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Premier Mcguinty Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of French Language Services Act

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Premier Mcguinty Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of French Language Services Act

Awards Honour Outstanding Contributions To Ontario Society

Office of the Premier

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today celebrated the 20th anniversary of the French Language Services Act by presenting the first-ever Ontario Francophonie Awards, which recognize valuable contributions to the advancement of French language and culture in Ontario.

"We owe so much of our success in Ontario to the contributions of Francophones -- that means Ontario must do its best when it comes to delivering the best possible public services in French," said Premier McGuinty. "The anniversary of the French Language Services Act is a great opportunity to celebrate all that we have achieved in Ontario, together."

The Francophone presence in Ontario dates back more than 350 years. The province's Francophone population, which numbers 548,940, is the largest French-speaking Canadian community outside Quebec. The French Language Services Act received Royal Assent on November 18, 1986. It guarantees the right to receive provincial government services in French in 25 designated areas of the province.

The Ontario Francophonie Awards showcase outstanding contributions to the social, economic, political and cultural vitality and well-being of the Francophone community. Premier McGuinty joined members of the Francophone community in honouring the first-ever recipients: Gérald Savoie, Caroline Andrew, Annie Dell and Raymond Tremblay.

"As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the French Language Services Act, the Ontario Francophonie Awards recognize the remarkable contributions of the four recipients and the great vitality of the Francophone community in Ontario," said the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. "The Ontario Francophonie is in full stride, and we want, more than ever, to put the accent on the future."

"Ontario's Francophone heritage is part of who we are as a province -- and our French language arts, media and community services are growing stronger than ever," said Premier McGuinty. " We want to continue to build on our momentum in providing the best possible public service to Francophones and to build a stronger Ontario for all."

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