Bill 182 Franco-Ontarian Emblem Amendment Act, 2020 Passes Third Reading; Awaits Royal AssentPublished on September 22, 2020
Bill 182 Franco-Ontarian Emblem Amendment Act, 2020 Passes Third Reading; Awaits Royal Assent
Act will ensure that the place of Franco-Ontarians in Ontario is central to the identity of the province
News September 21, 2020
MISSISSAUGA CENTRE — Today, Bill 182, the Franco-Ontarian Emblem Amendment Act, 2020, presented to the House by MPP Natalia Kusendova of Mississauga Centre, passed Third Reading. Following this, Bill 182 will be presented to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, for consideration in receiving Royal Assent, where the Bill will become an Act and, eventually, law.
Bill 182, the Franco-Ontarian Emblem Amendment Act, 2020, amends the Franco-Ontarian Emblem Act, 2001 to recognize the Franco-Ontarian flag as an emblem of Ontario. Through this legislation, the flag of the Franco-Ontarian community becomes officially recognised as an emblem of both the Ontario French-speaking community and of the province of Ontario. Officially hoisted for the first time in 1975 at Laurentian University, the flag came to be adopted by the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario (ACFO), which is now the Association of Franco-Ontarian communities, in 1977.
This legislation marks a symbolic step forward in the relationship between the province of Ontario and the Franco-Ontarian community, and caps off a robust record of work undertaken by the current government of Ontario and the Ministry of Francophone Affairs in matters important to Francophones. Commitments to Franco-Ontarians by the government thus far have been numerous, including paramount decisions such as the announcement of the opening of L’Université de l’Ontario Française in conjunction with the federal government in January of this year. Other such commitments include legislation such as the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020, which ensures that Franco-Ontarians have unparalleled access to legal resources in their native tongue, and importantly modernising the French Language Services Act which will ensure unprecedented accessibility for Franco-Ontarians when it comes to accessing important government resources, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am so proud that Bill 182 has passed Third Reading and is now being put forth to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to receive Royal Assent,” said MPP Kusendova. “This piece of legislation which recognises the centrality of Francophones to the Ontarian identity stems from a cause that I am passionate about. I’ve enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the Francophone community here in the Greater Toronto Area throughout my time as a Member of Provincial Parliament, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was thrilled to work with groups such as the Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto to ensure vulnerable members of the community were cared for. I hope to continue this great relationship with the Francophone community into the future, and I look forward to all that we will continue to achieve together.”
“Reconnaître le drapeau Franco-Ontarien comme un emblème officiel de l'Ontario est un geste symbolique important,” said Minister Caroline Mulroney. “C’est une façon d’honorer la contribution des Francophones dans nos communautés à travers la province, ainsi qu’à notre économie et à notre culture commune.”
"MPP Natalia Kusendova is a tireless advocate for Franco-Ontarians in her riding, Mississauga, and beyond,” said Florence Ngenzebuhoro, Directrice générale of Le Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto. “She listens carefully to issues and challenges faced by French speaking communities; she may have not have all the answers but she always follow up, connecting us with the right resources in order to solve issues we face regularly as French language service providers. At Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto, we know we can count on her."
“C’est l’occasion pour moi de saluer l’initiative de la députée provinciale de Mississauga-Centre, Natalia Kusendova, pour avoir déposé ce projet de loi en mars dernier. Natalia est définivement une alliée des francophones. Au tout début de la pandémie, elle faisait des publications sur son compte Twitter dans les deux langues officielles en plus de s’exprimer souvent en français en Chambre lors de son temps de parole. Nous saluons son engagement. C’est en travaillant ensemble que l’on pourra faire avancer les dossiers de notre communauté et continuer de développer de bonnes relations avec nos élu.e.s provinciaux ales” said Carol Jolin, President of the AFO.
Minister Michael Tibollo, PA Gila Martow, MPP France Gélinas, MPP Natalia Kusendova,and the President of the AFO Carol Jolin at a reception following the second reading of Bill 182.
Minister of Francophone Affairs, Caroline Mulroney and MPP Kusendova.
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