Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Ontario’s French Language Services Act

December 14, 2016 – Two health organizations in the Champlain region are pleased to pay tribute to the 30th anniversary of Ontario’s French Language Services Act. Over the past three decades, this landmark legislation has improved services for Francophones across the province.

The Act allows health agencies to be officially designated as providers of French-language care. By using tools outlined in this provincial law, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario (Réseau) have worked jointly to ensure more Francophones receive health services in their own language.

French Language Health ServicesSuch work is important because it promotes inclusiveness and diversity. More specifically, people generally prefer to speak in their mother tongue when they are feeling particularly vulnerable, such as during a health crisis. The overall goal is to improve the patient experience, resulting in higher quality of care and better health.

The two networks in this region have also collaborated on a number of projects and programs to increase health services for Francophones. Highlights of these efforts include:

  • Three new LHIN-funded health provider organizations are now working toward their French-language designation, bringing the total number of agencies involved in the designation process to 50 in the Champlain region. To facilitate the process, the Réseau and LHIN have launched a digital tool for service providers.
  • Fourteen hospitals in the Champlain region now collect data related to their patients’ mother tongue. This information is helping the LHIN, the Réseau, and hospital officials better plan for the needs of the population.
  • In early 2017, a LHIN-funded sexual assault and domestic violence care program will open at Hawkesbury & District General Hospital, which primarily serves Francophones. The LHIN was a key partner in planning the new program, which allows people to get this critical service closer to home, rather than being forced to travel to Ottawa or Cornwall.
  • In the coming months, a new satellite location of the Estrie Community Health Centre will open in Limoges, providing people living in La Nation with improved access to French-language services. The centre will focus on preventive health care, health promotion, chronic disease, mental health and addiction, and diabetes education.

Quick Facts 

  • The Champlain Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN) mandate is to ensure health services are well-organized, appropriately funded and meet the health needs of the region’s 1.3 million residents.
  • The Réseau is responsible for providing advice to LHINs regarding French-language service planning, decision-making and implementation. It also supports health service providers throughout the French-language service development process.
French Language Health Services


“The Réseau is pleased to support the 50 health service providers in the Champlain region working on submitting a designation plan or obtaining a declaration of compliance in accordance with the French Language Services Act.

This work is essential to ensure the quality and sustainability of French-language services in our communities.”

- Jacinthe Desaulniers,
Executive Director,
French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario

“Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care is a critical element in delivering health services that are both timely and equitable.

The 30th anniversary of the French Language Services Act is a perfect opportunity to celebrate what we have accomplished together and plan actions for the future.”

- Chantale LeClerc,
Champlain LHIN

If you are a journalist needing more information, please contact

Champlain LHIN Media Line
Toll-free 1.866.902.5446 x 3250