The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announce more than $7.1 million in funding for the University of Regina’s La Cité universitaire francophone and Collège Mathieu
REGINA, July 29, 2022
In order to support official-language minority communities and the vitality of the French language, it is essential to invest in the Francophone education system, particularly post-secondary institutions. These institutions are essential to the development of Francophone communities in Canada, and they improve the quality of French-language education. That is why the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have joined forces to support Fransaskois post-secondary institutions.
To support the construction, renovation and development of post-secondary educational spaces and increase the availability of programs that serve official-language minority communities, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister for Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today announced $7.1 million in funding for the Fransaskois community. The Minister was joined by the Honourable Gordon Wyant, Minister of Advanced Education for Saskatchewan.
More specifically, the funding is for three projects related to post-secondary education in French in Saskatchewan.
The first project involves the stabilization and consolidation of Francophone post-secondary programs at the University of Regina’s La Cité universitaire francophone and Collège Mathieu in Saskatchewan. This project aims to increase the number of programs, courses and services offered and to promote the development of new programs and courses. The project has two components: university education and college education. The university component is provided by La Cité universitaire francophone, and the college component by Collège Mathieu.
This project is made possible by $3,590,000 in funding allocated by the Government of Canada in Budget 2021 to support high-quality post-secondary education in the minority language. The Government of Saskatchewan supports this project.
Funding will also be used for the renovation of De Mazenod Hall at Collège Mathieu, which will include restoration of classrooms, conference rooms and a library. The building will also undergo additional upgrades, including repairs to the drainage, ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems.
The Government of Canada is contributing a total of $1,060,000 to this project.
Finally, both governments will support the modernization of classrooms, meeting rooms and community spaces at the University of Regina’s La Cité universitaire francophone. This infrastructure project will modernize the spaces at La Cité universitaire in order to provide a quality teaching environment and meet the growing demand of the Fransaskois community. The spaces will be renovated with a view to hosting community cultural activities. Equipment to allow hybrid teaching, distance learning and simultaneous translation services will be installed. This project will improve the student population’s learning environment and create new opportunities for collaboration with the Francophone community through larger and more modern community spaces.
The Government of Canada is providing $133,525 for this project. The Government of Saskatchewan also supports the project.
The three projects are funded through the Canada–Saskatchewan Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction 2019–20 to 2022–23, which is made possible largely through the new investments provided in Budget 2021.
“I am delighted to announce some key investments for the Fransaskois community today. Our funding goes beyond the renovation of these buildings; it is also intended to strengthen post-secondary institutional capacity and improve services to Saskatchewan’s Francophone minority community. Our current and future students will be able to benefit from a quality French-language education through a variety of programs, courses and services, while studying in modern facilities that support their academic success.”
—The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister for Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
“Saskatchewan is pleased to support French-language programming offered through our Francophone post-secondary education institutions. It is essential that post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan are able to offer appropriate learning environments and superior programs that meet the emerging needs of French-language students.”
—The Honourable Gordon Wyant, Minister of Advanced Education for Saskatchewan
“The funding announced today is a clear indication of the federal government’s commitment to supporting the development of French in Saskatchewan, given our minority-language context. We are grateful for these investments, which will permit the establishment of university programs and several partnerships with faculties at the University of Regina and other Francophone institutions across the country. The ultimate goal of these French-language programs is to ensure the multifaceted development of the Francophone community. Without this support, we would not be able to fulfill our mandate.”
—Emmanuel Aito, Director, La Cité universitaire francophone
“The cooperation between the federal government (through the Department of Canadian Heritage) and the Saskatchewan government with respect to the funding granted to Collège Mathieu demonstrates their clear support of the stabilization and consolidation of the existing programs of study offered by this century-old institution, while also allowing for the renovation of the De Mazenod building, which will eventually house well-equipped classrooms as well as administrative and community spaces. The post-secondary programs offered in French at the college level should be further strengthened and stabilized by this substantial financial commitment, so that our institution, whose programming has been expanding for a number of years now, can fulfill its mission of training Francophones and Francophiles from Saskatchewan and even elsewhere in the country.”
—René Archambault, Chair of the Board of Directors, Collège Mathieu
La Cité universitaire francophone constitutes the main hub for French-language university programming, research and services offered at the University of Regina and across the province. Its mission is to fulfill the university education needs of Saskatchewan’s Francophones, whatever their first language.
Collège Mathieu, established in 1918, is the only French-language technical and professional educational institution in Saskatchewan. Collège Mathieu and the Le Lien centre, located in Dubreuil Hall (the former library), are primarily dedicated to providing post-secondary education at the college level and to disseminating French-language cultural and educational resources.
Budget 2021 allocated $121 million over three years (2021–22 to 2023–24) to support high-quality minority-language post-secondary education. These new investments will be provided primarily through existing intergovernmental cooperation mechanisms to assist provinces and territories in addressing pressing needs to help stabilize the minority-language post-secondary sector.
The Government of Canada is providing this funding through the Development of Official-Language Communities Program (Minority Language Education component and Infrastructure Projects component), whose overall objective is to enhance the vitality of English- and French-speaking minority communities and promote English and French in Canadian society.
On March 1, 2022, the Government of Canada introduced an enhanced bill for substantive equality among Canada’s official languages to adapt the Official Languages Act to a changing society. Among other objectives, this bill aims to respond to the decline of French in the country; clarify and strengthen the part of the Official Languages Act concerning the promotion of official languages; and support official-language minority communities.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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