NEWS -- In a sign of the bitterness that has been created during Laurentian University's insolvency, the University of Sudbury blasted the school in court documents in which it called for LU to hand over all French-language programs to the U of S.

"We have witnessed for more than a decade, and over the past few weeks in particular, a lack (of) interest by Laurentian or even a lack of passion to make greater efforts in its delivery of French-language services," said court filings by the university's legal team of Sheppard & Claude, based in Ottawa.

The U of S wants to take over "all programs, courses and services offered in French at Laurentian University, as well as facilities and related resources."

"We believe this avenue not only in the best interest of both universities, but above all necessary to avoid the irreparable harm that is being inflicted on the Franco-Ontarian community because of the current uncertainty surrounding the future of Laurentian, especially with regard to the continuity of the French language services so essential to the Francophone community."

It called on Laurentian to hand over the programs voluntarily "in a spirit of collaboration."

"In the present circumstances, this seems like the least that Laurentian can do for the good of the community."

In response, Laurentian said it agrees with the spirit of collaboration, but said it remains committed to its French-language programs and history.

"Laurentian and US are on different paths in terms of how they intend to deliver French language post-secondary education in Ontario," Laurentian said. "US has taken a view that it ought to be a French-only institution. Laurentian intends to maintain its commitment to the Franco-Ontario community and to remain a tri-cultural institution that provides strong, comprehensive academic programs in both English and French.

"Laurentian’s French language programs (serving approximately 2,000 Laurentian students) are at the core of its mandate. As such, Laurentian does not intend to transfer any French language programs or services to US."

Maintaining its French-language programs is "critical to its successful restructuring and its ability to serve both the English and French speaking communities, in addition to its strong commitment to the Indigenous communities of Ontario."

A hearing on the U of S's motion is expected before the end of the first phase of Laurentian's insolvency process April 30.