A debate the Franco-Ontarian community has been waiting for

Ottawa, May 29, 2018 – Tonight, three candidates in the June 7 provincial elections will take part in a televised debate in French. The candidates are Marie-France Lalonde (Liberal Party), Gila Martow (Progressive Conservative Party) and Gilles Bisson (New Democratic Party). This debate was organized by Radio-Canada, TFO and a consortium of seven Franco-Ontarian newspapers and five Franco-Ontarian community radio stations.

The Franco-Ontarian community hopes that francophone issues will be at the heart of the debate and the elections. It expects clear commitments from all parties regarding:

  • the Université de l’Ontario français and post-secondary education in French;
  • an updated version of the French Language Services Act;
  • bilingualism in Ontario; and
  • development strategies for the Franco-Ontarian community (improving French-language healthcare services, francophone immigration, equity, etc.).

“The parties have already commented on these issues via a survey that was sent to them by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario. Their answers were published by the AFO last week. It’s important that all parties in Ontario clearly express their positions and commitments regarding these issues. There are 622 340 francophones in Ontario, and they have significant political clout. I encourage each and every one of them to go vote and familiarize candidates in all ridings with the issues that touch the Francophonie of Ontario,” said Carol Jolin, President of the AFO.