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Ontario Building Stronger Ties with Francophone Countries

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Ontario Building Stronger Ties with Francophone Countries

OIF Observer Status Will Lead to New Opportunities for Co-operation

Office of the Premier

The Organisation internationale de La Francophonie (OIF) has granted Ontario observer status, which will open up opportunities for co-operation in culture, education, economic development and other areas, and help strengthen the province's profile in the Francophone world.

Ontario's observer status reflects the Franco-Ontarian community's integral role in the province's past, present and future, and the government's commitment to protecting and promoting French language and identity.

The OIF represents approximately 220 million French speakers in countries and regions around the world. Ontario will support the organization's efforts to promote cultural diversity, sustainable development, education and training. It will also support work -- under the leadership of OIF Secretary General Michaëlle Jean, a former Governor General of Canada -- to advance peace, democracy and human rights.

Quick Facts

  • More than 600,000 Francophones live in Ontario, the largest Francophone community in Canada outside of Québec.
  • The OIF promotes multilateral co-operation that benefits French-speaking people and respects cultural and linguistic diversity, and humanist values.

Additional Resources


“I am delighted that Ontario has received this special status. The OIF recognizes our commitment to the French language and identity, and the significant contributions of our Francophone community. I look forward to working with members of the organization around the world to develop new partnerships and promote common priorities.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“The Government of Canada is pleased that Ontario has been granted observer status in the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Franco-Ontarians have played an important role in the building of Canada, and we are excited by the idea of working together to promote our language, our culture and our shared values in Canada and around the world.”

Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister of Canada

“Ontario is proud to join the family of the international Francophonie and looks forward to contributing to the OIF’s flourishing linguistic, cultural and economic activity. Inspired by its own history and cultural diversity, Ontario is more in tune than ever with the issues that are important to members of the OIF. Ontario stands ready and willing to bring its expertise to the table and work together with the international Francophonie to advance our shared interests.”

Marie-France Lalonde

Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs