Thunder Bay – NEWS – Ontario is moving to make changes. The Ford government has introduced proposed legislation to establish the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) as an independent, standalone degree-granting institution.
“NOSM and Hearst provide specialized and important educational opportunities in Northeastern Ontario. They are ready to take the next step in their development and maturity as institutions,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “This new independence will ensure that each institution has the autonomy to grow in ways that more effectively support the access to quality education for students and communities in the region. Hearst will become Ontario’s second stand-alone French language university, joining the Université de l’Ontario français. NOSM will become more agile and nimble to the changing needs of students as they help tackle the need for doctors and other health human resources in Northern Ontario.”
“If passed, the legislation would formally recognize the integral role these institutions play in providing students with access to medical training and French-language studies in Northern Ontario.”
A statement from Lakehead University reads, “The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is an integral part of Lakehead University and our community. We know the north is stronger when we work together – this partnership, forged by the long-standing collaboration and support of so many local partners, has had a significant and positive impact on our region. We are concerned by today’s news, particularly in light of the absence of any consultation with the University, we are in the process of reviewing this decision and determining its impacts. As we conduct this important work, our priority is protecting the interests of our students and our communities and ensuring that Northwestern Ontario is championed every step of the way.”
“This legislative proposal is an important milestone for the Université de Hearst and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Operating as independent institutions with the ability to make choices about future partnerships and growth would allow them to better meet the needs and aspirations of their student population,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs. “With the Université de Hearst, Ontario now boasts two French-language universities, run by and for Francophones, which will undoubtedly strengthen the opportunities for Ontarians to learn, live and thrive in the language of their choice.”
tThe NOSM opened in 2005 and is currently a not-for-profit corporation of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury.
Laurentian University has been experiencing financial woes in recent months. Many programs have been cancelled.