Ottawa, January 9, 2019 – As provincial funding for the Université de l’Ontario français is expected to end in six days, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) calls upon the Government of Ontario to preserve this Franco-Ontarian institution.
In that aim, the AFO urges the Government of Ontario to submit a request for funding to the Government of Canada and to take measures to ensure the retention of the university’s staff beyond January 15. After that date, as Carol Jolin, the president of the AFO, explains in an informational video, “the Université de l’Ontario français will be nothing more than a board of governors with no employees or developers.”
“We have not received word that the province and the federal government have concluded an agreement on the UOF,” said Mr. Jolin. “This is despite indications from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage that funding is available for the first four years of the university’s operations.”
In its fiscal statement last November, the Government of Ontario announced its intention to cease funding for the Université de l’Ontario français on January 15, 2019. The province’s French language educational continuum would therefore remain incomplete because it does not extend beyond the college level.
Carol Jolin also noted that the absence of a French language university is a contributing factor to the assimilation of Ontario Francophones, especially in the Central-Southwest region. “Unfortunately, the bilingual universities are not able to guarantee French language education over the entire extent of a program,” he explained. “That is why Ontario Francophones have been demanding a French language university for over fifty years.”
The AFO encourages Ontarians to show their support for the University de l’Ontario français by becoming members of the “La Résistance” movement through the website www.monassemblee.ca. Supporters can also help the cause of Ontario’s Francophones by making a donation.