Centre Jules-Léger to be Governed By and For Francophones
Province to Introduce Legislation that Would Transfer Centre Jules-Léger to Francophone Boards
Ontario intends to introduce legislation this fall that would, if passed, transfer governance of Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) to the 12 French-language school boards (FLSB), to ensure that francophone students with special needs get the support they need to achieve their full potential.
Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, joined by Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Francophone Affairs, and Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre, was at Centre Jules-Léger in Ottawa today to announce the key highlights of the proposed legislation. If passed, the legislation would:
- Transfer CJL governance from the Ministry of Education to francophone community members who are served by CJL.
- Establish a structure that is governed by and for francophones by creating a new Centre Jules-Léger Consortium (CJLC) of the 12 FLSBs with an equal number of public and Catholic French-language trustees to operate the schools of CJL.
- Give the CJLC the same duties and powers of a French-language district school board, as outlined in the Education Act (except where the unique mandate of the CJL would require modifications).
Under this proposal, the Centre Jules-Léger would continue its current mandate as a provincial and demonstration school, providing French-language education and services for students who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, blind or low vision, deafblind and students with severe learning disabilities.
In early 2016, Ontario consulted with CJL students, parents, staff, French-language education and Franco-Ontarian community partners to explore ways to best support student achievement and well-being. The proposed changes respond to recommendations in the 2015 Investigation Report by the French Language Services Commissioner, which recommended that CJL should be governed "by and for francophones." Ontario remains committed to supporting the programs and services offered by all provincial and demonstration schools.
Supporting the well-being of students, educators and staff is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Currently, CJL is the sole French-language establishment in Ontario that provides school residential services and preschool services aimed at Francophone students who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, deafblind, or have learning disabilities, and their families.
- The Ministry of Education is currently responsible for the direct operation of CJL.
- The provincial school, demonstration school and resource services of Centre Jules-Léger serve more than 400 francophone elementary and secondary students and their families annually.
- According to the 2016 Census, there are now over 622,000 Franco-Ontarians, which represents the largest French-speaking population in the country outside of Québec.
“The proposed legislation would provide students with special education needs with support that will prepare them for school and life. The new CJL Consortium would be governed by francophones for francophones and is in line with Ontario’s commitment to equity. These next steps bring us closer to achieving our vision where all Ontario students have the tools required to succeed.”
“I am pleased that the proposed legislation will allow French-language school boards to oversee the Centre Jules-Leger in Ottawa and ensure francophone students can preserve their cultural identity and be supported by programs and services that best meet their needs.”
“The transfer of governance of Centre Jules-Léger represents a major step forward for our community, our students and their parents. This action demonstrates our commitment to building a high quality and performing French-language education system and providing Franco-Ontarians with the tools they need to ensure their vitality and sustainability.”