A Look Back at the Last Few Months, Part 1: The Safe Centre of Peel Community Forum and a Visit to Ottawa

December being a good month for a year-end review, I recall, with pleasure, so many events that I attended, but I have been unable to do justice to them all as I usually do on an ongoing basis in my blog. Consequently, today and over the next few weeks, I want to look back on a number of those events, not only to thank the people who did such a wonderful job of organizing them, but also to properly salute the organizations’ energy and drive.

So I will begin by taking you back to February 15, 2013, when the Safe Centre of Peel (SCoP) held its 2013 community forum on French-language services in Brampton. The SCoP was established on December 1, 2011. Its mission is to bring together under one roof a number of service providers involved in combating domestic violence and assisting abused children in the Peel region.

The SCoP obtained funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services in 2011-2012 to consult the Francophone community on how best to meet its needs. Following those consultations, held in February 2012, six major recommendations were made to the SCoP’s 11 agencies concerning the provision of French-language services. The 11 agencies then attended a course on French-language services in March 2012. In that course, representatives of the agencies were educated on the situation of Francophones in the Peel region, from the perspective of both the diversity of cultures and the French Language Services Act. Each agency was able to complete a French-language services self-assessment and develop objectives to improve the delivery of those services.

Phase 2 of the SCoP’s French-language services project, entitled “Acting on the recommendations of Phase 1”, had three main objectives, one of which was to hold a community forum that would bring together the SCoP’s agencies, the Francophone organizations concerned, and the various funding providers. It was in the context of this particular objective that I attended the SCoP’s 2013 community forum as a guest speaker.

A few days later, on February 21, 2013, I gave a brief address at the annual meeting of Francophone stakeholders in Ontario’s Justice Sector in Toronto, a gathering that I attend every year. That afternoon, I travelled to Ottawa to attend the Bernard Grandmaître awards ceremony presented by ACFO d’Ottawa. During my visit to Ottawa, I also gave a presentation to the Regroupement des élèves conseillers scolaires francophones de l’Ontario (RECFO) and the members of the representatives council of the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO) regarding the issues surrounding French-language postsecondary education in Ontario (it’s an open secret that these meetings are the ones I like best in my job). I also had a television interview with Ginette Gratton on her show Ginette Gratton reçoit…, which airs on Rogers TV, and I met with the committee on the study of bilingualism in the federal superior court judiciary.

A number of other events that I attended in 2013 are also worthy of note. I will return soon with Part 2 of this posting.

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