Summary and Recommendations
This report covers the activities of the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, and provides a review of its last six years. It is the sixth annual report of Commissioner François Boileau, whose third term ends in September 2017. It contains three recommendations for the Ontario government.
Chapter 1 outlines the organizational history of the Commissioner’s Office and documents the key factors that have influenced its evolution since 2007: the increased diversity and growth of Ontario’s Francophone population, collaboration with a number of partners, limited human and financial resources, and the organization’s previous complaint handling policy. The Commissioner explains how these elements are now prompting him to adopt a new approach to guide his actions and his interactions with complainants, ministries and other government agencies. The Commissioner also points out the need to focus more on disadvantaged populations.
The Commissioner recommends that the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, in conjunction with her Cabinet colleagues, develop an action plan to ensure that disadvantaged populations have genuine access to French-language services, in keeping with the letter and the spirit of the French Language Services Act.
Chapter 2 provides an update on the progress made in the delivery of French-language services in the last six years, for each of the government’s service sectors. In this chapter, the Commissioner also reiterates the importance of the active offer of French-language services and human resources planning.
The French Language Services Commissioner recommends to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs that an explicit directive regarding the active offer of French-language services be issued by the Management Board in the 2013-2014 fiscal year and that said directive apply to all ministries, government agencies and entities that provide French-language services on behalf of the government.
The French Language Services Commissioner recommends to the Ministry of Government Services that a directive on the development and implementation of a human resources plan for French-language services be issued by the Management Board in the 2013-2014 fiscal year and that said directive apply to all ministries, government agencies and entities that provide French-language services on behalf of the government. The plan should include concrete measures for the designation, appointment, training and retention of staff.
The Commissioner concludes Chapter 2 with his wish that the member municipalities of the Association française des municipalités de l’Ontario (AFMO) will adopt a municipal by-law or regulation formalizing the use of French in the delivery of their programs and services.
Chapter 3 provides a statistical profile of complaints. The Commissioner’s Office received 349 complaints in 2012-2013.
The final chapter in the annual report, Chapter 4, describes best practices and innovations by government ministries and agencies in the delivery of French-language services. For 2012-2013, the Commissioner selected eight exemplary practices and 15 honourable mentions from a total of 100 suggestions submitted.