Petition to the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto

Premier Doug Ford

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education

Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Opposition

Marit Stiles, NDP Education Critic

Mayor John Tory

Toronto District School Board

Toronto Catholic District School Board

WHEREAS 

  • Since 2021, April 23rd has been officially recognized by the City of Toronto as “Día del Español” (Spanish Language Day)
  • Ontario continues to be the province of choice for most Spanish-speaking immigrants to Canada, with Toronto also being their preferred city in which to live
  • Nearly 340,000 Spanish-speaking permanent residents have made Canada their home since 2002, ten per cent of whom have arrived within the last two years. Sixty per cent of these new immigrants have established themselves in Ontario, specifically in Toronto
  • Fifty-five hundred international students from Latin America have chosen Ontario colleges and universities to pursue their post-secondary education
  • Spanish-speaking Latin American nations including Cuba and Mexico remain favourite tourist destinations for Ontarians
  • Spanish is the second language with the largest native population at a global level, spoken by 559 million people around the world
  • Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the United States, Canada’s closest international business partner, and the official language of the US territory of Puerto Rico
  • Canada is the most important investor in the financial, energy, and mining sectors of several Latin American countries (with imports rising 18.7% and exports 36.7% in the last year alone)

     We, the undersigned,

  • professors, scholars, and researchers who variously teach the Spanish language, literature, linguistics, culture, and translation courses at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University,
    • Spanish-speaking artists and performers who have built successful careers in Canada; and
    • members of private organizations who have business ties to Canada and contribute to the exchange of goods and wealth between Spanish-speaking nations in the Americas and Canada,

call upon you to:

  • Acknowledge the important part that the Spanish language plays in the lives of the citizens of the City of Toronto as well as the Province of Ontario
  • Accept that the Spanish language should be integrated into the high school education curriculum in Ontario
  • Ensure that the Spanish language be taught with credit status
  • Bring to the City of Toronto a program similar to that of the International Spanish Academies that have proven so successful in Alberta

United, as representatives of the Spanish-speaking community in Toronto and Ontario, we call on our political and education representatives in both the City and the Province to do the right thing for our young students’ future, and, in so doing, help us open more doors for all young Canadians in this increasingly competitive world.