July 4, 2006
Thank you for your support: letter from
President Leah Casselman to supporters in the
July 5, 2005 Collège des Grands Lacs decision is wrong, says Casselman: Union examines its options after court setback
June 29, 2005
News Release Notre
Collège reveals community coalition supporting OPSEU Local
272's fight to reestablish a French college. Read the list
April 19, 2005 Francophones lodge human rights complaint against colleges ministry in Collège des Grands Lacs case
March 22, 2005 Sign the bilingual on-line petition sponsored by the community group "Notre Collège" (note: this link will open a separate browser window)
OPSEU supports community campaign to restore Toronto's French-language college
Initially there were three French colleges in Ontario's community college system. Because of neglect by the Harris government, Collège des Grands Lacs, serving Toronto and central and south-west Ontario, never received adequate support and was subsequently allowed to be dismantled in 2001.
When CGL was closed, OPSEU faculty and support staff lost their employment. The union asked for a court injunction to stop the closing. Later, with community support, we demanded a judicial review on the constitutional principle of minority rights as outlined in the Hopital Montfort case.
Although College des Grands Lacs was of comparatively recent vintage, it was still an essential element of the French language community. We argue that it was closed illegally and unconstitutionally.
When the Liberals were elected, we never suspected they would continue to support the Harris government's decision to close down CGL. Nor did we expect a Liberal government to chance being on the wrong side of a second landmark decision for francophone rights in Ontario, a second Montfort.
Toronto's francophone community is the most diverse and fastest growing in Ontario. College des Grands Lacs (CGL) served roughly 50-70 per cent students of colour. So we seek not only the rights of francophones, but also equity for francophone workers and students of colour.
In February 2005, a group of Toronto and Niagara Region francophones met to work towards the goal of a new college, perhaps with a new name, certainly with a new administration, run by and for the francophones of their region. OPSEU is actively working with this group.