Kingston becomes the 25th designated area

Archived Release

Kingston becomes the 25th designated area

Ministry of Francophone Affairs

McGuinty Government Reaffirms Its Commitment To Ontario's Francophone Community TORONTO, May 24 - The designation of Kingston under the French Language Services Act demonstrates once again the McGuinty government's strong commitment to the vitality of Ontario's Francophone community, Francophone Affairs Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced today. "This designation is further evidence of the government's desire to promote strong and prosperous communities," said Meilleur. I am extremely pleased that the Francophone community of Kingston will have greater opportunities in the future and increased access to French-language services as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the French Language Services Act." All government offices located in Kingston will offer French-language services effective May 1, 2009. The Office of Francophone Affairs and involved ministries and agencies will work closely with the Francophone community of Kingston to ensure an efficient implementation. "More comprehensive French-language services will promote a real sense of belonging among Ontario's Francophones, whose contribution to the province's economic prosperity can only be enhanced by this designation," added Meilleur. "Kingston's designation reflects the growth and vitality of Ontario's Francophone population, not just in Kingston but throughout Ontario," added John Gerretsen, MPP for Kingston and the Islands. "This designation is the culmination of a concerted effort on the part of Kingston's Francophone community," stated the Executive Director of the Thousand Islands Chapter of ACFO, Jeannine Proulx. "We are very pleased by the community's commitment and the government's willingness to have Kingston become the 25th designated area, an important milestone for the region's Francophones." This important announcement reflects the government's continuing commitment to strong Francophone families and communities. Other recent examples of this commitment include: - The creation of the Ontario Francophonie Awards, created by the government of Ontario to recognize the many people who have made valuable contributions to the advancement of the French language and culture in Ontario - Grants to seven Ontario French-language arts and culture groups through the Cultural Strategic Investment Fund - A $15-million investment to enhance Francophone, rural, northern and First Nation libraries - Funding for Destination Nord to promote tourism in Northern Ontario to Francophones - The creation of an advisory committee on French-language postsecondary education - An extensive program of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the French Language Services Act. Disponible en français www.ofa.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- DESIGNATION OF KINGSTON UNDER THE FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES ACT Contact Info The French Language Services Act, which came into effect in November 1989, guarantees access to provincial government services in French through head offices and through offices located in or serving the province's designated areas. Designated areas are those that have significant French-speaking populations. Currently, there are 24 designated areas under the Act. Given the increase in Kingston's French-speaking population due to a combination of population growth and municipal amalgamation, the government has decided to proceed with the designation of Kingston as the 25th designated area under the Act. The designation will come into force three years from the date of designation effective May 1, 2009. This will enable ministries with a more advanced state of readiness to move forward while other ministries phase-in measures to offer services in French. The Francophone community of Kingston, represented by the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario (ACFO), has been seeking the designation of Kingston since 2004. BACKGROUND - Following municipal amalgamation in 1998, the old City of Kingston, Kingston Township and the Township of Pittsburgh were dissolved and the new City of Kingston was constituted. - Kingston's Francophone community is very active. Several Francophone organizations offer a variety of cultural activities for Francophones and French-speaking residents. - Kingston is home to the Royal Military College of Canada, which is a bilingual institution offering an education that is unique in Canada. Francophone and bilingual students who attend this institution request their services in French. - The nearest designated areas to Kingston are: Winchester in the East (160 km); Pembroke in the North (240 km); and Toronto in the West (250 km). Disponible en français www.ofa.gov.on.ca For further information: Carole Drouin, Senior Communications Advisor, Office of the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, (416) 325-5219; Charles Jean Sucsan, Senior Manager, Strategic Communications, Office of Francophone Affairs, (416) 325-4968 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Carole Drouin, Senior Communications Advisor, Office of the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, (416) 325-5219; Charles Jean Sucsan, Senior Manager, Strategic Communications, Office of Francophone Affairs, (416) 325-4968