Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario


Published on March 20, 2024

QUEEN'S PARK—Today, on International Francophonie Day, Official Opposition NDP critic for Francophone Affairs, Guy Bourgouin, and Health critic France Gélinas used question period to call out Ford's Conservatives for their lack of commitment to the rights and culture of Francophones in Ontario.

Under Ford’s Conservatives, Francophone seniors have been forced to travel away from home for long-term care facilities offering French services, and the number of people in the near North without a family doctor is expected to double in the next two years, amounting to 62,900, many of them francophones.

"For six long years, Doug Ford has been playing political games instead of prioritizing the fundamental rights of Franco-Ontarians to access French-language services in the same capacity as services in the English-majority language," said Bourgouin. "The huge amount of cuts and the continued refusal to fund a standalone Francophone university at the University of Sudbury is setting our community back decades. Seniors and sick patients are forced to drive hours just for health care services in French.

"The Conservatives are telling us clearly that we do not count, that our constitutional rights to be served and educated in French are unimportant. But make no mistake; we won't stop fighting for our rights, French services, and our place in this province.”

"It's truly unbelievable that in 2024, Franco-Ontarians find themselves in a worse position than when Ford's Conservatives were first elected," emphasized Gélinas. "Our population is growing, and we're here to stay. Yet, the Conservatives have failed to prioritize Franco-Ontarians' needs, especially in healthcare.

"We demand a comprehensive plan that includes Franco-Ontarians and ensures access to healthcare services in our native tongue close to home. The Conservatives may think they can minimize us and make us disappear to sidestep their responsibility, but we refuse to be pushed aside. As a community, Francophones across Ontario must unite and demand our rights and language are respected.”

Marit Stiles and her NDP team will continue fighting for the Francophone community until Francophones can access French-language services close to home. The Ontario NDP is committed to expanding French-language health services, ensuring that Francophone Ontarians can access healthcare in Franch and receive the respect and recognition they rightfully deserve.