Government of Ontario announces funding for bilingual education

York’s Glendon College took centre stage on Monday when the Province of Ontario made it the backdrop for a funding announcement related to French-language education at the postsecondary level. Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities Chris Bentley announced during the event that the government would provide more tools for success for Ontario’s 16,700 French-speaking postsecondary students, by funding expanded, high-quality French-language programming.

Left: Lorna R. Marsden (left), Kathleen Wynne and Chris Bentley

Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs Madeleine Meilleur and Education Minister and MPP for Don Valley West Kathleen Wynne joined Bentley in making the announcement. "The new $7.5 million investment by the McGuinty government in 2006-2007 will support new courses, enhance teaching tools and highlight francophone culture at Ontario’s French-language colleges and bilingual universities," said Bentley. "This includes $4 million as part of the government’s Access to Opportunities strategy to promote French-language college collaboration and broaden program offerings."

Glendon will receive approximately $740,000 from the new investments announced on Monday, building upon the almost $500,000 in Ontario government funding already announced for 2006-2007. The funds will enable Glendon to enhance and expand French-language programs, courses and cultural activities for its 2,200 students.

Bentley highlighted that the Glendon as the location for the event was appropriate given the campus’ bilingual nature and its collaboration with other bilingual postsecondary institutions, such as Collège Boréal and Ottawa University. Several high-level representatives from other Ontario postsecondary institutions offering French-language education were also present for the announcement.

"The value of a strong education, especially one that is available in a student’s first language, cannot be underestimated," said Meilleur. "This investment will provide more opportunities for francophone students to strive for and achieve excellence."

Wynne, MPP for the riding where Glendon is located, has been a strong advocate for French education and a long-standing supporter of Glendon College. "By investing in French-language education in Toronto, we are also strengthening the city’s heritage, diversity and cultural identity," she said.

York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden thanked the three ministers and the Ontario government for their continued support to postsecondary French-language education. "The rich tradition of French-language education at Glendon is based on its quality of programming, its highly-regarded faculty and a genuine commitment to promoting higher learning for French-speaking students," said Marsden. "We are grateful for the government’s financial support as well as its recognition of York as a unique contributor in the area of French-language study."