University of Sudbury pushing to become a French-only institution
SUDBURY -- The University of Sudbury says it’s concerned about the future of students who take francophone and Indigenous studies at Laurentian University because of the financial uncertainty at the school.
The school wants to become a French-language university to ensure those programs are protected. Currently, it is a federated university with Laurentian, along with Huntington and Thorneloe. But LU is going through an insolvency process and major cuts to programs are expected as a result.
“Francophone and Indigenous education is best promoted when it is in the control of francophones and Indigenous communities themselves,” said university president John Meehan, in a news release.
“We started with the francophone community, who made the request to us and we are prepared to meet with Indigenous communities to share our other charter, to have a university that is by, for and with the Indigenous community.”
A group representing Franco-Ontarians is behind the idea for the university to transition to French only.
“Everywhere that the francophone take care of their own programs and education systems, it works really well,” said Carol Jolin, president of L'Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario.
“We have to get there to make sure the academic programs in the north are safe ... We’re afraid of what is going to happen with the (restructuring) of Laurentian once it goes in front of the judge. It’s important for the francophone community to be in charge of the governance.”
Some University of Sudbury students are confused about what’s next.
“They want to make U of S an institution for both francophone and Indigenous people, but that’s a bit hard to understand,” said Page Chartrand. "To have a 100 per cent French university by and for francophone would evidently mean there’s no English within the university, and Indigenous peoples are typically English.
“It’s a tad confusing.”
CTV News reached out to the University of Sudbury for an interview, but no one was made available. A spokesperson said no more information will be shared while Laurentian is in the mediation process.