government restraint and changes to enrolment. UNB is not alone in finding itself forced to make difficult decisions based on operational costs.
Left unchallenged, UNB fears the Labour and Employment Board’s ruling could set a precedent for similar complaints against athletics and other areas of the university.
As the judicial review goes forward, UNB will establish a task force to undertake a thorough overview of the implications of reinstating a women’s varsity hockey team.
A women’s hockey team has, is and will continue to be housed at UNB. The university’s first women’s hockey team laced up their skates in 1911 and played regularly until 1918. In 2001, women’s hockey returned to UNB as a varsity sport. Since 2008, this team has competed in the Eastern Canadian Women’s Hockey League as a UNB sports club. The University is proud of their achievements.
Media contact: Sonya Gilks, UNB communications