Ontario to create province’s first French-only university

The Franco-Ontarian flag flies in Ottawa, November 18, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Francis Vachon

TORONTO – A French-language university is one step closer to reality in Ontario as the Liberal government says it will introduce legislation to create one.

The provincial government is accepting key recommendations from a report by the French-language University Planning Board.

The location isn’t yet determined, but the university would be intended to serve central and southwestern Ontario, the areas with the fastest growing Francophone populations.

Ontario is home to 611,500 Francophones.

READ MORE: Commissioner wants government services available in French in all of Ontario

Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews calls the announcement a tremendous step forward, saying it will provide access to high-quality French-language university education.

The government says the university would be the first of its kind in the province, though there are currently two publicly funded French-language colleges and nine universities at which students can study in French.

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Francophone Affairs Minister Marie-France Lalonde says Francophone culture and the French language have always been essential to Ontario’s identity and prosperity.

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