French in Ontario: NDP statement on Doug Ford's spending cuts

François Choquette, NDP Critic for Official Languages, made the following statement: 

"Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s decision to eliminate the Office of the French-Language Services Commissioner and cancel plans for a French-Language university represents a direct and unacceptable attack on our official languages.

This purely ideological decision is a bitter disappointment for the Franco-Ontarian community, which is extremely worried about the negative impacts it could suffer. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has an obligation to protect official language communities across the country, should do everything he can to convince Mr. Ford to reconsider his decision. If he doesn’t, what is the message he is sending to the other provinces? Could we see other jurisdictions trying to renounce their obligations?

Mr. Ford says he made his decisions to save money, but his explanations do not hold up. The Franco-Ontarian community brings a socio-economic advantage for Ontario and the expertise developed by the Office of the French-Language Services Commissioner cannot be easily replaced. The only thing the Conservative government in Ontario will achieve with these cuts is ineffective penny pinching.

The Ontario Premier is showing a lack of vision and should not go ahead with this decision. The health of our official languages and the Francophonie in Ontario are at stake."