February 11th, 2019

Ford failed to consult with ministries before cancelling Francophone university

Guy Bourgouin, NDP critic for Francophone Affairs, said he’s disgusted by new revelations from the Standing Committee on Official Languages that Doug Ford failed to consult with the appropriate ministries before cancelling the Université de l'Ontario français (UOF) and scrapping the French Language Services Commissioner.

"It is absolutely appalling that no consultation was done with the ministries, and no study whatsoever was undertaken before Doug Ford scrapped our university and the French Language Services Commissioner. It’s clear that Ford was never interested in the value of those institutions, or the need in the community — he just wanted to plow ahead with cuts,” said Bourgouin.

During a meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, Doug Ford’s deputy ministers for Francophone Affairs and Training, Colleges and Universities, indicated that their ministries were not consulted before the UOF was cancelled and the French Language Services Commissioner was eliminated. Both deputy ministers further added that, to the best of their knowledge, no study had been done prior to eliminating the funding for the UOF.

“It was a slap in the face to Francophone communities when Ford dismissed our Francophone university and the thousands of students in Ontario’s French language school system,” said Bourgouin.

“Ford is turning back the clock in this province to a time when francophones and francophone communities were struggling for the survival of their language and their heritage.

“I appreciate the federal government's willingness to engage in a dialogue, but the solution is in Ford's hands. He must restore the funding for the UOF and the autonomy of the French-Language Services Commissioner.”

Bourgouin said New Democrats will work together with Franco-Ontarians to stop Ford’s cuts to French language services, and fight for the constitutional rights of Franco-Ontarians.