Election Ontario 2007 - French-language Catholic Education Gathers Solid Support from Ontario's Three Main Political Parties

    TORONTO, Sept. 28 /CNW/ - The Association franco-ontarienne des conseils
scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC) is sharing the results of its pre-election
exercise focused on the political parties facing off in the Ontario Election
2007. "I am pleased to be able to state that the three main parties - namely
the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats - all support French-language
Catholic education in Ontario and the school systems as they currently exist",
said AFOCSC President, Robert Tremblay.
    At the other end of the spectrum lies the Green Party, wanting to
eliminate Catholic schools and the Ontario Provincial Confederation of Regions
Party with the Communist Party, both recommending the abolition of
French-language education. "Frank De Jong of the Green Party is advocating an
end to provincial testing, the abolition of the Ontario College of Teachers,
and the elimination of Catholic schools. This would be harmful to Ontario and
I encourage electors not to vote for this party", Tremblay advised.

    This pre-election exercise consisted of:
    1.  meetings with key Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic MPPs
    2.  a questionnaire on party support for French-language Catholic
        education in Ontario, and
    3.  an analysis of the electoral platforms of all political parties

    During meetings with those responsible for matters pertaining to
education and Francophone affairs, all main parties strongly supported the
four existing school systems. Robert Tremblay had one request to make: "I urge
parents of the 70,000 students attending our 265 elementary and secondary
schools to ask candidates showing up on their doorstep if they support
French-language Catholic education in Ontario".
    The purpose of this exercise is to clarify and influence the political
parties' positions on French-language Catholic education and to communicate to
the province's school community the level of support coming from each party.
    "I encourage members of our school communities to find out more about
each party's position before exercising their right to vote on October 10.
French-language Catholic education is at the heart of the current political
debate; French-language Catholic education is at the heart of a modern and
competitive Ontario. Well-advised choices are crucial, and I am calling on the
electorate to support a party that guarantees us stability and continuity of
our development", concluded AFOCSC President Robert Tremblay.
    The Association franco-ontarienne will continue to promote and protect
French-language Catholic schools and will strive to secure appropriate funding
for the Catholic system by working in conjunction with the elected Government.

    The Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques is
the spokesperson for the eight French-language Catholic school boards serving
more than 70,000 young Franco-Ontarians.

    NB: See Analysis Results Table with details in appendix or visit our
    website at www.afocsc.org.

For further information:

For further information: Carole Drouin, Executive Director, AFOCSC,
(416) 250-1754

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