2014 Mandate letter: Francophone Affairs
Premier’s instructions to the Minister on priorities for the year 2014
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September 25, 2014
The Honourable Madeleine Meilleur
Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
Office of Francophone Affairs
Second Floor, 700 Bay Street
Dear Minister Meilleur:
I am honoured to welcome you back to your role as Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. We have a strong Cabinet in place, and I am confident that together we will build Ontario up, create new opportunities and champion a secure future for people across our province. The people of Ontario have entrusted their government to be a force for good, and we will reward that trust by working every day in the best interests of every person in this province.
As we implement a balanced and comprehensive plan for Ontario, we will lead from the activist centre. We will place emphasis on partnerships with businesses, communities and people to help foster continued economic growth and make a positive impact on the lives of every Ontarian. This collaborative approach will shape all the work we do. It will ensure we engage people on the issues that matter the most to them, and that we implement meaningful solutions to our shared challenges.
Our government’s most recent Speech from the Throne outlined a number of key priorities that will guide your work as minister. Growing the economy and helping to create good jobs are fundamental to building more opportunity and security, now and in the future. That critical priority is supported by strategic investments in the talent and skills of our people, from childhood to retirement. It is supported through the building of modern infrastructure, transit and a seamless transportation network. It is supported by a dynamic business climate that thrives on innovation, creativity and partnerships to foster greater prosperity. And it is reflected across all of our government, in every area, and will extensively inform our programs and policies.
As we move forward with our plan to grow the economy and create jobs, we will do so through the lens of fiscal prudence. Our 2014 Budget reinforces our commitment to balancing the budget by 2017-18; it is essential that every area adheres to the program-spending objectives established in it. We will choose to invest wisely in initiatives that strengthen Ontario’s competitive advantage, create jobs and provide vital public services to our families. The President of the Treasury Board, collaborating with the Minister of Finance, will work closely with you and your fellow Cabinet members to ensure that our government meets its fiscal targets. The President of the Treasury Board will also lead the government’s efforts on accountability, openness and modernization as we implement new accountability measures across government.
As Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, you will ensure that our Francophone community is recognized and celebrated for its culture and contributions. You will continue to work with your Cabinet colleagues to ensure the needs of Franco-Ontarians are fully reflected and integrated in our plans and strategies across government.
I know you will provide strong leadership in valuing Ontario’s Francophone heritage and culture. You will be supported by the Office of Francophone Affairs in carrying out your important mandate.
Your specific priorities include:
Commemorating the 400 Years of French Presence in Ontario
- Leading the planning and execution of the commemoration of 400 years of French presence in Ontario in 2015. This will include a series of community-based events that will foster short- and long-term economic benefits in many of the province’s communities.
Strengthening French-Language Services
- Continuing to oversee the application of the French Language Services Act (FLSA) — and collaborating with ministers and agencies to ensure that the needs and best interests of the Franco-Ontarian community are taken into account in public policies and programs.
- Considering means of strengthening the practice of the “active offer” of services in French within the ministries and agencies.
- Continuing to collaborate with communities across the province to increase the number of designated areas under the FLSA.
- Exploring options to increase access to French-language postsecondary programs in Ontario, including the implementation of the Action Plan for Central and Southwestern Ontario. You will work with the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities toward that end. Your goal is to make Ontario a place where citizens who want to learn, live — and thrive — in French have the opportunity to do so.
Collaborating on Shared Responsibilities across Government
- Collaborating with the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade to achieve the Francophone immigration target of five per cent. You will also provide advice and recommendations on how to better integrate Francophone immigrants, economically and culturally, into our communities.
- Continuing to work to ensure ongoing improvement in the availability of French-language services within the justice system, including court services.
- Continuing to work with ministers and third parties toward the implementation of Regulation 284/11, governing the delivery of French-language services by third parties.
- Collaborating with the Pan/Parapan Am Games Secretariat to ensure that French plays a prominent role in all aspects of the games.
- Continuing to work with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to further objectives for enhanced access to health-related services in French.
We have an ambitious agenda for the next four years. I know that, by working together in partnership, we can be successful. The above list of priority initiatives is not meant to be exhaustive, as there are many other responsibilities that you and your ministry will need to carry out. To that end, this mandate letter is to be used by your ministry to develop more detailed plans for implementation of the initiatives above, in addition to other initiatives not highlighted in this letter.
I ask that you continue to build on the strong relationships we have with the Ontario Public Service, the broader public sector, other levels of government, and the private, non-profit and voluntary sectors. We want to be the most open and transparent government in the country. We want to be a government that works for the people of this province — and with them. It is of the utmost importance that we lead responsibly, act with integrity, manage spending wisely and are accountable for every action we take.
I look forward to working together with you in building opportunity today, and securing the future for all Ontarians.