Kitchener-Waterloo

Cambridge Franco-Ontarians protest Ford government cuts to language services

Franco-Ontarians gathered in Cambridge on Monday to protest the Ford government’s cuts to French services in Ontario. The Progressive Conservatives announced they would abolish the French language services commissioner and cancel plan to build a French university in their fiscal update last week.

MonAvenir French catholic school board says cuts violate rights of 'francophone minority'

More than a dozen Franco-Ontarians gathered outside a Cambridge school on Monday to protest cuts to French services in Ontario. (Colin Côté-Paulette/Radio-Canada)

Franco-Ontarians gathered in Cambridge on Monday to protest the Ford government's cuts to French services in Ontario.

The Progressive Conservatives announced they would abolish the French language services commissioner in their fiscal update last week.

They are also cancelling plans to build a much awaited French university in Toronto.

More than two dozen people gathered outside Père-René-De-Galinée school, holding signs calling for language protection and warning against assimilation.

"For our kids to be in Ontario and to live in French, we need to protect these languages," said Denis Jacques, a parent and teacher at the school.

"If we go back a little bit in history, in the 1840s a lot of francophones went to the states — Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire. And after three generations with no language protection, unfortunately there was assimilation and French is no more present in those areas."

Denis Jacques, a parent and teacher at René-Père-De-Galinée school, wants the province to do more to protect the French language for future generations. (Colin Côté-Paulette/Radio-Canada)

MonAvenir French catholic school board released a statement saying it is outraged by the cuts, which its says "violate the rights of the Francophone minority."

"The Csc MonAvenir cannot remain silent when faced with such a reversal of the gains made by the Franco-Ontarian community," chair Melinda Chartrand said in a letter to parents and the community.

The school board is one of several francophone organizations calling for the government to reverse its decision.

With files from Colin Côté-Paulette.

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