Franco-Ontarians play important role in Ontario's economy and culture

Archived Release

Franco-Ontarians play important role in Ontario's economy and culture

Ministry of Francophone Affairs

Contributions Highlighted During National Francophone Week TORONTO, March 8 - The Ontario government is kicking off La Semaine nationale de la Francophonie with a reception for leaders of the Franco-Ontarian community hosted by the Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. "Ontario's Francophone community continues to be an invaluable asset to the province's cultural heritage and prosperity - a fact that is being recognized in Canada and around the world," said Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs Madeleine Meilleur. "I am grateful to the Lieutenant Governor for hosting this important event for Ontario's Francophone community for the second year in a row." The French presence in Ontario dates back more than 360 years, with the establishment of the Mission of Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons (Simcoe County) in 1639. Ontario's Francophone community is the largest outside Quebec with 1.3 million French-speaking Ontarians. Ontario needs to take advantage of its bilingual workforce to attract more international investment into the province. Ontario's outreach to Francophones is part of the government's commitment to draw on the potential of all Ontarians, to contribute to Ontario's increasing influence in Canada and around the world. The celebration was held today at the Lieutenant Governor's Suite at Queen's Park. Joining Minister Meilleur were Donald Obonsawin, Chair of the Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs, several MPPs, Francophone community leaders and members of the local Francophone consular community. Disponible en français www.ofa.gov.on.caFor further information: Contact: Nanda Casucci-Byrne, Lieutenant-Governor's Office, (416) 325-7781; Daniéla Goldsmith, Office of Francophone Affairs, (416) 325-4940