Statement from Premier and Francophone Affairs Minister on Franco-Ontarian Day
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, and Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, released the following statement today:
"We are pleased to recognize the enormous contribution of the Francophone community to Ontario as we celebrate the sixth annual Franco-Ontarian Day.
In 2010, the Ontario legislature unanimously adopted September 25 as the official day to recognize the many accomplishments of Franco-Ontarians. This year's Franco-Ontarian Day holds particular significance, as we take part in the province-wide commemoration marking 400 years of French presence in Ontario. All Ontarians, Canadians and people from around the world are invited to take part in this milestone by joining one of the hundreds of flag-raising activities taking place today across our province.
We also invite them to commemorate another important anniversary. The Franco-Ontarian flag is 40 years old today. The original flag, created by Gaétan Gervais and Michel Dupuis in 1975 at University of Sudbury, quickly became the emblem of Franco-Ontarian identity, symbolizing its strength and vibrancy. Today that flag is being unfurled in its birthplace of Sudbury in celebration of Ontario's Francophonie.
Ontario is home to nearly 612,000 Francophones -- the largest population in Canada outside of Québec. This community, more than ever, is a key player in the Canadian landscape and on the world stage. Artists, legislators, academics and athletes are building on the strengths of an already rich and vital culture, and we are proud of the role that they play in promoting the province and the Francophone community well beyond our borders.
We are also immensely proud of our efforts here in Ontario to build a diverse community and honour our roots in order to ensure a prosperous future for our province.
We want to thank all Franco-Ontarians and Francophiles for their contribution in making Ontario such a vibrant and diverse place to live -- today and every day."