Statement on Dr. Yipeng Ge

Dear Jacques Frémont,

It is with utmost concern that we write to you today to address the recent treatment of Dr. Yipeng Ge, a resident physician at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine. The handling of Dr. Ges suspension over his pro-Palestinian social media posts was disgraceful, both on a public and personal level. This letter stems from the lack of response to MPP Joel Harden’s letter on December 20th to the Faculty of Medicine, the absence of a response to UOSU’s statement and demands issued on November 23rd, and the apparent inaction on campus in addressing anti-Palestinian racism and protecting academic freedom. 

The University has declined to comment on the suspension, and the public was only informed of Dr. Ge’s reinstatement via Twitter, from the account of the University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology and Public Health. The University has a responsibility to be transparent about a student’s status, especially in disciplinary matters. The lack of communication left Dr. Ge and the public in the dark for far too long. In a recent CBC article, University spokesperson Jesse Robichaud stated that the university does not disclose information regarding appeals to the public. This response does not justify the lack of direct communication with Dr. Ge. 

Dr. Ge’s reinstatement, albeit welcomed, does not remedy the egregious harm inflicted upon him by the Faculty of Medicine and the administration, or the harm inflicted on the broader University of Ottawa community. The lack of transparency and accountability in this matter is appalling. It shows much work the University still has to do to prioritise the values of equity and follow its own policies and procedures. 

We demand that the University issue a formal apology to Dr. Yipeng Ge for the unjust treatment he endured, exacerbated by the lack of a fair trial and communication throughout the process. Anything short of a sincere acknowledgment of the harm caused and a commitment to rectify these procedural injustices is unacceptable. 

In addition to the above, we demand a response to the questions outlined below no later than (21 days after being sent): 

  1. Will the University conduct a comprehensive investigation into the disciplinary actions taken by the Faculty of Medicine, ensuring accountability for any discriminatory practices or mishandling of Dr. Ge’s, or other medical students’ cases? 
  2. Will the University undertake a thorough review of its student disciplinary processes, across faculties, ensuring that a student is fully informed throughout the process and provided a fair opportunity for defence to uphold principles of procedural justice?
  3. And finally, what concrete measures is the University of Ottawa implementing to actively combat anti-Palestinian racism on campus and to foster an inclusive environment that respects the principles of academic freedom?


Failure to respond to the questions above will only further tarnish the reputation and integrity of the University of Ottawa. The University must demonstrate its commitment to equity and academic freedom through concrete and decisive action. There must not be a double standard in how The University responds to advocacy efforts, ensuring that those speaking out for Palestinian rights receive fair treatment by the University. 

We look forward to hearing back about how the University of Ottawa will learn from this situation to ensure the rights of students on campus are being protected. Just as students are expected to learn and grow throughout the time they spend on campus, the University must do the same. 

The University of Ottawa Students’ Union 

With support from: 

Yipeng Ge, MPH MD CCFP 
Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre

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