Today Yasir Naqvi, Liberal candidate for Ottawa Centre was joined by Nathalie Des Rosiers (Ottawa-Vanier) and Marie-France Lalonde (Ottawa-Orleans) to announce their commitment to building permanent French schools in the downtown core.
Ontario Liberals know that French-speaking students need access to a supportive learning environment in their own language. French education is key to the success of our students and essential to protecting and building the Francophone cultural identity in Ontario.
The need for new schools is clear. In Ottawa, one of the only French-language schools downtown, Centre Nord, is operated on land they do not own. The board currently leases it from the Ottawa Catholic School Board on a five-year lease that began in September 2017. And over the past 17 years, enrolment in French-language elementary schools has increased by over 50% and is still rising. Liberals will make sure there are French schools to meet that need.
We are the only party who understands and delivers on Francophone and Francophile priorities. Today’s commitment builds on the plan to increase the number of French teachers and build L’Universite de L’Ontario francais.
Further, Ontario Liberal’s track record on providing access to French-language schooling is unparalleled. We have increased annual funding by 25% since 2013 to a total of more than $340 million.
With more than $2 billion in capital funding to French-language school boards so that more students can have a 21st century learning environment in a state of good repair, it is time that Ottawa has permanent institutions downtown.
By building these new schools, we would be providing modern, accessible learning environments that would ease parents concerns in finding new French-language education and provide an overall better learning environment for our kids.
With little mention of supports for Francophones by either the NDP or the Conservatives, who can trust that they will continue providing the necessary funding for French-language education. Further, with billions in holes in both parties’ platforms, only the Liberals can be trusted to follow through with this commitment.