By Jake Kivanc
A Ryerson instructor who was charged for spray-painting on a University of Guelph (UofG) wall says he’s “not ashamed” of his actions and is willing to face what consequences may await him.
Part-time Ryerson philosophy instructor Paul Bali, 40, was charged with mischief in July when he painted “abattoir” — a synonym for “slaughterhouse” — over U of G property in broad daylight, an act he said was done “out of a matter of sudden conscience.”
Bali, a graduate of the university and a former resident of Guelph, says that experiments conducted on animals at the school had infuriated him for a long time and that his decision to take action was largely spontaneous.
“The disregard they have for animal life is disheartening and cruel,” he said. “I just kind of had something telling me that I needed to do something, it wasn’t extremely planned out. I did in the middle of the day. I knew people were going to see me doing it.”
A bystander photographed Bali as he was spray-painting, which led him to turn himself into the Guelph Police Service after the photo was shared online by authorities.
Bali, who considers himself an animal rights activist, said being more involved with activist groups over the last year inspired him to take it more seriously.
He expressed concerns about his position at Ryerson being in jeopardy due to his actions but said that he would “understand the perspective” of the administration if he were to be dismissed.
Ryerson spokesperson Michael Forbes said the situation is being closely watched.
“There’s nothing going on, from our perspective,” Forbes said. “We’re aware of the situation, we’re monitoring the situation. If he’s convicted, the university doesn’t discuss confidential employee matters. And the collective bargaining agreement with CUPE does not include language or policies that touch on this.”
Bali was charged with mischief under $5,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 22.