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Conestoga board launches review of president's 'offensive comments' aimed at Orazietti

'The language used is unacceptable and does not align with the values and principles of our institution,' reads a statement on the college's website
University of Waterloo economist Larry Smith and Conestoga College president John Tibbits sit onstage at an event Tuesday.

Conestoga College's board of governors says it is reviewing what happened during an event Tuesday in which president John Tibbits lashed out at Sault College president David Orazietti over comments made during a Village Media podcast.

Immediately following Tuesday's discussion surrounding the release of Conestoga's economic impact report, Tibbits responded to a question from our sister site CambridgeToday about Orazietti and his outing Conestoga as one of the "bad actors" discussed in the federal government's plan to implement a cap on international students.

Tibbits called Orazietti a “whore,” was critical of his knowledge of the job and said he needs to learn to “shut his mouth.”

Tibbits pointed to Sault College’s partnership with triOS, a private college in the Greater Toronto area.

Under that partnership, approximately 2,800 Sault College students are enrolled at two triOS campuses.

“Like Orazietti, why are his goddamn students in Toronto? Why not up there?” Tibbits said, referring to the Sault. “Talk about a whore, I mean, he's taking a percentage of the profits of an operation.”

Orazietti responded to the remarks last night, saying he was "shocked" by Tibbits' comments and would not engage in such personal attacks.

This afternoon, Conestoga released a statement on its website from the board of governors.

"We are concerned about the remarks made earlier this week with members of the local media after the college released its new economic impact report, Adapting for Prosperity III: Addressing Critical Needs," it reads.

"The language used is unacceptable and does not align with the values and principles of our institution."

The statement says Tibbits has expressed regret for making the comments and apologizes for the offensive remarks.

It says the board is reviewing this matter internally.

The statement goes on to say Conestoga is "committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect for not only our staff and students, but our colleagues within the post-secondary education sector."

The school was contacted and asked about Tibbits' status with the college, but no details were released. 

"The board has nothing further to share at this time," said Brenda Bereczki, communications director with Conestoga. 

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