HOME
The Info List - French Language Services Act


--- Advertisement ---



The French Language Services Act
French Language Services Act
(French: Loi sur les services en français) is a law in the province of Ontario, Canada
Canada
which is intended to protect the rights of Franco-Ontarians, or French-speaking people, in the province. The Act does not give the French language
French language
full official language status in the province, which has no official language defined in law but is primarily an English-speaking province in practice. The Act, however, ensures that provincial government services are offered in French in 25 designated areas across the province with significant numbers of Franco-Ontarian
Franco-Ontarian
residents.

Contents

1 Preamble 2 History 3 The Act 4 Ensuring compliance 5 Designated areas

5.1 Districts and counties 5.2 Municipalities 5.3 Expansion of services

6 Law application 7 Controversy 8 References 9 External links

Preamble[edit] "Whereas the French language
French language
is a historic and honoured language in Ontario
Ontario
and recognized by the Constitution as an official language in Canada; and whereas in Ontario
Ontario
the French language
French language
is recognized as an official language in the courts and in education; and whereas the Legislative Assembly recognizes the contribution of the cultural heritage of the French speaking population and wishes to preserve it for future generations; and whereas it is desirable to guarantee the use of the French language
French language
in institutions of the Legislature and the Government of Ontario, as provided in this Act." History[edit] Historically, the Franco-Ontarian
Franco-Ontarian
community had been ignored or treated with contempt by the government of Ontario, most notably with the adoption in 1912 of Regulation 17, which forbade the use of French as a language of school instruction in Ontario. Regulation 17 was challenged in court by the activist organization ACFÉO, and was never fully implemented before its repeal in 1927. However, it was not until 1968 that the provincial government amended the Education Act to officially recognize the existence of French language
French language
schools in the province. Over the next number of years, the government began to offer a wider range of services in French. In 1970, a Coordinator of Bilingualism was appointed to oversee the development of French language
French language
government services. Over the next 16 years, a large number of service policies were adopted on a piecemeal basis by individual ministries, until the French Language Services Act
French Language Services Act
was introduced in 1986. The Act[edit] The primary purpose of the Act was to consolidate and formalize government policies and regulations around the provision of French language services. The Act guaranteed francophones in 23 designated areas of the province a right to local French services from the provincial government. Two more cities were designated as French language service areas after the Act came into effect. Francophones living outside of the designated areas can receive services in French by accessing government services located in the designated areas or by directly contacting the head offices of government ministries. The provision and coordination of French language services is managed by the Ministry of Francophone Affairs. The French Language Services Act
French Language Services Act
does not cover public agencies such as hospitals, nursing homes or the Children's Aid Society. However, these agencies may ask to be officially designated as providers of services in French by the Cabinet. Once designated, the agencies must provide French-language services just as the ministries do.[1] Other partially funded provincial and municipal agencies may develop their own policies regarding French language
French language
services. For instance, Ontario public libraries within FLSA designated areas are not bound by the Act,[2] however the Ontario
Ontario
Libraries Act’s section 20 (b) states that public library boards “shall seek to provide library services in the French language, where appropriate”.[3] The Act also does not legislate any responsibilities upon individual municipalities to provide French language
French language
services, although a municipality may choose to do so of its own accord. The Act was introduced in 1986 by Bernard Grandmaître, Minister of Francophone Affairs in the Liberal government of David Peterson, and passed successfully. It provided for a three-year implementation period, and the law officially came into effect on November 18, 1989.[4] Ensuring compliance[edit] As of 2007, the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner is the agency whose primary mandate is to ensure compliance with the French Language Services Act
French Language Services Act
in the delivery of government services by means of independent investigations.[5][6] The Commissioner receives and handles complaints from the public with respect to inadequate French-language services from the Ontario
Ontario
government. Recommendations are outlined in a publicly available annual report to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.[7] Designated areas[edit] In order for an area to obtain designation Francophones must make up at least 10% of its population, and urban centres must have at least 5,000 francophones.[8] Previous to 2009, the definition of a francophone in Ontario
Ontario
included only native French speakers. This definition was broadened by the Government of Ontario
Ontario
in June 2009 "to better reflect the changing face and diversity of Ontario's Francophone communities." The new Inclusive Definition of Francophones (IDF) now includes allophones, "those whose mother tongue is neither French nor English but have particular knowledge of French as an official language and use French at home, including many recent immigrants to Ontario
Ontario
for whom French is the language of integration."[9] Districts and counties[edit]

Algoma District Cochrane District Nipissing District Prescott and Russell United Counties Sudbury District Timiskaming District

Municipalities[edit]

Brampton Callander Cornwall Essa Greater Sudbury Greenstone Hamilton Ignace Kingston Lakeshore Laurentian Valley London Manitouwadge Marathon Mississauga North Glengarry North Stormont Ottawa Pembroke Penetanguishene Port Colborne South Glengarry South Stormont Tecumseh Terrace Bay Tilbury Tiny Toronto Welland Whitewater Region Winchester Windsor

Expansion of services[edit] Brampton
Brampton
was designated as the province's 24th bilingual service centre in 2004, and the designation officially came into effect in March 2007. Kingston was designated as the 25th bilingual service centre in May 2006, and French services officially came into effect in 2009. Law application[edit] The Hawkesbury detachment the Ontario
Ontario
Provincial Police became the first in Ontario
Ontario
to be fully operational in English and French in December 2012. [10] Controversy[edit] The Act was controversial with anti-bilingualism advocates such as the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada, who alleged that it created a special entitlement for francophones at the expense of anglophone residents of the province as the requirement to provide bilingual services was perceived to discriminate against government employees who did not speak French. APEC also misrepresented or misunderstood the reality that the legislation did not cover municipal government services, and it began a campaign of persuading Ontario
Ontario
municipalities to declare themselves English-only. A number of smaller municipalities, especially in the Western Ontario
Ontario
region, did so during the implementation period. On January 29, 1990, the most famous such resolution was passed in Sault Ste. Marie, igniting a national controversy which in turn became a flashpoint in the Meech Lake Accord
Meech Lake Accord
debate. (See Sault Ste. Marie language resolution.) On November 18, 1996, New Democrat MPP Gilles Bisson
Gilles Bisson
spoke in French in the Legislative Assembly to mark the 10th anniversary of the Act's passage. He was heckled by Progressive Conservative opponent Joe Spina, who yelled at Bisson to "Speak English!"[11] References[edit]

^ "Government of Ontario
Ontario
- Office of Francophone Affairs: Designated Agencies". Ofa.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2015-03-02.  ^ "Public Libraries Act: Q & A". Mtc.gov.on.ca. 2014-10-03. Retrieved 2015-03-02.  ^ [1][dead link] ^ "En français, s'il vous plaît". Windsor Star, October 27, 1989. ^ "Office of the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario". Flsc.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2015-03-02.  ^ [2] Archived August 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Office of the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario
Ontario
— Publications". Flsc.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2015-03-02.  ^ "Government of Ontario
Ontario
- Office of Francophone Affairs: Map of Designated Areas". Ofa.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2015-03-02.  ^ " Ontario
Ontario
government". Ontario.ca. Retrieved 2015-03-02.  ^ "Hawkesbury first fully operational bilingual detachment". CNW Group. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2017-08-13.  ^ "Spina comments raise ire again". Windsor Star, November 19, 1996.

External links[edit]

Text of the Act in English Text of the Act in French French-language ed

.