Laurentian University / Auditor General: AFO demands transparency from Laurentian

Ottawa, November 30, 2021 – The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) urges Laurentian University to show greater transparency in its ongoing dispute with the Auditor General of Ontario. The organization, which represents Francophones across the province, is asking itself what Laurentian has to hide, as it appears to be systematically preventing the Auditor General’s team from doing its work.

The Auditor General, an Officer of the Legislative Assembly, is responsible for reviewing Laurentian’s finances from the past 10 years and has suggested that a “culture of fear” is slowing their audit.

According to affidavits filed in the Superior Court of Ontario in Sudbury, Laurentian staff refused to speak with the Auditor General’s office on numerous occasions.

AFO is concerned that the difficulties encountered by the Auditor General’s staff are hindering the audit, especially with regard to millions of dollars in government funding for Official Language education. AFO encourages Claude Lacroix, chair of Laurentian’s Board of Governors, to mandate that his president ensure transparency in communications with the Auditor General and with all Ontarians.

On May 11 of this past year, AFO wrote to the Auditor General requesting a review of Laurentian’s use of government funds intended for French language instruction, to be done within the framework of the overall audit. On Aug. 25, AFO met with the Auditor General’s office at their request.

“Franco-Ontarians, and the Ontarian population as a whole, have the right to know what has driven Laurentian into this slump. Laurentian has a responsibility toward the French-speaking population, and the larger Ontario population, to prove its transparency in regards to its management of taxpayers’ money. What does Laurentian have to hide? Any hindrance to the Auditor General’s investigation is unacceptable!” said the AFO president.