News Room

Contact Information

For requests concerning media relations, requests for interviews or public relations:

Emmanuelle Bleytou
Lead, Strategic communications
Phone: 1 866 246-5262 or 416 847-1515 ext. 107
Cell : 416 906-7021

Media Advisory – 2011-2012 Annual Rerport

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TORONTO, May 31, 2012 – French Language Services Commissioner, François Boileau, will be presenting his fifth annual report to members of the media. This document, entitled Annual Report 2011 2012: Straight Forward, provides an assessment of the past year and presents six important recommendations.

Among other topics, the report discusses the independence of the Commissioner — a subject that made headlines in recent months with the introduction of Bill 49. The report also deals with the public-private partnerships announced in the last budget.

Please note, this will be Commissioner Boileau’s last annual report before the end of his second mandate.

Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Time: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Media Studio
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Legislative Building
Toronto, ON M7A 1A2

Ontario’s Legislative Building is located north of the College St. and Queen’s Park Crescent intersection.

Copies of the annual report will be distributed to journalists who attend this event. The report will also be available in accessible digital format (HTML) and as a downloadable PDF on the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner’s website under the PUBLICATIONS section:

Please confirm your attendance by email:

Commissioner Boileau applauds government actions to address lack of French-language schools in Greater Toronto Area

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TORONTO, March 20, 2012 – French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau is pleased with the significant progress made by the Government of Ontario to address the lack of French-language schools in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Since the publication of the Commissioner’s investigation report on this matter in June 2011, the government has taken a number of steps to address this issue, including announcing plans to build nine additional French-language schools in the GTA.

“Our report revealed that parents wishing to enrol their children in primary and secondary education in French in the GTA were forced to choose between a lengthy commute or enrolling their children in an English school. This was simply unacceptable,” said Commissioner François Boileau.

The Commissioner’s report also revealed that while demand for French-language education in the GTA continued to increase, English-language public school boards were reporting — and continue to report — a decrease in enrolment: a situation that has led to a surplus of school properties that could be put to better use.

“It goes without saying that the various components of our education system should be aligned to serve the needs of French-language and English-language students. There should be no other priority. Indeed, everything else is a secondary consideration.”

To address the situation of unused surplus school properties, the Commissioner requested changes to Ontario Regulation 444/98 to support more effective and efficient real estate transactions between school boards. Though the Commissioner would have expected a clearer timeline, the Ministry of Education has nonetheless indicated its willingness to amend this regulation while respecting the constitutional and legal autonomy of school boards.


  • The Commissioner’s investigation revealed that the shortage of French-language schools, coupled with a steady increase in the number of students wishing to study in French, had led to an overpopulation of students in French-language schools in the GTA.
  • The investigation found that two out of three existing French-language secondary schools in the GTA had surpassed the 100% occupancy rate.
  • The Commissioner also discovered that flaws in Ontario Regulation 444/98 had a direct impact on the Francophone community, limiting their ability to acquire new facilities.
  • This limitation, according to the Commissioner, amounted to leaving the door wide open for the assimilation of young French-speaking Ontarians.
  • The Commissioner’s investigation report contained three recommendations.
  • The first recommendation urged the government to directly address the shortage of French-language schools in the GTA by building or providing new facilities.
  • The second recommendation urged the government to modify the rules related to the sale and transfer of surplus school properties to ensure transparency and fairness.
  • The third recommendation requested that the Ministry of Education create incentives for collaborative, joint capital projects between school boards.
  • The Commissioner’s report did not investigate the issue of the equivalent quality of academic and extracurricular programs and services by French and English-language schools in given neighbourhoods, as raised by certain parents.
  • Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees minority language education rights at the elementary and secondary levels.
  • The provinces have an obligation to ensure that those rights are upheld.


The Commissioner’s report entitled French-language schools in the Greater Toronto Area: When the most elementary becomes secondary is available for viewing or download on the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner’s website,, in the PUBLICATIONS section.

You may also wish to read the Ministry’s response to the Commissioner’s recommendations and the terms of reference of the newly established Public Asset Work Group.


Gyula Kovacs
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
416 314-8247 or 1-866-246-5262

Commissioner Boileau sees opportunities for Francophones in Drummond Report

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TORONTO, February 24, 2012 – French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau supports a number of recommendations in the report of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services chaired by economist Don Drummond. According to the Commissioner, there are opportunities for the Francophone community in the report, which suggests ways of improving the efficiency of services to Ontario residents.

“There are numerous examples of Francophone organizations that provide French-language services on the government’s behalf effectively and efficiently. Some of them even have the capacity to deliver services in both languages. So I am confident that they are also part of the solution being sought by the government.”

To save money and optimize resources, the report recommends in particular the establishment of multi-service centres in partnership with the federal government and selected municipalities to facilitate the delivery of bilingual services (p. 387), an idea that the Commissioner proposed in his last annual report.

The report also suggests that additional powers be given to the Ministry of Education allowing it to order the sale of closed schools or other unused properties to make them available to meet other needs (Recommendation 6-24).

The Commissioner applauds this proposal, since it echoes a similar recommendation that he made last June in his report on the shortage of French-language schools in the Greater Toronto Area. If implemented, that recommendation could help meet the needs of French-language education rights holders, provided it is fully consistent with school boards’ management rights established in section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Commissioner also subscribes to the idea that the government should reassume responsibility for the public health sector (Recommendations 5-80 and 5-78), in particular by giving more power to the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), since the latter are already working closely with the new French Language Health Planning Entities.

“We will nevertheless remain vigilant to make sure that the Francophone community’s needs are taken into account in any decisions that the government makes to overhaul public finances,” said the Commissioner.

“To be blunt, I intend to oppose any program privatization, abolition or merger that do not offer, in advance, concrete and pragmatic guarantees that can be implemented in the field concerning the maintenance and improvement of French-language services.”


  • Last May, in his annual report for 2010-2011, the Commissioner addressed Ontario’s Francophones directly in anticipation of the Drummond Commission’s work.
  • He asked the community to take an active role in reforming government services by proposing innovative, pragmatic, results-oriented means and methods to ensure the development of the Francophone community.
  • In 2009, the Commissioner recommended that the government ensure that any statute authorizing privatization clearly contains sections specifically indicating that the rights prescribed in the French Language Services Act shall continue to apply.
  • The government’s response was that it would take the Commissioner’s recommendation into account in the event of any privatizations and that it took its obligations to provide French-language services very seriously.
  • The Commissioner met with the members of the Commission in December 2011 to make them aware of the importance of French-language services in Ontario.


Please read our latest annual report, our report on French-language schools in the Greater Toronto Area, our Special Report on French Language Health Services Planning and the Commissioner’s presentation to the members of the Drummond Commission.

You can find these documents in the PUBLICATIONS section of our website,

Gyula Kovacs
Agent des communications et des relations publiques
Commissariat aux services en français
416 314-8247 ou 1-866-246-5262

University of Ottawa and Commissioner Boileau meet to discuss possible designation under the French Language Services Act

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OTTAWA, January 27, 2012 – Ontario’s French Language Services Commissioner, François Boileau, met with representatives of the University of Ottawa to discuss the University’s possible designation under Ontario’s French Language Services Act, RSO 1990 ch. F.32.

The meeting was held at the Commissioner’s offices, in Toronto, at the request of University president Allan Rock, who led the University delegation. The University is considering whether to apply for designation under the Act.

“Today’s meeting was a first step in a process that we hope and expect will lead to clarity, so that we can decide what recommendation to make to our Board,” said Allan Rock.

The first series of questions dealt with the effects of designation on program and course offerings. The University’s Regulation on Bilingualism allows for different approaches regarding course offerings in one or both languages.

Indeed, there is no perfect symmetry in course and program offerings in the two languages. For example, some courses may be offered in French only, while others are offered in English only. Furthermore, it is a normal feature of university life that programs are created to meet new needs, and that programs are discontinued when they no longer attract students or no longer fill a need.

The University also requested information on the impact of the Act on University services. While student services are generally offered in both languages, the University raised a number of concerns regarding the effects of a designation on the internal workings of certain services.

The third series of questions dealt with the effect of the Act on University governance. Academic freedom and the independence that stems from this freedom are basic characteristics of universities.

“I am delighted to have met with the University’s representatives,” said Commissioner Boileau. “My office will work with them to clarify the matters that they have raised within the limits of my mandate. While we could not complete our work in a single meeting, today’s session was a good start.”


Julie Tanguay
Director, Corporate Communications
University of Ottawa
613-724-8290 (cell.)

Gyula Kovacs
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
416-314-8247 or 1-866-246-5262