Kingston Becomes The 25th Designated Area

         McGuinty Government Gives Kingston Residents Better Access
                         To French-Language Services

    TORONTO, May 1 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is expanding the French-language services available to the
Francophone community in the City of Kingston.
    As of May 1, 2009, all Ontario government offices located in Kingston
will offer French-language services in accordance with the French Language
Services Act. The designation of the City of Kingston under the French
Language Services Act was first announced in June 2006.
    A committee made up of members from the local Francophone community and
representatives of the Ontario government implemented the designation process.


    "There is a value added when a city is able to provide bilingual
provincial services. Kingston will enhance its cultural and economic profile
and attractiveness."
    - John Gerretsen, MPP for Kingston and the Islands.
    "Enhancing the quality of French-language services promotes a real sense
of belonging among Ontario's Francophones and helps fight against
assimilation. The designation of Kingston is a very significant development
for a community which is proud of its language and culture."
    - Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.
    "We are very pleased by the community's initiative and the government's
willingness to see Kingston become the 25th designated area. This is an
important milestone for Francophones not just in the region but throughout
    - Jeannine Proulx, Executive Director of the Thousand Islands Chapter of
the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario.


    -   About 85% of Franco-Ontarians live in a designated area.
    -   The designation of a new area is generally based on the demographic
        weight of francophones in a given region. However, the desire and
        commitment of the community play a large role in the designation


    For further information on the French Language Services Act and the
designated areas, please visit the Office of Francophone Affairs
( website.

                                                      Disponible en français

                                               Office Of Francophone Affairs



    The French Language Services Act, 1986 (FLSA) guarantees an individual's
right to receive services in French from Government of Ontario ministries and
agencies in 25 designated areas.
    The preamble of the FLSA recognizes the contribution of the cultural
heritage of the French-speaking population and wishes to preserve it for
future generations. The francophone presence in Ontario dates back to nearly
400 years.
    Thanks to the French Language Services Act, all of the services that are
provided to the public by a ministry or agency of the Government of Ontario
(driver's licence, birth certificate, information, etc.) are available in
French in the government offices located in or serving a designated area.
    For further information, please consult the French Language Services
Act( and the map of the 25 designated

    Under the French Language Services Act, areas are designated when they
    meet the following criteria:
        1) Francophones represent at least 10% of the area's population;
        2) In urban centres, the Francophone population exceeds 5,000

    These criteria are vital. However when a substantial group of
francophones are working hard and are backed by a community who express a keen
desire for development than designation can be considered.


    By submitting an application for the designation of Kingston to the
government, ACFO Mille-Iles, the Thousand Islands regional council of the
Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario (ACFO), acted as the standard
bearer for Kingston's Francophone community.
    Created in 1976, ACFO Mille-Iles is a stakeholder in the Assemblée de la
francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO), a provincial organization founded in 1910
along with the Association canadienne-française d'éducation d'Ontario (ACFEO),
which later became the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario and which
has been one of the strongest advocates for the Franco-Ontarian community for
several decades. For further information about ACFO Mille-Iles, please visit
its website.

                                                      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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