The University of Ottawa is concerned about the consequences of the restructuring of Laurentian University for its students, faculty and support staff.
Consequently, the University of Ottawa wishes to express its support for the Laurentian University community and calls on the provincial and federal governments to review and increase funding for Francophone and bilingual universities in minority settings to ensure the vitality of Franco-Ontarian and Aboriginal communities and to prevent such a situation from occurring elsewhere in Canada.
Here is a motion adopted this afternoon by the University Senate:
Proposed motion: University of Ottawa Senate Expression of Support for the Laurentian University Community
WHEREAS The first phase of Laurentian University’s court-supervised restructuring process under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act has led to the elimination of 69 programs and the layoffs of a hundred professors and many other employees;
WHEREAS Many French-language programs, in the arts and humanities, have been particularly affected by these devastating cuts;
WHEREAS The negative impact of the abolition of programs that have contributed to the decolonization, reconciliation and self-determination of Aboriginal peoples, as well as to learning, training and research in Native Studies;
WHEREAS Access to high-quality education that ensures the promotion of the French and Indigenous languages in teaching and research is necessary for the growth and vitality of Franco-Ontarian and Indigenous communities, particularly in Northern Ontario;
WHEREAS French-language postsecondary education in minority settings has been chronically underfunded and, despite repeated requests to successive Ontario governments, nothing has been done to address the vulnerability of Francophone or bilingual institutions;
THE SENATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA
EXPRESSES Its support and solidarity with members of the Laurentian University community, whose bilingual, tricultural mission and survival are threatened;
REITERATES Its commitment to continue the fight for the rights of Aboriginal community and Francophone minorities in Ontario and across Canada as it has done for 150 years and will continue to do as long as necessary;
REQUESTS That the University’s leadership examine all options to reduce the negative impact of this situation on students and faculty-researchers;
CALLS ON The provincial and federal governments to ensure adequate funding of Francophone or bilingual universities in minority settings in order to prevent such a situation from once again threatening postsecondary education in French across Canada.