Government For the People Taking Action for Franco-OntariansNovember 26, 2018
NORTH BAY – Ontario’s Government for the People will adopt three new policy directions in recognition of the significant and ongoing contributions of Franco-Ontarians and Francophones to Ontario over the past 400 years, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli announced today. These include:
- The government will propose amendments to Bill 57, The Restoring Trust, Transparency, and Accountability Act to create the position of French Language Services Commissioner, under the auspices of the Office of the Ombudsman, to maintain independence in conducting investigations and, as part of that, make recommendations to improve the provision of French language services and encourage compliance with the French Language Services Act.
- The current Office of Francophone Affairs will become the Ministry of Francophone Affairs, with the Honourable Caroline Mulroney being sworn-in as the Minister of Francophone Affairs. In this role, Minister Mulroney will be empowered to advocate for Franco-Ontarians and the delivery of French language services.
- The Office of the Premier will hire a senior policy advisor responsible for Francophone Affairs.
While the fiscal realities of our province’s finances prohibit a new stand-alone French Language University right now, Fedeli backs Minister Mulroney in her support for models of education that meet the needs of francophone students and the Francophone community.
“The francophone community in Nipissing is strong, vibrant and essential to our collective efforts to build the best quality of life we can for all of our residents. It’s my pledge to continue constructive dialogue with the community on how we can better recognize and enhance their vital contributions,” said Fedeli.
As well, Fedeli is echoing Mulroney’s request of the federal government to fund francophone services in Ontario at the same level per capita as it does in other parts of Canada. The federal government provides $2.78 per francophone for francophone programming in Ontario, compared to $7.31 in New Brunswick, and $35.71 in Manitoba.
In the past five years, the federal government has invested just $7 million in French-language services in Ontario, compared to $13.2 million invested by the province.
“My request to our Northern Ontario government MPs is that they press their government to properly invest in Francophone services in Ontario,” added Fedeli.