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French Language Services in Ontario

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In 1986, the Government of Ontario passed the French Language Services Act, guaranteeing an individual's right to receive services in French from Government of Ontario ministries and agencies in designated areas of the province. A new regulation 284/11 under this law ensures French language services are provided through third parties. 


The new Regulation came into force July 1, 2011 but Ministries and third parties have up to three years to comply with the legislation.

The French language office of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care oversees the application of the French Language Services Act to the health care system in Ontario.  A number of hospitals, community health centres, nursing homes, counselling centres and other health-related organizations are required to provide services in French in the province.


On January 1, 2010, Ontario Regulation 515/09  Engagement with the Francophone Community under Section 16 of the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 came into effect to support coordinated and effective engagement of Francophone communities on French language health services issues. This regulation creates a mandate for French language health planning entities, which operate under the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and sets out their duties. 


The role of the French language health planning entities is to advise the LHINs on: methods of engaging  Francophone community in the area; the health needs and priorities of the Francophone community in the area, the health services available to the Francophone community in the area; the identification and designation of health service providers for the provision of French language health services in the area;strategies to improve access to, accessibility of and integration of French language health services in the local health system; and the planning for and integration of health services in the area.