Tour in Kingston

I went to Kingston yesterday to take part in two highly enriching meetings.

Firstly, I took part in the Leading Edge Practises in Bilingual Recruitment Conference. Close to a hundred representatives from designated agencies and other organizations and businesses of Kingston were in attendance.

The designation of the City of Kingston under the French Language Services Act was first announced in June 2006 and since May 1, 2009, all Ontario government offices located in Kingston offer French-language services.

In this context, I let my traditional discourse aside to speak more directly to people who work in the social and community services sector in this region and who take their clients’ needs to heart. I emphasized how crucial it is to offer French-language services actively, not only because organizations in Kingston must now do so – but also because these services contribute to the well-being and development of their community as a whole.

This event was also a great opportunity to put emphasis on the reasons why Ontario has the French Language Services Act and why it is crucial to offer French-language services, especially when these services are directed toward fragile population groups.

I wish to thank the Réseau régional de langue française du Sud-Est and its partners for taking the lead in organising this great event.

As part of this tour in Kingston, I also visited École secondaire publique Mille-Îles where I discussed the importance of French-language services with a dozen of 11th and 12th grade students. Students actively joined in the conversation and I wish to congratulate them for taking their linguistic rights and cultural heritage to heart. I also wish to thank Élaine Constant, Principal, for giving me the chance to see this brand new school.

I will soon be leaving for Ottawa to take part in some other events in the next few days, including a game against the National hockey league’s Greatest Stars, hosted by the Fondation franco-ontarienne (yes!). I am hoping I can make it back to Toronto in one piece! I will share with you my experience next week.

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