EDMONTON, MAY 20th 2020 – A week after launching the Sauvons Saint-Jean / Save Saint-Jean mobilization campaign, the ACFA would like to share an update with the community.
From the letter template put forward by the ACFA, more than 550 citizens have written to the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, and to the Minister of Advanced Education, Demetrios Nicolaides. The letters were also sent to the Minister responsible for the Francophone Secretariat, Leela Aheer, to the Parliamentary Secretary for the Alberta Francophonie, Laila Goodridge, and their local MLA, affecting 66 ridings in total.
A first town hall meeting also took place last night, allowing many participants to express themselves on this issue. Other meetings are planned, in French and English, in the coming weeks.
The ACFA is also continuing to meet with various leaders to make progress on this issue. In fact, a meeting with the Federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Mélanie Joly, also took place last Thursday.
« I am delighted with the support of the community and the messages of solidarity received, both in Alberta and across Canada … and even internationally. We have to keep up the pressure and demonstrate the significance of Campus Saint-Jean for our community and the whole country. I encourage all of you to take action. We need you! Earlier today, I wrote to Premier Jason Kenney to reiterate our request for a meeting. I am convinced that he understands the fundamental role of our French-language postsecondary institution for Alberta and Canada and I am optimistic that we will be able to find a solution for September 2020. »
Sheila Risbud, ACFA President
CALL TO ACTION
If you have not already done so, the ACFA invites members of the community to take part in the Save Saint-Jean campaign. In addition to sharing on social media, citizens who feel strongly about this issue are invited to take two concrete actions.
Write to the Premier of Alberta and the Minister of Advanced Education
Use the letter template provided and add a personalized paragraph to share your Campus Saint-Jean experience. Share the significance of the institution in your life/career. With just a few clicks, send your letter!
Attend a virtual town hall meeting
In collaboration with the Alberta branch of Canadian Parents for French, virtual townhall meetings will take place in the coming weeks in both French and English. These townhall meetings will allow you further understand the current situation at Campus Saint-Jean as well as share their wishes for their French-language postsecondary institution to continue to thrive. You can register now!
To reiterate, as a result of recent decisions made by the Government of Alberta, the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean is in an extremely precarious financial situation that could jeopardize the very existence of the only post-secondary French language institution in western Canada.
If Campus Saint-Jean cannot access reserve funds and does not obtain adequate funding from the Alberta Grant Campus or federal emergency assistance, the institution will be forced to cut 44 % of its course offerings for the 2020-2021 school year. This would represent a reduction of 180 courses out of a possible 409. For a small institution, this represents a significant loss of programs for the ongoing development and vitality of the Francophone community, in the worst-case scenario.
A FEW READINGS ON THIS TOPIC :
- L’Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise appuie la campagne pour sauver le Campus Saint-Jean, Radio-Canada Ici-Saskatchewan, Jessica L’Heureux
- Le Campus Saint-Jean, ce service essentiel pour les francophones, Onfr+, Sébastien Pierroz, Le Droit
- French Canadian association call for action to save U’ of A’s Saint-Jean Campus, Edmonton Journal, Jeff Labine
- Le Campus Saint-Jean : La ministre Joly prudente dans son soutien, Onfr+, Benjamin Vachet
- Entrevue de Sheila Risbud, Radio-Canada Ici-Alberta (La Croisée), François Joly.
- Une campagne pour sauver le Campus Saint-Jean, Radio-Canada Ici-Alberta, Sarah Xenos
- Online campaign «Sauvons Saint-Jean» mobilizes to flight budget cuts against Campus Saint-Jean, The Gateway, Khadra Ahmed
- Les franco-albertains appellent à l’aide pour sauver le Campus Saint-Jean, Onfr+, Benjamin Vachet
- La francophonie de l’Ouest menacée : « Sauvons Saint-Jean», Le Franco, Goeffrey Gaye
Since 1926, the ACFA has been the voice of the French-speaking community in Alberta. Its role is to promote the interests of the latter and ensure its overall development.
Pour information | Source :
Diane Fournier, Adjointe aux affaires publiques | Public Affair Assistant