The Commissioner calls for changes to facilitate the transfer of school properties and land between school boards
COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR CHANGES TO FACILITATE THE TRANSFER OF
SCHOOL PROPERTIES AND LAND BETWEEN SCHOOL BOARDS
TORONTO, June 28, 2011 – Ontario’s French Language Services Commissioner is asking the provincial government to implement legislative and regulatory changes that would facilitate the transfer, between school boards, of unused land and properties declared surplus. The Commissioner’s request is contained in a document that was published today entitled Investigation Report — French-language schools in the Greater Toronto Area: When the most elementary becomes secondary.
The report stems from a series of complaints from parents citing a lack of French-language schools in Toronto, particularly at the secondary level. According to these parents, this situation forces them to choose between a long commute to often overcrowded French language schools or transferring their children to the English sector.
“Our investigation has confirmed that the number of French-language schools in Toronto is proportionally inferior to the Francophone population,” said Commissioner François Boileau.
“This situation is particularly frustrating for families living in neighbourhoods where there are available surplus schools. The acquisition process must be reviewed, improved and more transparent.”
- The Commissioner’s investigation has revealed several flaws in Regulation 444/98, which governs the sale of surplus school properties, including several barriers posed by the self-interest of school boards.
- The Commissioner is calling for changes that would support more effective and efficient transactions between school boards.
- The Commissioner recommends that the Ministry better support collaborative projects by French-language school boards and provide incentives for joint capital projects.
- The Commissioner is also asking the Ministry to identify the need for French-language schools using the Inclusive Definition of Francophone (IDF), which includes Ontarians whose mother tongue is neither English nor French but who speak French at home.
Read our investigation report at www.flsc.gov.on.ca in the PUBLICATIONS section.
Gyula Kovacs, Public Relations and Communications Officer
Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
Phone: (416) 314-8247 or 1-866-246-5262 (toll free)