“Franco-Ontarians face challenges obtaining health services in French. To meet their needs, and improve their patient experience and health outcomes, we must ensure that the health care system is culturally sensitive and readily accessible in French.” – Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Patients First: a Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario, Discussion Paper, December 17, 2015.
Beyond the need for the patient to be served in French, the development of services in French in Ontario is part of a legislative context.
In Ontario, the French Language Services Act confers upon members of the public the right to receive services in French from the provincial government, notably in the designated areas. Every government ministry and agency in these areas must offer French-language services to their clientele, even if their offices are located outside the designated area. Thus, regardless of where government offices are located, it is the location of the clientele that determines the offer of French-language services in the designated area.
As of the 1st of July 2018, there are 26 designated areas under the French Language Services Act.
View the video created by Improtéine on the French Language Services Act. A humoristic approach published but the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner
Organizations that are partially funded by public funds (eg, hospitals, children's aid societies and long-term care homes) and that work on behalf of provincial ministries are not legally bound to offer services in French. However, they may apply to be officially designated as organizations offering services in French.
The full list of designated organizations is available under the Ontario Regulation 398/93
For more information on the designation, read the section FLS Planning
To highlight the importance of FLS, according to the People's Health Care Act: