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Old 05-11-2018, 08:52 AM
 
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As you might know, a French-language university (FLU) will be built in Toronto.

"The provincial government is finally moving forward with a plan to create Ontario’s first French-language university — likely in downtown Toronto."
"The Université de l'Ontario français Act was proclaimed on April 9, 2018. This is the final step in creating the university as a legal entity. Following this, program development can begin. Ontario plans to open the university and welcome the first students by 2020."

I'm vehemently opposed to this plan and think this is very bad. Here's why:

The French-language university in Toronto will draw away and "steal" Francophones from Québec, thus reducing the share of Francophones in Québec, thus leading to a further weakening of the French language in Québec and Canada.

In 2014, 70% of students coming tu study in Québec from the rest of Canada, where native Anglophones and 18% were Allophones and only 12% were Francophones.
In 2005 this share was 15% for francophones. So the influx of Francophones from the rest of Canada towards Québec is already steadily declining because of assimilation of francophones in the ROC and the FLU in Toronto will only reinforce this trend.

If Toronto is going to open a FLU, the share of Francophones coming from the rest of Canada is going to halve or even decline by more than 50%, because Ontario has the largest francophone population outside Québec and will rather opt for a FLU in Ontario than for FLUs in Québec.

Québec is the only province where French has an overall positive rentention rate; that means in other provinces more francophones give up French and turn into Anglophones than vice versa.

A FLU in Ontario is not going to improve the situation of Francophones in Ontario, it will only slow down a little bit the assimilation of francophones there and lead to anglicisation of Québécois students who will come to study at a FLU in Ontario, and diminish chances of Franco-Ontarians to go to a full French environment, which is necessary to secure the future of French.
Francophones in Toronto are exposed to an English-speaking evironment, they are exposed to a city that functions in English, even if they study in French there, they will be assimilated and turn into anglophones in the long-term.

In the past and present, Francophones from Ontario or elsewhere come to Québec to study at FLUs here, in Montréal, Sherbrooke or Gatineau or other cities, they are embedded into an evironment that functions in French also besides education, they improve their French here, some of them stay in Québec after their studies and help to raise the share of Francophones. But what will be in future? Once there will be a FLU in Ontario, they will more likely opt for it and be assimilated in an English urban evironment, instead of choosing Québec, the only real francophone province.
This FLU in downtown Toronto will be an attack on the future of French in Canada, it will draw francophone students into an English environment, especially since Toronto is a popular city that is used as a magnet. So, in the past, the francophones, especially the ones in eastern Ontario were opting for FLUs in Québec, in future they will more likely opt for Toronto in the west.

Only francophones in Québec remain francophones in the long-term and secure the future of French in Canada, while francophones outside Québec assimilate and turn English, even if French services are offered and provided. Yes, this even applies to Nouveau Brunswick, there people in the category 65+ are 35% French native speakers and 61% English native speakers, but in the youngest generation 0-9 years, only 25% are native French speakers and already 69% are native Anglophones, there's a clear trend towards English-assimilation, despite the fact that French services are offered in NB, even at university level. The Université de Moncton, the only French university in NB, is situated in an English-majority city in Nouveau Brunswick and draws francophone students from the mostly francophone North into the anglophones parts othe province, thus decreasing the share of young francophones in the North; who will then in the long-term assimilate into the English community of Moncton. I still don't understand why the only FLU in Nouveau Brunswick is not located in the francophone North of NB, instead in an anglophone part. It would be a much wiser choice to have it located in the North, where the majority of francophones lives but I guess this a very smart move of NB's anglophone elite to increase anglicisation of its province without making it so obvious. A similar situation will happen with the FLU in Toronto, only that Toronto is not French at all besides instruction at the FLU.

So please, dear Ontarian politicians, if you truly want to improve the situation of French in Canada, you should subsidize or give free traffic trickets for students who want tu study at a FLU in Québec, that's a much wiser choice. Also instead of creating a new FLU, I think it would be better to improve and, or expand the French programs of Université d'Ottawa.


What do you think? Are you in favor or against a French-language University in Ontario?


Sources:


Langue et éducation au Québec. 3, Enseignement universitaire / [Charles-Étienne Olivier ; (avec la collaboration de Yulia Presnukhina)]. Montréal: Office québécois de la langue française, 2017.

https://www.nbjobs.ca/sites/default/...s-language.pdf

https://www.thestar.com/news/queensp...niversity.html

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...ticle36110367/

https://news.ontario.ca/maesd/en/201...education.html

Last edited by QuebecOpec; 05-11-2018 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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I was an "adopted" Franco-Ontarian for a fairly long period of my life and many of my relatives still are, and my wife is 100% Franco-Ontarian (though she has now lived in Quebec for as long as she did in Ontario).


My view was always that Franco-Ontarians should have their own university (like the Acadians do) but I find that placing this university in the Toronto area is an idiotic move.


The Ontario francophone community in its historic bastions (the east and the northeast) is already having trouble maintaining itself so I think the interests of the community would be better served by shoring up educational options in those areas as opposed to trying to "pioneer" new francophone territory in Toronto - where this effort is basically doomed to fail, for all sorts of reasons.


So yes to a Franco-Ontarian university. It was about time. But it should have been built in Ottawa. Or maybe Sudbury.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
So yes to a Franco-Ontarian university. It was about time. But it should have been built in Ottawa. Or maybe Sudbury.
If Ottawa got a full FLU, it would significantly affect the bilingual Université d'Ottawa, which has a quite impressive share of French programs. I agree that anything in eastern Ontario would be a better option than Toronto and that Ottawa would be the best location. If Ottawa got a full FLU, the bilingual U. d'Ottawa would then likely become "very, very English" as a consequence. I think a full FLU would be better for Ottawa from a linguistic point of view, then again, because Ottawa is the capital, at least this city in Anglo-Canada should be representative for bilingualism in my opinion, this is why I think that no actions should be taken that would make the bilingual UDO less French. Right now, Ottawa-Gatineau has 1 English, 1 French and one bilingual university. Alternatively, there could be 2 English and 2 French universities. But I think it is the best option, to improve and expand French programs of UQO and UDO, instead of creating a new FLU.

Last edited by QuebecOpec; 05-11-2018 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by QuebecOpec View Post
If Ottawa got a full FLU, it would significantly affect the bilingual Université d'Ottawa, which has a quite impressive share of French programs. I agree that anything in eastern Ontario would be a better option than Toronto and that Ottawa would be the best location. Ottawa could get a full FLU, the bilingual U. d'Ottawa would then likely become "very, very English" as a consequence. I think a full FLU would be better for Ottawa than the blingual U.D.O.. Though, because Ottawa is the capital, at least this city in Anglo-Canada should be representative for bilingualism, this is why I think that bilingual UDO is the best option.
The bilingual University of Ottawa is not really doing its job satisfactorily for the Franco-Ontarian (FO) community. Anyone from that community who is not subservient to the institution for some reason (and a large proportion of the FO leadership actually) and who can speak freely will tell you this.


The percentage of students who are francophone has gone down from close to 70% in the 60s and 70s to between a quarter and a third today.


Many degree programs are advertised in Quebec, across Canada and even in the global francophonie as being offered all in French but as you move forward in your studies and fully committed to the program it's very common for you to be surprised with certain mandatory courses offered only in English, or French and English groups merged into an English only class because, of course, "all of the francophones speak English anyway".


This is dismissed by the university who says that they're doing francophones a favour by exposing them to English but if you are a Franco-Ontarian generally speaking you aren't lacking in exposure in English. It's probably your French you need to shore up.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
The bilingual University of Ottawa is not really doing its job satisfactorily for the Franco-Ontarian (FO) community. Anyone from that community who is not subservient to the institution for some reason (and a large proportion of the FO leadership actually) and who can speak freely will tell you this.

This is dismissed by the university who says that they're doing francophones a favour by exposing them to English but if you are a Franco-Ontarian generally speaking you aren't lacking in exposure in English. It's probably your French you need to shore up.
I understand. In this case it would have been the best decision not to built a new FLU in Toronto, but create a new FLU in Ottawa and let Université d'Ottawa (UDO) transform into University of Ottawa (English only), which is in its transition phase to "very, very English" anyway. This just confirms my initial thought, that bilingual universities don't work well for the language group whose language has a lower status.

I just wonder why does UQO only have 6300 students, and UQ à Chicoutimi has 6500? And UQAR even has the same number as UQO. (My numbers may be outdated now.) I mean Gatineau is the 4th largest city in Québec but it has only one-third the number of students as Sherbrooke? Could it be that UDO is luring many francophones from Gatineau and then anglicising them? Do francophones from Ottawa not attend UQO?
First and foremost, UQO should draw more Francophone students from the Ontario-Ottawa region.

That's very mean and not fair of UDO. Anglophones are always very creative when they have to find arguments why only English is offered. Of course, Franco-Ontarians will not need extra lessons in English, they are more than enough exposed to English and all people from the francophone should be offered real full French programs.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by QuebecOpec View Post
I understand. In this case it would have been the best decision not to built a new FLU in Toronto, but create a new FLU in Ottawa and let Université d'Ottawa (UDO) transform into University of Ottawa (English only), which is in its transition phase to "very, very English" anyway. .

This is what they did at one point (20 years ago?) with Ottawa's community college. It was called Algonquin College and was bilingual when I was a kid. Then they spun off a new francophone college from the anglo one, and called it La Cité collégiale. Algonguin College is now English only.


The way the Université de Moncton got created in the 60s is also similar to this, as it was born out of the old French branch of the University of New Brunswick which is today English only.
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by QuebecOpec View Post
I just wonder why does UQO only have 6300 students, and UQ à Chicoutimi has 6500? And UQAR even has the same number as UQO. (My numbers may be outdated now.) I mean Gatineau is the 4th largest city in Québec but it has only one-third the number of students as Sherbrooke? Could it be that UDO is luring many francophones from Gatineau and then anglicising them? Do francophones from Ottawa not attend UQO?
First and foremost, UQO should draw more Francophone students from the Ontario-Ottawa region.

.

The Gatineau and Outaouais region was historically very underdeveloped in terms of public institutions like universities, colleges, hospitals, etc. This is both the fault of the Quebec government and also of locals themselves IMO who generally had the attitude that this region was just as well to piggyback on Ottawa for a whole bunch of stuff. Even the civil law school for the Outaouais is located at the U of Ottawa - a holdover from this era. It costs 10-12,000 dollars a year to go there (higher Ontario tuition fees for a law degree to practice only in Quebec!) whereas if the law school was on the Gatineau side it would cost 3500.


So yes a city like Sherbrooke for example which has a significantly smaller population has a much more comprehensive university with medicine, engineering, law, etc. (and also more complete services in other areas as well).


There are still some people here who say that they'd still rather have access to what there is in Ottawa (which is often of a high quality) as opposed to having something on this side of the river that is going to be second-rate.


However, over the past 20-30 years people have started to see the limitations of depending on Ottawa for so much, and there are lots of efforts to try and build more of our own institutions. (Some people in Ottawa also aren't always keen on seeing our faces there all the time - though we do pay our way over there.)


The problems in health care are well known but sticking with education but still related to health care we are finally getting a satellite medical school here in about 2 years. This will help address our doctor shortage relative to Ottawa.


One of the pressure points on the education front is the growing difference between tuition in Ontario versus Quebec. Our young people are often caught between paying 2 or 3 three times as much in Ottawa, or leaving for Montreal, Sherbrooke or Quebec City (and paying to live there, away from their parents), whereas if we had full programs here in Gatineau they could save by living at home and pay the lower Quebec tuition rates.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I was an "adopted" Franco-Ontarian for a fairly long period of my life and many of my relatives still are, and my wife is 100% Franco-Ontarian (though she has now lived in Quebec for as long as she did in Ontario).


My view was always that Franco-Ontarians should have their own university (like the Acadians do) but I find that placing this university in the Toronto area is an idiotic move.


The Ontario francophone community in its historic bastions (the east and the northeast) is already having trouble maintaining itself so I think the interests of the community would be better served by shoring up educational options in those areas as opposed to trying to "pioneer" new francophone territory in Toronto - where this effort is basically doomed to fail, for all sorts of reasons.


So yes to a Franco-Ontarian university. It was about time. But it should have been built in Ottawa. Or maybe Sudbury.
Factor that Toronto is the aviation/transit hub of not just Ontario but the country. There is no city with as much flight connectivity between it and the rest of Canada than Toronto - that is even more so the case within Ontario. It may make more sense to place a university in a city with the most transit connections - Busiest airport in the country/Province, busiest transportation facility (Union) in the country/Province etc - everything in Ontario transit wise is anchored in Toronto..

Students would probably also prefer the amenities of a big city as opposed to Sudbury or even Ottawa. Ottawa has a lot of flights - between Toronto and Montreal... Heck if you want to fly to France or other French countries, Toronto is most the connected to the French world in the country (outside YUL of course), so I think there is a lot of hub sense to place this university in T.O.. With the introduction of Primera Airlines coming this summer to Toronto Pearson - there are more flights to Paris from Toronto than ever before. No less than 4 airlines now serve France from Toronto - Air Canada, Air France, Air Transat and Primera Air - try competing with that Sudbury, Timmins or Ottawa lol

http://www.travelweek.ca/news/new-fl...mera-air-2018/

Not to be overlooked is year round scheduled service to Brussels with Brussels airlines.. So many amazing opportunities to hop on a plane and practice your French and learn about new French cultures right from your city of study... The global French connections are limitless from Toronto.

Last edited by fusion2; 05-11-2018 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:52 PM
 
518 posts, read 253,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
The Gatineau and Outaouais region was historically very underdeveloped in terms of public institutions like universities, colleges, hospitals, etc. This is both the fault of the Quebec government and also of locals themselves IMO who generally had the attitude that this region was just as well to piggyback on Ottawa for a whole bunch of stuff. Even the civil law school for the Outaouais is located at the U of Ottawa - a holdover from this era. It costs 10-12,000 dollars a year to go there (higher Ontario tuition fees for a law degree to practice only in Quebec!) whereas if the law school was on the Gatineau side it would cost 3500.


So yes a city like Sherbrooke for example which has a significantly smaller population has a much more comprehensive university with medicine, engineering, law, etc. (and also more complete services in other areas as well).


There are still some people here who say that they'd still rather have access to what there is in Ottawa (which is often of a high quality) as opposed to having something on this side of the river that is going to be second-rate.


However, over the past 20-30 years people have started to see the limitations of depending on Ottawa for so much, and there are lots of efforts to try and build more of our own institutions. (Some people in Ottawa also aren't always keen on seeing our faces there all the time - though we do pay our way over there.)


The problems in health care are well known but sticking with education but still related to health care we are finally getting a satellite medical school here in about 2 years. This will help address our doctor shortage relative to Ottawa.


One of the pressure points on the education front is the growing difference between tuition in Ontario versus Quebec. Our young people are often caught between paying 2 or 3 three times as much in Ottawa, or leaving for Montreal, Sherbrooke or Quebec City (and paying to live there, away from their parents), whereas if we had full programs here in Gatineau they could save by living at home and pay the lower Quebec tuition rates.
Is Gatineau a real city and regional centre or just subordinate to Ottawa in all spheres?
For example, Saguenay is officially a city of 145 000 inhabitants but in reality it is only an amalgamation of Chicoutimi (68 000) and Jonquière (60 000 inhabitants) and some other villages, without a city centre that is typical for a city of 145 000. Lévis has also 145 000 inhabitants but it is not a real city either, just a fusion of (suburb) towns without a real centre and opposite to Québec City. Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke are real cities, since they are centered around a core. A whole bunch of Canadian cities has extremely oversized city limits like Rouyn-Noranda, that is two times larger than Luxembourg which makes the city population appear larger than it actually is, this makes cities difficult to compare.

Does Gatineau have an appropriate city centre for a city of 250 000 inhabitants or is it just a francophone suburb of Ottawa?
I remember having talked to someone once who had migrated to Montréal. He told me that he is from a "small town", I didn't ask again where exactly he was from. After some time, he told me he grew up in Gatineau... I didn't take it so serious, I just thought; Gatineau is a big city, and I thought that his judgement was just an exaggeration, like when New Yorkers refer to San Diego, Frankfurt, Dublin, Calgary as towns. Now, however I do wonder. I always thought of Gatineau as a full regional centre, right next to a larger regional centre.

I think Gatineau should use its geographic position and become the French university hub for the eastern Franco-Ontarian community and Ottawa-Gatineau region. It's not tolerable that as of yet, Université d'Ottawa has more francophone students than UQO and isn't offering them complete French programs. I have the feeling that UDO is to blame for the lack of and unutilized potential of a proper Gatineau university.

Is this satellite campus, the extraregional campus of McGill? Will it be in English?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Factor that Toronto is the aviation/transit hub of not just Ontario but the country. There is no city with as much flight connectivity between it and the rest of Canada than Toronto - that is even more so the case within Ontario. It may make more sense to place a university in a city with the most transit connections - Busiest airport in the country/Province, busiest transportation facility (Union) in the country/Province etc - everything in Ontario transit wise is anchored in Toronto..

Students would probably also prefer the amenities of a big city as opposed to Sudbury or even Ottawa. Ottawa has a lot of flights - between Toronto and Montreal... Heck if you want to fly to France or other French countries, Toronto is most the connected to the French world (outside YUL of course), so I think there is a lot of hub sense to place this university in T.O.. With the introduction of Primera Airlines coming this summer to Toronto Pearson - there are more flights to Paris from Toronto than ever before. No less than 4 airlines now serve France from Toronto - Air Canada, Air France, Air Transat and Primera Air - try competing with that Sudbury, Timmins or Ottawa lol
I totally agree that Toronto will use its cosmopolitan big city status to lure students and that it will - no doubt - overtrump Ottawa and Sudbury.
However, the point is, that at least Ajack and me, think that the Québec-Ontario border region is the best place for such a university because it is only there where the French language has at least some significant presence. The (official) purpose of the university is to serve the Franco-Ontarian community, it is made for the Franco-Ontarian community.

Honestly, I forecast that the majority of students at this FLU - in the end - will be from Québec and from francophone countries, and not from Ontario itself. In the beginning, they will try to attract Franco-Ontarians and pretty soon they will realize that they have failed in doing so and only a low number of Franco-Ontarians will opt for this FLU. In the second phase they will attract students from Québec and other francophone countries to compensate for the low number of Franco-Ontarian students.
Franco-Ontarians in Central and Western Ontario are already in a transition phase into English-mostly. Most of them have been to English school and can better write in English than in French. Academic French is difficult and I can only hardly imagine that they will prefer Academic French over Academic English. Even within Québec there is a shockingly high number of francophones who cannot properly write in French and don't meet the criteria of Academic French, I just can't imagine that many Franco-Ontarians will be fine with Academic French. Moreover, on Montréal Island only 0,9% of those who went to English school, later attend French CEGEP, (the number is 22% vice versa for English CEGEP), despite French being taught at English schools. So, I just assume that over 95% of Franco-Ontarians who went to English school, will show no interest in attending FLU.

The FLU in Toronto is going to flop hard and turn into a disastrous project like Mirabel Airport. I'm not saying it will fail to lure students but it will fail in being a FLU for the Franco-Ontarian community. Probably that's also the reason why Toronto was chosen in first place.
The Franco-Ontarian community is just used as a pretext to built a new FL university, those responsible probably already know that and will primarily cater for Québec and France and the African upper class, and therefore chose a city with perfect infrastructure.
We will experience the absurd situation in future, that there will be a French unversity in Toronto, that will be mostly attended by francophones from outside Ontario, this will reflect the reality, that Toronto is as English as London, and that French is an artificially preserved language in Toronto - imported from the francophone world - with no significance within the local community. Toronto won't make new francophones, it will only absorb francophones.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by QuebecOpec View Post

I totally agree that Toronto will use its cosmopolitan big city status to lure students and that it will - no doubt - overtrump Ottawa and Sudbury.
However, the point is, that at least Ajack and me, think that the Québec-Ontario border region is the best place for such a university because it is only there where the French language has at least some significant presence. The (official) purpose of the university is to serve the Franco-Ontarian community, it is made for the Franco-Ontarian community.

Honestly, I forecast that the majority of students at this FLU - in the end - will be from Québec and from francophone countries, and not from Ontario itself. In the beginning, they will try to attract Franco-Ontarians and pretty soon they will realize that they have failed in doing so and only a low number of Franco-Ontarians will opt for this FLU. In the second phase they will attract students from Québec and other francophone countries to compensate for the low number of Franco-Ontarian students.
Franco-Ontarians in Central and Western Ontario are already in a transition phase into English-mostly. Most of them have been to English school and can better write in English than in French. Academic French is difficult and I can only hardly imagine that they will prefer Academic French over Academic English. Even within Québec there is a shockingly high number of francophones who cannot properly write in French and don't meet the criteria of Academic French, I just can't imagine that many Franco-Ontarians will be fine with Academic French. Moreover, on Montréal Island only 0,9% of those who went to English school, later attend French CEGEP, (the number is 22% vice versa for English CEGEP), despite French being taught at English schools. So, I just assume that over 95% of Franco-Ontarians who went to English school, will show no interest in attending FLU.

The FLU in Toronto is going to flop hard and turn into a disastrous project like Mirabel Airport. I'm not saying it will fail to lure students but it will fail in being a FLU for the Franco-Ontarian community. Probably that's also the reason why Toronto was chosen in first place.
The Franco-Ontarian community is just used as a pretext to built a new FL university, those responsible probably already know that and will primarily cater for Québec and France and the African upper class, and therefore chose a city with perfect infrastructure.
We will experience the absurd situation in future, that there will be a French unversity in Toronto, that will be mostly attended by francophones from outside Ontario, this will reflect the reality, that Toronto is as English as London, and that French is an artificially preserved language in Toronto - imported from the francophone world - with no significance within the local community. Toronto won't make new francophones, it will only absorb francophones.
I don't see things in as fatalistic terms as y'all do. I think if the university attracts a variety of French students from all walks of life and from inside the Province, the country and internationally it will bring French students together in an environment that is incredibly diverse. They can actually share their culture with the people of Toronto who have always been welcoming to different people. French people from Quebec, Africa and Europe would be no different. Just like our Jamaicans, Indians, Flips, Chinese, Portuguese, hispanics etc etc etc - we will love them and accept them. I think this university will attract many from Toronto who want to learn and absorb the French language and various French cultures. I mean, Ottawa is right across the border from Quebec - they have limitless opportunities - just like cross the bridge - duh! However the thought of bringing French into a more prominent role in our largest and most diverse city connected to not just Quebec but the world seems very appealing. Whoever factored Toronto as the lead city was definitely visionary and sees the big picture.

So this doomed to failure stuff is over the tops chum de gars.. Stop being so negative and living in the past.. Let us look to the future with open eyes and positive thoughts about what this marriage of language and cultures will bring. I mean god - more people live in my city block in Etobicoke than Sudbury zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Last edited by fusion2; 05-11-2018 at 09:23 PM..
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