Ontario government cancels French university and Toronto's not happy
Sorry, Francophones: Doug Ford announced Thursday that he's scrapping the province's plans to open Toronto's first ever French-language university.
The premier's decision was part and parcel with the release of his fiscal roadmap for the rest of the year, which included other controversial decisions like scrapping rent control and dismantling the Ontario Place Corporation.
Ford met with Quebec's new premier François Legault today, who said he was "disappointed" with Ford's decision.
Franco-Ontarians and French speakers across the country—including Canada's most famous Francophone, Justin Trudeau—have also weighed in on Ford's decisions.
Ontario government cuts to French services is just the same narrow-minded anti-French bullshit we’ve always had in Ontario. We have to refight the same battles over again every decade or two. #cdnpoli #DougFord #Ontario— Pierre Lachaîne (@pierre_lachaine) November 19, 2018
Kathleen Wynne's Ontario government had announced its plans for an exclusively French-language university last year, catering to the province's fast-growing Francophone population (the largest in Canada outside of Quebec).
The intention was to eventually open the university somewhere in downtown Toronto, possibly somewhere in the East Waterfront development.
Meanwhile we are told that Franco-Ontarians are being targeted by the Ford government over the decision to cancel plans for a French language university in Toronto. Well, also cancelled were three English universities as noted in the Finance Minister’s fiscal update.— sonofgun (@BobHaegeman) November 19, 2018
Ford has cited the province's $15-billion deficit as his reason for cutting funds to the university, as well last month's decision to pull funds for three university expansions.
Doug Ford sacked the environmental commissioner, independent children’s advocate, and French language commissioner in Ontario. He’s also cancelled $2.2 billion meant for universal child care, and $242 million for shelters. But don’t fret; the LCBO will soon be open until 11pm.— Ari Shapiro (@ari_shapiro) November 19, 2018
But more troubling than the axeing of the French-language university is the province's plans to eliminate the position of a French language services commissioner, whose job is to ensure that the government abides by the French Language Services Act.
Listening to @fordnation talk about French language & Education in Ontario shows me that this man has no desire to actually learn about the things he fights against. He’s uninformed, reactionary and not ‘for the people’. #onpoli— Jen (@Jennymd1) November 19, 2018
Many had hoped that Ford's mind could be changed at today's meeting with Legault, but evidently, the Premier refused to reverse the decision.
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