Template letter to Premier in English
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Monsieur le Premier Ministre François Legault
Chef du gouvernement et Président du Conseil des ministres
Assemblée nationale du Québec
Édifice Honoré-Mercier, 3e étage
835, boul. René-Lévesque Est
Québec (Québec) G1A 1B4
Monsieur le Premier Ministre,
I am writing to you as our Premier, the Premier of all Quebecers, to convey my deep disappointment with the comments you made about cancelling the infrastructure project for Dawson College.
With all due respect, I ask you to honour the commitment you made to Dawson College, to proceed with the pavilion project and to add the space that the students, as Quebecers, deserve in their learning environment.
Dawson’s students have been squeezed into a campus that has long been inadequate, according to Quebec’s own norms for all CEGEP students. Dawson’s lack of space for students to take classes and labs, and to engage in other learning activities, sports, student life, studying, socializing, and eating has been determined to be 30% less than it needs to operate comfortably. This 30% amounts to 11,500 square metres, a figure calculated by the Ministry of Higher Education and confirmed in December 2021.
For the past seven years, hand in hand with ministerial and government authorities, a team at Dawson has been developing an innovative solution for this much-needed added space. The new pavilion project would house the seven healthcare programs to advance new interprofessional training for Quebec’s future healthcare workers.
Honouring your commitment to give Dawson students the space they deserve is the right thing to do. With the shortage of skilled employees, especially in the healthcare system, this new training centre would help attract young people to pursuing careers in healthcare.
The myth that the project will increase student enrolment must be dispelled. The project adds space needed for the students we already have. Abandoning the project serves only to divide Quebec society by creating two classes of Quebecers: those entitled to norms set by the government and those who attend schools with instruction in English. Monsieur Legault, we are all Quebecers.
It is my opinion that Quebec cannot afford to lose any of our young people.
If any young Quebecer is made to feel like a second-class citizen, they will leave Quebec. They were born here, grew up here, speak French and they belong here. Young Quebecers denied the opportunity to pursue higher education in English to advance their career prospects may choose to leave Quebec.
Like every young person in Quebec, Dawson students are worthy of investment. The choice should not be either investing in Dawson or in other CEGEPs. The choice should be to invest in all Quebec CEGEPs equitably to create a hopeful future and prosperous economy for all Quebecers.
I encourage you to move forward with the budget already allocated to Dawson’s project. Dawson students deserve their space.