Nomination period for 2008 Ontario Francophonie Awards now open

    TORONTO, June 15 /CNW/ - It is now time to submit nominations for the
2008 Ontario Francophonie Awards, for the recognition of individuals, both
Francophone and Francophile, who have made valuable contributions to the
advancement of the French language and culture in Ontario.
    "The Francophonie Awards provide an opportunity to highlight the
commitment and invaluable efforts of Ontario's Francophones and Francophiles,"
explained Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.
"Their contribution to the prosperity of the Franco-Ontarian community and of
the province in general needs to be recognized and rewarded. I invite all
Ontarians to nominate a great number of candidates."
    The nomination period extends from June 15, 2007 to October 30, 2007. The
awards will be presented at a ceremony organized by the Ontario government in
March 2008, during International Francophonie Week (Semaine internationale de
la francophonie).
    Presented for the first time on November 20, 2006 by Premier Dalton
McGuinty at a gala celebration of the 20th anniversary of the French Language
Services Act, the Francophonie Awards are granted to one Francophone and one
Francophile whose actions have contributed to the social, economic, political
and cultural vitality and well-being of Ontario's Francophone community.
    For more information on making a nomination, or to obtain a nomination
form, please visit the website of the Office of Francophone Affairs at
    "We all know people who play an active role in promoting the vitality of
the French language and culture in Ontario-both present and future-and their
positive influence deserves to be publicly recognized," Meilleur added.
"Thanks to the devotion and tireless work of all these people, Ontario's
Francophone community is resolutely open and creative, and looks forward to a
bright future."
    This program is just one example of what can be achieved when Ontario
Francophones work together. Other such initiatives include:

    -  The creation of the Office of the French Language Services
       Commissioner, which will be responsible for ensuring the quality and
       availability of French language services in the Ontario government
    -  Additional investments of $317 million in Ontario's French-language
       education system
    -  In health, an investment of $185 million to double the size of
       Montfort Hospital in Ottawa
    -  Self-governance granted to TFO, which will now have its own board of
       directors and its own budget
    -  Designation of the City of Kingston, the City of Brampton and the
       Municipality of Callander under the French Language Services Act.

    Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Marc Despatie, Senior Strategic Communications
Advisor, Office of the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, (416)
325-5219; Charles Jean Sucsan, Senior Manager, Strategic Communications,
Office of Francophone Affairs, (416) 325-4968

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