February 16th, 2021

Appointment of Queija to TFO board is a slap in the face for Franco-Ontarians

KAPUSKASING – Guy Bourgouin, the Official Opposition critic for Francophone Affairs, is calling on Premier Doug Ford and ministers Caroline Mulroney and Stephen Lecce to cancel the appointment of Barak Queija as vice-president of the Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority (TFO).

During his appearance Tuesday morning at the Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs regarding his appointment as vice-president of TFO, Queija said he’s qualified to help run the French-language media service because he has organized events as a member of a McGill fraternity, and had a French-Canadian girlfriend while studying in Montreal.

“Yet again, the Ford government is showing a total lack of respect for the Franco-Ontarian community. Barak Queija does not know the issues of the Ontario Francophonie. He’s slated to be vice-chair of the board of the body that delivers Franco-Ontarian educational and cultural multimedia products, yet he has flatly refused to answer questions on the issues that matter to Franco-Ontarians. Instead, he mumbled something about his personal life and his stay as a student in Montreal,” said MPP Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James Bay).

Between 2017 and 2018, Queija donated over $2000 to the Conservative Party of Ontario’s Spadina-Fort York riding, the provincial Conservative Party, and to Mulroney’s leadership campaign. Mulroney is the current minister for Francophone Affairs.

“It’s completely insulting." said Bourgouin. "The Franco-Ontarian community is struggling to access services in French and to keep Francophone community organizations operating. Instead of defending the constitutional rights of Ontario's Francophone linguistic minority and promoting Franco-Ontarian values, Ford and Mulroney are offering roles to Conservative insiders, behind closed doors, like Mr. Queija.

“Mr. Ford, Ms. Mulroney, and Mr.Lecce must revoke Mr. Queija's appointment, period,” said Bourgouin.