Annual Report 2017-2018

Looking ahead, getting ready

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1. Best practices

These best practices were developed in partnership with the Franco-Ontarian community or made it possible to concretely improve the vitality of disadvantaged Francophone populations.

Establishment of the université de l’Ontario français

A few months after the government of Ontario indicated in its economic statement that it intended to create a university for Francophones, the government of Ontario adopted, on December 14, 2017, the Université de l’Ontario français Act, 2017. This Act created the future university that will be established in Toronto and established the board of directors, composed of nine internal representatives and 13 external representatives. The Université de l’Ontario français will enhance postsecondary studies programs in French and promote the linguistic, cultural, economic and social well-being of its students and of the Francophone community of Ontario. It is expected to open in 2020.

Rest beds at the Centres d’Accueil Héritage

There is no assistance for Francophone caregivers in the Greater Toronto Area. Faced with this need, the Centres d’Accueil Héritage converted one of their 135 apartments to create two rest beds for Francophone caregivers. This 15-month project, supported by the Toronto Central LHIN, offers much sought-after rest to the caregivers of the welcome centres’ Francophone clients and of those awaiting admission to a long-term care establishment. The objective is that this project for two rest beds which become a long-term initiative, perhaps one that the Toronto Central LHIN can transpose elsewhere.

Increased occupancy rate for beds for Francophones at the Omer Deslauriers Pavilion (Bendale Acres)

The Omer Deslauriers Pavilion, in the Bendale Acres long-term care home in Toronto, has 37 beds designated for its Francophone residents. In order to ensure that Francophone clients are given priority, the home implemented strategies to increase the Francophone residents’ occupancy rate. One of these strategies was to assign this objective to a steering committee. The Omer Deslauriers Pavillion has now increased its occupancy rate for Francophones by 25% in 2017-2018.

The TAIBU Community Health Centre is designated as a French-language service provider

With the support of Entité 4 and local partners, the TAIBU Community Health Centre in Scarborough has demonstrated leadership by creating seven bilingual full-time positions and by obtaining the commitment and support of the community to offer primary health care in French. As such, the TAIBU Centre has obtained the status of a designated French-language service provider. The Centre plans to obtain full designation under the French Language Services Act in 2021.

French-language health services guide

In November 2017, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care distributed the Guide to Requirements and Obligations Relating to French Language Health Services. Developed in partnership with the LHINs and the French Language Health Planning Entities, this guide helps to clarify the assignment of roles and responsibilities to the Ministry, the LHINs, the Entities and health-service providers as prescribed by the legislative framework. It is also used as a reference document for administrative teams with regard to accountability for the offer of health services in French across the province.

Launch of pratiquO

pratiquO was established in June 2017 with the help of interministerial collaboration and the collaboration of partners in the legal community. pratiquO is the name of the Continuing Professional Development Centre of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. The Centre offers training in French, online and in person, to Francophone and Francophile jurists and paralegals, to satisfy Law Society requirements. It is the fruit of a collaboration between the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, the Ministry of Francophone Affairs, Canadian Heritage, Justice Canada, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario and the Law Society of Ontario. Ontario is a pioneer of this initiative, which could be an opportunity for interprovincial collaboration with other provinces and territories with similar needs.

Establishment of the Programme Franco

In September 2017, the Ministry of Francophone Affairs launched the very first multi-year grants program entirely devoted to the Francophone community of Ontario. The Francophone Community Grants Program, or Programme Franco, has a 3 million budget spread over three years and is intended to support projects which, among other things, facilitate social integration, reduce barriers faced by Francophones groups, celebrate Ontarian Francophonie and promote its understanding, and reinforce the capacity of Francophone organizations in Ontario. The program is the fruit of a close collaboration between the Ministry of Francophone Affairs, the former Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

Annex to the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement on French-speaking immigrants

Following the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement on Immigration, the former Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada added an annex on Francophone immigration to their agreement. This annex facilitates cooperation between Ontario and Canada in immigration matters, prevents duplicated services, but most of all explores opportunities to increase the number of Francophone immigrants. One of the objectives is also to facilitate lasting connections between French-language immigrants, local communities and Francophone communities, and to improve awareness of integration services offered in French.

Destination Ontario

Destination Ontario is a pilot initiative that was jointly established by the former Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Destination Ontario’s goal is to increase the province’s visibility in new international communities in order to support Francophone immigration in Ontario. The first mission took place in February 2018 in North Africa. It made it possible for the Ministry to meet potential immigrants and to get a sense of new international audiences.

The Ministry also partnered with the Société économique de l’Ontario in order to complement and reinforce existing initiatives to promote Ontarian Francophonie on an international scale.

Forum on French-language mental health services for youth

In December 2017, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services held a one-day forum on French-language services for organizations that work in mental health with children and adolescents in Toronto. The forum made it possible to clarify the responsibilities related to the planning of French-language services, the importance of the role played by key organizations in the offer of French-language services and the exchange of best practices. The organizations’ representatives were committed to the forum from the outset, participating in the development and distribution of its content.

Collection of Francophone identity-based data

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services recently led an initiative to collect identity-based data, adding a benchmark for data on French language or French identity. The initiative enabled the youth criminal justice system to improve the quality of data gathered by standardizing the collection sites, the data elements and the definitions assigned to the data. Specifically, it made it possible to identify the shortcomings in French-language services offered to Francophone youth. The collection of personal information from youth between the ages of 12 and 17 years old is done voluntarily, by self-reporting. The Ministry also developed a survey on the experience of clients in French to complement the implementation of the standardization of data collection in all of its programs.

Ontario Trillium Foundation intervention plan

The Ontario Trillium Foundation established a Francophone affinity group to respond to a decrease in the rate of grants to Francophone organizations. The group formulated recommendations that resulted in an intervention plan with Francophone communities in the province. The Trillium Foundation implemented the recommendations in 2017-2018, including a French-language-media awareness campaign inviting Francophones to sit on the review committees for the grant applications, or information sessions on the project selection process. The intervention plan had a considerable impact, restoring the grant rate for Francophone organizations to 5.6%, which is more than the average of past years.

Services in French for Highway 407

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario included a provision in its contract with Cantoll, the private company that manages the tolls on Highway 407, to ensure that the Website of Highway 407 is entirely functional in French and in English. Even though Cantoll (ETR 407) is not required to offer services in French, the Ministry required it to offer the same level of services in English and in French. So, Francophones can make payments, order a transponder, and calculate the cost of their trip on the Website in French. Cantoll also provides services over the phone and in person, in French and in English, to people who use Highway 407.

Establishment of the Access to Justice in French Advisory Committee

The establishment of the French Language Services Bench and Bar Advisory Committee in 2010 is due to a recommendation by the Commissioner issued in 2009. The Attorney General of Ontario then entrusted a mandate to the co-Chairs, Justice Paul Rouleau and the former Chair of the AJEFO, Paul LeVay, to examine the knowledge of members of the judiciary in language-rights matters and the lack of bilingual judges in Ontario. A steering committee was then formed in February 2018 and was tasked with following through on the recommendations, including one for a pilot project for access to justice in French.

Pilot Project at the Ottawa Court House

On May 29, 2015, the Ministry of the Attorney General, in partnership with the chief justices of Ontario, launched the Seamless Access to Justice in French Pilot Project. The Project, which ended in November 2016, made it possible to examine various practices and to implement new initiatives for access to services in French in the justice sector. As the Commissioner recommended, the Ministry made the final report on the pilot project public in October. The significant achievements will remain in place permanently at the Ottawa Court House (new signs, greeting by security at the entrance, ticketing system that indicates a request for service in French, etc.). The model therefore worked well and could be applied in other regions.

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