News Room


Contact Information

For requests concerning media relations, requests for interviews or public relations:

Touria Karim
Lead, Strategic communications
Phone: 1 866 246-5262 or 416 847-1515 ext. 107
Cell : 416 906-7021
Email: communications.flsccsf@flscontario.ca

The commissioner asks the governement to mandate all Children’s Aid Societies to offer services in French

TORONTO, April 13, 2017 – François Boileau, the French Language Services Commissioner, presented a brief today to the Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on Justice Policy calling for amendments to Bill 89, the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2016, to guarantee equivalent services in French in all regions and ensure that services are actively offered.

A child or young person who is not able to speak French with Children’s Aid Society (CAS), and therefore does not have access to professionals who are capable of providing services in the child’s or young person’s own language, is in an extremely vulnerable position. This is contrary to the very purpose of Bill 89, Supporting Children, Families and Youth: to promote the best interests, protection and well-being of children and take into account their cultural and linguistic needs.

“All the upheavals experienced by a child or young person when an intervention by a Children’s Aid Society takes place have a destabilizing effect. Going through this experience in a language that is not their own can exacerbate behavioural, social and emotional problems. Bill 89 offers an excellent opportunity to protect vulnerable francophone children and remedy the legislative oversights that still jeopardize the language rights of francophone children, young persons and families. A child will never request services in French, let alone know their rights, and it is therefore of paramount importance that these services be actively offered,” Mr. Boileau added.

In his appearance before the Committee, the Commissioner also reiterated the importance of preventing the harm that can result from language barriers. The issue of active offer of services in French by Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario is a subject that has been of concern to the Office of the Commissioner since he was first appointed, since it affects the well-being of Ontarians in general, and more specifically of francophone children and young persons.

 

Quick Facts

 

  • Child protection services in Ontario are delivered by 48 children’s aid societies funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
  • In his Annual Report 2009-2010, the Commissioner recommended that the societies actively offer services in French throughout the province and not only in designated regions.
  • During the consultations organized by the Ministry, participants in the 2015 review of the Child and Family Services Act stressed that access to CAS services in French is essential for children and youth to remain connected to francophone culture.
  • The Office of the Commissioner is making three recommendations:
    • That section 15 of Bill 89 be amended to provide that all children’s aid societies be mandated to offer services in French;
    • That section 15 of Bill 89 be amended to impose an obligation on children’s aid societies to actively offer services in French; and
    • That in the event of amalgamations under section 46 or 47 of Bill 89 between a children’s aid society designated under the French Language Services Act and a society or societies that are not designated, the Minister impose an obligation to include a plan for transfer of the designation.

 

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The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner reports directly to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Its principal mandate is to ensure compliance with the French Language Services Act in the delivery of government services.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Consult the brief at csfontario.ca, in the “Publications” section.

Languages commissioners call for concrete measures for Francophone immigration

Moncton, New Brunswick – March 31, 2017 – The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, Ghislaine Saikaley, along with her New Brunswick counterpart, Katherine d’Entremont, and the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario, François Boileau, reiterated today the importance and urgency of implementing concrete measures to foster immigration to Francophone minority communities.

The languages commissioners joined the ministers responsible for the Canadian Francophonie and the ministers responsible for immigration at a federal-provincial-territorial forum on Francophone immigration, organized by the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, in Moncton on March 30 and 31, 2017.

“It is essential for federal, provincial and territorial governments to step up their efforts to increase immigration to Francophone communities because the time to act is now and results have been slow to materialize. This ministerial forum is a unique opportunity to coordinate federal strategies with those of the provinces and territories,” said Mrs. Saikaley.

Promising initiatives have been introduced since the languages commissioners’ joint interventions in 2014. The implementation of the Mobilité francophone program in June 2016 is a positive step, as is the leadership shown by the provinces and territories last July when the premiers asked the federal government to raise Francophone immigration rates outside Quebec.

“Without implementing concrete action plans and timelines, we will never be able to achieve the national Francophone immigration target, especially in Ontario. It is therefore crucial for the different levels of government to join efforts and immediately clear the way for the development and implementation of pragmatic and measurable solutions,” added Mr. Boileau.

Demographic projections recently published by Statistics Canada on the ethnocultural and linguistic composition of the Canadian population through 2036 show the importance of attaining minority official-language immigration objectives across the country.

“The Anglophone and Francophone communities of New Brunswick have equal constitutional status. Consequently, the immigration policies and programs of both levels of government must ensure the demographic weight of the Francophone community, which makes up one third of the population, is maintained,” said Ms. d’Entremont. “To do this, increased cooperation between both levels of government is essential.”

 

The languages ombudsmen believe that the four principles set out in 2014 to guide governments’ actions in terms of immigration are still pertinent:

  • Immigration must help maintain, and even increase, the demographic weight of Francophone minority communities in Canada.
  • Federal, provincial and territorial immigration policies and programs must be designed and tailored to address Francophone immigrant recruitment, integration, training and retention needs specific to the different contexts of Francophone minority communities across Canada.
  • Strong federal-provincial-territorial-community partnerships and long-term strategies are needed to ensure that immigration supports the development and vitality of Francophone minority communities.
  • Governments must develop an evaluation and accountability framework to measure progress achieved and ensure attainment of immigration objectives in Francophone minority communities.

 

The commissioners also took the opportunity provided by this meeting to reiterate that the commitment of all levels of government is essential in this area of shared jurisdiction.

 

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For further information or to schedule an interview with one of the commissioners, please contact:

Nelson Kalil

Manager, Strategic Communications and Media Relations

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Telephone: 819-420-4714

Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368

Cell: 613-324-0999

E-mail: nelson.kalil@clo-ocol.gc.ca

Follow us: @OCOLCanada

www.officiallanguages.gc.ca

 

Hugues Beaulieu

Director of Public Affairs and Research

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick

Telephone: 506-444-4229

Toll-free: 1-888-651-6444 (in New Brunswick only)

E-mail: hugues.beaulieu@gnb.ca

www.officiallanguages.nb.ca

 

Touria Karim
Lead, Strategic Communications

Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
Telephone: 416-847-1515, ext. 107
Toll-free: 1-866-246-5262

Cell: 416-906-7021
E-mail: touria.karim@flscontario.ca

Follow us: @FLSCOntario

www.flscontario.ca

The Commissioner asks the government to remedy the precarious situation of Francophone patients

TORONTO, November 23, 2016 – The French Language Services Commissioner, François Boileau, today submitted a brief to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly expressing his dissatisfaction with Bill 41, an Act to amend various Acts in the interests of patient-centred care.

“The clear lack of an offer of French-language health care services persists. The government is very aware of this gap, but nothing has been put in place to address the situation. This bill is a golden opportunity for the government to ensure that Francophone patients are offered health care services in French. It must act and close the legal loopholes, because this issue affects the health of the Francophone population,” explained Commissioner Boileau.

In his speech, the Commissioner also referred to the concerns of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care who indicated in his 2015 “Patients first” discussion paper that Franco-Ontarians are not always well-served by the health care system. The minister also admitted that service providers and even health care specialists had observed these gaps in French-language health care.

Despite these findings, the government has only proposed band aid solutions that fail to address the heart of the problem. As a result, Francophone patients remain at risk because they still cannot receive health care services in their language, in spite of the multiple reports and recommendations issued by the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner.

It is inconceivable that today Francophone patients still cannot access health care services in their language. The gravity of the situation is only increasing because the proposed changes do not solve the real problem: health care service providers are not accountable for the lack of health care services in French,” added Commissioner Boileau.

 

Overview

  • The brief highlighted a series of changes that would grant Francophones an official role in planning French-language health care services.

Several recommendations were made, including:

  • The LHINS must recognize the French Language Health Planning Entities as partners when planning French-language health care services. To this end, the LHINs should work closely with these entities to identify French-language service providers, but also to define expectations in terms of the quality of services required;
  • Add the statutory obligation of LHINs to ensure that service providers comply with their obligations under the French Language Services Act.

 

The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner reports directly to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Its principal mandate is to ensure compliance with the French Language Services Act in the delivery of government services.

 

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Touria Karim

Lead, Strategic Communications

Office of the French Language Services Commissioner

Telephone: 416‑906‑7021 or 1‑866‑246-5262 (toll free)

Email: touria.karim@csfontario.ca

Available in French

Report on Francophone immigration : The Commissioner calls for a concrete action plan

TORONTO, November 23, 2016 – François Boileau, the French Language Services Commissioner, believes that the report of the Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration released yesterday by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration opens the door to developing and implementing concrete solutions for achieving the five per cent target set by Ontario for Francophone immigration by 2020.

The publication of the report is a first step in the right direction and speaks to the province’s leadership on the subject of Francophone immigration. The Commissioner is calling on the Ministry to accept the report’s recommendations and commit to putting them into concrete action.

“I congratulate the government for releasing the report of the Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration and I thank the members of the Group. It is now time for the Ministry to adopt an action plan with clear objectives and specific timelines. The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has to take the lead on this and deploy an integrated interministerial strategy that corresponds to the continuum of initiatives to be taken,” Commissioner Boileau said.

Not only does the collaboration of several other ministries need to be ensured, but it will also be crucial for Ontario to secure specific commitments from the federal government in this field of shared jurisdiction. It is therefore essential for the two levels of government to take concerted action to maximize their efforts to promote Francophone immigration and recruit, settle and integrate Francophone newcomers.

The Commissioner recognizes that implementation of the report will take place over several years. He therefore recommends that the Ministry create a permanent advisory committee on Francophone immigration to guide it throughout that process.

 

Quick Facts

  • The Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration was established by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration with the goal of developing a plan to increase Francophone immigration to Ontario, following the Commissioner’s recommendation.
  • The report contains 13 recommendations relating to five topics: promotion, recruitment, selection, settlement and integration. It also recommends that there be a duty to account periodically for the results achieved.
  • The provincial government adopted the five per cent target in 2012 and still has a long way to go before it is achieved. For example, in 2014, only 2.2 per cent of the immigrant population had French as the official language spoken, according to government figures.

The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner reports directly to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Its principal mandate is to ensure compliance with the French Language Services Act in the delivery of government services.

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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Consult the report of the Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration.

 

Touria Karim

Lead, Strategic Communications

Office of the French Language Services Commissioner

Telephone: 416‑906‑7021 or 1‑866‑246-5262 (toll free)

Email: touria.karim@csfontario.ca

Disponible en Français

Report on Francophone immigration: the commissionner calls for a concrete action plan

TORONTO, November 23, 2016 – François Boileau, the French Language Services Commissioner, believes that the report of the Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration released yesterday by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration opens the door to developing and implementing concrete solutions for achieving the five per cent target set by Ontario for Francophone immigration by 2020.

The publication of the report is a first step in the right direction and speaks to the province’s leadership on the subject of Francophone immigration. The Commissioner is calling on the Ministry to accept the report’s recommendations and commit to putting them into concrete action.

I congratulate the government for releasing the report of the Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration and I thank the members of the Group. It is now time for the Ministry to adopt an action plan with clear objectives and specific timelines. The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has to take the lead on this and deploy an integrated interministerial strategy that corresponds to the continuum of initiatives to be taken” Commissioner Boileau said.

Not only does the collaboration of several other ministries need to be ensured, but it will also be crucial for Ontario to secure specific commitments from the federal government in this field of shared jurisdiction. It is therefore essential for the two levels of government to take concerted action to maximize their efforts to promote Francophone immigration and recruit, settle and integrate Francophone newcomers.

The Commissioner recognizes that implementation of the report will take place over several years. He therefore recommends that the Ministry create a permanent advisory committee on Francophone immigration to guide it throughout that process.

 

Quick Facts

  • The Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration was established by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration with the goal of developing a plan to increase Francophone immigration to Ontario, following the Commissioner’s recommendation.
  • The report contains 13 recommendations relating to five topics: promotion, recruitment, selection, settlement and integration. It also recommends that there be a duty to account periodically for the results achieved.
  • The provincial government adopted the five per cent target in 2012 and still has a long way to go before it is achieved. For example, in 2014, only 2.2 per cent of the immigrant population had French as the official language spoken, according to government figures.

 

The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner reports directly to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Its principal mandate is to ensure compliance with the French Language Services Act in the delivery of government services.

– 30-

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Consult the report of the Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration.

Touria Karim

Lead, Strategic Communications

Office of the French Language Services Commissioner

Telephone: 416‑906‑7021 or 1‑866‑246-5262 (toll free)

Email: touria.karim@csfontario.ca

Disponible en Français

Mauril Bélanger: Ontario Francophones have lost an important ally

Toronto, August 17, 2016 – François Boileau, the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario, joins the Francophone community in mourning the Hon. Mauril Bélanger and takes this opportunity to salute the enormous legacy he leaves. With his death last night, following a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a leading light in the Franco-Ontarian community has gone out.

“Mr. Bélanger’s dedication to the Francophone community has left an indelible mark on its history in Ontario and in all of Canada,” said Mr. Boileau, the French Language Services Commissioner. “Mauril was more than a politician. The legacy he leaves, after devoting his entire career to advocacy for the rights of official language minority communities, is an important one. I would like to express my tremendous gratitude for all of his hard work. I have no doubt that his contributions will continue to benefit the people of Ontario,” Commissioner Boileau added.

In spite of his illness, his determination to continue advocating for the causes he held dear never waned. His commitment and tenacity as a passionate advocate for linguistic duality in Canada made it possible for him always to see his causes through to the finish, no matter the obstacles. His dynamism and dedication to the Francophone community won him recognition from many sides, and included the Bernard Grandmaître award and the rank of Commander of the Order of the Pleiades.

At this sad time, the entire staff of the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner would like to offer its sincerest condolences to the family and close friends of Mauril Bélanger.

QUICK FACTS

  • Mauril Bélanger entered federal politics in 1995 as a Liberal member of Parliament in the riding of Ottawa—Vanier, succeeding Jean-Robert Gauthier after his appointment to the Senate.
  • From 1997 to 2002, Mr. Bélanger worked to prevent the closure of the Montfort Hospital, the only health care facility in Ontario to offer university-level training in French.
  • Mauril Bélanger was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage by Jean Chrétien and served in that position from 1998 to 2000.
  • The creation of the Unique FM radio station and expansion of Ottawa’s La Nouvelle Scène theatre were made possible through the sustained support of Mauril Bélanger.
  • In 2010, he was elected as Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages.
  • In 2003, he became the Co-founder of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association, whose purpose is to encourage exchanges between African and Canadian parliamentarians.
  • He joined Paul Martin’s cabinet as chief government whip (until the 2004 election) and deputy leader of the government (until the 2006 election).
  • In 2004, Mr. Bélanger was promoted to the position of Minister responsible for Official Languages, Minister responsible for Democratic Reform and Associate Minister of National Defence.

 

The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner reports directly to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Its principal mandate is to ensure compliance with the French Language Services Act in the delivery of government services.

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Touria Karim

Lead, Strategic Communications

Office of the French Language Services Commissioner

Telephone: (416) 906-7021 or 1-866-246-5262 (toll free)

Email: touria.karim@csfontario.ca

Disponible en français