A brief note to say that the city of Kingston’s designation ceremony will take place tonight; a ceremony that I will attend and will make Kingston the 25th designated area under the Ontario French Language Services Act. I will for sure come back a little longer on this subject later.
In regards to this event, Radio-Canada has prepared a series of reports and interviews on this designation and French-language services 20 years after the Act came into force.
The Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities (CIRLM) just did a national study entitled And After High School? A Pan-Canadian Study of Grade 12 Students in French-Language Schools in Minority Settings: Educational Aspirations and Plans to Pursue a Career in Their Home Region.
One of the positive outcomes of this study is that a large majority, almost 90% of grade 12 students, that participated in this survey, said to have a strong intention to undertake post-secondary education. Our young Francophones in Ontario are not left behind; as the number indicated that they are in the lead with 86%. In addition, nearly 65% of young Francophones in a minority context believe that they most likely would pursue their studies in French.
Finally, another point worth to mention is that students in French-language schools in Ontario are more confident with the idea of finding a job in their hometown in a proportion that nearly reaches 50% compared to the overall students in minority communities, which represents about 42 %. In conclusion, this is indeed a very interesting study which should undoubtedly inspire the French education sector leaders.
Last week, I spent 3 days at the Ombudsman Conference in Montréal. It was really interesting. It would be difficult to try to resume the conference, considering I took more than 15 pages of notes! Not all panels were extremely great but for the most part, I did learned a lot. Actually, one of the most interesting comments I’ve made to myself is that we, at the Office, are made up of a huge staff, compared to all other sorts of ombudsmen who work alone…
Also, there is a huge difference between classical ombudsman where their mandate is derived from legislation, as we are, and other ombudsmen offices. For example, ombudsmen for universities, especially in the US, take an approach of being mediators between parties, even in case of sexual harassment. Such Ombudsmen won’t take notes, won’t produce reports, or even files just in case there would be a subpoena for them to testify in Court where their memory would suddenly be not as sharp as usual. Very interesting approach, that wouldn’t work for me.
One particular panel at the conference was very helpful for my office. It dealt with the role of ombudsmen in hospitals in Ontario, perfect timing, considering that I should be releasing by next week my Special Report on French Language Health Services Planning in Ontario. More to come on this subject.
We just received our little magnets. These new cheerful items will be an asset when it is time to reach us. With this magnet posted in your high traffic area, at a glance, you will see our information.
I will start distributing them next week during my visit in Penetanguishene, and in Kingston for its designation on the first of May, as well as anywhere I will be touring in the coming months.
I am very proud that the Franco-Ontarian, Paul-André Gauthier, from Sudbury, will receive the Ordre de la Pléiade today. Mr.Gauthier played a major role in a sector that preoccupies me these days; healthcare.
By his determined work with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, he succeeded in the recognition of the language as a determining variable in the compilation of the paramedical human resources in Ontario. In other words, because of M.Gauthier’s work, the Ontario regulated health professional colleges will have to provide the Ministry with precise data on the health professionals that can treat their clients in French. The result is more than satisfying; a data base with health professionals offering their services in French will be available on-line in 2010. It is a huge step considering that it will contribute to better plan the health human resources in French in Ontario. I am very happy about it.
Congratulations to the Collège Boréal professor, Paul-André Gauthier, for his contribution to the health sector in French in Ontario.
By the same token, I want to congratulate all the recipients of the prestigious Ordre de la Pléiade: Lillian Anne Gagné, (Penetanguishene), Jacques Janson (Ottawa), André Marcil (Kapuskasing), Tonia Mori (Toronto) et Gilles G. Patry (Ottawa).
The Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens and the team of the Pédagogie culturelle of the Ontario Ministry of Education are holding, until Thursday, the Parle PAL, Jase, Jase forum in Ottawa. It is a huge gathering of the French-language education sector for this pilot project that has lasted 5 years.
Parle PAL is of course referring to the aménagement linguistique policy launched in October 2004 by the Ontario Ministry of Education. An initiative that I already supported and reported in my first Annual Report, and in which I believe. This policy aims to help Ontario’s Francophone students preserve their culture and strengthen their pride by constructing their Francophone identity at school. It is so important when we know that our youths have to face the “double identity” sometimes. Many are identifying themselves as both Francophone and Anglophone. It is imperative that the pédagogie culturelle reinforces their sense of belonging as Francophones, so they can recognize themselves as such.
Our youths are forming the Ontario Francophone population of tomorrow. They are those who will ask for their services in French in a couple of decades from now, and will send their own children in the French-language schools. That is why I believe in this policy.