Franco-Ontarian youth are speaking out against recent decisions to eliminate a French University and key francophone government position.

Cite des Jeunes students took to the parking lot this afternoon at 2:00pm to voice their displeasure with recent cuts to French services, including the dismissal of a French-Language Services Commissioner, only to now see the role diminished to part of the Ombudsman’s office after a motion from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was denied yesterday at Queen’s Park.

The peaceful, but passionate protest according to Cite des Jeunes student Justin Leclair, was to show the provincial government that they are proud of their culture, their heritage, and they wish to continue to have their choice to educate themselves in one of Canada’s two official languages.

Leclair says displaying their passion and pride is the best way to show everyone, not just the government, that they will not deter them, and it helps to sing and dance a bit too.

“Not just the government, everybody in general just to see how big a family we are and how close we are and the heart of us all and the power we can show all-together. It’s just really cool seeing everybody here and just protesting, singing, dancing around, it’s just fun to see it all.”

He says they always try to stay positive, and through their efforts they hope they can make a brighter future full of positive changes for Franco-Ontarians ahead, starting with some reverses to recent cuts to Frenchs services.

“We always try to stay positive, so this is what we are doing and maybe some causes will be reversed or it will make a brighter future for different or further services to be given or at the least reinstated.”

Cite des Jeunes Director Natalie Joncas-Raymond says they are very proud of their students standing up for their rights and the fact that they were able to mobilize the protest within 24 hours was amazing.

Joncas-Raymond says within their school board they have a goal that when students leave Grade 12 they are going to be active in their community and stand up for their rights as a Francophone.

She also says there are two sides to the recent cuts to French services; on one hand they have to prepare their students for what is going on in the news and their everyday lives.

Then she says there is the personal side where as a Francophone she feels that besides just working for the government, it is scary to think her rights could be taken away, and she just hopes everyday it will not get any worse for the Francophone community.

Photo of students of Cie des Jeunes holding peaceful protest against recent provincial cuts to French services Photo by MooseFM Radio Host & Reporter Nick Birnie

Photo of students of Cie des Jeunes holding peaceful protest against recent provincial cuts to French services Photo by MooseFM Radio Host & Reporter Nick Birnie

Photo of students of Cie des Jeunes holding peaceful protest against recent provincial cuts to French services Photo by MooseFM Radio Host & Reporter Nick Birnie

Photo of students of Cie des Jeunes holding peaceful protest against recent provincial cuts to French services Photo by MooseFM Radio Host & Reporter Nick Birnie

Photo of students of Cie des Jeunes holding peaceful protest against recent provincial cuts to French services Photo by MooseFM Radio Host & Reporter Nick Birnie

Photo of students of Cie des Jeunes holding peaceful protest against recent provincial cuts to French services Photo by MooseFM Radio Host & Reporter Nick Birnie