Ford’s flip-flop on fran­co­phones a faux pas

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The Ed­i­tor, The Con­ser­va­tive On­tario gov­ern­ment led by Doug Ford flip-flops plans to open the prov­ince’s first Fran­co­phone uni­ver­sity.

The newly elected gov­ern­ment was to es­tab­lish a French-lan­guage uni­ver­sity in Cen­tral-South­west­ern On­tario that would be op­er­at­ing its main cam­pus from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). An en­tity that would pro­vide a French mi­lieu, where stu­dents can learn in their own lan­guage, at their own in­sti­tu­tion, in their own prov­ince.

On­tario’s Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment is can­celling fund­ing for three uni­ver­sity cam­puses in the Toronto area de­spite hav­ing made a prom­ise dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign.

This de­ci­sion has an im­pact on par­tic­i­pa­tion in French-lan­guage post­sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion to re­tain their lan­guage and de­priv­ing the prov­ince of the Na­tional and In­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

Find­ings show that Cana­di­ans, Amer­i­cans and Euro­peans from all walks of life ben­e­fit from bilin­gual­ism and ac­quire eco­nomic, cog­ni­tive and so­cial ad­van­tages. Study re­sults re­veals that even unilin­gual work­ers in a com­pany ben­e­fit from bilin­gual­ism, en­ables a com­pany to grow be­yond its lo­cal mar­ket to other parts of the coun­try and pro­vides an an­chor to other lan­guages and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets to grow.

Oth­er­wise, fos­ter­ing the learn­ing and use of Canada’s two of­fi­cial lan­guages has been an ob­jec­tive of the Gov­ern­ment of Canada for over 40 years in­deed.

French-speak­ing On­tar­i­ans have asked for a French-lan­guage uni­ver­sity, gov­erned by and for fran­co­phones for decades.

In fact, to re­main com­pet­i­tive in the global mar­ket­place, On­tario needs to match what its com­peti­tors are do­ing and fol­low suit.

On­tario is home to 622,415 fran­co­phones – the largest pop­u­la­tion in Canada out­side of Québec.

Mario Le­clerc, Corn­wall

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