“Living in a country with two official languages is a reason to be proud for many living across Algoma-Manitoulin. This is continuously demonstrated by the many Francophone and Francophile individuals, families, communities, organizations and businesses throughout the riding,” stated MPP Michael Mantha. “For these reasons, and many others, I would like to wish everyone a happy International Francophonie Day; which is a day to celebrate the French language, culture and diversity.”
In honour of the March 20, 1970 establishment of the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, now the International Organization of La Francophonie, approximately 300 million Francophone and Francophile individuals across five continents pay tribute to this day.
Though there is much to celebrate, Algoma-Manitoulin and many other regions across Ontario proved their resiliency over recent months with the Ford government’s cuts to the French language university and moving the responsibilities of the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner to the ombudsman’s office. On December 1, 2018, the Francophone Assembly of Ontario, which represents approximately 740,000 Franco-Ontarians, organized a day of action against the announced changes.
“The message from many Franco-Ontarians has been that we are not asking for more, but what we already had. Access to French language services, education and events is important in maintaining French culture. It is a reality that our country is unfortunately far too familiar with due to previous bans to Indigenous languages and ceremonies,” Mantha further explained. “Happy International Francophonie Day to all those celebrating and organizing events for your communities!”