Advisory councils and committees
In recent years, French-language advisory councils and committees on education, health services, and the seniors have been created to meet the needs of Ontario’s Francophone community.
• French Language Health Services Advisory Council
The French Language Health Services Advisory Council was created in November 2007 under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006, to advise and provide recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on health and service delivery issues related to Francophone communities. As a participant in the development of policies and strategies, the Council also makes recommendations to promote access to care, in French, for Ontario’s Francophones. Its chair was appointed by the Government of Ontario. Seven community organizations and associations are represented on the Council.
• Francophone Advisory Committee for the Canada-Ontario partnership on the promotion of official languages – Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat
In 2004, the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat partnered with the Fédération des Aînés et des retraités Francophones de l’Ontario (FAFO) to establish a Francophone Senior Advisory Committee to organize and deliver Francophone Seniors Information Fairs across Ontario. Since 2004, 35 fairs have been held, and more than 5,000 seniors have attended. The committee meets bimonthly via teleconference and face-to-face each Fall.
• French Language Expert Panel for Educators
As part of the Domestic Violence Action Plan, the Government of Ontario created, for a two year mandate, an expert panel for educators working in the field of French-language education. The French Language Expert Panel for Educators has developed training materials and an implementation plan in order to respond more adequately to the needs of French-language educators. In addition to readily downloadable resources, workshops are being held in the province’s 12 French-language school boards to make teachers aware of methods for identifying and supporting children who have witnessed or experienced violence in their home. The Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO), which represents all French-language elementary, secondary, public, and Catholic schools in Ontario, is responsible for the rollout of the training to French-language educators across Ontario.
• Elementary and Secondary French-language Education Task Force
In March 2006, the Government of Ontario decided to create a permanent Elementary and Secondary French-language Education Task Force to address the unique challenges faced by Francophone students. Meeting every three months, this task force advises the Education Minister on matters affecting the Francophone community, such as reducing assimilation, promoting French culture, and retaining Francophone students.
• Forum on Linguistic Duality
In the Fall of 2006, as part of the events marking the 20th anniversary of the French Language Services Act, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services created a forum on community development and linguistic duality.
With representatives from the ministries and agencies and stakeholders in the Francophone community, this forum brought together over 300 participants and made it possible to identify priorities in the form of recommendations for more adequately meeting the needs and current realities of Ontario’s Francophone community.
These recommendations provided the foundation for the development of a concrete action plan by the various ministries. In 2007, they reported on progress in the area of French-language services, based on priorities that had been established by the community.