Official Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer calls for a meeting with Justin Trudeau to discuss the linguistic crisis in Ontario, asking the Prime Minister to make a commitment to support Franco-Ontarians.
“The time has come for you to move from words to action by making a firm commitment to Franco-Ontarians […] You have the power to act,” writes Scheer in a letter he sent Monday at the Prime Minister’s Office.
For a week, the storm is raging. To save money, Doug Ford’s government axed the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner in Ontario and abandoned the francophone university project.
The wave of protest was not limited to Ontario’s borders. Reactions were strong among Francophones in the country, as well as in Quebec. The dispute has been transported to the federal government, where Liberals and Conservatives have been fighting for days.
The concessions of the Progressive Conservatives of Ontario last Friday failed to calm the grumbling of the Franco-Ontarians.
“In your place, I would not hesitate for a second to ensure that the federal government is a partner with the Ontario government in all projects that will support the development of French in Ontario,” says Scheer.
It argues that Canada has a “duty … to ensure that equivalent services are offered to Francophones and Anglophones in minority situations throughout its territory”.
The federal Conservative leader took the opportunity to criticize Mr. Trudeau and his ministers for manipulating the crisis to score political points against him, unjustly associating him, in his opinion, the cuts of Doug Ford, his political ally.
“Unfortunately, your government has decided to use a partisan, moralizing and divisive tone on this issue. You should know that protecting Canada’s founding languages is one of those issues that politicians should never be partisan about, “the letter reads.