Reducing Ford's services for francophone services is more than just a deep invalidation of 620,000 francophones in the province. They are an attack on our Canadian commitment to the official languages and hundreds of thousands of English-speaking families who have embraced French in immersion and other programs in Ontario and Canada.
Across the country, English children learn French in unprecedented numbers. According to the latest figures from the Ontario government, on any given day, more than 280,000 students in Ontario do more French than required in English school boards – all from study to full French immersion. Across the country add another 200 000 plus.
This is half a million English children who intensively study the other Canadian language – every weekday.
But there are many more in the game. These children and their families also express a strong commitment to the fabric of our country. They have to make an active choice. This is often inconvenient and challenging – especially given the many additional requirements we often put on students today.
In many parts of the province and country, students and their families have to overcome significant structural barriers to get the amount of French language learning a second language they want and need. But year after year these pupils and their parents are recorded in record numbers.
The increasing interest in the French immersion from newcomers in Canada shows us that our wide and wide reputation is our readiness to share and compromise and support our Francophone minorities. In Ontario, one of the most popular areas for French diving is the Peel region – where immigrants make up 80% of the population. And in Prime Minister Doug Ford's own community, Eggikok, new opportunities for French immersion were a key issue in the choices of school trustees in the autumn.
These families know that there is something much more important than language learning or the accumulation of credits. Something called the building of a nation.
And it does not happen in a vacuum. Support for French training is directly related to the health and growth of the Canadian French-speaking population – including millions of pros and cons who live outside of Quebec. This is a sensitive ecosystem. That is why the cuts in Ontario's minority language services are so erratic and destructive.
The prevailing attitude towards Franco-Ontario contributes to our national identity and our international credibility. This affects our unity as a nation. It improves our reputation as a good place to live and a good place to do business. We are also what we strive to be.
Official languages are supported by 80% of entrecans. But we angels can be content. Rather, we are accustomed to the fact that our provincial government acts for us by supporting, promoting and defending French as a first and second language.
The desire to reduce the Commissioner for French Language Services, which intervenes when we are opposed to the support of our French minority, is a little shocked. Only five years ago, the post was transformed into an officer of the legislature with the unanimous support of progressive conservatives, liberals and NAPs.
Innovative 21st-century Learning Plans of the Université de l'Ontario français are another hit not only for Franco-Ontario but also for our French diving towns and the city of Toronto. This is another insult to investing in post-secondary opportunities in GTA. And this reduces after secondary education only at a price without analyzing the benefits of a solid business.
In 2017, the legislation was adopted, with PCs announcing their "long-standing" support for the French university in both official languages, also asking for the project to be extended to include more programs. Miracles were not price, it was a range. It is clear that this support is not strong enough to prevent this new attack on reasonable services for the franco-ontario.
The legislation that needs to be done is called "taking action to tackle Ontario's fiscal house." It should be known as "Making Ontario flawless and pounding stupid while expropriating the banks to the coast of French Canadians – causing an unnecessary linguistic crisis, ignoring the English majority in Ontario, which supports bilingualism in the official language and threatens Canadian unity."
Mary Crudon is a voluntary member of the French language as a second language advisory committee of the Toronto District School Board and recipient of the Ontario Francofonie Award.