August 18th, 2022

New stats show Ford failing to protect French language, says Ontario NDP

Recent census shows gradual decline of French language in the country

QUEEN’S PARK — Today, Stats Canada published its most recent data from the 2021 census pertaining to languages. This was another disappointment for the French community as it shows that the French language is on a constant decline, said Guy Bourgouin, NDP critic for Francophone Affairs. It revealed that only 3.4 per cent of the Ontario population identified having French as their mother tongue, a drop from 4.3 per cent in the 2001 census. Bourgouin released the following statement:

“It is sad to see a continuous decline in our French language as a proud Francophone. The Ontario government has a duty to protect and ensure proper French language services across the province and has so far fallen short.

In its last mandate, Doug Ford’s government axed the French language watchdog and left big gaps when it modernized the French Language Services Act. For example, during the pandemic, Francophones struggled to obtain accurate updates and information in French from public health units.

These gaps are impacting our French-language services and are enabling easy assimilation to other languages and deterring our French-speaking population from continuing to immerse themselves in French.

We can and we must do better to ensure continuity of our language and our culture for generations to come. The government needs to start listening to the Francophone population and our recommendations and begin with fully restoring the independent office of the French Language Services Commissioner.”