Frequently Asked Questions
- Are government offices in my area required to provide services in French?
- Ministries and ministerial agencies located within the 25 designated areas must offer services in both official languages. If you do not live in an area designated under the French Language Services Act, you may obtain services in French from the central offices of the Government of Ontario.
- Whom should I contact if I have not received adequate service in French from a government office?
- Since it was created in 2007, the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner has been responsible for conducting independent investigations relating to the French Language Services Act either in response to complaints or on its own initiative, preparing reports on these investigations and monitoring the progress made by government agencies with respect to the delivery of French-language services in Ontario. Please visit the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner's website to file a complaint.
- Is my municipality required to offer services in French?
- Municipalities are not required to offer French-language services, even in the designated areas. The municipalities themselves are responsible for deciding whether or not to provide their services in French. However, in the event that provincial services are transferred to the municipalities, agreements must be reached to ensure the delivery of French-language services.
- Why do only some universities, colleges, hospitals, and social services providers offer services in French?
- Agencies partially funded with public funds are not automatically subject to the French Language Services Act. However, they may choose to receive designation in order to become official providers of services in French. Here is the list of agencies designated under the French Language Services Act.
- Are there grants to help agencies to become bilingual?
- The Government of Ontario does not provide grants to help agencies to translate documents or hire bilingual staff; however, the Ontario Trillium Foundation issues grants for capacity building projects, particularly francophone capacity building. If you would like information on how to make your agency bilingual, please consult our Toolbox or Heritage Canada's Making your Organization Bilingual website.
- How can I have my agency designated under the French Language Services Act?
- If, after checking the criteria for designation, you would like your agency to receive designation, please contact the French Language Services Coordinator of the ministry to which you report.
- Does the Ontario government publish writing guides in French?
- The Ontario government publishes a correspondence guide in French and in English and a writing guide in French. We also recommend the gender-neutral wording guide of the Ontario government.
- Are there specific services to promote the integration of francophone immigrants?
- The Ontario government supports www.etablissement.org, a site that provides resources to francophone newcomers and all the information needed to settle in Ontario. You can also refer to the guide Government Programs to facilitate the integration of francophone immigrants in Ontario that facilitates the integration of francophone immigrants in Ontario.
Learning French and Learning in French
- Does the Government of Ontario offer French classes?
- Some Ontario school boards receive funding from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to offer French classes. However, this program does not cover every area of the province.
If you are new to Canada and you have a permanent resident status, you may qualify for Citizenship and Immigration Canada free language training.
If you work in a designated position in the Ontario Public Service, contact your French Language Services Coordinator for more information.
- Where can I find French classes?
- Many private associations, institutions and companies offer French classes for a charge. For example, if you live in Toronto or Ottawa, you can contact the Alliance française. You may also find information about classes at community colleges, universities and school boards in your area. Your city hall may also offer French classes near to where you live.
- Does the Government of Ontario offer certification to evaluate my French language skills?
- The Government does not offer evaluations of French language skills and, in general, there is not a universally recognized test in the province. Each company/organization/institution has its own language requirements for potential employees. It is therefore best to contact the agency in question before taking a language test. If you work for the Government of Ontario and would like to have your French language skills evaluated, contact your French Language Services Coordinator.
- I would like to enrol my child in a French language school. Is my child eligible?
- For a child to be automatically admitted, one of the parents or guardians must be a Canadian citizen and meet one of the following criteria:
If neither parent meets these conditions, an admissions committee will determine whether or not the child is eligible. Please note that French-language schools meet the specific needs of francophones and operate entirely in French, including in their communications with parents. Non-French-speaking parents who want their children to learn French should contact the school boards in their area to identify the immersion school nearest to them.
- completed his or her elementary education in a French-language school in Canada; or
- have French as the first language learned and still understood; or
- one of the children in the family is enrolled in a French-language school in Canada or has previously attended one.
- How do I find a French-language school for my child in my area?
- There are 377 elementary and secondary French-language schools in Ontario. To find the school nearest to you, you may use the TFO database.
You may also contact school boards in your area. In Ontario, there are eight French-language Catholic school boards and four French-language public school boards.
- How can I get a copy of the Franco-Ontarian Directory?
- The Franco-Ontarian directory is no longer published as of 2003.
- Where can I find statistical data on francophones in Ontario?
- In 2001, 2005, and 2009, the OFA published statistical profiles that present a socio-demographic portrait of the Franco-Ontarian population.
- Where can I get the Franco-Ontarian flag?
- ACFO Sudbury sells Franco-Ontarian flags of varying sizes and other items displaying the Franco-Ontarian flag. Contact them directly for more information.
- What is the protocol for displaying the Franco-Ontarian flag?
- When several flags are flown, the following order should be used, from left to right: the national flag, the flag of another nation, the provincial flag, the flag of another province, the municipal flag, the Franco-Ontarian flag. Please consult the City of Ottawa website for more information on the position of flags.
- Where can I find information on francophone cultural events in my area?
- Contact the community centre or regional ACFO office closest to you or check your area's community newspapers. You may also find information on the following websites: www.radio-canada.ca/regions/ontario, TFO Annonce , francosudbury.com and Grandtoronto.ca.
- Where can I post a position for francophone/bilingual staff?
- Contact the community centre or ACFO office in your area. For example, in Toronto, Centre francophone de Toronto has a job bulletin board. You may also send the posting to the Assemblée de la Francophonie de l'Ontario.
- How can I get Tant à découvrir licence plates?
- Since May 30, 2007, the Government of Ontario has issued licence plates with the French slogan TANT À DÉCOUVRIR. The new licence plates are available at any Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office and any ServiceOntario location that provides drivers and vehicle licence services. Customers who wish to exchange their English slogan licence plates for French plates will need to pay the standard plate replacement fee of $20.
The Exhibit Ontario's Francophonie: Then and Now
- How do I get brochures for this exhibit?
- Brochures and posters for this exhibit are available in French and in English. You may obtain print copies by contacting the Office of Francophone Affairs.
- How can I bring the exhibit to my community?
- Agencies that would like to host the exhibit should contact Regroupement des organismes du patrimoine franco-ontarien (ROPFO) at 613 567-6363. Please check dates on the calendar to ensure that exhibit isn't already scheduled to come to your community in the coming months.
- Is it possible to partially reproduce the exhibit's text and photos?
- The Office of Francophone Affairs owns the rights to this exhibit. Please contact us if you would like to reproduce the exhibit's texts. The photographic rights belong to various institutions (see Page 1 of the brochure for specific details). If you wish to use these photos, you will need to contact these institutions directly.