NEWS RELEASE 2012-03-20
Commissioner Boileau applauds government actions to address lack of French-language schools in Greater Toronto Area
TORONTO, March 20, 2012 – French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau is pleased with the significant progress made by the Government of Ontario to address the lack of French-language schools in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Since the publication of the Commissioner’s investigation report on this matter in June 2011, the government has taken a number of steps to address this issue, including announcing plans to build nine additional French-language schools in the GTA.
“Our report revealed that parents wishing to enrol their children in primary and secondary education in French in the GTA were forced to choose between a lengthy commute or enrolling their children in an English school. This was simply unacceptable,” said Commissioner François Boileau.
The Commissioner’s report also revealed that while demand for French-language education in the GTA continued to increase, English-language public school boards were reporting — and continue to report — a decrease in enrolment: a situation that has led to a surplus of school properties that could be put to better use.
“It goes without saying that the various components of our education system should be aligned to serve the needs of French-language and English-language students. There should be no other priority. Indeed, everything else is a secondary consideration.”
To address the situation of unused surplus school properties, the Commissioner requested changes to Ontario Regulation 444/98 to support more effective and efficient real estate transactions between school boards. Though the Commissioner would have expected a clearer timeline, the Ministry of Education has nonetheless indicated its willingness to amend this regulation while respecting the constitutional and legal autonomy of school boards.
The Commissioner’s report entitled French-language schools in the Greater Toronto Area: When the most elementary becomes secondary is available for viewing or download on the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner’s website, www.flsc.gov.on.ca, in the PUBLICATIONS section.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
416 314-8247 or 1-866-246-5262
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