Guy Bourgouin MPP for Mushkegowuk—James Bay

Government of Ontario

By saying ‘no’ to Francophone university, Ford’s Conservatives are betraying the trust of Franco-Ontarians

Published on July 3, 2023

SUDBURY - Official Opposition Critic for Francophone Affairs, Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay), issued the following statement following the Ford’s Conservatives denying the University of Sudbury funding to establish a standalone francophone school:

“Late on a Friday afternoon, just before Canada Day celebrations, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities crushed the dreams of thousands of Francophone children by announcing that the University of Sudbury would not receive funding for its project to create a university by, for and with Francophones. Despite the government's efforts to sweep this under the rug, this announcement has not gone unnoticed by our community.

The reasons for the funding refusal, which comes after the federal government contributed $2 million to the project, do not fool anyone. The demand for higher education in French has existed in Northern Ontario for over a hundred years. The University's business plan demonstrates the viability of the project and its positive economic impact on the region. There's no doubt about it: the University of Sudbury project is in demand and would attract many students.

It's utterly unacceptable that Franco-Ontarians still don't have the same level of education available close to home as the English-speaking majority. The Ford government has shown its true colours. It's unacceptable to repeat the mistakes of the past when it comes to the vitality of the French-speaking community.

It's time for Ford and his Conservatives to open their eyes: the Franco-Ontarian population is growing, and it's here to stay. The government must fund higher education in French, starting with the University of Sudbury.”