The University of Ottawa wishes to express its solidarity with the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean, whose mission and existence are threatened due to budget cuts imposed by the provincial government of Alberta.
Campus Saint-Jean plays a unique role in promoting and protecting the French language in Alberta. Its closure would be an incalculable loss, one that would deprive hundreds of young Albertans and other young Francophones and Francophiles in Western Canada and the Territories from a quality university education, and the dissemination of knowledge, in French.
The University of Ottawa supports the University of Alberta in its efforts to find a viable alternative to ensure the sustainability of this respected institution that actively contributes to the diversity of Alberta and Canada. This is a question of acknowledging the historical and current contributions of Francophone communities in Canada, particularly those of Franco-Albertans, and of respecting the status of French as an official language.
The University of Ottawa is also asking the federal government to consider providing financial support to Campus Saint Jean, as it did for the creation of a dedicated French-language university in Ontario, the Université de l’Ontario français.
A university-level setting such as Campus Saint-Jean serves as a powerful tool to develop and expand the Franco-Albertan community, and it multiplies the opportunities to teach and learn in French. The more Francophone and bilingual post-secondary institutions there are across the country, the better the interests of Francophones will be served.
The University of Ottawa is ready to stand with Campus Saint-Jean in support of Francophones in Alberta and across Canada.