Francophone Population Re-Defined

    McGuinty Government Responds To Ontario's Changing Demographics

    TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is introducing a new definition of the province's Francophone
population that will better reflect the evolution and diversity of Ontario's
Francophone communities.
    For statistics gathering purposes, Francophones were previously defined
as only those whose mother tongue is French. This new inclusive definition
captures those whose mother tongue is neither French nor English, but who have
a particular knowledge of French as an Official Language and use French at
home, including many recent immigrants to Ontario.
    Under the previous definition, roughly 50,000 Ontarians who speak French
in their everyday life were not considered Francophones. The Ontario Trillium
Foundation has already adopted the new definition for use in its statistics.


    "The Francophone community wanted a more inclusive definition that better
reflects its diversity. This new definition will give the government a more
accurate picture of the demand for French-language services across the
province and help ministries better plan for the delivery of these services".
    - Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.

    "The face of Ontario's Francophone population has changed greatly over
the past twenty years and it is important to acknowledge this new reality.
This inclusive definition will strengthen the sense of belonging and pride of
50,000 new Francophones in our province. "
    - Helen Burstyn, Chair of the Board, Ontario Trillium Foundation.


    -  According to the new definition, Francophones represent 4.8 per cent
       of the total Ontario population for a total of 580,000 people. Based
       on the old definition, they represented 4.4 per cent of the
    -  When applying the new definition, Toronto's Francophone population
       increases by 42 per cent, while Ottawa's Francophone population
       increases by 10 per cent.
    -  In the French Language Services Commissioner's first annual report in
       2008, it was recommended that a new definition of the Francophone
       population of Ontario be developed to better reflect the community.


    To find out more about Ontario's Francophone community, visit the Office
of Francophone Affairs website (
    For further information on the new definition and its implications, read
our Q&A.

                                                       Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Thomas Chanzy, Minister's Office, (416)
325-5211; Charles Jean Sucsan, Communications Branch, (416) 325-4968

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