Letter to Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Carolyn Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs, from Monique Ménard, Présidente du Consortium pour les élèves du nord de l’Ontario (CÉNO)
(Sudbury–March 5, 2021)
[Mr. and Madam Minister] :
We are aware of Laurentian University’s precarious situation and the financial restructuring it must undertake in order to continue to offer professional training programs to Francophone students in the North.
As an organization that provides specialized services to students attending the six (6) francophone school boards in Northern Ontario, we look to this institution to train professionals who will become part of our team. Over the past three years, we have recruited five (5) new graduates and eight (8) former graduates from various programs at the University. In addition, CÉNO is entering into service agreements with the University’s speech-language pathology clinic to meet the mentoring requirements of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and to provide assessment and intervention services to some students.
We are very concerned about the potential impact of a financial restructuring on programs, particularly on francophone programs which would surely be reduced due to the limited number of students enrolled.
CÉNO is already experiencing recruitment challenges. People trained in the south and east of the province migrate very little to the north. Imagine the impact of cuts to training programs in Northern Ontario! The result would be a shortage of Francophone professionals, a deterioration of services and an increase in the vulnerability of our children, our families and our communities.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Consortium pour les élèves du nord de l’Ontario, I implore you to find solutions to ensure the continuation of French-language professional education programs at Laurentian University.