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Lapointe and Serré announce Laurentian support in shared platform

Liberal Party of Canada pledges $240 million over four years to protect post-secondary French-language education.
Marc Serré and Viviane Lapointe at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's campaign stop. Lapointe is the candidate for Sudbury, Serré for Nickel Belt

With Laurentian University top of mind, Greater Sudbury’s federal Liberal candidates pointed to their party’s national platform as evidence the post-secondary institution would receive support. 

In a media release from Sudbury candidate Viviane Lapointe and Nickel Belt candidate Marc Serré, a Liberal pledge of $240 million over four years to protect post-secondary French-language education in Canada is cited as a potential boon for Laurentian. 

This pledge, they note, includes “supporting opportunities “Northern Ontario, by, for and with Francophones, in order to counter the cuts that have taken place at Laurentian University and ensure that Francophones have access to post-secondary education of quality where they live.”

Further, they note, the plan will “protect public post-secondary educational institutions, such as Laurentian University, from being subject to corporate restructuring.”

Our government has been there for Laurentian with more than $100 million in investments over the past six years,” Serré said in the release. 

“And we have been there for students from the beginning of the pandemic by waiving the interest for full-time and part-time students on the federal portion of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans until March 2023.”

Meanwhile, the NDP has made a lot of promises regarding Laurentian University, none of which Lapointe said are in their official platform. 

“In fact, the NDP platform does not make a single mention of Laurentian, Sudbury or even the mining industry. Our Liberal government has been there for Sudbury and Laurentian, and the Liberal platform proves we will continue to be there for Sudbury and Laurentian University,”

In the release, it’s noted the Liberals would also create a fellowship for 1,000 students and new graduates and offer French-language training to third- and fourth-year students to help bridge current gaps including language barriers. 

Federal interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans would be permanently eliminated under a Liberal government and a new fund would be created to improve access to mental health care at colleges and universities. 

The Liberals have also pledged a $500-million investment over four years to support Indigenous-governed and operated post-secondary institutions.