The Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario (ACÉPO), which represents Ontario’s French-language public school boards, reacted strongly to Ontario Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan, who tabled the province’s budget in the Legislative Assembly at 4:00 PM on March 27, 2012.
ACÉPO President, Ronald Marion, stated firmly that while Ontario is primarily English-speaking, the province’s obligations to its Francophone community do not disappear when times get tough, adding that the courts have already ruled on these obligations.
French-language education in Ontario has a price. According to Mr. Marion, in recent years, the province has had to modify many grants in order to take the specificity of the Francophone community into account. Now is not the time, he said, for us to lose our hard-won educational services.
ACÉPO will look closely at the financial provisions that were announced with this budget, in order to determine their impact on its member school boards. ACÉPO is concerned that, in the name of efficiency, some of the measures will have a negative impact on the French-language public school boards’ ability to govern education, by and for Francophones.