Canadians for Language Fairness

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End the unfairness of official bilingualism. Stop wasting our tax dollars.

Why should the Official Languages Act concern us?

What do you know about the Official Languages Act?

The Official Languages Act (OLA), passed in 1969, is a Federal law which is enforced at the federal level and one other province i.e. New Brunswick. The province of Quebec has passed several anti-English laws (Bills 22, 178 & 101) that effectively make French their only official language. The provinces of Nova Scotia passed the French Language Services Act (2004) as did the province of Ontario (1986), and the province of Prince Edward Island (2013). Limited service in French is offered in each municipality in each of these provinces in varying degrees.

What's wrong with that?

Elevating a minority language to equal status with the majority language is creating an over-emphasis on the minority language, especially when that minority language is concentrated only in the Eastern provinces of Canada, namely, QC & NB. Further using that minority language as the criteria for employment at the federal level and increasingly at the provincial level is creating a work-force which over-represents the French-speakers. French-speakers are the ones most likely to be bilingual as they grow up speaking the language. Non-French speakers do not grow up speaking French and learning it at school does not make them fluent, especially as the educated French is very different from the colloquial French.

The 2011 Census showed that "self-assessed" bilingual Canadians make up 17.5% of Canada's population, the figure of those who can pass the language test is only about 12%. The Treasury Board (2014) showed that 31.9 % of the total Federal Public Service are Francophones in a country that is made up of only 21.3% mother-tongue French-speakers (2011 census). This over-representation of French-speakers in our public service concerns us greatly.

The limited supply of bilingual Canadians & the over-emphasis on a minority language as a criteria for employment has resulted in a lowering of academic & professional standards in our governments. Many high-level positions are filled by people with just secondary school certificates or equivalent.

As French is spoken widely only in Eastern Canada, this has led to Western Canadians being left out of the picture. The division and disunity brought about will eventually destroy Canada.

This is why you should be concerned.

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Supreme Court to be "functionally bilingual"?

August 6, 2016

Not sure if this bothers you but we are another step closer to putting Canada completely under French control.  If you haven't already heard about it, this is Justin Trudeau making "funtional bilingualism" one of the requirements for a Supreme Court judge.  If you want to read about it from his web site, here is the link:

From the Prime Minister's Web Site (http://pm.gc.ca/)

Prime Minister announces new Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointments process

August 2, 2016

Ottawa, Ontario

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced a new process for appointing Supreme Court of Canada Justices that is open, transparent, and sets a higher standard for accountability.

............ read the rest yourself.


My biggest concern is that NOBODY has even tried to define what "functionally bilingualism" means.

Ernest Semple from Quebec wrote:

Justin Trudeau's significant wording on SOC appointments in future states:

"Under the new process, an independent and non-partisan Advisory Board has been given the task of identifying suitable candidates who are jurists of the highest caliber, functionally bilingual, and representative of the diversity of our great country.

For the first time, any qualified Canadian lawyer or judge may apply for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. "

Graham Fraser recently put another spin on this clear cut statement by Justin Trudeau's press release Tuesday August 2nd.

In Graham Fraser's pronouncement on Trudeau's SOC announcement,

Fraser purposely omitted the word "functionally".

The use of the word "functionally" by Justin can be taken as his way of indicating that the old rules do not apply under his jurisdiction.

I am pleased that I have predicted this immediately after the Maritime sweep was announced in the last federal election.

The Canadian Language Laws are all illegal under the 1867 BNA act and moreover are contrary to human nature!

It should be recognized by all Canadians that protection of a language is impossible by law, and only by the users on an individual basis.

Pronouncements and Announcements frequently prove this fact.

Ernest Semple


There are several articles in the media on this topic - the link to the G&M article and the National Post article are inserted below.  Before reading those articles, I'd like you to listen to Brian Lilley's video:

www.therebel.media/trudeau_s_changes_to_supreme_court_of_canada_will_tip_scales_toward_laurentian_elite

Well said, Brian!!


Now for some comments from ordinary citizens who are very concerned about this:

Sharon M's NP Facebook Comment:

As long as anyone, including Supreme Court Judges, are required to be "functionally bilingual" we will have an unnecessarily biased Court,  And highly competent unilingual jurists will be overlooked for anyone who is barely "functional" in French. Notice Trudeau's qualification insures anyone who can barely speak the language is included. This will insure that future gov'ts will continue to favor and encourage spending even more money on the half-baked French language programs we have in Canada that cost millions and produce few bilingual adults.  Note also, Trudeau makes no mention of qualifying jurists based upon scholarship and a vast knowledge in the many important subjects covering the entire gamut of Canadian public life, a life that happens all over the country, not just in Quebec.  But that, of course, simply reinforces his myopic view of our country.

This is the state of this nation: Guaranteed Gov't Jobs for barely competent French-speaking Canadians while highly competent and desirable English-only leaders are passed over. Unquestionably the best leader in Canada today, Brad Wall of Saskatchewan, must sit on the sidelines of federal leadership because he doesn't speak French and a man, barely comprehensible and utterly uninformed and incompetent, Stephane Dion, is a high-level Cabinet Minister of Foreign Affairs!! His ability to speak French and bare competency in English did not deter Junior Trudeau from choosing him for a job on the international stage.  In fact, I am sure his choice for the Foreign Affairs portfolio was purposely made to underscore to the world that Canada is a bilingual country ~ a bilingual country that barely tolerates the English language, given how badly Dion speaks it. Unfortunately it also makes the world see Canada as a nation of naïve, uninformed, illiterate buffoons, too.

It is beyond embarrassing; Dion is a blatant example of why preferential bias based upon speaking a language that is purely symbolic is a policy that needs to be tossed in the dustbin of history, not added as a requirement for the top jobs in Canada and a way of disqualifying at least 90% of exceptional Canadian judges.

Sharon M.

From Orlin O. of Manitoba

It is nice to see that Mr. Trudeau has recognized the flaws in straight out appointing partisan judges to the Supreme court. Under this proposed system of selection the public will have some idea of what they are getting in the high court. However the people's elected representatives will have no vote in the selection.

Appropriate adjustments for Quebec's "unique legal tradition", meaning Quebec will continue to be over represented in the Court? If all candidates for the court throughout the nation must also be functionally bilingual, it will certainly impact the selection of Judges from English speaking Canada. Most people who study law in English Canada do not do so in a French language law school. In fact Canada is not bilingual and never will be. Two Likely the only people proficient enough in French legalese would be those educated entirely in French including law school. This would rule out a lot of excellent Anglophone lawyers and judges. This of course is the whole idea as far as the French language zealots are concerned.  The French in Canada have always shown a bias toward their own, be it Prime Ministers or government officials. It is something to be concerned about. Official bilingualism has been a very good tool for the advancement of the French Cause and an expensive one for English Canada. What will the next move be? Minorities should not rule. We are the authors of our own destruction. 

Likely the only people proficient enough in French legalese would be those educated entirely in French including law school. This would rule out a lot of excellent Anglophone lawyers and judges. This of course is the whole idea as far as the French language zealots are concerned.  The French in Canada have always shown a bias toward their own, be it Prime Ministers or government officials. It is something to be concerned about. Official bilingualism has been a very good tool for the advancement of the French Cause and an expensive one for English Canada. What will the next move be? Minorities should not rule. We are the authors of our own destruction. 

Orlin O.

From Neil L. of B.C.

Subject: No more unilingual English Supreme Court justices!!!

The PM has taken a half measure when a full measure would have been more appropriate. No parliamentary vote on selection of Supreme Court justices - what the heck gives? Now we have seven more folks (the new Advisory Board) at the trough - doing something our elected folks might otherwise do. Would a multi-party committee do as well and at no greater cost to the country?

What gives with Supreme Court justices being required to be functionally bilingual? Isn't that another one of those sneaky moves shoving the pendulum several more notches to the left?

Getting a "Board" to his dirty work for him.

Functional bilingualism is nothing more than tilting the balance in favour of a province pandering to a love relationship with a dying language. I remain unconvinced any government should be in the language(s) business. As stated on many occasions, just because a piece of legislation states the country is bilingual does not make it so.  In fact, the government which promoted that piece of socialist propaganda achieved much by less than honest and fully transparent means.  My former law professor declared that we used to have a tradition of codifying the everyday recognized practices of society when establishing legislation.  But that was back in the "good old days" (or maybe a touch beyond that) when people used something akin to common sense and basic factual evidence.

What about all our well qualified Canadians, who are excellent at their jobs in the legal profession, whose first language may be other than English or French. Their second language is very likely English and you would likely find them practicing their professional in one of the major law firms in western Canada. They have no chance at sharing their hard-won skills and knowledge in the Supreme Court. That's what I call unjustifiable reverse-discrimination.

Stephane Dion has often been put forward as a prime example of how beneficial bilingualism is and how much it offers. Remember?  He was the Liberal leader who couldn't understand a simple question put to him by a journalist in English, during the run-up to a federal election.  And now he is Canada's super Foreign Affairs guy.  He has demonstrated that he is not functionally bilingual - so I guess he won't be applying for the job on the Supreme Court.  Or does "functionally bilingual" mean you can mess up in the English language and still qualify for a government job? Wouldn't surprise me!

Our PM stated that the best, most well-qualified people reflective of Canadian society are named to Canada’s top court. Somehow, that statement seems in conflict with the "functionally bilingual" requirement of the job.  Either it's a meritorious appointment or it's subordinating clearly demonstrated experience, skills and knowledge in favour of someone else's perceived ability in the other official language.

Either way, we are left to sit and watch ... unable to influence the process. Even our MPs will have no influence.

Oh, fuddle duddle!

Neil L.


Articles from the Globe & Mail and the National Post

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/why-canada-has-a-new-way-to-choose-supreme-court-judges/article31220275/

www.therebel.media/trudeau_s_changes_to_supreme_court_of_canada_will_tip_scales_toward_laurentian_elite

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-robson-parliament-should-have-a-vote-on-supreme-court-appointments


 

From the CFAX post - Adam Sterling's show (from 9:05 to 9:30 am) on August 2nd.  His comments on the Supreme Court issue starts at about 9 minutes into his show.

http://www.cfax1070.com/Podcasts

I listened to the show and was disappointed that Adam Sterling is trying to be "reasonable" and is obviously not totally aware of the French agenda.  First of all, NOBODY knows what "functionally bilingual" means.  If it means "fully bilingual" and having the ability to hear cases & judge cases in both languages - then that is not possible.  Mr. Sterling at least admits that.  He is one of the majority of Canadians who actually accept that Canada is "officially bilingual" when it is patently obvious that Canada is NOT.  Quebec is unilingual French - allowed to pass anti-English laws that go totally out of their way to be hostile to English-speakers.  As long as Quebec is part of Canada, we cannot accept a situation where Quebec is allowed to be anti-English but the Rest (Most) of Canada have to be bilingual, giving the French (the minority) an obvious advantage.  Most of the callers to the show who support bilingual judges are French-speakers as evidenced by their accent - not obvious but can be detected if one listens carefully.

I'm disappointed that not many English-speakers care enough to call.  B.C. is a socialist province and Adam Sterling himself is bending over backwards to attempt to come across as "reasonable".  When it comes to the French agenda - being reasonable is lethal as they don't believe in being reasonable.  If they were, they would apply the caveat "where numbers warrant".  In Quebec, 50% of the municipality have to be English-speaking or they don't get service in English.  So why are we in the Most of Canada bending over backwards to accommodate them?

Kim McConnell

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September 24, 2016

French Activism Growing In ON

This message will show you that, while the rest of us are quietly living our lives without worries about how the country is doing, the French activists are busy building themselves more institutions devoted to themselves.  They've already got the provinces of Quebec & NB, now they're going after ON is a big way.  We have demands for more money to build French-only universities (bilingual universities like the Ottawa University are not good enough for preserving their language & culture) and more French-only medical facilities where the administration is done only in French.  Bilingualism just leads to assimilation, they insist.

Let's start with the French Universities in Ontario.  Before we go into what's happening now, let me link you to an article, written in 2013 in the MacLean's magazine that tells you how unnecessary more French universities are in Ontario.

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The rate of enrollment is so pathetically low:  http://ici.radio-canada.ca/regions/ontario/2016/09/16/001-inscription-college-la-cite.shtml

I'm only selecting the relevant paragraphs - if you want the total English translation by Google, just ask. 

EXCLUSIVE - Only 13 new students have enrolled this year in all five programs offered by the Office of The City College in Toronto. Two programs have not received any registration.

The Franco-Ontarian student reunification (REFO), which campaigns for the creation of a French-language university in Ontario, avoids the conclusion that there is a lack of interest from students for post-secondary programs in French.

The institution is based in Ottawa. Its Toronto office has an annual budget of about $ 400,000

_________________________________________________________________

However, our French Powers that be (believe me they are powerful & are determined to pursue the idea of spending more on French-only institutions):

http://www5.tfo.org/onfr/universite-franco-ontarienne-lalonde-devoile-enfin-son-comite/

TORONTO - The custom is that the Liberal government distributes a "gift" for  Franco-Ontarian Day. On the thorny issue of the Franco-Ontarian university, the Liberals announced Thursday, September 22, the appointment of Dyane Adam as head of the planning council.

ETIENNE FORTIN-GAUTHIER efgauthier@tfo.org | @etiennefg

SEBASTIAN Pierroz spierroz@tfo.org  |  @sebpierroz

The former Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada will be the president of this group promised since June and supposed "plan future steps to achieving francophone university", says the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, Marie-France Lalonde .

Over a period of six months, planning council described as "historic" by Ms. Adam will file a report to the government in spring 2017. The president said the aim "late March" for completion.

Five other people to sit on the planning board will be appointed "with imminence" said Ms. Adam.

For Ms. Lalonde, it is not only recommendations but "concrete action".

Still, the minister remains very vague about the nature that take the future facility: "It is important for our government to have an environment by and for francophones. The planning board will move towards responsible and sustainable process. "

Ms. Adam prefers his side spoke of a "preliminary step" in the Board of Governors, still required by French activists, and by 2018 at the latest.

A school year in a French language university for 2018? Again, Ms. Lalonde and Adam - well qu'interrogées separately - are not able to give a specific date.

Last June, the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne was first actually opened the door for a French-language university after the findings of a committee of experts. This clearly recommended building a campus run by Francophones and providing students with a living environment in French.

"We wonder about the precise mandate of the planning committee," has informed #ONfr general manager Franco-Ontarian student reunification (REFO), Alain Dupuis. We asked a government by and for francophones. This committee will report to the Government and will not be liable to the community. "

The cry is always the same - "we want to stop the minority French from being assimilated".  NO question about whether we can afford the luxury of preserving the French language & culture - it is already causing economic hardships in Quebec & NB but that's OK, Ontario has lots of money (not).  A debt of $300 Billion is a pittance which can be paid for by our future generations!!

__________________________________________________________

http://www5.tfo.org/onfr/universite-franco-ontarienne-nous-nen-pouvons-plus-dattendre/

September 21, 2016

TORONTO - New Democrat MP, France Gélinas, reintroduced his private member's bill for the creation of a Franco-Ontarian university on Wednesday 21 September. The Francophone community can no longer wait in this case, argued several speakers came to support the process.

ETIENNE FORTIN-GAUTHIER efgauthier@tfo.org | @etiennefg

"The number one priority of the Franco-Ontarian community is the creation of the University of French Ontario," according to the NDP MP for Nickel Belt. The first version of the bill in this area died with the prorogation of the Ontario parliament at the beginning of the month.

Denis Vaillancourt, President of the Assembly of the Francophonie in Ontario (AFO), argues that the vacuum left by the absence of a francophone university has an impact on the vitality of the community. "Young people have lived a life of French experience in elementary and secondary school. Then you need an academic institution whose walls exude French. Bilingual institutions do not breathe our French life, "he said.

Mr. Vaillancourt doubt the relevance of the planning council promised by the Liberal government, whose composition must be announced soon. It will produce another report that will complement the other, he said. He prefers to turn it into council provisional governors, which would constitute the foundation of the new university and a concrete commitment to its implementation within a reasonable time.

A view shared by France Gélinas: "It is perhaps a good thing that the committee was never established. Another committee will not solve anything. "

Eric Desrochers also participated in the briefing of the NDP member. He completed a BA at Glendon, the bilingual campus of York University and continued his studies at the University of Ottawa. "We are told that these institutions are ours, but the decisions are made in English by a Board of Governors without taking into account Francophone issues. The reflex bilingual institutions is not to think of francophones. In student life is also always in English, "he said.

Lucas Egan, another activist in favor of the French university, critical attitude the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, Marie-France Lalonde. He wanted a reference to the project in the Throne Speech, presented Monday, September 12."You have not earned our trust, nor that of the Franco-Ontarian people," he launched for Ms. Lalonde.

The Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, Marie-France Lalonde, again promised the next advertisements in the French university record.

"I want to reaffirm the government's commitment to the francophone university. We set up the planning board," she said a few minutes after the briefing of his NDP opponent.

Why not turn the board in planning the Governing Council, as Denis Vaillancourt offers? "He will lead us and help us to make responsible decisions. I want our children and grandchildren to go to this university. We want a sustainable project and that we are not forced to close as the Great Lakes College was", she merely replied.

Many Francophone students say that bilingual academic institutions currently in place to help the French-language youth assimilation. Marie-France Lalonde says she was able to keep his mother tongue, even if she, herself, attended a bilingual university.

After meeting the press, the minister went to meet some of the students who demand a university. She wanted to be reassuring saying that she wanted to do things the right way to ensure project success.

Josée Joliat, vice president of the Franco-Ontarian student reunification (REFO) had enough of the rhetoric of the government.

"We cannot wait any longer. It is always their answer! We're out of patience. We cannot ask people to wait and wait to infinity! "She began moments after the intervention of Ms. Lalonde.

___________________________________________________________

The plans for the other parts of Canada are available if you're interested.

President (CLF)

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Justin Trudeau says that Canada has NO "core identity"

Candice Malcolm's article high-lights the fact that Canada has been deliberately converted into a multi-cultural society by the Liberals, from way back in P.E. Trudeau's days.  The 1982 Constitution which superseded the BNA Act of 1867 brought in the idea that all cultures are equal and all cultural values are equal.  That of course does not include the French language & culture as that is deemed too important & has to be protected and preserved from being assimilated.  As Justin Trudeau said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDNKcLea8Cw

Canada belongs to Quebec!!   By keeping the Liberals in power, this is what will eventually happen.

Kim McConnell


http://www.torontosun.com/2016/09/14/trudeau-says-canada-has-no-core-identity

Trudeau says Canada has no ‘core identity’

By Candice Malcolm

First posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 09:23 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 09:33 PM EDT

Governor General David Johnston, left to right, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau dance during the noon hour entertainment during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Friday, July 1, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Who would have thought Canadian values could be so controversial?

Plenty of ink has been spilt in the past few weeks over the suddenly taboo topic of promoting Canadian values.

The consensus from Canada’s elites has been to condemn the very idea of listing our values, let alone asking newcomers to respect and adhere to them.

But a far more controversial idea about Canadian values and identity was recently proposed by our very own prime minister. And the media barely batted an eyelash.

Late last year, Justin Trudeau told the New York Times that Canada is becoming a new kind of country, not defined by our history or European national origins, but by a “pan-cultural heritage”.

“There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” Trudeau said, concluding that he sees Canada as “the first post-national state.”

Even the New York Times called the suggestion “radical.”

Despite Trudeau’s bizarre musings, Canada has a proud history and strong traditions.

Canada has never been a homogeneous society — defined by a single race or ethnicity — but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a distinct culture and identity.

Our identity is rooted in our history, and it’s impossible to divorce the two.

Canada’s democratic values and traditions date back over 800 years, to the signing of the Magna Carta by our political ancestors.

That document helped enshrine our natural rights and freedoms, and limited the government’s ability to impose its powers.

Canada, perhaps more than any other Western country, is a living manifestation of that great document.

We live in the greatest country in the world. My biased opinion aside, the Reputation Institute ranked Canada as the most admired country in the world.

Our peaceful, free, fair and just society is the envy of the world. That is why so many people around the world want to come to Canada. They want to adopt our values.

But Trudeau takes this all for granted.

He doesn’t think there is anything special about Canadian history or traditions.

Instead, he suggests Canada is nothing but an intellectual construct and a hodgepodge of various people, from various backgrounds, who just happen to live side by side in the territory known as Canada.

Trudeau seems embarrassed, even ashamed of our Western culture and values.

Far from standing up for Canada and promoting our core principles at home and abroad, Trudeau frequently apologizes for Canada.

That’s why he feels no shame in speaking at a segregated mosque, where women and girls are forbidden from entering through the front door, or sitting in the main hall.

He can call himself a “feminist” while also tolerating the subjugation and segregation of women, when it suits his political interests.

That is also why, while in China, Trudeau told the one-party authoritarian state that Canada, too, is imperfect when it comes to human rights.

Trudeau blurred the distinction between Canada’s peaceful, free society and that of a communist dictatorship.

He equated Canada — a democratic country that always strives for peace, justice, liberty and equality — to a closed regime with a sordid history.

Trudeau is wrong when it comes to our values and our identity. And his ideas are far more controversial than the proposed vetting of newcomers.

Candice Malcolm is the author of Losing True North: Justin Trudeau’s Assault on Canadian Citizenship. Readers are invited to attend her Toronto book signing event, at 5:30, Friday, Sept 16. Please register at: www.LosingTrueNorth.ca  


 

 

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August 30, 2016

Equalization Payments Policy

This topic is a very important one and it is part of the 1982 Constitution which is our primary target to be attacked and changed.  We are promoting this, not as a dream to be fulfilled in our next life-time, but as a project that needs to be worked on RIGHT NOW!! 

Prof. John Robson's film documentary will be our Christmas event, scheduled for November 13th at the Kars Community Association Hall.  Details to come as we work on the program.  Prof. Robson will be showing us the film documentary & answering any questions posed on the topic.

The topic in focus right now is not new - it has been raised several times but NO government has had the guts to do anything about it.  Quebec, the main beneficiary, will NEVER allow a change that will reduce their over-generous receipt of 56% of all payments.  Brad Wall of Saskatchewan has raised concerns about it but the Federal Liberal Party would never take these concerns seriously - not when their support base is Quebec!!  Still, it does not mean that the other provinces should stay silent on the issue!!!

The 2nd item of interest is a letter to Kathleen Wynne from Kevin O'Leary - that's worth a read too.  Ontario is in so much financial duress that I don't know why she's still getting support.  Where is that support coming from, I wonder!! ?

President (CLF)

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http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/joe-oliver-why-equalization-no-longer-works

Joe Oliver: Why equalization no longer works Joe Oliver, Special to Financial Post | February 10, 2016 11:30 AM ET

Joe Oliver: The total amount the federal government transfers to the provinces, almost $18 billion, is based on a three-year moving average of nominal GDP growth. It operates both as a ceiling and a floor. But if disparities are small, which seems to be where we are heading, the result would put us in unchartered territory.

Equalization is about to loom large in federal-provincial relations and will make the prime minister’s promise to meet with his provincial counterparts increasingly uncomfortable. The significant regional restructuring of economic fortunes, resulting from the precipitous decline in resource-based revenue, will reallocate billions of dollars in transfer payments — some from previously “have not” to “have” provinces. Several of these adjustments will be counter-intuitive and will likely engender embittered political reaction from provinces that perceive themselves as losing out. A reordering of transfers will also raise the larger issue of whether the program should be fundamentally revamped.

The public policy rationale for equalization is to ensure that all Canadians in every province receive reasonably comparable provincial services at reasonably comparable rates of taxation. The federal government achieves this by making up the difference for provinces with less revenue capacity than the average (note that the formula is based on capacity, not taxes actually raised). The formula calculates what each province could collect, on a per capita basis, in personal, consumption, property and business taxes, if they all imposed the same rates.

Recipients can use the funds any way they wish, so, the objective of the program may not be achieved if a recipient province uses the money for priorities other than public services. On the other hand, Quebec will receive 56 per cent of equalization payments next year, while enjoying a publicly funded daycare program that is unavailable in “have” provinces.

The total amount the federal government transfers to the provinces, almost $18 billion, is based on a three-year moving average of nominal GDP growth. It operates both as a ceiling and a floor. But if disparities are small, which seems to be where we are heading, the result would put us in unchartered territory. Since recipients cannot end up in a better position than the average of non-recipients, part of the large balance might have to be distributed to all the provinces on some yet-to-be-determined basis.

Should provinces be penalized for not pursuing revenue opportunities, like resource development?

Another predictable oddity is that, in 2017, Ontario could shake off its status as a “have not” province for the first time since 2009, losing almost $3 billion in equalization payments. This is not because Ontario is doing well fiscally. Rather, the resource economies of Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan are reeling.

At the same time, these resource-based provinces will likely be aggrieved that the three-year weighted average calculation of fiscal capacity does not fully take account of their current financial pain, as Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has already pointed out. Meanwhile, lowering the average fiscal capacity may reduce the amount Quebec receives.

Another counterintuitive element of equalization is that fiscal capacity excludes either all of a province’s natural resource revenues or half of them, depending on which provides the largest per capita transfer payment.

Related

Joe Oliver: Canadians should beware the consequences of climate change … policiesJoe Oliver: Canada’s foolish pipeline flubsJoe Oliver: Ontario’s fiscal train wreck

This brings us to the highly contentiousness issue of whether a province that could generate resource revenue, but decides not to, should see transfers reduced accordingly. Several provinces have imposed a moratorium on fracking of oil and gas, even though fracking has been safely utilized for over 40 years in Western Canada and fracking has made the U.S. the largest producer of oil in the world. Certain provinces and municipalities also oppose new export pipelines. Apparently, they believe it perfectly acceptable to receive transfers derived from resource development in other provinces, and yet improper to develop their own resources or even permit development elsewhere.

Opposition to resource development, unrelated to legitimate environmental concerns, is a self-indulgence we cannot afford in a period of slow growth, large deficits and escalating health-care costs. The public may not be fully aware of the financial and social implications of its choices. A reduction in equalization payments would be a wake-up call.

It is time to ask whether this massive government program meets its original goal, still achieves a legitimate public purpose objective and is recognized as equitable. Other questions need to be answered: Should recipient provinces be required to use the funds for provincial services, the rationale for the program? Should a province that imposes relatively high taxes, potentially driving away jobs, have the actual tax it collects counted?

Why exclude certain resource revenue when revenue from other industries is not? Should “have not” provinces be penalized for the decision not to pursue revenue opportunities, like resource development? Does the formula adapt quickly enough to dramatic changes in financial fortunes? If the disparity between recipient and non-recipient provinces narrows appreciably, is there a justification for massive transfer payments?

Then there’s the big, philosophical question: Is equalization creating a welfare trap that subsidizes inefficiencies, discourages employment and undermines economic growth?

These questions will doubtless set some premiers’ hair on fire. However, our current economic challenges and shifting fortunes cry out for a major overhaul of a decades-old equalization program that is past its best-before date.

Joe Oliver is the former Canadian Minister of Finance.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kevin-oleary/open-letter-to-ontario-pr_b_11759978.html

Open letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Part 2

Posted: 08/29/2016 9:10 am EDT Updated: 08/29/2016 9:59 am EDT

Hi Premier Wynne,

I'm worried.

I asked you to keep me informed about the $1.9 billion you are extracting out of the Ontario economy in new carbon taxes. I was excited when you promised lots of new jobs and reductions in carbon emissions. Then I saw the July jobs report. Wow, 36,100 Ontario jobs lost in a single month, the worst decline since the recession, and you still haven't told me any good news about carbon emission reductions. I guess your new plan is not working.

Maybe it would have been better to leave that $1.9 billion in the hands of the Ontario businesses that were using it to hire employees before you taxed it away from them.

However, I hear it's not all bad news on the Ontario job front. While the private sector is losing jobs by the tens of thousands under your new tax policies, you have been busy creating some really interesting opportunities for your staff. I don't know how I missed this, but apparently you lost $70 million setting up and then cancelling the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) in June. While in operation only six months, you hired some really special people that walked away with millions of taxpayers' dollars for apparently doing nothing. It sounds so ridiculous that I am assuming I must have it wrong, and that's why I'm putting pen to paper.

So here goes, true or false?

  • Did you spend $8 million marketing the ORPP even though it didn't exist? That sounds so crazy it can't be true.
  • Did you give Neala Barton, the plan's senior vice-president of communications, $316,819? She started in March. Just exactly what was she communicating for 90 days?
  • Did you pay Anne Slivinskas -- the pension plan's general counsel -- $341,418 for working there just three weeks? That's $2,845.15/hr. You don't fool around with taxpayers' money; You hire the best lawyers!
  • Did you pay a tech guy named Brian Gill -- the pensions plan's CTO -- $414,050 to work for two months! (Note to self: Send Premier Wynne my comp committee's North American average salary report. Her laptop must have been hacked.)
  • Jennifer Brown -- your choice for senior vice-president of the plan's operations -- was a lifer. She started March 21 and lasted until the end of June. So, with that kind of long-term commitment, no one should complain about the $445,019 you gave her.
  • Did you really pay ORPP CEO Mary Anne Palangio $465,938 for 90 days' work? Who says you can't get a great job in Ontario.
  • This one is my favourite, it's so out there! Did you give $485,000 to Saad Rafi when his job running the Pan Am Games ended and then hire him again to run the ORPP even though he has never had an investment mandate before? And then did you pay him an additional $827,925 to walk away a few months later? If this is true, I bet some taxpayers are unhappy about it.

Maybe it would help if you spin this as an inspirational story. You search the province for a seasoned financial money manager to be the fiduciary of the new ORRP but in the last minute hire someone who has fallen on hard times and is out of work, even though they never managed money before. It's so Rocky-esque!

Rafi could have been great as a pension plan manager but we will never know. Giving him the $827Gs for taking this bold new step in his career is the least we taxpayers can do. After all, it's hard to live off a measly $485,000 severance when taxes are so high in Ontario, but I know you are not spending any time worrying about that.

These must be very special people! No one in the private sector could ever get a deal like this: Thank goodness they know you. Some Ontarians might see this and assume you don't give a damn about their hard-earned money. Is that true? Frankly, if I gave away $2.8 million to employees that did nothing in my businesses, I would go bankrupt. Come to think of it, your government has a long history of starting projects, spending millions and then cancelling them -- you know, like gas plants, "green" projects and now pension plans. That's why Ontario is $308 billion in debt, so you are kind of bankrupting us, in your own special way.

Still I get it, perhaps from your point of view, why should anybody give a damn about the $70 million you just wasted, it's just a rounding error.

Well, maybe the voters do. Have you seen the latest polls? Perhaps at this point in your mandate you may want to think about delivering a little more transparency and performance instead of dreaming up new ways to tax people and businesses and then spending it this way.

I'm just trying to help.

Anyway, I don't want to be negative so I hope you are having a great summer. I know the 36,100 people in Ontario who just lost their jobs in July are feeling a little down but I'm sure they will go from sad to glad when you tell them about all the carbon emissions you have reduced. Best you get that good news out soon. In the meantime, next time you are paying people on your staff to do nothing for $827,000, maybe you could show a little compassion and hire one of your 36,100 constituents who just lost their job.

There will be an election soon and when that's over and you start your new career, I'm going to bet it won't be one where you manage money.

Yours respectfully,

Kevin O'Leary

Ontario taxpayer, voter and your employer, for now.

Follow Kevin O'Leary on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kevinolearytv

More:

Kevin O'Leary From the Desk of Mr. Wonderful Shark Tank Canadian Politics Liberal Party of Canada Conservative Party Kathleen Wynne

 

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Christmas Afternoon - November 13, 2016

Dear Friends:

This is to let you know that our Christmas event this year will be held on November 13th at the Kars Recreation Association Hall, 1604 Old Wellington Street, Kars, Ontario K0A2E0.

Directions from Ottawa - Take exit 49 (Roger Stevens Dr) off the 416, turn left to go over the highway. In 2.5KM there is a flashing red light, turn right on Rideau Valley Dr. Go 1 km to Old Wellington on your right, then turn right.

People who would like to be picked up, please inform us ASAP so that we can arrange this.  Anyone having financial difficulty attending this event, please let us know so that we can find sponsors for you to come.

Prof. John Robson will be presenting his film documentary, "Fix the 1982 Constitution" - here is a short introduction to the documentary: www.fixtheconstitution.ca

The charge will be $20 and included in that is a copy of the DVD of the above documentary that you can send to your friends to let them know that our problems in this country started with the very flawed 1982 constitution.  If you want a copy of the DVD but cannot attend, please send $15.00 to cover mailing charges.  Any couple coming needs to only pay $35.00 to attend but will only be entitled to one DVD.

Prof. John Robson will answer any questions on his film documentary.

Nick Vandergragt will join us, along with his wife, Alison Vandergragt.  We will also be pleased to welcome Jurgen Vollrath to talk about his radio show.

Afternoon tea & coffee will be served along with yummy snacks.

Kim McConnell

Email me at:  clf1@bellnet.ca

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19 September 2016

Two Issues

Our main issue of fighting for the rights of English-speaking Canadians does not mean that we are only concerned about that issue. 

Today's message is about two other issues:

  1. The Liberal government wants to change the way we vote
  2. The Liberal government wants to welcome the Iranian Embassy back to Ottawa

For the first issue, I will describe briefly a Town-hall meeting held by a local Liberal MP, Anita Vanderbeld last night.  There will be other meetings held at different times - if you're interested, contact me & I'll get the schedule for you.  Last night's meeting was very well attended and surprisingly, had good representation from both sides of the argument.  MP Vanderbeld said that she was strictly there to listen to the citizens' views & there were at least 40 people lined up at the two mikes.  I would say that the LIB had strong support from the NDP to change the voting system (not surprisingly as the NDP would never get to govern nationally any other way).  What happened in AB was an aberration for which Albertans are paying a very steep price.

There were good points of view from both sides but the call for a Referendum was heard quite loudly.  Rather than for me to give you a blow-by-blow commentary on what was said, I thought I would do some research and let you read the views of the media on different points of view on this very important issue.

I'll pick out the most significant paragraph from each writer - you can read the articles yourself if you have the time:

John IvisonThe town hall format is not really the “national dialogue” being presented to Canadians — it is an exercise designed to give the illusion the government is listening.

Monsef has routinely rejected the idea of a referendum on a system to replace the first-past-the-post system, explaining that youth, indigenous people, those with disabilities and people with “exceptionalities” would be excluded because they don’t vote in large numbers.

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/john-ivison-liberals-electoral-reform-town-halls-are-meaningless-gatherings-of-democra-geeks


Kady O'Malley,  writes that the majority of Canadians are not even aware of the series of town-hall meetings on this most important topic - changing the way we vote.

Even more demoralizing for committee members – who have, after all, devoted a sizeable chunk of their summer to the project – might be Bricker’s revelation that, even among the minority aware of their work, just 16 per cent – or, as Bricker helpfully pointed out, roughly three per cent of the total population – are following the process “very closely,” while the same number have tuned it out entirely, with 68 per cent taking in “a bit here and there.”

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/kady-omalley-stop-implying-that-canadians-simply-arent-smart-enough-to-understand-electoral-reform

_________________________________________

Chris Selley: Who’s afraid of a referendum on electoral reform?

Canseco’s poll, released June 28, found 61 per cent of respondents were satisfied with first-past-the-post (FPTP) and 68 per cent thought any change should be put to a popular vote. But their opinions on the alternatives were almost comically open-minded: 50 per cent agreed with the idea of party-list proportional representation (PR); 45 per cent agreed with ranked ballots in each existing riding; and 40 per cent agreed with mixed-member PR. Only 14, 15 and 16 per cent, respectively, “strongly disagreed.”

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/full-comment/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/chris-selley-whos-afraid-of-a-referendum-on-electoral-reform

________________________________________

John Pepall - Fraser Institute - Changing Canada’s voting system will dilute voter power

Generally under PR no party can form a government by itself. Coalitions rule. No party can do what it said it would do and be held accountable. Who governs is not decided by the election but in negotiations after the election beyond voters’ control. Some parties are permanently in power. Some are permanently excluded. Bums are never thrown out. In Germany what looks like a choice between the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats ends with them both in a grand coalition.

Under PR, voters effectively provide a sample of their opinions and the parties decide who will govern on a basis that might only be explained by game theory. Even the parties don’t know how to play the game. The voters lose control.

If 2015 is the last election when we vote as we have since before Confederation, it may also be the last in which voters decide who governs them.

________________________________________

Jason Clemens & Taylor Jackson - Fraser Institute

Coalition governments typically cost more

This means that coalitions—not majority governments, which is the norm in Canada—are much more likely to govern PR countries. Research bears this out. Between 2000 and 2015, only 17 per cent of elections in PR countries resulted in a single-party majority while single-party majorities occurred 85 per cent of the time in countries with election systems like Canada, which are referred to as majoritarian/plurality systems.

To form governing coalitions, the single large party must negotiate with smaller parties and often capitulate on key policy issues. Therefore, smaller parties can exert disproportionate power in government in countries with PR election systems.

This is a critical insight because it counters those who argue that PR provides everyone an equal vote. It doesn’t. It disproportionately empowers voters for small, even fringe parties at the expense of the majority of voters who tend to vote for one of a few main parties.

One result of these capitulations is that government spending in countries with PR elections is markedly higher than in other countries. In a recent study, we examined the average level of central government spending over a 15-year period, between the years 2000 and 2014, in advanced industrial countries. We found that countries with PR electoral systems had average central government spending of 29.2 per cent of the economy (GDP) compared to 23.5 per cent for countries with majoritarian/plurality election rules.

In other words, as a share of the economy, central governments in countries with PR systems were almost one-quarter larger than those with majoritarian/plurality electoral systems.

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/changing-election-rules-changes-more-than-just-who-we-elect

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/changing-canadas-voting-system-will-dilute-voter-power

________________________________________

For the second issue, please sign and share this petition and tell Trudeau Liberals that you do not wish Iran's house of terror to re-open in Ottawa.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/canada-must-not-re-open-iranian-embassy-no-diplomatic-ties-with-iran.html

Read the following endorsement written by Salim Mansur about Homa Arjomand who drafted the petition for us.

Dear All:

Please take a couple of minutes and consider signing this petition now being circulated by a Persian friend of mine, Homa Arjomand, to ask the Canadian government of Justin T. not to re-open Iran's Embassy in Ottawa that was shut down a few years ago by the previous Harper government.

Homa is one of the bravest women one can get to know. She escaped from the prison of Khomeini's Iran in a manner that would make a stirring romance-adventure-espionage getaway story/film. She led the effort to stop Sharia law in Ontario that was pushed by Marion Boyd, who had served as Attorney-General in Premier Bob Rae's NDP government. I worked with Homa in that campaign, and I remain an immense admirer of Homa as a voice of independent modern Muslim women around the world. During winter and spring of 2015 both Homa and I were called upon to be expert witnesses for the Conservatives during Senate and Parliamentary hearings over bills that Harper government had introduced before the October election was called.

Let us add our voice to this petition in stopping our government from giving undue pass to a criminal state ruled by thugs as clerics in Tehran. I have signed it already. Here is the petition for you to click and then scroll down to the button to "Sign". This is the least we can do in giving support to our brave friends in Iran standing up against the brutal regime of the ayatollahs.

Salim Mansur

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/canada-must-not-re-open-iranian-embassy-no-diplomatic-ties-with-iran.html

 

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Here's how Justin Trudeau's government will ensure that French-speakers (whether they are mother-tongue French-speakers or not) will be able to demand French-language services right across Canada. 

"Where numbers warrant" will be met by boosting the numbers artificially.  You'll note that the English-speakers in Quebec will still have to live under the French-language zealots who want the French language dominant in Quebec.

Folks, Bill S-205 died on order table when Harper govt fell. It was tabled again as Bill S-209 in December 2015 when Trudeau came to power. It aims to amend Part IV (Service to the Public) of the OLA, changing the definition of "francophone" a la Ontario FLSA.

http://www.officiallanguages.gc.ca/en/publications/annual-reports/2015-2016#fnbtbl1***

Issues related to implementing the Official Languages Act

Commissioner lends his support to Bill S-205

In April 2015, the Commissioner of Official Languages presented his position in support of Bill S-205, which aimed to update Part IV of the Official Languages Act. In his briefFootnote 11 to the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, the Commissioner gave three reasons why Part IV needs to be updated.

First, he noted that the criteria set out in section 32(2) of the Act to assess potential demand for services in the minority language are not inclusive, because they do not take into account all of the people who use the minority language in the public or private sphere. For example, the current criteria as they are applied exclude people whose first official language spoken is not the language of the minority but who:

  • speak the minority language at home (as can be the case for francophiles, anglophiles and newcomers);

  • speak the minority language in the workplace; or

  • receive their education in the minority language.

Second, he pointed out that significant demand is defined in relation to the proportion of the minority population (i.e., the 5% rule). However, the chief factor to be considered in determining significant demand in a region served by federal offices should be the presence of an official language community that shows signs of vitality. (It means presence of even one French school, according to their previous discussions - E.B.).

 

Third, he stressed that Bill S-205 is important because it codifies the principle of substantive equality by explicitly imposing on federal institutions the duty to provide service of equal quality in both official languages and to consult with the English and French linguistic minority population concerning the quality of those communications and services.

The Bill died on the order table after the federal election was called in August 2015 and was tabled again in December 2015 as Bill S-209. The Commissioner reiterated that this bill makes an undoubtedly significant contribution to fulfilling the purpose of Part IV of the Act and helps official language communities to strengthen their identity, to develop and to thrive.

Analysis needed of the impact of the Official Languages Regulations on the vitality of official language communities

In 2013, the Société franco-manitobaine made public a complaint that had been filed with the Office of the Commissioner concerning the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations.Footnote 12 The complaint alleged that the method used to determine the first official language spoken in order to establish what constitutes significant demand does not take into account large segments of the population that speak the minority language and would want or be likely to use it in federal offices.

The objective of the investigation was to determine the nature of the obligations incumbent upon the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat under Part VII of the Act in the context of the Official Languages Regulations Re-Application Exercise. The exercise seeks to review and update federal institutions’ language obligations every 10 years using census data: in this case, data from the 2011 Census.

In the spring of 2015, the Commissioner released his final investigation report to the parties involved. The Commissioner concluded that the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat had to identify the impact of the results of the re-application exercise on the vitality of official language communities that would no longer be receiving bilingual services because of changes in the linguistic designation of some federal offices. The Commissioner also concluded that the institution should present options to the President of the Treasury Board to mitigate the negative impact of these results.

Because the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat had stated that it did not intend to conduct an analysis on the impact of the results, the Commissioner concluded that it had not met its obligations under Part VII of the Act and that the complaint was founded.

The Commissioner therefore recommended that the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat undertake a thorough review of the impact of the Official Languages Regulations on the development and vitality of the official language communities affected by the results of the re-application exercise. He also recommended that the findings of the analysis be shared with the President of the Treasury Board, along with opinions and advice on solutions to be considered in order to mitigate any potential negative impact of the Regulations.

A follow-up is under way to determine whether the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat will be taking the appropriate steps to implement the Commissioner’s recommendations.

Société franco-manitobaine takes case to court

In February 2015, the Société franco-manitobaine applied for a court remedy in Federal Court under Part X of the Act. The Société petitioned the Federal Court to find that parts of the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations are inconsistent with section 20 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and with several provisions of the Act) and to order the government to amend the Regulations. The Société maintained that:

  • the Regulations contain an unduly restrictive definition of the word “Francophone,” i.e., they do not make allowances for the recent expansion of the Francophone space to include mixed families, newcomers, people who are bilingual and people who are able to converse in French;

  • the use of formal numerical thresholds is inconsistent with the objectives of the Act; and

  • the Regulations were adopted without consulting the French-speaking minority, and they have not undergone any significant review or consultation since they came into force in 1992.

The objective of Senator Maria Chaput’s Bill S-209 was to correct the very shortcomings cited by the Société franco-manitobaine in its court remedy. The Commissioner strongly urges the government to update Part IV of the Act and to review the criteria for defining significant demand.

Recommendation 2

The Commissioner of Official Languages recommends:

  • that Parliament make Bill S-209 a priority so that the parliamentary committees examining it are able to conduct a diligent review; and

  • that, by March 31, 2017, the Treasury Board undertake an evaluation, in consultation with official language communities, of the effectiveness and efficiency of its policies and directives for implementing Part IV of the Official Languages Act.

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Historical Overview of French-Language Services in Ontario

Introduction

More than 40 years ago, the Government of Ontario recognized the need to provide French-language services to the province's Francophone community. The right to French-language services contained in the French Language Services Act came into effect on November 19, 1989. It gives all citizens who request French-language services the right to be served in French:

* in any head office of a provincial government ministry or agency;

* in most provincial ministry and agency offices that serve or are located in the 25 designated regions.

Today, about 80% of Ontario's Francophone population has access to these services.

The following is a chronology which highlights some of the major advances in French language services in Ontario. You can sort the achievements by year and by sector for easier reference.

 

2011

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Adoption of a Regulation on the provision of French language services by third parties on behalf of government agencies.

32 new public service agencies were designated under the FLSA since 2003, which brings the total number of designated agencies to 222. These agencies provide health services and support services for children, youth and women who are victims of violence.

EDUCATION

The total funding for French-language boards for the 2010-11 school year was $1.24 billion, the largest investment in French Language education in the history of the province.

Ontario puts in place a French language policy framework for postsecondary education and training. The goal is to help provide Ontarians with more opportunities to study and train in French.

Substantial additional investments in infrastructure in the primary, secondary and postsecondary francophone educational sectors:

$248.9 million worth of construction was undertaken under the French Capital Transitional Funding component of the Grant for New Pupil Places in the primary and secondary school systems.

$84.8 million was invested in the postsecondary sector as well as in training for Francophones.

2010

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Adoption of the Franco-Ontarian Day Act. The Province of Ontario officially recognizes September 25th of each year as Franco-Ontarian Day as well as the contribution of the Francophone community of Ontario to the social, economic and political life of the Province and the communitys importance in Ontarios society.

Adoption of a new directive for Communications in French by the Ontario Government. Ministries and classified agencies are required to consider and incorporate the Franco-Ontarian communitys specific needs when developing and implementing communications strategies and tactics.

EDUCATION

Creation of 266 new child-care spaces in French language schools.

CULTURE

Official launch of TFO in Manitoba.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture launches two three-year pilot programs to address the needs of Francophone visual artists, arts organizations and collectives in Ontario.

HEALTH

Adoption of the Francophone Community Engagement Regulation under the Local Health Integration Networks Act. Establishment of 6 French language health planning entities (1 in Northern Ontario, 1 in Eastern Ontario and 4 in Southern Ontario) in order to provide advice and input on French language health services in their communities.

Inauguration of the new Montfort hospital.

SERVICES FOR WOMEN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

Announcement of a $5.2 M investment for the construction of Torontos first Francophone womens shelter.

Opening of a 10-bed womens Francophone Shelter in Timmins.

2009

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Adoption of a new more inclusive definition of Francophone (DIF): 50,000 more Francophones identified, bringing the total Franco-Ontarian population to over 580,000.

Addition of a Youth Francophonie Award as part of the Ontario Francophonie Awards.

Release by the OFA on its website of a new General Statistical Profile of Ontarios Francophone Community in December 2009.

EDUCATION

NewAmnagement LinguistiquePolicy whose goal is to help the provinces French language educational institutions and settings optimize the transmission of the French language and culture among young people, to help them reach their full potential in school and society, and to breathe new life into the francophone community.

MUNICIPALITIES

As part of the provinces Accent on Youth Strategy, launch of a new initiative developed by the OFA in partnership with theAssociation franaise desmunicipalits de lOntario(AFMO) which aims to encourage young Francophones to learn more about municipal affairs.

2008

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

The firsttats gnraux de la francophonie de Sudburywere held in November 2008. Bringing all sectors of the Sudbury community together in a planning exercise, this event made it possible to lay a foundation for setting priorities for the regions economic, cultural, community, social, and artistic development.

Each of these milestones has enabled Francophones to face the future with optimism and to focus their efforts on training the next generation of Francophone leaders. With its community partners and with private companies that have roots in the community, OFA launched itsAccent on Youth Strategyin 2008 to encourage young Francophones to socialize, work, and live in French.

CULTURE

TFO becomes an independent and self-governing organization with its own budgets, its own board of directors and its own offices.

TRANSPORTATION

Another milestone in the recognition of the French fact in Ontario was reached in 2008, with the introduction of French license plates for personal vehicles.

2007

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Creation of the Office of French Language Services Commissioner. Reporting to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, but independent of the OFA, the Commissioner is responsible for handling complaints relating to the FLSA, conducting investigations to ensure compliance with the FLSA and submitting special reports as well as an annual report to the Minister that is tabled in the Legislative Assembly.

Development of a French services accountability framework to be integrated in the annual planning process of each ministry.

EDUCATION

Investments in the education sector are now making it possible to expand York University,Universit de Hearst, andLa Cit collgiale, and to expand French-language postsecondary program offerings in Ontario.

2006

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

The year 2006 marked the 20th anniversary of theFrench Language Services Act. To celebrate this milestone in the history of French Ontario, the Government of Ontario created the Ontario Francophonie Awards as a way to honour Francophones and Francophiles who have made a valuable contribution to the vitality and well-being of Ontarios Francophone community. The OFA also created a travelling exhibition on the history of French Ontario, entitledLa francophonie ontarienne : dhier aujourdhui.

Francophones in eastern Ontario rallied around the project to create monuments to Ontarios Francophonie. On September 25, 2006, the 31st anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag, the first of six monuments in Ottawa was unveiled. It is a giant Franco-Ontarian flag symbolizing the history and contribution of the regions Franco-Ontarian community. This initiative has since spread to other Ontario communities, including Casselman, Rockland, and Sudbury.

Designation of Kingston under theFrench Language Services Act.

Signing of the Ontario-Quebec Cooperation Protocol on Francophone Affairs.

EDUCATION

The growing number of French-language schools gives rights holders increased access to French-language education across the province.

Launch of thePolitique damnagement linguistique de lOntario, a language planning policy to promote the French language and culture, improve student achievement, and help keep young Franco-Ontarians in French-language schools.

Creation of an advisory committee on French-language postsecondary education.

Establishment of a permanent Elementary and Secondary French-Language Education Task-Force.

CULTURE

Establishment of an improvement program for French-language, rural, Northern, and First Nations libraries.

JUSTICE

Implementation of the first phase of theStrategic Plan for the Development of French Language Services in Ontarios Justice Sector, in partnershipwith the francophone stakeholders, which aimsto improve, modernize and expand access toFrench Language Services in the justice sector.

COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Support for French-language school boards to plan for the provision of child care services under the Best Start Plan.

HEALTH

Unprecedented commitment of $125 million to expand Montfort Hospital co-funded with the federal government.

Establishment of a Francophone working group on health care reform, headed by the CEO of Montfort Hospital.

Inclusion in the preamble of Bill 36 on local health system integration of recognition that the requirements of theFrench Language Services Actmust be respected. The Bill also requires that the Francophone community be consulted both in the development of a provincial health system plan through the establishment of a French-language health services advisory council, and at the regional level by local health integration networks.

MUNICIPALITIES

Creation of a website,Centre darchives des rglements municipaux, whichprovides the English and French versions of municipal by-laws.

2005

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Signing of the Canada-Ontario Agreement on French-Language Services providing $1.4 million per year over four years to increase the capability of the Government of Ontario to deliver French-language services and support the development and vitality of the Francophone community of Ontario.

Designation of five new agencies under theFrench Language Services Act. Since 1988, 201 agencies have been designated to provide services in French.

EDUCATION

Commitment of $140 million to contribute to the development of French-language schools.

Signing of the Provincial-Federal Funding Agreement for French-Language Education and French-as-a-Second-Language Instruction, providing $301 million over four years for minority and second-language instruction at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels, as well as an additional $30 million to recognize that Ontario has the largest minority French-language community in the country.

Establishment of a permanent Elementary and Secondary French-Language Education Task Force to advise the Minister of Education on unique Francophone matters such as promoting French culture, reducing assimilation and helping to retain Francophone students.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TRADE

Distribution of a Resource Guide for immigrant entrepreneurs to all the Canadian Embassies and high commissions abroad.

MUNICIPALITIES

Adoption of anAct to amend the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, recognizing the bilingual character of the City of Ottawa. The amendment requires the City of Ottawa to adopt a policy respecting the use of the English and French languages in all or specified parts of the administration of the city and in the citys provision of all or specific municipal services.

Provision of $700,000 over four years to translate municipal by-laws and other key documents into French, cost-shared with the federal government.

POSTSECONDARY

Commitment of targeted funding to promote access to postsecondary education for Francophones as part of the $6.2 billion to be invested in response to the Rae Report.

Creation of an advisory committee on French-language postsecondary education charged with advising the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities on improving access to French-language postsecondary programs.

SERVICES FOR WOMEN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

Creation of a help line for Francophone women who are victims of violence: 1 877 FEMAIDE (1 877 336-2433). Francophone women across the province can access this dedicated toll-free line anytime.

2004

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Creation of a Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs. The committees mandate is to advise the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs on how to best meet the needs of the Francophone community.

Participation of Ontario at the Xth Summit of the Francophonie in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Designation of the City of Brampton and the municipality of Callander under theFrench Language Services Act. After an implementation period of two years, provincial government offices located in Brampton will offer their services in French. Because there are no offices of the provincial government located in the municipality of Callander, French-language services will be available at government offices in the City of North Bay.

EDUCATION

Funding of $30 M allocated to the provinces 12 French-language district school boards as a first step in the implementation of the French-Language Education Strategy.

To help strengthen French-language education in Ontario, the Government launches thePolitique damnagement linguistique 2004. This plan is designed to help promote French language and culture, improve student achievement and self-esteem and help keep young Franco-Ontarians in French-language schools.

SERVICES FOR WOMEN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

The Government adopts a Domestic Violence Action Plan. One of the objectives of this Plan is to improve access to French-language violence prevention programs and services in accordance with theFrench Language Services Act.

The Centre Victoria pour femmes and the Timmins and Area Women in Crisis announce the creation of a new Francophone Sexual Assault Centre.

Holding of tats gnraux sur le dveloppement des services en franais en matire de violence contre les femmes (conference on the development of French-language services in the area of violence against women). The purpose of the conference was to discuss issues related to French-language violence prevention programs and services, to discuss best practices and explore models for improved service delivery.

Investment of $1.9 million to support sexual assault centres across the province offering French-language services or serving Francophone communities.

JUSTICE

Creation of a French Language Institute for Professional Development through which professionals in the justice system can increase their French-language abilities.

SENIORS

Creation of a Francophone Advisory Committee by the Seniors Secretariat in order to develop, implement and evaluate a series of information tours for Francophone senior citizens across Ontario.

2003

CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION

A federal-provincial-community committee is set up to discuss Francophone immigration.

HEALTH AND LONG TERM CARE

Announcement of a $7.4 M increase to the base funding of Montfort Hospital and a grant of $20.8 M for 2003-2004.

TRANSPORTATION

Citizens can request licence plates with the design of the Franco-Ontarian flag.

2002

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Eleven new transfer payment agencies are designated under theFrench Language Services Actas providers of French-language services. Since 1988, 196 agencies have been designated as providers of services in French. Of these, 66 have been designated since 1995.

EDUCATION

Official groundbreaking ceremony atLcole secondaire de formation professionnelle et techniquein Ottawa.

Official opening ofCollge Boralcampus in Toronto, in the Fall 2002.

JUSTICE

Signature of a memorandum of understanding between Legal Aid Ontario and theCentre mdico-social communautaire de Torontofor the 2003 opening of the first Francophone Legal Aid Clinic in Toronto.

HEALTH

Five-year memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the French-Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario.

SERVICES TO WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

Announcement of funding for Francophone pilot projects in the area of violence prevention.

2001

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Games of La Francophonie 2001, Ottawa-Hull: the Ontario Government participates in the planning of the Games and hosts a pavilion that welcomes many visitors. Some 3,000 athletes and artists from 52 countries compete in these games, 85 of these competitors being from Ontario. In all, Ontario wins 3 medals in the Cultural competitions and 16 medals in the Sports division (8 of which are gold).

The Franco-Ontarian flag becomes an official emblem of the province.

JUSTICE

Additional financing to improve legal aid services in French in Ontario.

TheCourts of Justice Actis amended to improve access to justice and simplify the administrative procedures to request a bilingual trial.

CHILDRENS SECRETARIAT

The Government of Ontario launches the Early Years Challenge Fund. In order to meet the needs of Francophone families, a special envelope 5% of the total Fund is set aside for projects within the Francophone community. Following consultations with Francophone stakeholders, a separate process is put in place to evaluate and recommend projects by Francophone groups.

2000

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Organization of the 4th Games of La Francophonie to be held in Ottawa-Hull in 2001.

HEALTH

128 long-term care beds allocated to Montfort Hospital, as part of the governments commitment to create 20,000 new long-term care beds in the province by 2004.

EDUCATION

$4 million to train specialists to identify young Francophones who need special education services.

POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION

Five year agreement with the Federal government for the funding of French-language colleges, including some funding for theCollge dAlfred.

Funding toLa Cit collgialefor the development of a bilingual training centre for call services in the high technology industry.

Funding toLe Collge Boralfor the Centre for Excellence in Forestry of Northern Ontario.

TOURISM

The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (OTMP) develops a tourism marketing strategy specifically for the Francophone community of Ontario and provides tourism information in French to Francophone consumers.

1999

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

The Ontario Government attends the 8th Francophone Summit in Moncton where the Ontario Pavilion showcases Ontario products and services.

JUSTICE

The Ontario Legal Aid, established under theLegal Aid Services Act, must provide services in French.

1998

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Renewal of theCanada-Ontario Agreement on the Promotion of Official Languages.

Five year Federal/Provincial Agreement for the financing of French-language school boards.

JUSTICE

TheProvincial Offences Acttransfers responsibilities for the administration and prosecution of offences to the municipal level. The Act is accompanied by a memorandum of understanding whereby municipalities in designated areas agree to maintain the provision of services in French.

1997

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

After 3 years of implementation, Francophones in the City of London officially have the right to receive provincial government services in French as stipulated under theFrench Language Services Act.

EDUCATION

Creation of 12 French-language school boards (4 public and 8 separate) with funding equivalent to that of English-language school boards.

SERVICES TO WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

The OFA, together with the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services and the Ontario Womens Directorate, implement an action plan to increase services to help Francophone women victims of violence.

1995

POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION

Opening of two French-language colleges:Collge BoralandCollge des Grands Lacs, and a permanent campus site forLa Cit collgiale.

Multi-use school facilities are established in Kingston and Brampton.

1994

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Designation of a new area under theFrench Language Services Act. The City of London becomes the 23rd designated area to provide provincial government services in French. These services come into effect on July 1,1997.

Under the Act, another eight agencies are designated to provide some or all of their services to the public in French, bringing the total number of designated agencies to 130.

Provincial Francophone organizations now number 76 in comparison with 31 in 1986.

FINANCE

Amendments to theCredit Unions and Caisses Populaires Actenables the caisses populaires to offer a wider array of financial services and support to their Francophone clients. They can offer preferred shares to members, an important source of revenue to help them expand.

Financing to set up caisses populaires in under-serviced areas.

Amendments to theCooperatives Corporations Actprovides cooperatives with:

easier self-financing and ability to structure themselves as groups of partners rather than members; and improved access to support programs for small businesses.

EDUCATION

First multi-use school facility set up in Longlac. (Fall 1994)

Capital funding for the construction of eight new French-language schools.

Dissolution of theConseil scolaire de langue franaise dOttawa-Carletonand creation of two autonomous French-language boards as of July 1, 1994: theConseil des coles publiques dOttawa-Carletonand theConseil des coles catholiques de langue franaise de la rgion dOttawa-Carleton.

CULTURE

Establishment of an annual Trillium Award to recognize Francophone authors and French-language literature.

A new community radio station for the Cornwall-Alexandria area goes on air.

COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES

There are now 52 Francophone daycare centres. In 1986, there were 3.

HEALTH

Establishment of a Francophone medical social services centre in Hamilton-Wentworth.

1993

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Designation of 24 agencies under theFrench Language Services Act(July 1993). (New total: 122)

Renewal of the Canada-Ontario Agreement on the Promotion of Official Languages.

EDUCATION

Announcement of the creation of two new French-language colleges, one in Northern Ontario (Collge Boral) and one in Central/Southwestern Ontario (Collge des Grands Lacs).

CULTURE

Creation of a fund for Francophone cultural centres with the help of the Office of Francophone Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation.

The firstSalon du livre de Toronto, a French-language book fair, financed to a large extent by the government, is held in October 1993. It is the first event of that nature in Ontario.

The community radio station for Kapuskasing goes on air with the financial assistance of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation.

AGRICULTURE

TheUnion des cultivateurs franco-ontariensis recognized as the official union to represent the provinces Francophone farmers.

HOUSING

TheCoalition franco-ontarienne pour le logementis recognized as the official representative for Francophones on housing issues.

JUSTICE

Designation of the first two legal clinics under theFrench Language Services Act; one in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, the other in Prescott-Russell.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Establishment of theAssociation des personnes sourdes franco-ontariennes.

1992

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Designation of 12 agencies under theFrench Language Services Act(Summer 1992). (New total: 98)

EDUCATION

Creation of a French-language school board in Prescott-Russell (January 1992).

CULTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS

Establishment of the Ministers Advisory Committee on a Cultural Policy for Francophones of Ontario as a result of recommendations contained in the report, RSVP!: Cls en mains/RSVP!: Keys to the Future, by the Working Group for a Cultural Policy for Francophones of Ontario. The interministerial committee (Culture and Communications, Office of Francophone Affairs) submits its final report in November 1992.

HEALTH

Establishment of two French-language community health centres, one in Sudbury and the other in Cornwall-Alexandria. A bilingual community health centre is also underway in Longlac.

1991

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Designation of 15 agencies under theFrench Language Services Act(Fall 1991). (New total: 86)

CULTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS

Creation of a grants program for the development of French-language community radio.

SERVICES TO WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

The Office of Francophone Affairs receives an allocation in order to develop a strategic plan for the provision of violence prevention services in French. Emphasis is placed on public education initiatives and on the development of direct services for Francophone women victims of sexual assault.

JUSTICE

The Revised Statutes of Ontario are published in French.

HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Creation of a program for victims of sexual assault to improve French-language services for Francophone women.

Partir dun bon pas pour un avenir meilleur/Better Beginnings, Better Futures: a provincial project on services for children in difficulty includes a French-language pilot project in Cornwall-Alexandria.

EDUCATION

Re-establishment of the Council on Franco-Ontarian Education (CEFO) to advise the Minister of Colleges and Universities and the Minister of Education on all subjects concerning French-language education programs at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels.

Creation of the Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs (ACFA) to advise the Minister of Colleges and Universities on the issue of French-language postsecondary studies (July 1991).

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

Provisional report of the Select Committee in Ontario on Confederation, which recommends the maintenance of French-language services.

1990

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Designation of 24 agencies under theFrench Language Services Act(December 1990). (New total:71)

EDUCATION

Setting up of the French-Language Education Governance Advisory Group (Cousineau Commission) responsible for recommending criteria for the governance of French-language education in Ontario.

Opening of Ontarios first French-language college of applied arts and technology,La Cit collgiale(Ottawa, September 1990).

Bourdeau Commissions report recommending the establishment of French-language colleges in Northern and Central/Southern Ontario.

TRANSPORTATION

Beginning of the installation of bilingual signage on provincial highways.

JUSTICE

Amendments to article 136 of the Courts of Justice Act provide for other forms of hearings such as pre-trial and pre-motion conferences, as well as the filing of documents in French in certain regions.

1989

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

On November 19, 1989, theFrench Language Services Actcomes into effect.

HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Creation of the firstCentre mdico-social communautaire(Toronto) that brings health and social services under one roof.

1988

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Designation of the first 47 agencies under theFrench Language Services Act. The first designated agency is the Hospital Notre-Dame in Hearst.

Canada-Ontario Agreement on the Promotion of Official Languages: Cooperation Agreement between the two governments to improve access to French-language services in provincial ministries.

EDUCATION

Setting up of first French-language school boards in Toronto and Ottawa.

LITERACY

Creation of French-language community literacy centres.

HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Creation of the French-language daycare network,Rseau francophone de services de garde.

1987

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Dissolution of the Council on Franco-Ontarian Affairs and creation of the Ontario French-Language Services Commission.

Development and presentation of each ministrys implementation plans for French-language services for review by the Ontario French-Language Services Commission and the Office of Francophone Affairs.

Establishment of a linguistic evaluation centre by the Human Resources Secretariat.

Establishment and enhancement of the offices of the French-language services coordinators in ministries and certain crown corporations.

CULTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS

TVOntariosLa Chanebegins broadcasting. (January 1987)

1986

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

Adoption of theFrench Language Services Act. This Act consolidates existing policies and recognizes the right of Francophones to receive government services in French in the 23 designated areas of the province.

Establishment of a simultaneous interpretation service in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

EDUCATION

Enactment of legislation on school governance giving Francophones full and exclusive governance of their French-language schools and instructional units.

1985

FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS

The Office of the Government Coordinator of French-Language Services becomes the Office of Francophone Affairs.

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