Following is a list of sectors to which, in the Office’s view, the team would do well to pay closer attention in the coming years. Since it was still unknown at the time this report was written exactly what resources the newly independent Commissioner’s Office would have, these priority sectors are arranged on the basis of general timeframes rather than a specific schedule.9
|Short term||Medium term||Long term|
|Improvement of the school acquisition process and amendment of the applicable regulation – Follow up on the Office’s investigation report entitled When the most elementary becomes secondary||• Family law – Ontario family courts’ capacity to handle cases in which at least one party is Francophone||• Immigration – Including the application of the Inclusive Definition of Francophone in initiatives that promote Francophone immigration and welcome newcomers|
|• Children and youth services – Paying special attention to Children’s Aid Societies||• Administrative tribunals – More than 230 tribunals settle disputes in Ontario under procedures that are sometimes incompatible with the accepted principles of providing service in French||Health – Structural capacity of this enormous sector to ensure adequate management of Francophone patients|
|Services for the elderly – Particularly with a view to increasing in-home services||Persons living with HIV/AIDS – Equitable access to health and social services for this often marginalized group||Access to justice in French – Implementation of the recommendations of the provincial-level report Access to Justice in French|
|• Pan American/Parapan American Games – Major events that will take place in Toronto in July and August 2015, in which French must play a prominent role||Social assistance – Especially in view of municipalities’ role in delivering these services||Municipalities – Adoption and implementation of municipal by-laws and regulations concerning French-language services|
|• Translation of Ontario regulations – Follow up on a recommendation from the 2008-2009 annual report||• Occupational health and safety – Training, prevention of workplace accidents, bilingual capacity of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board||Follow-up on the Office’s recommendations – Every year, the Commissioner makes recommendations for the improvement of French-language services in Ontario; he has to check periodically to determine what progress has been made on each one|
|Designation of areas – Continuation of discussions on the designation criteria (see section 1.4 of the 2011–2012 annual report)||• Specialized education – Literacy and Basic Skills; education of Francophones with a vision and/or hearing disability|
|• City of Ottawa – In its dual capacity as a municipality with a French-language services by-law and the National Capital||• Francophiles – Taking advantage of the like-mindedness of citizens who support the enhancement of the vitality of Ontario’s Francophonie, whether they speak French or not|
|• Third parties – Follow up on the implementation of Regulation 284/11 governing the delivery of French-language services by third parties|
The preceding list is obviously not complete and is certain to change with the political, social and economic climate of the day. Moreover, the projects enumerated are very ambitious in view of the team’s size: six people, including the Commissioner, with only three of them working on investigations. An essential condition for executing these projects is that the resources allocated to the Commissioner’s Office must be consistent with his mandate.
The next few pages contain a detailed analysis of selected French-language service issues in specific priority sectors.
9Based on the resources that he hoped to have as the newly independent Commissioner’s Office, the proposed timeline for the Office’s strategic priorities is for planning purposes only, “short term” reflects a period of one to two years; “medium term” a period of three to four years, and the “long term” a period of one to four years.