Nickel Belt MPP pushes for French university
The New Democrat MPP for Nickel Belt is taking the first step towards creating a Franco-Ontarian university.
France Gélinas has introduced a bill to create the Université de l'Ontario français.
She said there is currently limited access to university programs in French. She said the Franco-Ontarian community presently governs a network of 450 primary and secondary schools, 12 school boards and two community colleges, but French-speaking Ontarians have limited access to university programs in French.
"We are turning a page of history today," she said. "A bill has been tabled. It will be in the archives of this province forever, and this is the beginning of a new chapter."
Gélinas said the university would likely have multiple campuses, so it could be accessible across the province.
She acknowledged there is a French language university in northeastern Ontario, Université de Hearst, but said a Franco-Ontarian university would be mandated to offer a full range of university degrees and programs in French.
"The Université de Hearst does not have the mandate to do this," she said. "Their board of governors … that created them … for a purpose, and the purpose is not to be a university for the entire province."