Pembroke Protest Against Changes to French Language Services

The Ottawa Valley’s Francohpone community joined others across Ontario on Saturday to denounce the Ford Government’s changes to French language services.   

About 100 people turned out to a protest in Pembroke, speaking out about the cancellation of funding for a French language university, and also changes to the office of the French Language Services Commissioner.

In Pembroke, Association of French Canadians of Ontario spokesperson Francine Thuler says the commissioner’s office just won’t be the same when it’s reorganized under the office of the Ontario Ombudsman.

"We're very afraid of not being able to get the services that we have been getting", Thuler told Star 96.7.

"If you were not being served in French before, you could call upon the Commissioner, he would investigate, and then he would make recommendations to the Minister, because he was independent", she said.

"Now, if you're going to lodge a complaint, the complaint is going to be looked at by the Ombudsman, and the Ombudsman is going to decide whether it goes any further", Thuler said.

The Ford government has insisted Francophone affairs are in good hands with minister Caroline Mulroney. 

Mulroney issued a statement over the weekend blaming decisions by the previous Liberal government for Ontario's difficult financial situation.

She said she is looking forward to working with the Francophone community.