A Major Setback and a Bitter Disappointment for Ontario’s Francophone Community

Toronto, November 16, 2018 – The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) considers the content of the Government of Ontario’s Economic and Fiscal Review to be unacceptable due to the particularly negative impact it will have on the Franco-Ontarian community.

The AFO was ready to accept that the Franco-Ontarian community should carry its fair share of efforts to achieve fiscal balance. However, withdrawing the Université de l’Ontario français project and transferring the responsibilities of the French Language Services Commission to the Ontario Ombudsman are inordinate and extreme measures that will undermine the survival and development of Ontario’s Francophone community.

“During the Progressive-Conservative Party’s leadership campaign, we heard Mr. Ford commit to the Université de l’Ontario français project and that promise was made again during the election campaign. After the election, both the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs formally stated their commitment to continuing this project, which is highly important for Ontario’s Francophone community, especially in the central-southwest region. It is very disappointing that this major commitment is being broken.” said the AFO’s president, Carol Jolin.

“As for the French Language Services Commissioner, we have legitimate reasons to fear that Ontario’s French Language Services Act will become progressively less important for the Government of Ontario and its various agencies, and will greatly affect services in French. ” added Mr. Jolin.

The AFO requests an emergency meeting with Premier Doug Ford to present the position of the Franco-Ontarian community and to ask that these decisions be reversed.

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The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) is the umbrella organisation and the political voice of Ontario’s Francophone community. Its mandate is to assist the Francophone community across the province in working together and to provide community representation, in particular to advocate for the rights of Ontario’s 742,000 Franco-Ontarian citizens.