Exemplary Practices

Ontario Francophonie Awards

Created in 2006 by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Francophonie Awards honour individuals who have contributed to the development of the province’s Francophone community and who have played a key role in its vitality.

The Ontario Francophonie Awards are presented every two years to Francophones and Francophiles who have actively participated in the political, social, and economic prosperity and vitality of Ontario’s Francophone community. An independent selection committee, appointed by the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, considers all nominations before selecting the recipients.

Carrières en justice

Carrières en justice [Careers in Justice] is a perfect example of an initiative piloted by the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario  (AJEFO), with support from other organizations and two levels of government. Carrières en Justice was designed to introduce young bilingual Canadians to careers, trades, and professions in law and in the justice system in order to address the shortage of qualified professionals in these fields.

Launched in September 2007, carrieresenjustice.ca is intended for high school students. It provides them with an opportunity to explore different careers in justice through fun video clips


Advisory councils and committees

In recent years, French-language advisory councils and committees on education, health services, and the seniors have been created to meet the needs of Ontario’s Francophone community.

• French Language Health Services Advisory Council

The French Language Health Services Advisory Council was created in November 2007 under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006, to advise and provide recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on health and service delivery issues related to Francophone communities. As a participant in the development of policies and strategies, the Council also makes recommendations to promote access to care, in French, for Ontario’s Francophones. Its chair was appointed by the Government of Ontario. Seven community organizations and associations are represented on the Council.

• Francophone Advisory Committee for the Canada-Ontario partnership on the promotion of official languages – Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat

In 2004, the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat partnered with the Fédération des Aînés et des retraités Francophones de l’Ontario (FAFO) to establish a Francophone Senior Advisory Committee to organize and deliver Francophone Seniors Information Fairs across Ontario. Since 2004, 35 fairs have been held, and more than 5,000 seniors have attended. The committee meets bimonthly via teleconference and face-to-face each Fall.

• French Language Expert Panel for Educators

As part of the Domestic Violence Action Plan, the Government of Ontario created, for a two year mandate, an expert panel for educators working in the field of French-language education. The French Language Expert Panel for Educators has developed training materials and an implementation plan in order to respond more adequately to the needs of French-language educators. In addition to readily downloadable resources, workshops are being held in the province’s 12 French-language school boards to make teachers aware of methods for identifying and supporting children who have witnessed or experienced violence in their home. The Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO), which represents all French-language elementary, secondary, public, and Catholic schools in Ontario, is responsible for the rollout of the training to French-language educators across Ontario.

• Elementary and Secondary French-language Education Task Force

In March 2006, the Government of Ontario decided to create a permanent Elementary and Secondary French-language Education Task Force to address the unique challenges faced by Francophone students. Meeting every three months, this task force advises the Education Minister on matters affecting the Francophone community, such as reducing assimilation, promoting French culture, and retaining Francophone students.

• Forum on Linguistic Duality

In the Fall of 2006, as part of the events marking the 20th anniversary of the French Language Services Act, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services created a forum on community development and linguistic duality.

With representatives from the ministries and agencies and stakeholders in the Francophone community, this forum brought together over 300 participants and made it possible to identify priorities in the form of recommendations for more adequately meeting the needs and current realities of Ontario’s Francophone community.

These recommendations provided the foundation for the development of a concrete action plan by the various ministries. In 2007, they reported on progress in the area of French-language services, based on priorities that had been established by the community.

Télévision française de l’Ontario (TFO)

In 1967, the government of John P. Robarts responded to the demands of groups defending the Franco-Ontarian cause including the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO), by creating the Comité franco-ontarien d’enquête culturelle. Under the chairmanship of Roger Saint-Denis, a member of the board of directors of the Ontario Arts Council, this committee launched an investigation into Franco-Ontarian participation in the arts and culture in Ontario. Two years later, it tabled a report that was pessimistic, to say the least.

The report was entitled La Vie culturelle des Franco-Ontariens and it was better known as the Saint-Denis Report. Drawing on its recommendations, Premier Robarts created the Franco-Ontarian Arts Office of the Ontario Arts Council and a French Language Section, the precursor to TFO, as a means of fighting the assimilation of the Franco-Ontarian community. Recently relocated TFO, TV Ontario’s French-language network, started broadcasting in 1987. It became an active participant in the development and vitality of Ontario’s Francophone community, especially through its programming for French-language schools, which airs on television and over the Internet.

On April 1, 2007, TFO became an independent body with its own board of directors. On April 8, 2008, Education Minister, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, tabled a legislation giving the French-language network independence and budget autonomy from the English language network, TVO.

The aménagement linguistique policy

In October 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Education launched a language planning policy for Ontario’s French-language schools and the Francophone community called the Politique d’aménagement linguistique, or aménagement linguistique policy. The first of its kind in Canada, this policy is designed to help Ontario’s Francophone students preserve their culture, strengthen their pride, and improve their academic achievement through a French-language education system of the highest quality that meets the specific needs of this community.

The culmination of a collective effort, the aménagement linguistique policy promoting the fulfillment of the mandate of the province’s French-language schools was designed by Ontario’s 12 French-language school boards, in cooperation with the parents of students and community organizations. The role of each school board consists in planning targeted activities based on an analysis of the situation and on needs adapted to Francophone students who are learning in a minority setting.