Feds pledge $1.9M for French uni­ver­sity

PressReader - Tke Channel - Feds pledge $1.9M for French uni­ver­sity
The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ting nearly $2 mil­lion to keep hopes for L’Univer­sité de l’On­tario alive even though the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has can­celled fund­ing for the project.“We will al­ways be there for the Franco-On­tar­ian com­mu­nity as a part­ner for the French Uni­ver­sity of On­tario,” said Mélanie Joly, whose cab­i­net port­fo­lio in­cludes of­fi­cial lan­guages.“We just ap­proved $1.9 mil­lion to sup­port the work done by the team cur­rently in place up to Jan­uary 2020.”Fund­ing for the L’Univer­sité de l’On­tario français was set to ex­pire Jan. 15 — mean­ing staff would be laid off — “jeop­ar­diz­ing the prepara­tory work al­ready com­pleted,” Joly wrote to Caro­line Mul­roney, the prov­ince’s min­is­ter of fran­co­phone af­fairs, adding that she was con­cerned about the im­pact on Franco-On­tar­i­ans.Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell MPP Amanda Si­mard — who left the PC gov­ern­ment to sit as an In­de­pen­dent in Novem­ber over the prov­ince’s treat­ment of fran­co­phone is­sues, which in­cluded elim­i­nat­ing an in­de­pen­dent of­fice of the French-lan­guage ser­vices com­mis­sioner and fund­ing for the planned uni­ver­sity — tweeted that it was “great news” and that she was “proud to be able to count on our fed­eral gov­ern­ment to sup­port the franco(phone) com­mu­nity.”Joly wrote to Mul­roney in an un­dated let­ter re­leased Sun­day that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­ceived a re­quest for one-time fund­ing from the team be­hind the plans for the uni­ver­sity for pre­lim­i­nary work es­tab­lish­ing the Fran­co­phone Knowl­edge and In­no­va­tion Hub in Toronto. Aimed at unit­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tions and agen­cies that serve fran­co­phones, it could host the fu­ture uni­ver­sity, Joly wrote.Joly also pointed to $2.7 bil­lion avail­able over five years as part of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s new ac­tion plan for of­fi­cial lan­guages, some of which has al­ready been used to sup­port post-se­condary in­sti­tu­tions for of­fi­cial-lan­guage mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties, “and is ready to do so again.”The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment would have to pay 50 per cent of to­tal costs, but fed­eral pro­gramsWe will al­ways be there for the Fran­coOn­tar­ian com­mu­nity as a part­ner for the French Uni­ver­sity of On­tario.have the “flex­i­bil­ity” to cover startup costs in the first years as long as a pro­vin­cial con­tri­bu­tion is made in sub­se­quent years, Joly wrote.More than 12,000 peo­ple have signed a pe­ti­tion or­ga­nized by Ot­tawan Clayre Bertrand af­ter Premier Doug Ford an­nounced in mid-Novem­ber that he was can­celling the project.Dyane Adam, chair of the wouldbe uni­ver­sity’s board of gov­er­nors, thanked Joly and her gov­ern­ment for their “strong com­mit­ment to the Franco-On­tar­ian com­mu­nity and their sup­port for an in­sti­tu­tion es­sen­tial to its vi­tal­ity.”

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