Well, I am back to the office after a busy parental leave (not to be confused with vacation time…). And I have to say that the time I spent with our little Sabrina was well worth it.
That said, however, my parental leave did not stand in the way of my full participation in the Conference on 25 years of the French Language Services Act. It was truly awesome. To everyone involved in the organisation of this memorable event, my sincere thanks, including the work done by members of my Office.
I certainly emerged from these two days of discussion with many issues to consider and ponder with the rest of my team. Some are clearly addressed to the members of the Francophone community, others concern the Government of Ontario while many involve the Commissioner’s Office.
One thing stood out for me, though. While listening to the re-enactment of the debates leading up to the adoption of the French Language Services Act twenty-five years ago, I surprised myself with a clearer understanding of what the Act represented at the time: the Act was not considered an end unto itself, but rather a stepping stone. To be sure, this Act, despite its flaws and imperfections, represented an important step forward but certainly not the final destination for Ontario’s Francophone community. Where to from here? Conference participants provided us with excellent answers and suggestions that will fuel our thoughts for weeks to come. To be continued.