Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

Ontario's Francophonie is an integral part of the economic, social and cultural fabric of the province. The Ministry of Francophone Affairs (MFA), as the steward of the French Language Services Act (FLSA) and main advisor of the government on Francophone affairs and French language services, works with ministries and agencies to ensure that Francophones receive government services in French in designated areas of the province so they can participate in the social, economic and political life of the province while maintaining their linguistic and cultural heritage.

The ministry also plays a role in facilitating the participation of the Francophone community in government-related initiatives and ensuring that Francophones can contribute fully to the growth and socio-economic development of the province.

To achieve this, the ministry:

  • Oversees the administration of the French Language Services Act and works with provincial government ministries and classified agencies to ensure that legislative obligations are met, and French language services are available in designated areas of the province.
  • Coordinates the implementation of French language services in newly designated areas and makes recommendations with respect to the designation of new areas and agencies under the FLSA.
  • Provides expert advice to provincial government ministries and classified agencies and develops resources to support their efforts in delivering high-quality French language services and ensure policies and programs meet the needs of Francophones.
  • Engages with the Francophone community to identify their interests and service needs, and to facilitate government initiatives that support the well-being and improve the lives of Francophone citizens to contribute fully to Ontario’s prosperity.
  • Promotes Francophone affairs inside government and partners with key ministries on policy and program initiatives to contribute to a stronger Francophone community, including Francophone economic development.
  • Collaborates with other jurisdictions to promote Ontario’s Francophonie and to enhance the province’s profile at both national and international levels.

COVID-19 response

The Ministry of Francophone Affairs continues to play a key role in government efforts to reach out to Francophones across the province and ensure they have access to and understand instructions and critical information in French on ways to protect their health. Important measures implemented by the government include:

  • Providing simultaneous French interpretation and French subtitling during the live broadcast of both the government press conferences and the Chief Medical Officer of Health updates.
  • Ensuring that the content of the Government’s awareness campaigns is available in French and is distributed through key Francophone print, web, radio, and TV outlets.

Ministry programs

The Ministry of Francophone Affairs oversees the administration of the French Language Services Act, works with provincial government ministries and classified agencies to ensure that the needs and interests of the Franco-Ontarian community are taken into account in public policies and programs, and facilitates the participation of the Franco-Ontarian community in government-related initiatives.

The ministry’s key roles in this regard are:

  • Working with ministries to ensure French-language services delivery in designated areas across the province.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the French Language Services Act by reporting on ministries’ achievements and corporate performance measures on an annual basis.
  • Analysing census data and generating statistical profiles on the province’s Franco-Ontarian population.
  • Making recommendations regarding the designation of new areas and agencies under the French Language Services Act and coordinating the implementation of services in newly designated areas.
  • Coordinating the transfer of federal funding to other provincial government ministries and classified agencies for projects and initiatives funded under the Canada-Ontario Agreement on French Language Services.
  • Overseeing Ontario’s participation in national and international governing bodies including the Minister’s Council on the Canadian Francophonie and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

Additionally:

The ministry facilitates a strategic approach to Francophone economic development designed to meet both the immediate and long-term needs of Francophone businesses and organizations and which supports the cultural and economic vitality of Ontario’s Francophone communities.

The ministry manages the Francophone Community Grants Program to provide the community with funding to support initiatives that raise the profile of Ontario’s Francophonie, and supports economic development for Francophone-owned businesses as well as businesses serving Francophone markets.

The ministry coordinates the joint funding of interprovincial projects and initiatives with the government of Québec under the Ontario-Québec Cooperation and Exchange Agreement with Respect to the Francophonie.

2022-23 Strategic plan

The Ministry of Francophone Affairs supports the government’s plan to protect the progress made against the pandemic and to build Ontario. The government recognizes that Francophone entrepreneurs and businesses are important contributors to Ontario’s prosperity and to the economy as well as the importance of a strong Francophone and bilingual workforce. As a result, the government will continue to help Francophone communities across Ontario promote their culture, grow their businesses, and encourage greater community engagement.

In 2022-23 the ministry will focus on the following key activities:

  • Committing to increasing the Francophone economic footprint, promoting the Ontario’s Francophone workforce and stimulating job creation by supporting the innovative know-how and growth of Francophone private businesses and social enterprises.
  • Implementing a French Language Services Strategy to improve access to French-language services and increase quality and accountability, including proclaiming additional amendments to the modernizing FLSA, building up Ontario’s francophone and bilingual workforce, and improving effective planning and reporting of French-language services.
  • Making it easier for organizations to seek a designation under the FLSA to provide services in French by enhancing the digital platform that will enable the ministry to monitor the quality of French-language services and to onboard, support, and evaluate currently designated agencies.
  • Investing $2 million in the Francophone Community Grants Program to better meet the increased need and demand for support from community organizations, including social enterprises and small businesses that serve Ontario’s Francophone community across all regions. This investment will continue to support the cultural and economic vitality of Ontario’s Francophone communities.
  • Dedicating $0.3M annually to support shared projects led by Franco-Ontarians under the Ontario-Québec Cooperation and Exchange Agreement with Respect to the Francophonie.
  • Expected outcomes include:
    • Government services are readily available in French in designated areas across the province.
    • Francophone-owned and operated businesses that serve French-speaking markets have access to targeted support to help them grow their business and contribute to the prosperity of their communities.
    • Government policy, programs and initiatives that affect Franco-Ontarians are developed with consideration given to their interests and needs.

Table 1: Ministry planned expenditures 2022-23 ($M)

Ministry Planned Expenditures ($M) 2022-23Amount
COVID-19 Approvals0.00
Other Operating7.95
Other Capital0.00
Total7.95

Detailed financial information

Table 2: Combined operating and capital summary by vote

Votes/ProgramEstimates 2022-23 $Change from Estimates 2021-22 $%Estimates 2021-22footnote 1 $Interim Actuals 2021-22footnote 1 $Actuals 2020-21footnote 1 $
Operating ExpenseN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Francophone Affairs Program7,928,300(828,300)(9.5)8,756,6009,256,6006,298,727
Total Operating Expense to be Voted7,928,300(828,300)(9.5)8,756,6009,256,6006,298,727
Statutory Appropriations16,173N/AN/A16,17316,17316,667
Ministry Total Operating Expense7,944,473(828,300)(9.4)8,772,7739,272,7736,315,394
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments7,944,473(828,300)(9.4)8,772,7739,272,7736,315,394
Operating AssetsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Francophone Affairs ProgramN/A(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,000N/A
Total Operating Assets to be VotedN/A(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,000N/A
Statutory AppropriationsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ministry Total Operating AssetsN/A(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,000N/A
Capital expenseN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Francophone Affairs Program1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Total Capital Expense to be Voted1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Ministry Total Capital Expense1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)7,945,473(828,300)(9.4)8,773,7739,273,7736,315,394

Historic trend table

Historic Trend Analysis DataActuals
2019-20footnote 2 $
Actuals
2020-21footnote 2 $
Estimates
2021-22footnote 2 $
Estimates
2022-23footnote 2 $
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)4,982,5436,315,3948,773,7737,945,473
N/AN/A27%39%-9%

For additional financial information, see:
Expenditure estimates
Public accounts
Ontario Budget

Contact:
Jean-Claude Camus, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Francophone Affairs
Jean-Claude.Camus@ontario.ca
416-325-2853

Agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs)

Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs

Provides advice to the Minister of Francophone Affairs on the development of strategies, priorities and programs that affect Ontario’s Francophone community, and on the planning and delivery of French language services across the Government of Ontario.

Legislation

Legislation administered by the ministry:

French Language Services Act, 1990

The French Language Services Act, which was modernized in 2021, protects the rights of Franco-Ontarians to have access to French language services provided by or on behalf of the provincial government, notably in designated areas of the province.

Franco-Ontarian Day Act, 2010

The Franco-Ontarian Day Act proclaims September 25 of each calendar year as Franco-Ontarian Day. The Act officially recognizes the contributions of the Francophone community in Ontario to the social, economic and political life of the province and the community’s importance in Ontario.

Ministry organization chart

August 2022

  • Minister of Francophone Affairs – Caroline Mulroney
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Francophone Affairs - Natalia Kusendova
  • Deputy Minister - Marie-Lison Fougère
    • Executive Advisor to the Deputy Minister - Laura Jamer (Acting)
    • Director, Human Resources - Jennifer Stewartfootnote 3
    • Director, Corporate Finance - Nadia Eidfootnote 4
    • Director, Regional Services - Marie Campbellfootnote 4
    • Director, Strategic Policy Development and Planning - Kristina Lauesenfootnote 4
    • Director, Business Services Integration - Michael Van Wykfootnote 4
    • Legal Director - Cheryl Carson (Acting)footnote 5
  • Assistant Deputy Minister / Chief Administrative Officer - Jean-Claude Camus
    • Director, Strategic Communications - Vacant
    • Director, Policy and Ministry Services - Maria Lamani

Appendix: 2021-22 annual report

In 2021-22, the Ministry of Francophone Affairs supported the government’s plan to create a more competitive business environment as well as the government’s commitment to build a province where everyone can have the opportunity to share in economic prosperity. The government continued to help Francophone communities across Ontario promote their culture, grow their businesses, and encourage greater community engagement.

The following outlines the Ministry of Francophone Affairs’ major accomplishments in delivering on key priorities during 2021-22:

  • Modernized the French Language Services Act to improve access to quality services in French for Ontario’s growing Francophone community. This was the first substantial review of the legislation since its introduction in 1986 and incorporated input from extensive public and stakeholder consultations across the province.
  • Delivered on the government’s commitment to the Ontario’s Francophone community to improve the delivery of the French-language services by streamlining the requirements, establishing a shorter processing timeframe, and digitizing the process for service providers seeking a designation as a public service agency under the FLSA.
  • Confirmed the designation of the City of Sarnia under the French Language Services Act which will take effect in November 2024 after a three-year period to enable government offices and agencies to build the French-language service capacity necessary to meet the requirements under the Act.
  • Launched a Francophone Economic Development Strategy to increase the Francophone economic footprint, strengthen and promote the Francophone workforce, stimulate job creation and facilitate the development of new markets for Ontario’s Francophone and bilingual businesses and organizations.
  • Provided $500,000 to the Fédération des gens d'affaires francophones de l'Ontario (FGA) to ensure the continuity and growth of its activities and to develop a francophone business ecosystem to enable entrepreneurs to connect to francophone organizations that support them in the business pre-incubation, incubation, implementation, and acceleration phases.
  • Provided $2 million in project-based funding to 51 organizations serving the francophone community through the Francophone Community Grants Program, which is twice the investment of prior years. The projects selected reflect several key sectors such as business and entrepreneurship, arts and culture, community services, education and training, health and wellness, and tourism that promote and further empower Ontario’s francophone community.
  • Provided $2 million as part of the COVID-19 Relief Fund to support the network of Francophone non-profit organizations impacted by the pandemic with their operating costs and to continue contributing to the vitality of Ontario’s Francophone community. The total available funding envelope for the Fund was $3M over two years supporting 117 Francophone NPOs, maintaining over 600 jobs, and creating over 200 jobs.
  • Invested over $250,000 through the Cooperation and Exchange Agreement between the Government of Ontario and the Government of Québec with respect to the Francophonie to support 18 joint projects that encourage the development of Francophone culture, capitalize on economic opportunities, and enhance mutual understanding between the Quebec and Franco-Ontarian populations. The majority of these projects are in prioritized areas such as economic development, education, culture, tourism, youth, and diversity and inclusion.
  • Declared intention to build cooperation between Ontario and the Government of the French Community of Belgium to promote cultural, educational and economic exchange; share information and best practices; and enhance collaboration in the areas of higher education, culture, digital media, youth and promotion of the French language.

Table 3: Ministry interim actual expenditures 2021-22

ItemMinistry Interim Actual Expenditures ($M) 2021-22 footnote 6
COVID-19 Approvals2.75
Other Operating6.02
Other Capital0.00

Staff Strengthfootnote 7

(as of March 31, 2022)

17.00 FTEsfootnote 7