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FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES

The Ontario French Language Services Act (FLSA) (2012), requires agencies to provide services in French or refer to French services of equal quality.

Linguistic Rights in Ontario

  • The Courts of Justice Act (1984) recognizes the official status of French in Ontario provincial courts
  • The French Language Services Act (1986) recognizes that the French language is a historic language in Ontario and an official language of Canada

French Language Services Act:

The French Language Services Act, passed in 1986, forms part of a broader legal framework of linguistic rights in Ontario.

  • Ontario Regulation 284/11 (2011) recognizes the Government’s Agencies’ obligation to ensure Third Party responsibilities
  • The Education Act (1990) recognizes the right of French speaking individuals to receive elementary and secondary education in French
  • The Child and Family Services Act (1990) promotes the best interests, protection and well being of children
  • The Fewer School Boards Act (1997) created 12 French language school boards
  • Reaffirms that, in Ontario, the French language is an official language of the courts
  • (Courts of Justice Act) and in education (Education Act)
  • Recognizes the contribution of the French speaking population to the cultural heritage of Ontario and the need to preserve this heritage for future generations

Third Party Regulation (Ontario Regulation 284/11)

  • Came into law on July 1, 2011 and applies to government agencies, as defined in the FLSA. It reiterates government agencies’ obligation to ensure that services provided by third parties “on their behalf” are provided in accordance with the Act and specifically refers to the active offer of these services
  • Catulpa is considered a ‘third party’ providing services on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and Ministry of Social and Community Services

Designated Areas within Central Region: The Town of Penetanquishene and The Townships of Tiny and Essa

In accordance with the FLSA, we must provide services in French proactively, without waiting for the public to request them. This is called an ‘Active Offer’. In a minority language community, the role of supply and demand is reversed. Generally in a majority language community, if there is a demand, it is met. In the case of FLS, these services first have to be offered in order for the demand for them to emerge.

An active offer of FLS implies a notion of being proactive when serving French speaking clients. It means notifying the public that services exist and how they can be accessed. This is done through information in French on phone messages, signs in waiting rooms, brochures and web sites.

The Ministries have developed four categories that agencies must choose when developing their French Language Services for compliance with the FLSA. Catulpa is in the Clause 1 category.

Requirements:

The agency is accountable for French language service provision and will ensure there is an Active Offer of client services in French by:

  • Ensure signage is available in waiting rooms on how to obtain French Language Services in French
  • Ensuring website, general phone message and brochures provide information on how to obtain service in French
  • Considering francophone cultural and linguistic needs in all strategic planning
  • Work collaboratively with partner agencies to support the provision of FLS
  • Develop agreements with community partners for the provision of FLS and provide a copy of all agreements to the Regional Office

If you wish to provide us with any feedback, whether it is a compliment or complaint about the French language services offered by Catulpa Community Support Services, we invite you to do so here: