Actions speak louder than words: why the recommendations of the French Language Services Commissioner need to be implemented

Ottawa, July 18, 2018 – The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) agrees with the recommendations proposed in the French Language Services Commissioner’s annual report Looking Ahead, Getting Ready. The report warns that the proportion of francophones in the province will continue to decrease over the next few years if the status quo does not change. The AFO fully agrees that an “action plan on the development of Francophone communities and the promotion of the French language in Ontario” needs to be put in place to implement the recommendations from the annual report and avoid the demographic decline of francophones in Ontario.

The report contains 14 recommendations regarding immigration, employment, French-language media, digital strategies and an aging population. It also argues that Ontario needs to take advantage of opportunities that are already available, such as its status as an observer within the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF). The province should also increase francophone immigration to strengthen the Franco-Ontarian community.

“The demographic decline of francophones and the fact that they are not distributed evenly across the province is nothing new. However, as the Commissioner François Boileau put it, the time to act is now. The AFO supports these 14 recommendations, many of which have been included in our own white papers. We hope that the new government will act now and implement strategies to help strengthen the Franco-Ontarian community,” said Carol Jolin, the President of the AFO.