French Language Services Policy

Type: Operational

Target audience: Public

1.0 Rationale

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is committed to offering applicants, grantees and other stakeholders timely and competent service in English and French. OTF is committed to provide appropriate services to the francophone community in compliance with the appropriate legislation.

2.0 Purpose

This policy outlines OTF’s compliance with the French Language Services Act of Ontario (FLS Act) and our commitment to offer services in both English and French.

3.0 Policy

The Foundation will seek to provide services in both English and French and comply with the FLS Act which guarantees to all persons and corporate entities the right to receive services from the Foundation in French. The Foundation recognizes the needs and expectations of the francophone community of Ontario and endeavors to achieve total quality services in French in designated areas of the province (see section 5) while enabling francophones in non-designated communities to benefit from some of these services.

Although OTF's internal working language is English, the Foundation will endeavour to make appropriate resources and materials available in French to facilitate the participation of francophone volunteers in the business of the Foundation.

4.0 Scope

This policy applies to all OTF programs, functions and departments.

5.0 Communications

The Foundation's francophone clients will have prompt access to quality French services, from initial greetings and front-line assistance, to program and grants expertise. OTF staff will possess the necessary linguistic skills to communicate information in a competent and timely fashion.

All information material (print or electronic) provided to the public for display or distribution will be available simultaneously in English and in French and will be equal in quality and content. This includes, but is not limited to: signage, stationery, public notices and announcements, advertisements, public relations material and forms. Publication exemptions from the FLS Act must be minimal and discussed with the French Language Services Coordinator.

Francophone groups or individuals will receive information in their language of choice.

All correspondence or messages received in French by the Foundation should be replied to in French following the same standards as those established for English correspondence.

6.0 FLS Designated Places

There are 26 French Designated Areas in Ontario.

7.0 Procedures and Accountability

7.1 Chief Executive Officer

The overall responsibility for the provision of quality French language services rests with the CEO of the Foundation.
While this ultimate responsibility cannot be delegated, all directors and employees who provide services to clients are answerable for the delivery of French language services as part of their professional obligations, in accordance with established performance standards related to both the core responsibilities of the position and the core values and culture of the Foundation.

7.2 French Language Services Coordinator

The Coordinator acts as expert resource and strategic advisor on French language services and plays a pivotal role in the planning, development, implementation and monitoring of French language services. This position is a vital link capable of meshing the interests of the francophone community, its needs, issues and priorities with the directions of the Foundation and those of the relevant provincial ministries and the Ministry of Francophone Affairs of Ontario.

7.3 Department Heads and Directors

Department Heads and Directors are responsible for the delivery of quality services in French. This responsibility applies to staff reporting to them or to external service providers, when applicable. They will put in place the service delivery mechanisms, budgets and channels of communication to meet the French Language Services requirements. They will consult with the French Language Services Coordinator in developing program and service delivery mechanisms which will satisfy the Foundation standards, government standards, and will meet the needs of the local francophone community.

7.4 Employees

All Foundation's employees are accountable to their directors for the satisfactory performance of their duties in accordance with Foundations rules and guidelines. This includes the quality delivery of French services. Those in designated positions are expected to offer competent customer services in English and in French. All Foundation's employees are expected to be familiar with French language services obligations. All staff should know how to handle requests for services in French.

7.5 Complaints

All complaints received verbally or in writing must be copied to the Department Head or Director at the Foundation and the French Language Services Coordinator who is responsible for its investigation and its resolution.

The French Language Services Commissioner inquires into all complaints filed by members of the public regarding the provision of French language services.