Bill 104 2015
An Act to establish the Université de l'Ontario français
The French language has been an historic and honoured language in Ontario for over four centuries and is recognized by the Constitution as an official language of Canada. In Ontario, the French language is recognized as an official language both in the courts and in education. The Constitution recognizes that the Franco-Ontarian community has a right to school governance, and the Franco-Ontarian community already governs a network of 450 primary and secondary schools, 12 school boards and two community colleges. However, French-speaking Ontarians currently have limited access to postsecondary programs in French.
The Legislative Assembly recognizes the contribution of the cultural heritage of the French-speaking population of Ontario and wishes to preserve it for future generations. Indeed, it is in the social and economic interest of the province to increase access to French-language postsecondary programs in all regions of the province. The creation of a French-language university in Ontario is a logical and desirable next step that would enable the Franco-Ontarian community to attain the institutional completeness in education necessary for it to flourish, thrive and fulfil its full potential.
Therefore, her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. In this Act,
"board" means the board of governors of the university; ("conseil")
"Minister" means the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities or any other member of the Executive Council to whom responsibility for the administration of this Act is assigned or transferred under the Executive Council Act; ("ministre")
"teaching staff" includes professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers, associates, instructors, tutors and all others engaged in the work of teaching or giving instruction or in research at the university; ("corps professoral")
"university" means the Université de l'Ontario français as established by this Act. ("université")
2. (1) A university to be known as the Université de l'Ontario français is hereby established.
Corporation without share capital
(2) The university is a corporation without share capital and shall consist of the members of its board.
(3) In the event of a conflict between a provision of this Act and a provision of the Corporations Act, the provision of this Act prevails.
3. It is the special mission of the university to offer a full range of university degrees and programs in French to help ensure the linguistic, cultural, economic and social well-being of its graduates and to provide students with the opportunity to complete all of their university coursework and studies in French.
4. The objects of the university are,
(a) to provide French-language undergraduate and postgraduate university programs that are innovative and responsive to the needs of students, the Franco-Ontarian community and employers;
(b) to advance the highest quality of French-language learning, teaching, research and professional practice;
(c) to contribute to the advancement of the Franco-Ontarian community;
(d) to be a university that is governed and administered in French, and where all services are offered in French;
(e) to promote Ontario nationally and internationally, with a particular emphasis on the economic and cultural contributions of the Franco-Ontarian community;
(f) to facilitate exchanges with Ontario's Anglophone and Allophone educators in order to provide them with an opportunity to be immersed in a French-language educational space; and
(g) to facilitate access to university studies in French for French-speaking students from remote regions, or low-income families.
5. The university has all the powers necessary and incidental to its objects.
6. (1) The university may confer degrees, honorary degrees, certificates and diplomas in any and all branches of learning.
(2) The official language of the university is French.
(3) All exams given at the university shall be given in French unless the board authorizes otherwise.
7. (1) The university may contract, affiliate or federate with other universities, colleges, research institutions and institutions of learning on such terms and for such periods of time as the board may determine.
Transfers from other institutions
(2) The university may receive programs, services and resources from other universities and institutions as may be transferred to it.
Board of governors
8. (1) There shall be a board of governors of the university, consisting of not more than 25 members, as follows:
1. The president of the university, by virtue of office.
2. The chancellor of the university, by virtue of office.
3. Three members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
4. At least 12 and not more than 16 members, as may be set out in the by-laws of the university, appointed by the board.
5. Two members who are students of the university and who are elected by the relevant constituencies of the university.
6. Two members who are employees of the university and who are elected by the relevant constituencies of the university.
Proficiency in French
(2) All members of the board must be proficient in French at the time of their appointment or election.
By-law respecting appointments
(3) The by-laws respecting the appointment of members under paragraph 4 of subsection (1) shall provide that the members be selected having regard to equal representation from the regions of Ontario as set out in the regulations.
By-law respecting elections
(4) The board shall by by-law determine the manner and procedure for the election of members described in paragraphs 5 and 6 of subsection (1) and eligibility requirements for election to the board.
(5) Subject to subsection (6), the term of office for an elected or appointed member of the board shall be not more than three years, as determined by by-law.
(6) The term of office for a member of the board who is a student of the university shall be one year.
(7) A member of the board is eligible for reappointment or re-election.
(8) A person elected or appointed to the board under subsection (1) may not be a member of the board for more than six consecutive years, but is eligible for reappointment or re-election after one year's absence from the board.
(9) A vacancy on the board occurs if,
(a) a member resigns or ceases to be eligible for appointment or election to the board;
(b) a member is incapable of continuing to act as a member and the board by resolution declares the membership to be vacated; or
(c) the board by resolution declares a membership to be vacated for failure to attend sufficient meetings, as provided in the by-laws of the university.
(10) If a vacancy on the board occurs before the term of office for which a member has been appointed or elected has expired, the vacancy shall be filled in a timely fashion, as provided in the by-laws, in the same manner and by the same body as the member whose membership is vacant was elected or appointed and the new member shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired portion of the term of the member he or she is replacing.
(11) A person elected or appointed to the board under subsection (10) may be reappointed or re-elected upon the expiry of the term that he or she was elected or appointed to complete, but is eligible for further reappointment or re-election only after one year's absence from the board.
(12) A quorum of the board consists of a majority of its members and that majority must include at least half of the members who are not students or employees of the university.
(13) The board shall elect annually a chair and at least one vice-chair from among its members who are not students or employees of the university and shall fill any vacancy in the office of chair or vice-chair from among such members.
(14) The chair shall preside over the meetings of the board and if the chair is unable to act or if the position is vacant, a vice-chair shall act in his or her place and, if both the chair and vice-chair are unable to act, the board may appoint a member who is not a student or employee of the university to act temporarily in their place.
Powers and duties of board
9. (1) The board is responsible for governing and managing the affairs of the university and has the necessary powers to do so, including the power,
(a) subject to section 3, to determine the mission, vision and values of the university;
(b) to establish academic, research, service and institutional policies and plans and to control the manner in which they are implemented;
(c) to appoint and remove the chancellor;
(d) to appoint and remove the president;
(e) to appoint, promote, suspend and remove members of the teaching staff and of the administrative staff of the university;
(f) to establish faculties, schools, institutes and departments and to establish chairs and councils in any faculty, school, institute or department of the university;
(g) to govern standards for the admission of students to the university and for graduation;
(h) to govern matters arising in connection with the award of fellowships, scholarships, medals, prizes and other awards for academic achievement;
(i) to appoint committees and assign or delegate to them such duties and responsibilities as may be provided in the by-laws of the university, including authorizing them to act on behalf of the board in the matters specified in the by-laws;
(j) to approve the annual budget of the university and to monitor its implementation;
(k) to establish and collect fees and charges for tuition and other services that may be offered by the university or that may be approved by the board on behalf of any organization or group of the university;
(l) to regulate the conduct of students, staff and all persons who use the property of the university, including denying any person access to the property;
(m) to define, for the purposes of the by-laws, the following terms: student, staff, employee, manager, professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer, associate, instructor and tutor;
(n) to conclusively determine which body within the university has jurisdiction over any matter;
(o) to determine the manner and procedure for electing members described in paragraph 5 of subsection 8 (1) to the board, including establishing constituencies and voting practices; and
(p) to make by-laws, resolutions and rules for the conduct of its affairs.
Board to conduct affairs in French
(2) Despite any by-law, resolution or rule made under clause (1) (p), the board shall conduct its affairs in French.
(3) The board shall not appoint, promote, suspend or remove a member of the teaching staff or of the administrative staff except on the recommendation of the president who shall be governed by the terms of any applicable commitments and practices of the university.
Standard of conduct
(4) Every member of the board shall exercise the powers and carry out the duties of his or her office diligently, honestly, in good faith, in the best interests of the university and in accordance with any other criteria set out in the by-laws of the university.
Conflict of interest
(5) A member of the board or of a committee created by it who has a conflict of interest, as defined in the by-laws or conflict of interest policies of the university, as the case may be, in a matter in which the university is concerned shall declare his or her interest as soon as possible and no later than at the first meeting at which the matter is to be considered and, if required by the by-laws or policies, shall withdraw from the meeting during the discussion of the matter and shall not vote on the matter.
(6) Despite subsection (5), a member of the board who is also an employee of the university may take part in discussing and voting on issues concerning general conditions of employment for university employees, unless the discussion and voting deals with the circumstances of the particular employee as an isolated issue, separate and apart from consideration of other employees.
(7) Despite subsection (5), a member of the board who is also a student may take part in discussing and voting on issues concerning students generally, unless such discussion and voting deals with the circumstances of the particular student as an isolated issue, separate and apart from consideration of other students.
10. (1) Despite section 8, a first board of governors of the university shall be established on the day this Act receives Royal Assent.
(2) The first board shall be composed of at least 21 and not more than 25 members appointed by the Minister in accordance with this section.
(3) The first board shall be composed of the following:
1. Two persons from each of the following groups:
i. Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne.
ii. Regroupement étudiant franco-ontarien.
iii. Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario.
2. At least 15 and not more than 19 persons who provide equal representation from the following constituencies:
i. The following regions of Ontario, as set out in the regulations:
A. The Far North.
B. The Near North.
C. The East.
D. The Centre.
E. The Southwest.
ii. The Franco-Ontarian university student community.
iii. Post-secondary education administrators.
Powers of first board
(4) The first board shall have all the powers given to the board of governors under section 9.
(5) The first board is dissolved on the day that a board of governors is first appointed and elected under section 8.
11. (1) There shall be an academic council of the university consisting of the president of the university and such voting and non-voting members as may be provided for in the by-laws of the university so long as a majority of the voting members are members of the teaching staff of the university.
(2) The academic council shall make recommendations to the board with respect to the establishment of academic standards and curricular policies and procedures of the university and the regulation of such standards, policies and procedures and shall make recommendations on such other matters as may be referred to it by the board.
(3) The president shall preside over meetings of the academic council and, if the president is unable to act, the academic council may appoint one of its members to act temporarily in his or her place.
(4) A quorum of the academic council consists of a majority of the voting members and that majority must include at least half of the members who are members of the teaching staff.
Duty to consult
(5) Before making a decision with respect to a matter referred to in clause 9 (1) (a), (b), (c), (f), (g) or (h), the board shall cause the president or a person designated by the president to consult with the council on the matter and the president shall report to the board on the consultation.
12. (1) There shall be a chancellor of the university appointed by the board in such manner as it shall determine.
Term of office
(2) The chancellor shall hold office for three years and until a successor is appointed.
(3) The chancellor may be reappointed.
(4) The chancellor is the titular head of the university and shall confer all degrees, honorary degrees, certificates and diplomas on behalf of the university.
13. (1) There shall be a president of the university appointed by the board in such manner and for such term as the board shall determine.
Powers and duties
(2) The president is the chief executive officer and vice-chancellor of the university and has supervision over and direction of the academic and general administration of the university, its students, managers, teaching staff and other employees, and such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon or assigned to him or her by the board.
14. (1) Subject to subsection (2), meetings of the board and meetings of its permanent committees shall be open to the public and prior notice of such meetings shall be given to the members and to the public in the manner provided in the by-laws of the university.
(2) The board may meet in the absence of the public to discuss a matter of a personal nature concerning an individual or to discuss a confidential matter as determined in accordance with the by-laws of the university.
15. (1) The by-laws of the university shall be open to examination by members of the public during normal business hours.
(2) The university shall publish its by-laws in such manner and at such time as it considers proper.
16. (1) The university may purchase or otherwise acquire, take by gift, devise or bequest and hold such property as the board considers necessary for the objects of the university, and may mortgage, sell or otherwise dispose of the same as the board, in its absolute discretion, considers appropriate.
Exemption from taxation
(2) Land vested in the university and land and premises leased to and occupied by the university are exempt from provincial and municipal taxes and development charges, so long as the vested land or leased land and premises are actually used and occupied for the objects of the university.
Protection from expropriation
(3) Land vested in the university is not liable to be entered upon, used or taken by any person or corporation, and no power to expropriate land conferred after this Act comes into force shall extend to such land unless the statute conferring the power expressly provides otherwise.
Deemed vesting in Crown
(4) All property vested in the university shall be deemed to be vested in the Crown for the public uses of Ontario for the purposes of the Real Property Limitations Act.
Use of property
(5) The property and the revenue of the university shall be applied solely to achieving the objects of the university.
(6) The funds of the university not immediately required for its purposes and the proceeds of all property that come into the hands of the board, subject to any trusts or conditions affecting them, may be invested and reinvested in such investments as the board, in its absolute discretion, considers appropriate and, except where a trust instrument otherwise directs, such funds may be combined with trust money belonging to various trusts in the care of the board into a common trust fund.
(7) The university, if authorized by its by-laws, may, on such terms and in such amounts as the board may approve,
(a) borrow money and give security for money borrowed; and
(b) issue or give bonds, debentures and obligations as security.
Audits and reports
17. (1) The board shall appoint one or more public accountants licensed under the Public Accounting Act, 2004 to audit the accounts, trust funds and transactions of the university at least once a year.
(2) The university shall make a financial report annually to the Minister in such form and containing such information as the Minister may require.
(3) The university shall submit to the Minister all other reports as the Minister may require.
18. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the boundaries of, or otherwise describing, the following regions of Ontario for the purposes of this Act:
1. The Far North.
2. The Near North.
3. The East.
4. The Centre.
5. The Southwest.
19. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
20. The short title of this Act is the Université de l'Ontario français Act, 2015.
The Bill establishes the Université de l'Ontario français. The special mission of the university is to offer a full range of university degrees and programs in French and to provide French-speaking students with the opportunity to complete all of their university coursework and studies in French.