November 19, 2018
TORONTO – Unifor denounces cuts to Francophone services, after confirmation that Premier Doug Ford will stand by his government’s decision to abolish the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner and cancel plans to build a Francophone university.
“The cuts are an assault on Ontario's French-speaking population,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Removing protection to ensure that linguistic minorities can access government services in the name of cost-cutting shows that Ford government is more concerned with revenue than with rights.”
At a meeting today, Quebec Premier François Legault asked Ford to reconsider the cuts but the Ontario premier announced that his government would proceed.
“This will negatively impact more than 600,000 Francophonie across the province yet Doug Ford has opted to double down on this short-sighted decision,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi.
With French-language school enrollment increasing faster than any other system, the new Francophone university was scheduled to open in 2020.
“The number of French-speaking students is on the rise,” said Dias. “The refusal to put needed infrastructure in place to allow them to continue higher education along with the cancellation of new Ryerson, York and Wilfrid Laurier campuses will hurt a generation of Ontario students to come.”
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).re. For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at email@example.com or 416-896-3303 (cell).