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College des Grands Lacs

July 4, 2006 Thank you for your support: letter from President Leah Casselman to supporters in the community

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 of supporters.

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.


March 8, 2005 Members of the francophone community met Feb. 12 to reestablish a college in the Toronto region.

 Darnace Tourou (l) and Mikhael Missakabo are on the "Notre College" organizing committee formed Feb. 12 from members of the francophone community in central and south -west Ontario. The aim is to re-establish a college run by and for francophones in the centre and south-west. 

Members of the community attending the Feb. 12 meeting in Toronto expressed opinions and asked questions. The group, called "Notre College" hopes to organize other meetings around the province to rally community support for a college to replace Collège des Grands Lacs, closed in 2001 by the Harris government.


March 7, 2005  Open letter -- Leah Casselman asks the Minister of Francophone Affairs to reestablish a French language college in Toronto

January 27, 2005 OPSEU continues fight for rights of francophones: Liberals caught defending "illegal" Tory decision


Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 100 Lesmill Rd. Toronto, ON M3B 3P8  (416) 443-8888     


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