SUDBURY -- The federal New Democrats have been granted an emergency debate on Laurentian University, where large staffing and program cuts have stunned the community.

“This institution which has given generations of francophone, Indigenous and working-class youth access to quality education is being ripped apart," MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) said in a statement. "This will have devastating impacts."

The goal is to force Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act, Angus said, instead of "passing the blame" to others.

“The Liberal government and Ontario’s Conservative government have both failed the people of northern Ontario, especially francophone, female, Indigenous, and working-class community members, by allowing Laurentian to plummet to such a sorry state," Angus said.

Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, tweeted support for francophone programs that were cut as part of Laurentian's restructuring. The federal government is "looking for solutions," she said.

"For our government, there is no doubt that it is essential to have strong post-secondary institutions for francophones in northern Ontario," Joly tweeted. "We are ready to find solutions to achieve this."

"However, like many of you, we are anxiously awaiting information from the provincial government on the Laurentian University file. We need more clarity and time is of the essence. The Ontario government must show us that they have a plan."