WATERLOO, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Three University of Waterloo (UW) professors asked the school’s board to investigate whether the president’s membership on the federal COVID task force factored into his strong enforcement of a campus vaccine mandate for staff, students, and faculty.
“We are extremely concerned that the decisions made by UW President Vivek Goel with regard to the University’s mandatory vaccination policy – the so-called ‘Requirement’ – may have been significantly influenced by his membership in the federal COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, thereby representing a conflict of interest (COI) and therefore a violation of Policy 69 (Conflict of Interest),” the three professors wrote in an email addressed to the school’s Board of Governors and the school’s Senate in late March.
“UW Policy 69 requires proactive disclosure of conflicts and potential conflicts, but Professor [Vivek] Goel failed to do this,” the group stated.
As explained in the group’s letter obtained by LifeSiteNews, the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, of which Goel is a member, strongly supports “immunity passports,” “mandatory vaccination” against COVID-19, and even considers it “urgent” to “vaccinate the world” against the highly survivable virus.
“President Vivek Goel’s service to the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force has been a source of accolades and personal benefit,” the professors wrote. “For example, the Fields Institute recognized his ‘contributions to the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force’ when it awarded him a fellowship … And public reports, including UW’s coverage of his ‘installation,’ claim that he resigned a position as a Vice President at the University of Toronto in order to serve the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which suggests substantial personal commitment to that external organization and its agenda.”
The group stated that after searching through UW archives, there was only one mention in a public document that stated Goel’s association with the task force and does not include a statement from Goel himself explaining his “association with the Task Force could affect, or could be perceived to affect, the decisions he would make as President of UW,” as required by the “conflict of interest” statute.
In light of the potential conflict of interest, the group posed a series of questions they demand be part of an investigation by the UW Board of Governors and the UW Senate, which include an inquiry into why Goel adopted “the strictest form of a vaccination policy,” why he declared “in advance that accommodation requests would be ‘rare,’” and why at least one professor, medical microbiologist Dr. Michael Palmer, was fired after public health recommended the removal of vaccine mandates.
Goel also told the Toronto Star that while UW has now temporarily halted their vaccination mandate, the school will continue to take disciplinary action against those who refused to comply with the policy, despite many other post-secondary institutions in the province allowing suspended workers to return to campus upon the pausing of COVID-era directives.
Dr. Edward Vrscay, an applied mathematics professor who has been at UW for over 35 years and whose position is threatened because of non-compliance to UW’s COVID mandate, told LifeSiteNews that UW’s handling of COVID indicates that the school seems more concerned with “control” and punishing “dissenters” than with the health of the student population.
One example Vrscay gave to LifeSiteNews to prove this point comes from a March 23 article in the Waterloo Region Record in which Goel is quoted as saying that the “success of the mandate is shown in the high level of compliance the school has had,” rather than the success being reflected in a reduction in the number of positive COVID cases since the introduction of the mandate.