Ottawa, December 6 2018 – The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario is deeply troubled and disappointed by the passage of Bill 57 in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Despite demonstrations held across the province and thousands of calls made to provincial MLAs, the voice of Ontario’s Francophones has been ignored.
“It is simply unbelievable that in 2018, we still have to combat a government that is attacking our institutions in this manner. The AFO will take all necessary measures to protect our language rights and the community will support us in this battle. We will fight back!” said Carol Jolin, president of the AFO.
The French Language Services Commissioner will cease to be an independent office as of May 1, 2019. Thereafter, the Commissioner’s powers will be exercised “subject to the direction of the Ombudsman” and the Commissioner will be an “employee” of the Ombudsman’s office. Since 2013, the Commissioner had been totally independent and reported only to the Legislative Assembly.
Now that the bill has passed, the AFO and its legal advisers are exploring avenues to maintain the independence of the Commissioner’s office.
Bill 57 makes no mention of the Université de l’Ontario français. The AFO continues to monitor this issue closely.