TORONTO — Today, Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs and Mélanie Joly, Federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, signed a historic funding agreement on behalf of the governments of Ontario and Canada to support the Université de l’Ontario français, the first French-language university governed by and for Ontario Francophones.
The Université de l’Ontario français will be supported by an investment of $126 million over eight years. The agreement confirms that the Government of Canada will assume up to 50 per cent of the total investment in the project, a total of $63 million over five years. The Government of Ontario has committed to matching this amount.
“We are excited to be able to move forward with full implementation of the Université de l’Ontario français,” said Minister Romano. “Our government has always been committed to the university and to supporting access to the education and training needed for rewarding careers and meeting labour market demands for Ontario’s Francophone students.”
In early September 2019, the governments of Canada and Ontario signed a Memorandum of Understanding formally committing to work together to establish the Université de l’Ontario français. Since then, the governments have continued discussions to successfully complete an eight-year funding agreement. With this agreement both governments affirm their commitment to addressing the needs of the more than 620,000 Francophones in Ontario.
“The Université de l’Ontario français is an important and long awaited-for project, critical to future generations of Franco-Ontarians,” said Minister Mulroney. “The new university is a great example of our government’s commitment to strengthening the Francophone community, investing in its future and ensuring the community’s continued contribution to Ontario’s prosperity.”
“This is an historic day for Franco-Ontarians and Francophones all across Canada,” said Minister Joly. “It is an unprecedented step that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of Canadians who will now have the opportunity to pursue higher education in French here in Ontario and will unite francophones from all regions of our country.”
“We are delighted to achieve this historic milestone and to welcome, as planned, the first cohorts in the fall 2021,” said Dyane Adam, Chair of the Board of Governors for Université de l’Ontario français. “I want to thank the provincial and federal governments for their leadership and support and look forward to welcoming Ontario’s Francophone students to the Université de l’Ontario français.”