Ontario to Open First French-Language University

The Canadian province of Ontario is proposing to create a new French-language university, the first of its kind in the majority English-speaking province, giving French-speaking students more opportunities to study in French.

In consultation with the francophone community, the French-Language University Planning Board has recommended the creation of a French-language university in the Toronto area, governed by and for francophones. After careful review, Ontario will be accepting the key recommendations of the report and intends to introduce legislation for the creation of the proposed university in the coming months.

Creating more postsecondary education options for students is part of a plan to create jobs, grow the economy, and help people in their everyday lives.

Ontario is home to 611,500 francophones—the largest population in Canada outside of Québec—with central and southwestern Ontario home to the fastest-growing francophone population.

About 430,000 people in the greater Toronto area speak French, which makes it the fourth-most-important center of French-language speakers in Canada. In 2015–16, the Ontario government invested $87.9 million to support French-language postsecondary education, including almost $14 million from the federal government—an increase of more than 71% since 2003–04. In partnership with the federal government, the government of Ontario has invested more than $204 million in capital projects since 2008 to support French-language postsecondary education.

“Francophone culture and the French language have always been essential to Ontario’s identity and prosperity. This is strongly reaffirmed today with the government’s intent to provide high-quality postsecondary education to francophone students. The creation of a new French-language university, governed by and for francophones, is a critical milestone for Franco-Ontarians and future generations,” commented Marie-France Lalonde, minister of francophone affairs.

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