French Language Services Commissioner calls for revision of the French Language Services Act
TORONTO, June 1, 2016 – French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau today submitted his ninth annual report, entitled FLSA 2.0, to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Honourable Dave Levac.
In the 2015-2016 annual report, the Commissioner recommends that the government undertake the task of completely overhauling the French Language Services Act so that it will better meet the needs and aspirations of the 612,000 citizens who make up Ontario’s Francophone community.
As 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of Bill 8, the Commissioner believes it is time for a comprehensive revision of the statute.
“The Act was progressive in 1986, but it is no longer so today,” says Commissioner Boileau. “The face of the Francophonie has changed. Cultural diversity has taken hold. Attitudes are different, as are modes of communication. In my view, modernization of the Act is necessary, perhaps even critical.”
Consequently, in the 2015-2016 annual report:
- The Commissioner recommends that the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs propose to the Legislative Assembly a comprehensive revision of the French Language Services Act.
- The Commissioner recommends that the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs initiate the process of revising the Act during the current session of parliament, no later than the fall of 2016, in connection with the Act’s 30th anniversary.
- The Commissioner recommends that the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs launch, without delay, a mechanism for consulting the residents of Ontario, particularly the Francophone community, as a first step in the process of revising the Act.
The report also contains 16 recommendations on specific issues, including the Act’s statement of purpose, the use of the Inclusive Definition of Francophone, active offer, social media, designation of areas, government agencies, and the roles of the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, the Office of Francophone Affairs, the French-language services coordinators, and the Commissioner.
“In developing these recommendations, I wanted to identify the Act’s current shortcomings and determine the most direct and effective means of remedying them,” explains Commissioner Boileau.
- The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner processed 229 complaints in 2015-2016.
- In nine years, the Commissioner’s Office has received a total of 2,706 complaints. Of those, 2,047, or more than 81%, were investigated.
- Over the years, only 497 complaints (18%) have been deemed inadmissible.
- The French Language Services Commissioner is one of nine officers who report to the Legislative Assembly.
- In 2016, Ontario celebrates the 30th anniversary of 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.
You can access the annual report at flscontario.ca.
Communications and Public Relations Officer
Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
Phone: (416) 906-7021 or 1-866-246-5262 (toll free)
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