Backgrounder on the designation of the City of Kingston
The French Language Services Act, 1986 (FLSA) guarantees an individual's right to receive services in French from Government of Ontario ministries and agencies in 25 designated areas.
The preamble of the FLSA recognizes the contribution of the cultural heritage of the French-speaking population and wishes to preserve it for future generations.The francophone presence in Ontario dates back to nearly 400 years.
Thanks to the French Language Services Act, all of the services that are provided to the public by a ministry or agency of the Government of Ontario (driver's licence, birth certificate, information, etc.) are available in French in the government offices located in or serving a designated area.
Under the French Language Services Act, areas are designated when they meet the following criteria:
1) Francophones represent at least 10% of the area's population;
2) In urban centres, the Francophone population exceeds 5,000 individuals.
These criteria are vital. However when a substantial group of francophones are working hard and are backed by a community who express a keen desire for development than designation can be considered.
ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE-FRANCAISE DE L'ONTARIO (ACFO MILLE ÎLES)
By submitting an application for the designation of Kingston to the government, ACFO Mille-Îles, the Thousand Islands regional council of the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario (ACFO), acted as the standard bearer for Kingston's Francophone community.
Created in 1976, ACFO Mille-Îles is a stakeholder in the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO), a provincial organization founded in 1910 along with the Association canadienne-française d'éducation d'Ontario (ACFÉO), which later became the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario and which has been one of the strongest advocates for the Franco-Ontarian community for several decades. For further information about ACFO Mille-Îles, please visit its website.