Laurentian should put programs back in French, demands the coalition

They should be given to a proposed French-language university, according to the group

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Laurentian University should be forced to cede its French-language programs to a proposed French-language university in northeastern Ontario, a coalition says.

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In a statement, the Northern Ontario Coalition for a French-Language University said that the NDP, the Liberals and the Green Party say they support the creation of a French-language university.

Furthermore, he stated that these parties agreed with the “transfer of French language programming from Laurentian University to the University of Sudbury”.

The coalition also said that during a televised debate in French this week, Caroline Mulroney, the provincial minister for Francophone affairs before the June 2 provincial election was called, “made no firm commitment to a French-language university. “.

Mulroney represented the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial election debate.

“All signs,” the coalition said, “seem to indicate that it would be willing to support the University of Sudbury in providing French-language programming without forcing Laurentian University to transfer its programming to the new university. This would only lead to a potentially disastrous fragmentation of the French-language programming offer.

“We urge Minister Mulroney and the Conservative Party to change their position. The damage already done to the francophone community is serious enough. It would only be exacerbated if Laurentian University were allowed to continue offering French-language programming in competition with the University of Sudbury.

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The coalition said Mulroney was referring to the certification process the University of Sudbury launched with the Post-Secondary Education Quality Assessment Commission, which began after it received a $1.9 million grant. federal government dollars.

Since education is a provincial responsibility, the provincial government should approve and help fund the creation of the French-language university.

In February 2021, Laurentian announced that it was insolvent, could not pay its bills and would have to restructure. In addition to cutting staff and many French programs, Laurentian ended federation agreements with the University of Sudbury, Thorneloe University and Huntington College, and began to retain funding it shared with these schools.

In response, University of Sudbury officials said they would work to open a French university.

The coalition said that while it is important for the University of Sudbury to work with the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Commission, “it is even more crucial that French-language university education be placed under the auspices of a French-language institution. This is the only way in which the interests of the Francophone community will always be at the heart of the decision-making process. The community has already sacrificed enough.

“It is crucial that such a transfer be announced in the immediate future so that the University of Sudbury is able to plan its future properly, knowing that it will not have to share the French market with Laurentian. Such fragmentation, if it were to occur, could prove disastrous for French-language university education in the region.

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“It makes sense to demand that such a transfer take place now, as the University of Sudbury takes the necessary steps under the aegis of the board. Existing French-language programs offered by Laurentian are already approved. This would provide a good foundation from which the University of Sudbury could build rather than start from scratch. And it is doable, based on the example of the rapid establishment of the University of Northern Ontario School of Medicine” earlier this year.

The coalition said it fears the provincial government is seeking “refuge” behind the Post-Secondary Education Quality Assessment Commission processes, subjecting “the community to a years-long process without any safeguards.” Meanwhile, our young people are leaving the region and we are losing teachers. The economy of the entire region is impacted.

“We therefore demand that Laurentian University be obliged to transfer all of its French programming to the University of Sudbury while the latter continues its work with the council.

Calls to Laurentian University for comment were not returned.

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Twitter: @SudburyStar


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