Law in trouble: Mulroney “very disappointed”, but no help from Ontario yet
Ontario’s Minister of Francophone Affairs Caroline Mulroney said she was “very disappointed” to learn that Le Droit newspaper was in trouble, but did not want to confirm whether the Ford government would help the newspaper .
M me Mulroney acknowledged the centrality of law to Franco-Ontarians, during an announcement Tuesday morning for the Carrefour Orleans health. His government has announced an investment of up to $ 75 million in this project that will bring health services under one roof.
During this announcement, Ms. Mulroney spoke about the importance of the Montfort Hospital, which will be part of the project, for the Francophone community. The Minister of Francophone Affairs simply replied that she would “reflect on the fact that ( Le Droit ) is a pillar of La Francophonie, and in terms of government actions, it will take a little while to reflect on that”.
Ms. Mulroney refrained from commenting further on the issue.
Attorney and strong advocate for language rights Ronald Caza says the Ontario government has the programs and tools to help the newspaper. “It is absolutely important and essential that the government look at and use as a model what the Quebec government has done.”
President of the Montfort Hospital Foundation, Mr. Caza underlines the key role played by Le Droit in the survival of Montfort Hospital. “It was very important that the entire community, not just from Ontario, but from all over Canada, be aware of what Montfort was going through, and it was the newspaper Le Droit that made sure that this message- there is propagated. ”
According to him, the Ford government would send an important message to Franco-Ontarians if it decided to support the only Francophone newspaper in the province. “An announcement by the government that they will help meet the financial needs of Le Droit will send a message to all Franco-Ontarians that it is worthwhile to continue making efforts to preserve our language and our culture.”
Mr. Caza also believes that the role played by Le Droit in Ontario is even greater than that played by Quebec newspapers. “In Quebec, it is to ensure that communities maintain their newspapers. For us, it is to ensure that we can continue to live in French and survive in a province where we are a minority. We need Le Droit newspaper , and the government needs to play a role in helping it survive. ”
The mayor of Ottawa pessimistic
For Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, the difficulties at Le Droit are “very bad news, not only for the employees, but for the entire population of the City of Ottawa and Gatineau”.
“It’s really sad if we lose this newspaper, because it’s the only voice for the francophone community.”
Watson says the City of Ottawa does not have the capacity to provide subsidies to the newspaper, and he doubts the Ford government will do anything. “I’m not optimistic that the Ford government will help a French newspaper, unfortunately because they do not have a very good positive history with the Francophone community, with the Montfort story, and certainly when it canceled the francophone university. So I’m not an optimist that the province will help with funding or a grant. ”