OTTAWA, March 14, 2012 /CNW/ - At its 2012 Policy Convention held in Ottawa this week, the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens expressed its support for the bilingual hiring policy at the Cornwall Community Hospital. Two hundred delegates from across the province unanimously voted in favor of a resolution to this effect and expressed their solidarity with the Francophone groups in Cornwall who have mobilized in support of the policy.
"We cannot overstate how vital it is for Cornwall's Francophone population to receive French-language health-care services", says AEFO President, Benoit Mercier.
"This is not uniquely a question of rights under Ontario's French-Language Services Act, says Mr. Mercier. Numerous studies have shown that it is more effective to deliver health services in the language of the clientele. Doing so improves the health of an important part of the population while making better use of public resources."
Mr. Mercier underlines that the Cornwall Community Hospital was created by the amalgamation of two hospitals, one French-language and one English-language institution. "The Cornwall Community Hospital's bilingual hiring policy is maintaining the French-language health services which were formerly available to the Franco-Ontarian community in the Cornwall area", he adds.
A group of Cornwall residents is claiming that the present hiring policy is discriminatory and should be abolished.
AEFO represents 10 000 teachers and education workers in Ontario's French-language elementary and secondary schools, both Catholic and public, and workers in other French-language establishments.
For further information:
Marie-Élisabeth Brunet, Director of communications