Mr. François Boileau has been the French Language Services Commissioner since August 2007. Following an amendment to the French Language Services Act in 2013, he no longer reported to a Cabinet minister; instead, he became an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly. Subsequently, in November 2016, the Legislature renewed his term for another five years. His role consists mainly in receiving complaints from members of the public and making recommendations on matters pertaining to the implementation of the French Language Services Act.
Before his appointment as Commissioner, Mr. Boileau served as legal counsel for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages with responsibility for landmark cases such as Casimir-Solski and Gosselin, which went before the Supreme Court of Canada.
From 1993 to 2003, he held various positions with the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA), at its Québec City office, including director, political and legal liaison officer, and legal counsel. One of his most important achievements during that time was representing the FCFA before the Ontario Court of Appeal in the Montfort case. For this case, he devised strategies and played a pivotal role in legal coordination of the interveners, which included the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada and the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO).
From 1995 to 1997, in Winnipeg, Mr. Boileau became the first executive director of the Court Challenges Program of Canada. During his tenure, he developed the organization’s strategic priorities and operational plans. He also headed up the language rights component of the program and acted as its official spokesperson for media, government and community stakeholders, along with many other functions.
Since his appointment, Commissioner Boileau has worked to improve the quality of French-language services in Ontario in order to meet the needs of the Francophone community, ensure its full development and preserve its culture and language.
The Commissioner has the power to make recommendations on matters pertaining to the implementation of the French Language Services Act. The Commissioner is appointed for a five-year term, which may be renewed only once.
In addition to a Law Degree (LL.L.) from the University of Ottawa (1991), Mr. Boileau holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (1988) and a Certificate in History (1985) from the Université de Montréal.
Mr. Boileau has published several articles about language rights and has been invited to many conferences as a guest speaker. He has also volunteered for legal organizations such as Lawyers Without Borders as well as for several Francophone organizations.
In 2011, François Boileau was awarded the Order of Merit of the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario. In 2015, he received the Order of Merit of the Civil law section from the Faculty of law of the University of Ottawa. Mr. Boileau also received a distinction as an Honorary Member of the Réseau des services de santé en français de l’Est de l’Ontario, in May 2018, in recognition of his unwavering commitment to improving French language health services in Ontario.
A Message from the Commissioner
I am proud to welcome you to our website!
It is both a privilege and a pleasure to listen to the citizens of this province so that they can be served more adequately in their own language.
My vision of French-language services is basically one of a vital Francophone population. I believe that there is a direct connection between the development of communities and the delivery of services that are adapted to their needs and that are actively offered to them by the government and its institutions.
One of my roles is to work with the Ontario public service to improve its delivery of services in French. Since my appointment, I have raised awareness of the importance of taking Francophones into account as a distinct clientele in every part of the province. For Ontario’s Francophones, living, growing, and developing in French is of vital importance.
Together, we must be able to give the French Language Services Act its full meaning. The services of the Government of Ontario are available in French. Ask for them!
French Language Services Commissioner