February 2nd, 2021

NDP demands Ford stop undermining and start supporting sustainability of Franco-Ontarian university now

KAPUSKASING — The NDP’s Francophone Affairs critic Guy Bourgouin is calling on Doug Ford and Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano to stop undermining and start helping the Université de l'Ontario Français.

“Like the Liberals before them, the Ford government has had no intention of funding or supporting the Université de l’Ontario project from the get-go,” said Bourgouin. “In its 2018 Fall economic statement, Ford and Romano eliminated provincial funding for the francophone university. Ford continues to pledge that no direct investment will flow until after the end of his mandate. Romano delayed the university’s program approvals until October, which destroyed critical recruitment time for the university, undermining its sustainability.

“It’s like they’re setting up our university for failure.”

Bourgouin’s call for more help for the francophone university comes as Laurentian University, another institution with French language program specialization, files for court protection from creditors due to the Ford government’s choice to cut, not support, universities.

“Generations of francophones have been fighting for a French-language university that is by and for Franco-Ontarians that they deserve and have a constitutional right to access. The last Liberal government had 15 years to build and stabilize this school, and they chose not to. Doug Ford and Ross Romano have been starving this vital project and cutting post-secondary education across the board. All this has to stop – francophones deserve access to education, and Ontario deserves to have more french-speaking professionals, like teachers.”