Ontario Francophones get a stronger voice

Archived Release

Ontario Francophones get a stronger voice

Ministry of Francophone Affairs

McGuinty Government Delivers Promise To Create New Advisory Committee TORONTO, June 24 - The Ontario government is giving Franco- Ontarians a stronger voice by creating the Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs Madeleine Meilleur, said today. "By establishing this committee, we are fulfilling our commitment to consult Franco-Ontarians about government decisions that affect them," said Meilleur. "The committee will help me identify and act on the Francophone community's priorities in a timely manner." The committee, composed of 12 individuals from across Ontario who have demonstrated a commitment to the French language and culture, is chaired by Donald Obonsawin. He spent 15 of his nearly 25 years in the public service as a deputy minister. "I am very honoured to have been asked to chair this committee," said Donald Obonsawin. "The Franco-Ontarian community is a thriving community and I will do my best, with my colleagues' help, to ensure its priorities are dealt with effectively." The committee will advise the minister on how to best meet the needs of Ontario's Francophone community. "This committee will give French-speaking Ontarians the opportunity to provide input in the planning and development of French-language services," said Meilleur. Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROVINCIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS MANDATE To provide advice to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs on the development of strategies, priorities and programs which affect Ontario's Francophone community, and on the planning and delivery of government French- language services. COMPOSITION OF THE COMMITTEE The committee will comprise individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the preservation and promotion of the French language and culture. Regional and gender representation will be ensured, and cultural diversity of the francophone community will be reflected. The committee will have up to 12 members, including one chair, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor for a period of no more than three years. A review of the committee will take place at that time. EXPECTED OUTCOMES The committee will meet as often as deemed necessary by the minister and at least three times per year. The Office of Francophone Affairs, under the minister's direction, will prepare a work plan, which will include agenda items, timeframes and expected outcomes for the committee for each meeting. This work plan will provide clear direction to committee members and a framework for the committee's reports to the Minister. The committee's advice will help to ensure that government policies and strategies regarding francophone affairs improve access to French-language services and foster the contribution of Ontario's francophones to the social, cultural, economic and political life of the province. REPORTING PROCEDURES The committee members will report to the minister through the chair of the committee, who will report after each committee meeting. The report will describe the issues discussed and the committee's recommendations. The report and its recommendations will be confidential until such time as the minister chooses to release them. POWER OF THE AGENCY In accordance with Schedule C of Management Board of Cabinet's Agency Establishment & Accountability Directive, the committee will have the powers of an advisory agency. The Committee will not appoint staff and will not make binding decisions. ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT The Office of Francophone Affairs will provide financial, policy and administrative support to the committee. Members will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses and other costs associated with meetings they attend. Committee members will not be remunerated for serving on the committee. The committee members, appointed today by an Order in Council are: Central Region - Donald Obonsawin of Unionville is Chair of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs. He is President and CEO at Jonview Canada. Mr. Obonsawin has devoted close to twenty-five years to federal and provincial public service. He was a Deputy Minister for fifteen of these years. - Mr. Wesley Romulus of Oakville is Vice-President of Toronto's Collège Boréal. Mr. Romulus was formerly the National Director of International Child Care Canada Inc. - Mr. Normand Labrie of Toronto teaches at the University of Toronto. He is Vice-Dean of Research and Superior Studies, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He was Director of the Centre de recherches en éducation franco- ontarienne from 1994 to 2003. Eastern Region - Ms. Rolande Faucher of Ottawa is a research and analysis consultant in various sectors including official languages, education, health, social services and economic development. - Mr. Guy Matte of Ottawa has worked in the education sector his entire career. He is currently a member of the International Executive Office of the Francophone Union Committee on Education and Training. - Ms. Jacqueline Pelletier of Ottawa is a moderator in organizational development and a specialist in group intervention. Ms. Pelletier was honoured by the government of Canada for her contributions as a volunteer. Northern Region - Ms. Denyse Boulanger-Culligan of Thunder Bay has been involved in the Francophone community for many years. Ms. Boulanger-Culligan is currently the President and Executive Director of the Association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l'Ontario. - Ms. Colombe Hinse of Virginiatown is the Northern Ontario representative on the Association française des municipalités de l'Ontario and an arbitrator for the Association of Ontario Midwives. - Mr. Jacques Michaud of Sudbury is well known in the community for his work in education, training and research. He is currently an inspector for the Psychological Corporation of Canada and a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre de leadership en éducation. Southern Region - Ms. Diane Dubois of St-Thomas is currently Director of Community and Business Services for Collège Boréal in the central and southwestern part of the province. - Mr. Ryan Paquette of Hamilton is a lawyer. He is actively involved with l'Association juriste d'expression française de l'Ontario and several francophone organizations. - Ms. Florence Ngenzebuhoro of Hamilton is Director of Services and Programs at the Community Health Care clinic for Hamilton and Niagara. Disponible en français www.ofa.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Guy Lepage, Minister's Office, (416) 325-1689; Gabriel Manseau, Communications Branch, (416) 325-4938