This parting message will not have the dose of humour that I put into previous blog posts; instead, it will be filled with sincere emotion. As we all know, all good things must come to an end. The end of a great mandate as French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario.
It is particularly sad that in addition to being the first commissioner, I am also the last, no matter what the government says. I talk about this, and other things, in my final annual report. You can’t imagine what an honour it has been to work with you. I’m not going to lie: this decade is not ending as I would have hoped, but I’m still very proud of what we’ve accomplished. You should also be proud of yourselves. Yes, of your contribution! Through the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner, we built and reinforced bridges so that we would have access to high-quality French-language services.
That work over the last 12 years is not something I did by myself. We all contributed to improving, maintaining and creating French-language services. Through your complaints, you guided and empowered both me and the members of my team. All this to say that my departure does not signal the end of French-language services. Stay the way you are – engaged and motivated to expand your horizons and preserve our beautiful language. Whatever your place in, or contribution to, this wonderful community, you’re making it stronger. Keep talking about your ideas, your experiences, your successes and, most importantly, your challenges.
As I’ve often repeated in my speeches, I’ve travelled a lot in this province and met some exceptional people: members of the community, government officials, representatives of organizations, and many more. I also wanted to take the time to thank you for your warm welcome, your availability and, most of all, your great generosity. I am leaving my position, it is true, but as we all know, there is still a lot of work to be done. My 27 reports are there for a reason. I hope that the new French-language services unit in the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario will pay particular attention to them. Above all, though, I’m counting on your support in continuing to express your needs and issues loud and clear through complaints.
As I leave you, I’m getting ready to embark on a new venture. Yes, a new path … and I admit I don’t yet know where it will lead. Before that, a well-deserved rest, and then we’ll see what the future holds for me. I close this final blog post with a salute to all those who have been part of my team. I want to express my genuine gratitude. Thank you for all those wonderful moments that we shared, your professionalism, and your dedication to the Francophonie. Until we meet again, I wish you well.
I am ending this blog post without giving in to too much sadness, because I had a fantastic job and I gained a great deal from it. What an immense privilege it was to have served Ontario! So this is not goodbye.
So long for now