November 20, 2018
Members of the Franco-Ontarian community are speaking up about the province’s latest economic statement.
The province will eliminate the position of the French Language Services Commissioner and plans to build a French language university have also been scrapped. The Ford government says the moves are part of a plan to balance the budget.
But the decisions are not sitting well with everyone. Serge Miville, an assistant professor and the Franco-Ontarian history research chair at Laurentian University, is one of the authors of an editorial letter, which will be published in the Globe and Mail.
“If we start saying that budget cuts are a reason to take away these rights, where’s the line?” he says.
The editorial, titled ‘Francophobia’s Populist New Attire’, states Premier Doug Ford and Finance Minister, Vic Fedeli are “multiplying the attacks on historic francophone communities under the guise of fiscal restraint.”
Miville says it’s important to speak up.
“If nobody resists what’s happening right now, then what’s next?” he questions.
“If we don’t say no right now, that this is unacceptable, my fear is that we normalize phobia against the French language in Ontario.”