The Honourable Madeleine Meilleur leaves Francophones a permanent legacy
TORONTO, June 10, 2016 – The French Language Services Commissioner, François Boileau, added his voice to that of the Francophone community to acknowledge the remarkable work of the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur on behalf of the Francophonie.
Madeleine Meilleur announced yesterday evening that she had decided to leave politics to spend more time with her family. The Commissioner would especially like to salute her vision, tenacity and courage in going off the beaten path, but above all, her willingness to take risks for Ontario’s French-speaking citizens.
“We have clearly turned a page in the history of Ontario’s Francophonie. It is important that we recognize her many accomplishments and unequivocal influence in Cabinet in the service of all the citizens of Ontario,” stated Commissioner Boileau.
Decades of commitment
Madeleine Meilleur is a woman who has been politically engaged for a long time, and is the type of person described as a “force of nature”. Highly concerned with the quality of life of Francophones throughout Ontario, she applied her talent in bringing people together to several key files that helped shape stronger Francophone communities. Chief among these are the expansion of the Montfort Hospital and the establishment of French-language health planning agencies, both of which benefited from investments in education and health. She also achieved the independence of the French TV channel TFO, the creation and independence of the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner, not to mention the new Inclusive Definition of Francophone (IDF) that better reflects the new reality of Ontario’s communities. She also greatly contributed to increasing the number of French-speaking Ontarians appointed to key positions.
“Her determination, tireless dedication to the Francophonie, passion, commitment, and knowledge of Franco-Ontarians helped promote the vitality of Ontario’s French-speaking communities,” added Commissioner Boileau.
- During the past 25 years, the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur represented Ottawa-Vanier, first as a municipal councillor and then as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
- Since 2003, she has sat in Cabinet as Minister for Culture, Minister for Community and Social Services, Minister for Community Safety and Correctional Services, and most recently as Attorney General. She has also been the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs for over 13 years.
- Over the course of her career, she spearheaded many initiatives that contributed to improving access to, and the quality of, French-language services such as the creation of advisory committees, particularly in the fields of health and Francophone affairs.
- In 2014, she launched a pilot project on access to justice aimed at facilitating access to French-language services at the Ottawa Courthouse.
- Ms. Meilleur contributed to the provincial immigration strategy by helping to establish a committee of eleven experts to attain the 5% Francophone immigrant target and thereby further ensuring the sustainability of Franco-Ontarian communities.
- In 2015, she brilliantly led the 400th anniversary celebrations commemorating Champlain’s arrival in Ontario, which marks the starting point for all cultural, social, economic and political contributions of the Francophone community to the growth and development of the province.
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.
Lead, Strategic Communications
Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
Telephone: (416) 906-7021 or 1 866 246-5262 (toll free)