The governments of Canada and Ontario announce funding of more than $6.8 million for Saint Paul University in Ottawa

News release

OTTAWA, March 21, 2022

Our two official languages are a source of pride and a comparative advantage for Canada. The Government of Canada understands the importance of ensuring that all Canadians can receive an education in the official language of their choice. That is why it supports post-secondary institutions such as Saint Paul University, which plays a central role in the revitalization of Francophone communities in Canada.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced significant funding to modernize Saint Paul University. She was joined by the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament (Ottawa–Vanier); Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Official Languages; and Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre).

The Government of Canada is investing more than $3.4 million over 3 years for renovations to Guigues Hall. The Government of Ontario is also supporting the project through the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction (2020–2021 to 2022–2023), and Saint Paul University is providing $3.4 million over 2 years to this project.

The renovation project has the following objectives:

  • Create collaborative zones, state-of-the-art teaching spaces and a “social campus” with multiple informal social spaces
  • Consolidate academic offices and student services
  • Improve learning spaces, work spaces and the overall quality of the building
  • Reduce the University’s energy footprint

Today’s investment is in addition to the funding of more than $1 million announced in March 2020 to renovate the auditorium of Guigues Hall at Saint Paul University. These investments to modernize these facilities will help the University continue offering its students a quality education in French, ensuring the vitality of Franco-Ontarian culture.


“More than ever, our government is committed to preserving the vitality of the French language and Francophone communities in Canada. Today marks an important step that will give Franco-Ontarians and Francophiles access to top-quality education, right here in Ottawa. When we give students the tools they need to flourish in French, our whole society benefits.”

—The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“As the Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier and a proud Franco-Ontarian, I am delighted with the funding provided to Saint Paul University, which, since its founding in 1965, has served as a pillar and promoter of Francophone culture. Our institutions are essential for the promotion and development of our language communities. The major renovations that will be carried out thanks to funding from the governments of Canada and Ontario will allow Saint Paul University to offer a quality post-secondary learning environment to students and to the Francophone community in Ontario and beyond.”

—The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament (Ottawa–Vanier)

“As Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, I am delighted to see the funding provided to Saint Paul University, which has made an enormous difference in education for Francophone and minority communities in Canada ever since its founding. It welcomes a student body with diverse origins. This investment will allow the university to continue offering quality programs and services in premises that are modern and conducive to learning.”

—Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre)

“The Ontario government is proud to support the renovation of the Guigues Academic Building at Saint Paul University. By investing in restoring heritage projects like this one, we will continue to ensure French-speaking students in Ontario have access to modern, state-of-the-art facilities that enhance the overall learner experience, while also creating a collaborate hub that benefits the entire local community. “

—The Honourable Jill Dunlop, Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities

“Having strong roots in the Franco-Ontario community, we are committed to promoting activities in French on our campus. We are focusing our efforts on enriching Francophone communities in Ontario through education and the professional development of our student population. This funding will make it possible to maintain high-quality service for those who choose to pursue their studies in French, while promoting the growth of bilingualism in our country.”

—Chantal Beauvais, Rector, Saint Paul University

Quick facts

  • Rooted in strong traditions, Saint Paul University is fully aware of its special mission and potential. Its geographical location, its bilingual character, its affiliation with the University of Ottawa, and its competent and diverse teaching staff all contribute to the quality of the academic training it endeavours to provide.

  • In 2017, the University undertook major renovations to Guigues Hall, including the renovation of the ground and first floors with the construction of the Student Life Centre; the renovation and development of collaborative spaces, the computer lab, and the library and archive office spaces; and the renovation of the second-floor auditorium.

  • Budget 2021 provides $80 million over 2 years (2021–2022 and 2022–2023) to support the construction, renovation and development of educational and community spaces serving official-language minority communities. This funding is in addition to the $78.9 million over 10 years announced in Budget 2017 for community education infrastructure in those communities, and the $67.2 million over 5 years in the new Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023 for construction projects related to educational and cultural infrastructure in official-language minority communities.

  • Federal funding for this project is provided through the Official Languages Support Programs, whose overall goal is to enhance the vitality of English- and French-speaking minority communities and promote the English and French languages in Canadian society.

  • On March 1, 2022, the Government of Canada introduced a bill to modernize the Official Languages Act to reflect an evolving society. The bill aims to respond to the decline of French in Canada; to clarify and strengthen the part of the Official Languages Act dealing with the promotion of official languages; and to support official-language minority communities.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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