Ontario to provide French-language services in the City of Sarnia

Ontario to provide French-language services in the City of Sarnia

City of Sarnia becomes 27th area to be designated under the French Language Services Act

December 13, 2021

Francophone Affairs

SARNIA — Ontario is expanding French-language services available to the francophone community in the City of Sarnia. As of November 1, 2024, Ontario government offices located in Sarnia will offer French-language services in accordance with the French Language Services Act.

Sarnia’s designation under the Act is a result of strong local community support and follows a request from the Regroupement des organismes francophones de Sarnia-Lambton and the Centre culturel Joliet, two local francophone organizations, and was supported by Member of Parliament Marilyn Gladu, Member of Provincial Parliament Bob Bailey, and Mayor Mike Bradley.

“The City of Sarnia’s designation is another tangible example of our government’s commitment to improving French-language services across the province,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs. “This designation responds to the needs of Ontario’s growing and changing francophone community and the importance of having more available services in French. This designation builds on our French Language Services Strategy, including the modernisation of the Act.”

When an area becomes designated under the Act, the province has an obligation to provide French-language services in accordance with the requirements of the French Language Services Act, whether they are provided directly by a government agency or by a third party on its behalf.

The Ontario Government continues to improve access to quality services in French to Ontario’s growing francophone community. In December 2021, the Legislature passed amendments to modernize the French Language Services Act and ensure that French-language services are available according to the principle of active offer.

Quick Facts

  • A three-year period prior to the designation coming into force would enable government offices located in or serving designated areas, as well as third-parties providing services on behalf of government agencies, to build the French-language service capacity necessary to meet the requirements under the Act.
  • About 5,400 Francophones live in the City of Sarnia and the surrounding Lambton region, which represents approximately 4.2 percent of the population.
  • The French Language Services Act, adopted in 1986, grants Ontarians the right to communicate and receive available services in French from Government of Ontario ministry head offices as well as specified government agencies and their offices located in designated areas. In December 2021, the Legislature passed amendments to modernize the Act.
  • Ontario is home to more than 620,000 Francophones, representing the largest French-speaking community in Canada outside of Quebec. Overall, more than 1.5 million Ontarians speak French.

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Media Contacts

Marilissa Gosselin
Minister’s Office
(416) 402-1406

Charles Jean Sucsan
Communications Branch