Premier Doug Ford defends pulling funds from planned francophone university

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government had to pull its funding from a planned francophone university, and that Quebec's newly-elected premier understands why.

Ford speaks with reporters after meeting Quebec premier

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, left, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford met for the first time at Queen's Park on Monday. The leaders are at odds over Ontario's move to pull funding from a proposed francophone university. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government had to pull its funding from a planned francophone university, and that Quebec's newly-elected premier understands why.

Ford addressed the media after his first meeting with Quebec's new premier, François Legault, on Monday afternoon.

Following the closed door talk, Legault said he was "disappointed" with Ford's decision to abolish Ontario's Office of the French Language Services Commissioner and scrap plans for a new francophone university to save money.

Ford said his government inherited a $15 billion deficit, making the new university, along with three new English post-secondary institutions, not feasible right now. Legault, he said, "understood that."

The premier said the previous Liberal government shouldn't have promised to build the institutions if they didn't have the money. 

"If anyone has a complaint they should be calling Kathleen Wynne's office," he told reporters.

Ford also commented on a controversial motion on gender identity introduced at last weekend's Progressive Conservative party convention.

The resolution, introduced at the convention by parental rights advocate Tanya Granic Allen, declares gender identity a "Liberal ideology" and asks that references to it be removed from Ontario's sex-education curriculum.

Ford said he's killing the non-binding resolution. 

"I'm not moving forward with that," he said.

"It's done."

Watch Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly discuss how the federal government plans to defend Francophones in Ontario on Power & Politics  

Will the federal government intervene in Premier Ford's 'cheap shot' Francophone cuts?

4 years ago
Duration 6:48
'Linguistic rights are a national issue,' says Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly on Power & Politics.

With files from The Canadian Press


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