TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - In conjunction with The Franco-Ontarian Students' Association (RÉFO), the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is adding its support for a distinct French-language university in the province that would meet the needs of Francophone and Francophile communities in Ontario, as part of the provincial Day of Action for a new Franco-Ontarian university.
"It's about time that we saw some action on the part of the government around the establishment of a Francophone university in Ontario," said Amanda-Lynn Duchesne-Wales, Francophone and Bilingual Caucus Chairperson. "This university's mandate should be to reflect Francophone culture in the province, by welcoming students from different backgrounds and regions, and offering a wide range of programs deemed necessary by Francophone and Francophile communities in Ontario. The government should be responsive to their desire to obtain a post-secondary education in the official language of their choice, which would respect their rights as Francophone and Francophiles in Ontario."
Thanks to the efforts of Francophone students in Ontario, the establishment of a Francophone university in the province has sparked the keen interest of several stakeholders in the post-secondary education sector. The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario has a policy on creating a French-language university in Ontario, and a year ago the Franco-Ontarian Students' Association (RÉFO) submitted a formal demand to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne asking her to commit to the creation of a new university administered by and for Francophones in Ontario. Faced with a lack of action on the part of the Liberal government, the Day of Action aims to engage the community and to increase pressure on the government.
"The Federation is proud to stand with The Franco-Ontarian Students' Association (RÉFO) during this Day of Action," said Gabrielle Ross-Marquette, the Federation's National Executive Representative. "Students in Ontario support the establishment of a French-language university in the province, and are against the withdrawal of funding as well as the reduction in the number of programs at bilingual institutions in Ontario."
Students are eagerly waiting to see what subsequent steps the Liberal government will take on this issue, hoping that the Standing Committee on Social Policy will examine the Université de l'Ontario français Act, a bill proposed in 2015, at the earliest opportunity.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario brings together more than 350,000 students in colleges and universities throughout Ontario.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information: Gabrielle Ross-Marquette (Francophone/Bilingual), National Executive Representative, 647-918-9864 (cellphone) or firstname.lastname@example.org