McGuinty Government Enriching Francophone Community

    TfO To Become A Stronger, Independent Organization

    TORONTO, March 23 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is enriching Ontario's
francophone community by strengthening TfO, Ontario's French-language
educational media organization, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced
    "TfO is an outstanding asset to French-language students and teachers
that helps enhance the classroom experience," said Wynne. "We are keeping our
commitment to create an independent TfO to both strengthen the network and
enable it deliver exceptional programming in support of Ontario's francophone
    On April 1, 2007, TfO will become independent from The Ontario Education
Communications Authority (TVOntario) and will have its own board of directors,
chaired by Gisèle Chrétien, former president of Collège Boréal and current
vice-chair of the TVOntario board.
    To support this change, the Ontario government is making a one-time
investment of $15.4 million for transition, relocation and start-up costs, and
for digital conversion. The conversion is consistent with that being
implemented at TVOntario.
    "Our French-language broadcasting network has a unique position in
Ontario's francophone community," said Minister Responsible for Francophone
Affairs, Madeleine Meilleur. "This transformation and new independence is a
natural evolution for TfO, and a boost to the francophone community."
    The government will continue to provide approximately $15 million in
annual funding to ensure that TfO meets the specific educational and cultural
needs of the francophone community and fulfills its broadcasting and
communications mandate. Combined with revenues from the federal government and
from cable subscribers, TfO will have a total annual budget of $21 million.
    "TfO has always played a unique role in the lives of Franco-Ontarians,"
said Chrétien. "And with this exciting step forward as a fully digital,
autonomous organization, the new TfO is ideally positioned to build on its
valuable contributions to francophone culture and education in the province. I
am very pleased to be involved in the creation of this vibrant and vital new
Franco-Ontarian institution."
    Creating an independent TfO is the McGuinty government's latest step to
ensure a vibrant French-language education system for Ontario's francophone
students. Other initiatives include:
     -  Implementing the Politique d'aménagement linguistique, which was
        first introduced in 2004, to help promote French language and
        culture, improve student achievement and self-esteem and help keep
        young Franco-Ontarians in French-language schools.
     -  Creating the Permanent Elementary and Secondary French-Language
        Education Task Force with a mandate to provide advice about unique
        issues affecting the French-language education sector.
     -  Introducing new $220 million four-year capital funding to help
        French-language school boards acquire, renovate and expand school
        space in areas where there is an identified need.
     -  Providing $70 million more to the Language Grant to support French-
        language school boards.

    "TfO host of learning programs and resources are a definite asset to
Ontario's French-language schools and communities," said Wynne. "This
transition will ensure that TfO can keep meeting the needs of the francophone
community and help us reach every student."

    Disponible en français




    On April 1, 2007, TfO will become independent from The Ontario Education
Communications Authority (TVOntario), which also operates English-language
    The new TfO will have an annual budget of approximately $21 million in
2007-08, and an estimated 140 employees, with as many as possible transferred
from TVOntario.
    The new TfO will have its own board, made up initially of the existing
francophone members of the TVOntario board:
    -   Gisèle Chrétien (chair), former president of Collège Boréal,
        currently the vice-chair of the TVOntario board
    -   Pierre Bélanger, professor of communications at University of Ottawa
    -   Diane Desaulniers, president of Groupe Vision Management Consulting,
        former chair of the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario,
        for the Ottawa region and board member of Montfort Hospital
    -   Lillian Anne Gagné, retired supervisory officer of the French-
        language-section of the Simcoe Catholic District School Board
    -   Paul Lalonde, partner at Heenan Blaikie.

    Further appointments to the board will be announced in the near future.
    An expert panel, chaired by Suzanne Gouin, president and CEO of TV5, has
examined the cost and process of creating an independent TfO with due
diligence to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

    Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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