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Press release
10 August 2020

Francophone Campus Threatened in Alberta : Quebec’s Official Opposition Supports Saint-Jean Campus

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All of the Quebec Liberal Party MNAs are reiterating their unfailing support to francophones from Western Canada who are concerned about a weakening or, worse yet, the potential disappearance of the Saint-Jean Campus. It is the only French-language university training centre in Western Canada and is currently threatened by a restructuring of Alberta University.

The Saint-Jean Campus represents an essential service for Alberta and Canada’s Francophonie. Bolstered by its 112-year history, it is an important pillar for one of the rare historic communities in Western Canada where over one third of the current population still speaks French.

The Official Opposition is once again calling on the Alberta government to find a durable solution to preserve this gem that trains teachers from all of the French-language schools in Alberta and the neighbouring provinces, and that offers and an invaluable contribution to the richness of Canadian society as a whole.

The elected officials from the Quebec Liberal Party are also urging the Quebec Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie, Ms. Sonia LeBel, to send a strong message to her Albertan counterparts on behalf of the Quebecois people in favour of concrete actions to safeguard the Saint-Jean Campus.

The possible disappearance of the Saint-Jean Campus, the only Francophone campus west of Manitoba, would do great harm to Canada’s Francophonie and that is why we must all demonstrate solidarity once again and send a strong message outside of Quebec so Francophone academic institutions stop being slashed. It is time for the Legault government to be a true defender of the French fact in Canada and to stand up for the language rights of francophones outside of Quebec. We ask his Minister of Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie to put an end to her silence and deign to take an interest in the preservation of our language. We all expect action from her and we hope that this will translate into real political will as a sign of solidarity with the Saint-Jean Campus.

–Ms. Dominique Anglade, MNA representing Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne and Leader of the Official Opposition

Defending minority language rights has been a leitmotif throughout my career, so I am very concerned by that the only university campus in Western Canada is being targeted by such cuts. The Saint-Jean Campus, which is in some ways the backbone of Alberta’s Francophonie, is experiencing an increase in its Francophone and bilingual student population, including an international Francophone population.

–Mr. David Birnbaum, MNA representing D’Arcy-McGee and Official Opposition Critic for Canadian Francophonie and Canadian Intergovernmental Relations