Justice Sector ministries and Francophone stakeholders’organizations have been participating in the Strategic Plan for the Development of French Language Services in Ontario’s Justice Sector since 2006 in order to improve and modernize access to justice in French. The year 2013 marked the third year of the second phase of the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan.
The directions presented in this new phase are aligned with those exemplified by the government’s adoption of concepts such as FLS results-based planning, diversity and inclusion, and integration of FLS in the accountability mechanisms within the Ontario Public Service, as well as with the Research Study on theMechanisms of Offer and Demand for FLS in Ontario’s Justice Sector. In addition, the recommendations made by the French Language Services Commissioner complement and guide the identified directions.
At the Annual Francophone Stakeholders Meetings, which are part of the strategic planning process, Justice Sector ministers and senior managers take the opportunity to address the participants and show by their presence and encouraging words their unconditional support for the partnership and consultations undertaken with the community. These meetings provide a forum where all key partners can sit at the table, define FLS priorities and potential solutions, and create linkages and partnerships to meet the needs of the Francophone community.
Progress reports submitted each year during these meetings clearly reflect the efforts undertaken by the various divisions to implement the guiding principles and the mission of the new cycle of the Strategic Plan. Specific initiatives and best practices are consolidated in the Annual Report of the Francophone Stakeholders Meeting.
The consensus from both the Justice Sector and the stakeholders is that this consultation process and the Annual Francophone StakeholdersMeetingsare essential to better understand the needs of the Francophone community and strengthen our relationships. The stakeholders play a crucial role by encouraging us to remain vigilant and keep moving in the right direction.
This government-community partnership has been extremely successful and has helped to consolidate the joint efforts and create positive and productive relations between the community and governmental partners.
The Honourable Mentions Series is a series of 11 blog posts that the Commissioner is releasing to individually recognize the leadership shown by government ministries and agencies that have made efforts to expand the delivery of high-quality French-language services, as listed in his 2013-2014 Annual Report here.