SUDBURY – Ontario NDP critic for Francophone affairs Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay) and MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) are telling Ford’s Conservatives that Franco-Ontarians are out of patience awaiting funding approval for the University of Sudbury.
“Currently, the ball is in Ford's Conservatives' court,” Bourgouin said. “They have not given the University of Sudbury any money and have been forcing them to go through continuous loopholes. Money from the provincial government would allow federal funds to start flowing and ensure hundreds of Northern Ontarians would have access to university education in French.”
This call for action from NDP MPPs follows the publication of a report from the Center of Leadership and Evaluation (CLÉ) that evaluates the economic impact of the University of Sudbury to be set at 89,3M$ for the region. That represents 8$ per dollar invested from the federal and provincial governments.
ACFO and the Coalition are both clear: the delays created by the provincial government's inertia on this file will generate important consequences, and the community will feel the impact for decades. The current rhythm of advancement is unacceptable.
Joanne Gervais, executive director of L'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario (ACFO) du grand Sudbury:
"Shared institutions between anglophones and francophones are no longer an acceptable solution for post-secondary education in French near North Ontario regions. We demand a French language-only university, made for and by franco-Ontarians, and we are tired of waiting.”
Denis Constantineau, spokesperson for the Coalition nord-ontarienne pour une université en langue française:
"The Coalition published today an open letter to the intention of the minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop, to condemn the government's lack of action regarding the future of post-secondary education in French in the North-East of Ontario.”