Under Doug Ford’s Conservative government, Franco-Ontarians have had to fight hard to preserve and protect French language and culture in our province. Doug Ford continues to cut funding and services to Francophone communities, despite the importance of supporting the French language for Franco-Ontarians, including the many Francophone immigrant communities that form an integral part of the Franco-Ontarian identity and community.
Ontario’s francophone communities deserve better. Students should have the opportunity to pursue their primary, secondary and post-secondary education in their mother tongue. Franco-Ontarians in northern and eastern communities deserve access to health care and social services in French. And Franco-Ontarian culture, art, food and music should be celebrated across Ontario.
As Leader, I will work with our Francophone communities to ensure that their linguistic and cultural rights are not only protected, but also developed. Many ideas have been put forward to promote, preserve and protect French language, culture and communities in Ontario. Here’s what I’m hearing from you:
Preserve and Promote French Language in Ontario
- Reinstate the independent French Language Services Commissioner.
- Work closely with local school boards to adequately fund French-language programs so that they can recruit and retain qualified teachers, thereby expanding French-language learning opportunities for Ontario students.
- Develop an action plan to increase the number of early childhood spaces in the province, as well as the pool of educators.
Improve Access to French-language Education and Healthcare Services
- Consult with the francophone community to develop a French-language health strategy to recruit a more bilingual workforce, as well as increase the number of francophone international students in health care and social service programs.
- Expand access to French-language post-secondary education in consultation with francophone communities, particularly northern Ontario campuses such as Laurentian University and the University of Sudbury.
- Expand teacher training programs to address the shortage of teachers in Ontario’s French-language education system.
- Increase funding for the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans and the Programme d’appui à la francophonie ontarienne.
Support Franco-Ontarian Communities
- Invest in better digital solutions for Franco-Ontarians living in non-designated areas who cannot access quality services in French.
- Invest in highly affordable housing (rent-geared-to-earn, below-market rent, etc.) and supportive housing (with integrated services) for the Francophone community, in conjunction with our housing plan, so that Franco-Ontarians can afford to live and stay in their community.
- Increase francophone immigration to Ontario, reduce barriers to foreign credential recognition, to better attract and retain a skilled francophone workforce in high-demand sectors.
I continue to travel the province and want to hear from you. Do you have an idea? Email us.