Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, issued the following statement in light of the rally in support for a Bilingual Ottawa:
On behalf of the University of Ottawa, I wish to reiterate my support for all efforts to designate the City of Ottawa as officially bilingual.
Last September, the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa adopted a resolution that formally commits the University to supporting the official bilingual designation of the City of Ottawa.
Under the terms of the legislation that created it in 1965, the University of Ottawa is charged with furthering bilingualism and biculturalism, and with preserving and expanding Francophone culture in Ontario. Support for the designation of the City of Ottawa as officially bilingual fully reflects this mandate.
The City of Ottawa already nurtures and promotes the Francophonie. Its designation as an officially bilingual city will ensure that Ottawa preserves its role as a catalyst in fostering this culture for an entire community.
Regardless of the final decision taken by the Ottawa community and its elected officials, the University of Ottawa will continue to work with its partners and promote the Francophonie. Our University stands as eloquent proof that bilingualism and the Francophonie add immeasurable value, the best evidence of which are the generations of influential Francophone leaders who have studied here, as well as the many Francophile alumni who continue to be active in our community.
We firmly intend to pursue our efforts and reiterate our unwavering support for the Francophonie and bilingualism, which are central to our teaching mission and values.
Long live Bilingual Ottawa!