Ottawa, January 14, 2019 – The AFO thanks Canadian Heritage and the minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie for providing one year of funding in the amount of $1.9 million to the Université de l’Ontario français. These funds will allow the university to retain its personnel until January 2020.
“It is with a sense of relief that I welcome this temporary solution which allows the personnel of the Université de l’Ontario français to continue its work. We will continue to work with our partners within the governments of Canada and Ontario to find solutions to ensure the university’s long term survival. We invite the provincial government to submit to its federal counterpart a funding request for the first four years of the university’s operations, while the province puts its fiscal house in order. Solutions are at hand,” said the AFO’s president, Carol Jolin.
The announced funding is a welcome development, but it is only a stop-gap solution. A university cannot operate solely with short term funding. The AFO therefore invites the provincial government to use the coming weeks to prepare a request for funding from the government of Canada and to make its own financial commitment to the institution’s long term survival.
The funds have been provided through the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future. They are aimed at preliminary work for the establishment of a Francophone knowledge and innovation hub in Toronto, a major component of the project.