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Ontario Supporting Equality and Sustainability in Francophone Countries

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Ontario Supporting Equality and Sustainability in Francophone Countries

Government Funding Learning and Development Programs as Observer Member of the OIF

Office of the Premier

Ontario is providing funding for education and training, women's rights and sustainable economic growth in French-speaking countries around the world.

Ontario's voluntary contribution of $300,000 to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) reflects its commitment to Franco-Ontarians and celebrates the province's status as an observer member of the organization. The OIF includes 84 member states and governments from five continents, representing 274 million francophones around the world.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the contribution today at the Franco-Ontarian Festival in Ottawa with The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of the OIF; Adama Ouane, Administrator of the OIF; and Marie-France Lalonde, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.

The province's investment will be divided among the Institut de la Francophonie pour l'Éducation et la Formation (IFEF), a fund to support inclusive educational opportunities established in 2015; the Égalité femme-homme program, which promotes gender equality; and the Fonds multilatéral unique, the OIF's general purpose fund.

The event also included the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Réseau de développement économique de d'employabilité de l'Ontario (RDÉE-Ontario) and the OIF's Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable (IFDD), based in Québec City. A direct outcome of Ontario's involvement in the OIF, the agreement will help foster innovation, promote a low-carbon economy and drive sustainable development among Franco-Ontarian entrepreneurs.

Ontario was granted observer status in the OIF in November 2016, reflecting the Franco-Ontarian community's integral role in our province and strengthening Ontario's profile among French-speaking countries and regions internationally.

Supporting French culture and expanding Ontario's partnerships at home and internationally are part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The OIF promotes multilateral co-operation that benefits French-speaking people and respects cultural and linguistic diversity, and humanist values.
  • Nearly 612,000 Francophones call Ontario home, the largest Francophone community in Canada outside of Québec.
  • Reflecting its new observer member status, Ontario is sending official representatives for the first time to the 2017 Francophonie Games, which will take place this July in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Additional Resources


“Francophone people, their culture and language are a vibrant part of life in Ontario and around the world. I am delighted to celebrate our status as members of the OIF with funding for programs that reflect some of our government’s top priorities — education, human rights, gender equality and sustainable economic development.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“Ontario’s entrance into the OIF is a significant step for all Ontarians, Canadians and the International Francophonie. The Franco-Ontarian community is stronger than ever and has developed a unique perspective that will be of tremendous benefit to OIF members, particularly in the fields of education and women’s rights and empowerment.”

Michaëlle Jean

Secretary General of La Francophonie

“Today’s announcement targets specific programs that will help Ontario support the development of the IFEF and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education across the Francophonie. It will also create opportunities for women and further partnerships that will have a positive impact right here at home.”

Marie-France Lalonde

Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs