2.2. Honourable mentions
The honourable mentions recognize initiatives that promoted Ontario’s Francophonie or expanded the provision of French-language services. Each one will be the subject of a blog post by the Commissioner in the coming year.
Virtual exhibit on the history of Ontario’s Francophonie
The Ontario Museum Association created a virtual exhibit showing important objects in Franco-Ontarian history. More than 35 museums and heritage organizations, including the Hearst Ecomuseum, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Vanier Museopark submitted objects, images and archival materials to create this virtual museum. The exhibit focuses on the contribution of the French presence in Ontario over the last four centuries. The virtual exhibit, #mON400, enhances Ontario’s tourism and heritage supply and will help educate future generations.
Promotional leaflet Le Bon Choix
This leaflet designed by the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade (MCIIT) promotes Ontario as a destination of choice for Francophone immigrants who want to settle, study, work or raise a family in Canada. This promotional tool will also be used for recruitment at international fairs such as Destination Canada and Canada Week in Paris. It contains links to websites for Francophones interested in moving to Ontario, MCIIT’s programs, including the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
Symposium on French-language apprenticeship and trades programs
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities held its first symposium on French-language apprenticeship and trades programs in May 2015. The goal was to encourage partnerships between employers, bilingual employment service providers, and the French-language colleges and school boards.
Presentations and workshops on French-language apprenticeship training provided an opportunity to discuss innovative practices for promoting trades in Francophone communities, and innovative and alternative delivery modes for French-language training, as well as identify gaps in the range of apprenticeship programs available in French.
Audit of the active offer of French-language services
A number of ministries designed and conducted an audit of the active offer of their French-language services. In the fall of 2015, the ministries of the Environment and Climate Change, Aboriginal Affairs, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Energy, Natural Resources and Forestry, and Northern Development and Mines initiated this first internal audit to gauge the understanding, application and capacity of active offer of French-language services. For reference, a document describing the responsibilities associated with the active offer of French-language services to the public was handed out to employees in designated bilingual positions.
For its part, the Economics Central Agencies French Language Services Cluster (Ministry of Finance), which developed and promoted the Active Offer Audit throughout the network of French Language Services, has been conducting the audit for its clients ministries for five years now.
The audit covers such things as telephone calls, telephone lines and recorded messages intended for the public, and the content of websites, including social media.
Mental health awareness and designation of HIV/AIDS services
With support from the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), two Greater Toronto Area organizations were able to carry out a project for Francophone communities.
The French-language health planning entity Reflet Salvéo initiated an education project on mental health and associated cultural perceptions. The project involved promotional materials in French, a video contest for kids and peer training, especially for Francophone immigrants, to diminish cultural and linguistic taboos, and boost access to mental health services.
Meanwhile, Action Positive VIH/sida, the only Francophone organization dedicated exclusively to HIV/AIDS in Ontario, received its designation under the French Language Services Act. With the LHIN’s support, the organization aims to serve Toronto’s Francophone clients more effectively and advocate prevention in the schools. The proposed measures include enhancing the partner referral approach, updating the website and developing an education plan for the Francophone community.
Seniors’ Wellness Symposium
The City of Toronto, in partnership with some Francophone organizations, presented a Seniors’ Wellness Symposium in June 2015. This event was held at the Bendale Acres/Pavillon Omer Deslauriers long-term care home, a senior citizens’ centre that provides services in French.
The symposium’s theme was cultural and linguistic competency in person-centred care. A number of organizations assisted in organizing the symposium, including three French-language health planning entities — Reflet Salvéo, Entité 4 and the Réseau franco-santé Sud de l’Ontario — and the Fédération des aînés et des retraités francophones de l’Ontario.
The Bendale Acres home also received an award from Entité 4 for its exceptional contribution to the development of French-language services.