On this national mourning day in France, I would like to start this blog entry by expressing my sadness to all my French friends. I am profoundly moved by this great tragedy from last night in Nice. Especially happening on July 14th. I am without words. I can only express my sincerest solidarity with the French citizens.
On a less personal note, I’m sure you’ve noticed that in the last few months, we’ve been very visible in the media, and especially on all of our Web platforms. First, in a special report on active offer and services to the Francophone community, I recommended that the French Language Services Act be revised to include that essential concept. If the only reason for amending the Act were to incorporate the concept of active offer, it would be worth the trouble. I should also mention, that my federal colleague quite recently addressed the issue of active offer. I would like to take advantage of this blog post to commend the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages on its innovative approach in its investigation. The study involved six focus groups with front-line employees, four focus groups with supervisors and 12 interviews with executives from 11 different federal institutions.
In early June, we tabled in the Legislature the annual report of the Commissioner’s Office, FLSA 2.0, whose recommendations include undertaking the major project of a comprehensive revision of the French Language Services Act so that it will better meet the needs of Ontario’s Francophone citizens. I have said this publicly before, and I will say it again here: it is the most important annual report in my entire career. First, because it is based on nearly nine years of observations about French-language services in Ontario. Second, because I am aware that the reform I am proposing is ambitious. At the same time, though, I believe that the recommended solutions are eminently pragmatic, concrete and, I hope, helpful, not only for the well-being of the province’s Francophones, particularly the most vulnerable groups, but also for the development of the Franco-Ontarian community.
We were also busy packing boxes in June. Yes, boxes, because we have finally moved. Our offices are beautiful, modern and, best of all, well equipped to accommodate our new team. And rest assured, you will certainly have an opportunity to see them during an event – an open house – in late September. Add it to your calendar … an event not to be missed.
Before I forget, I wanted to revisit my last blog post on Bill 5, The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act. I wanted to salute the amazing work done by Manitoba’s Francophone community and Minister of Francophone Affairs, as the bill was passed on June 30. Bravo!
On that happy note, I wish you an enjoyable, restful vacation, filled with new adventures with your family and friends. Be sure to take in the wonderful festivals and other activities taking place in your area and across Ontario. In Toronto, there is the famous Franco-Fête from July 15 to 17; stop in and see what it’s all about. The program is incredible this year.
So I’m going to take my own advice and put my blog on hold while I enjoy the summer. See you back here in September, and have a great vacation :) !