McGuinty Government Helping To Build New Campus For Collège Boréal In Timmins
Provincial Investment Will Expand French-Language Postsecondary
TIMMINS, ON, Aug. 29 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is expanding access to postsecondary education for French-language students in Northeastern Ontario by supporting the construction of a new Collège Boréal campus in Timmins, Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs announced today on behalf of Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
"Building a new Collège Boréal campus is a big win for Timmins," said Meilleur. "We're moving Ontario forward together by creating new opportunities for French-language postsecondary education in the northeast - so that our young people can study closer to home in French and get the skills they need for a bright and prosperous future."
The McGuinty government is financing a $7.5 Million contribution towards the $11.5 Million new Timmins campus for Collège Boréal. The new facilities will be built on the same site as Ecole secondaire catholique Thériault, the largest French-language secondary school in Ontario. The new campus will accommodate Boréal's 150 current Timmins students and provide space for new students and programs. Adult literacy and other community access programming will be offered through these new facilities. The government has increased its investment in French-language postsecondary education by 47 per cent to $72.1 Million annually since 2003-04.
"Collège Boréal would like to thank the Government of Ontario for its commitment to the francophone community," said Denis Hubert, President of Collège Boréal. "Today's announcement will ensure a continuum of French-language education which will result in increased enrolment and graduation rates amongst francophone students, a higher-skilled workforce for sustainable economic development in the Timmins region, an increased participation of at-risk youth and a better transition from secondary to postsecondary studies."
"This financial contribution is all the more significant for Collège Boréal since it is part of a formative project that involves, around a set of common issues, all of the francophone stakeholders in the Timmins area," said Georges Ansell, chair of Collège Boréal's Board of Governors.
There are 600 annual graduates from French-language secondary schools in northeastern Ontario between Temiskaming Shores and Hearst - half of them in Timmins - who will benefit from greater postsecondary opportunity in their region.
"The Conseil scolaire catholique de district des Grandes Rivières is grateful to the Ministries for the construction of a new campus in Timmins for Collège Boréal," said Isabelle Charbonneau, chair of the Conseil scolaire catholique de district des Grandes Rivières. "We are delighted that the Ministries are taking action to address the growing needs in postsecondary education of Catholic francophone students in Northeastern Ontario!"
"The announcement of a Collège Boréal campus opening in Timmins is excellent news for the francophone population of Ontario and in particular for students who will have the opportunity to pursue their studies in French," said Robert Poirier, chair of the Conseil scolaire de district du Nord-Est de l'Ontario. "On their behalf, we would like to thank the Ministries and the government for their efforts."
"We've made progress since our government started by adding 86,000 more students to Ontario's colleges and universities and increasing funding for French-language postsecondary education by 47 per cent to $72.1 Million," said Bentley. "But there is always more to do. That's why we're helping to build a new postsecondary campus in Timmins to create even more postsecondary opportunity."
Disponible en français
ENSURING GREATER ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY FRENCH-LANGUAGE
PROGRAMS FOR FRANCOPHONE POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS
As the province with the largest francophone community outside Quebec, Ontario has more than 100,000 French-language learners at all levels of education. In 2005-06, 16,700 students were enrolled in French-language postsecondary education, with more than 12,300 in the province's six bilingual universities and close to 4,400 in the two French-language colleges. Currently, there are about 100 different French-language programs at colleges and 150 at universities.
There are about 2,400 French-language secondary students, representing about 40 per cent of the high school students in northeastern Ontario. Collège Boréal's new campus will be located next to Ecole secondaire catholique Thériault - the largest French-language secondary program in Ontario.
In 2007-08, the Ontario government is increasing French-language postsecondary education funding by $18.94 million over 2003-04 to create new programs and courses, improve integration of services between institutions, expand student participation and enhance the quality of French-language postsecondary programs.
This funding includes $5.7 million for francophone access-related activities through the Access to Opportunities strategy. The McGuinty government is committing $20 million in 2007-08, rising to $55 million by 2009-10, to help postsecondary institutions deliver programs that improve access for francophones, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and those who would be the first in their families to attend college or university.
The Ontario government established an Advisory Committee on French-language Postsecondary Education in January 2006. This committee provides ongoing advice to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities on how to improve the participation and success of francophone students in French-language postsecondary education.
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has also established a French-Language Continued Learning Unit that will develop comprehensive strategic plans for French-language postsecondary education and training in Ontario. The strategy will include a detailed analysis of gaps in the current French-language postsecondary education and training system in Ontario and set specific program enhancement targets that will help guide future government investment.
These efforts support the government's commitment to French-language education beginning with the elementary and secondary levels and continued through the postsecondary level.
The McGuinty Government is committed to working with the federal government to ensure Ontario receives its fair share of funding under the federal Official Languages in Education Program.
Providing more access to quality French-language education for francophone students is the latest way the McGuinty government is working to provide opportunity for Ontario's students. Under the Reaching Higher Plan, the McGuinty government has achieved results:
- Funding 86,000 more student spaces compared to four years ago, a
22 percent increase;
- Doubling investment in student aid by 2009-10 to help more families
with the cost of higher education - including three times as many
grants benefiting 145,000 students this year;
- Investing 27 per cent more in colleges and universities in 2007-08
compared to 2004-05 - about $900 million more per year for more
faculty, staff, student services and equipment.
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
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For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Minister's Office, (416) 325-7215; Tanya Blazina, Communications Branch, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-2746; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892