Canadian Federation of Students v. University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (November 2014 referendum)



Following the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union’s referendum on continued membership in the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario from November 24-28, 2014, the national and provincial Federations filed an application in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which seeks, among others, the following declarations:

1. that quorum was not met for either question
2. that the UTGSU remains a member of the CFS and the CFS-O

It should be noted that the results were released on November 30, 2014, only 2 days before the CFS/CFS-O filed its application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Mr. Stephen Littley, the CFS chief returning officer, wrote:

According to the information provided by the administration of the University of Toronto to the Chief Returning Officer, the total number of eligible voters was 16,056 putting quorum at 1606. The total number of votes cast was 1586 (with 12 double enveloped ballots to be verified). The vote, therefore, was not quorate (emphasis added).

If 1606 votes equals 10% of eligible voters, 1586 votes equals 9.877927254608869%. The CRO’s website was updated twice after the original update. The final number of votes was 1599 or 9.958893871449925%. According to the UTGSU Litigation Committee’s page, the UTGSU was served with the CFS/CFS-O’s Notice of Application on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. At the UTGSU’s annual general meeting (December 1, 2014), a motion was passed to extend the mandate of the Litigation Committee (LC) by one year as well as to undertake an investigation into the results of the referendum.


To keep the title of this page concise, Canadian Federation of Students refers to both the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.