Bush's Toronto college speech axed

Sept. 15, 2011 at 8:52 AM
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TORONTO, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A scheduled speech by former U.S. President George W. Bush at a Toronto Christian university has been canceled amid an ethical controversy.

The evangelical Tyndale University College had announced plans for a breakfast speech by Bush Sept. 20 for 150 people by invitation only, which various faculty and alumni condemned, the Toronto Star reported.

One school employee resigned over the issue and others created an online petition this week demanding the college cancel the event, with a poster saying "Tyndale is hosting a war criminal." The site also demanded an apology from the school's president, Dr. Gary Nelson.

On Wednesday, Nelson held a town hall meeting, but those who attended refused to tell the Star what had been discussed.

Afterwards, the school announced a "schedule change" for Tuesday in which the breakfast meeting was omitted and Bush wasn't mentioned by name.

The Star said Bush's undisclosed speaking fee had been covered by a supporter who works in the financial industry who wanted to raise the school's public profile.

The university began in 1894 as the Toronto Bible College and was renamed in 2003. It has more than 1,200 students and 9,000 alumni.

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