UofT Funding and Grants
In the early years at the Centre for Criminology, the matter of funding was, as Professor Edwards noted in his book, a matter that rested mostly on his shoulders. While the University of Toronto guaranteed funding for the Centre’s facility as well as Professor Edwards and his assistant’s salaries, all supplementary funds would need to be found elsewhere. With the pressure of funding the upcoming graduate teaching programme, Professor Edwards became persistent in his mission to keep the Centre for Criminology alive. He was soon able to secure provincial funding in the forms of contractual funds in support of specific research projects and annual sustaining grants.
By 1972, The Centre for Criminology and the Ontario government operated on a well-established relationship until matters of faculty and student research soon became a contested topic that threatened the continuous research grants and funding coming from the provincial government.
The problem arose when the provincial government modified the terms of its yearly grant proposal which provided the Centre’s researchers with a $400,000 annual research budget. The provincial government revealed that the grant would only be provided if the Centre for Criminology granted the government control over its research findings and allowed them to have the final say on whether the criminology research could be published. The government believed it was their responsibility to decide which research findings were suitable and could be made available to the public. This of course, was unacceptable to both John Edwards and representatives of the University who insisted upon the University’s right to complete freedom of education.
Amidst this controversy with the provincial government, George Kerr, the Provincial Secretary for Justice, played a prominent role. He repeatedly made comments to the media, belittling the significance of the Centre's research and disregarding the efforts of its approximately 25 researchers at that time.
In response to the slander from Mr. Kerr, Professor John Edwards made the decision to publicize the grant dispute, with the intentions of attracting public attention and highlighting the Centre’s constraints in procuring valuable research with the loss of the provincial grant.
To view the press coverage surrounding the controversial funding matter, please skim through the images below.