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 OFFICE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES COMMISSIONER: A CREDIBLE ACTOR WHO TOOK A STAND

TORONTO, May 30, 2017 – François Boileau, the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario, reports on the progress made and the impact of his office’s actions over the last decade in his 2016-2017 annual report. The report, entitled Taking a stand, was presented yesterday to the Hon. Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

In his tenth annual report, the Commissioner reviews his office’s actions, and the impact those actions have had, since 2007. The report highlights 22 specific instances where progress has been significant in the areas of health, justice, citizenship and immigration, education, children and youth services, and direct services to the community.

“I am proud of the systemic impact we have had on societal debates and the value that the Office of the Commissioner has added to the public service. We have literally taken a stand, by raising systemic issues that are important to the people of Ontario through the growth in the number of French-language post-secondary programs, the creation of new schools; the adoption of an inclusive definition of the term “Francophone”; a Communications in French Directive, and through the independence of our office,” said Commissioner Boileau.

The Commissioner is also pleased to underline that the Attorney General of Ontario intends to create an advisory committee on access to justice in French. The committee will report directly to the office of the Attorney General, which is excellent news to the Commissioner.

The report also highlights 20 problems that persist in relation to government services in French. For his tenth annual report, the Commissioner therefore makes ten recommendations, including that Regulation 515/09 on the role of health planning entities be amended; that the evaluation of the pilot project on access to French language services at the Ottawa Courthouse be made public and that assurances be given that it will have concrete effects elsewhere in the province; that a Francophone immigration advisory committee be created; and that the rights of children set out in the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2016, in particular the right to receive services in French from children’s aid societies, be confirmed.

The Commissioner ends his report by urging the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs to honour her commitment to revising the Act, so that Ontario remains at the forefront when it comes to French language services. He also stresses that in the last ten years, as the French language services ombudsman, his office has become a credible reference, at both Canadian and international level, notably as a founding member of the International Association of Language Commissioners.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • In 2016-2017, the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner examined 301 complaints, of which 214 were determined to be admissible.
  • The report contains a record number of exemplary practices, honourable mentions, and noteworthy initiatives in French language services.
  • Almost 95% of the admissible complaints over 10 years were founded.
  • The French Language Services Commissioner is one of nine independent officers who report to the Legislative Assembly.

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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 annual report at flscontario.ca, in the “Publications” section.

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.

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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