Jean Johnson, the president of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada – the organization representing Canada’s Francophone and Acadian minority communities – made the following statement regarding the elimination, by the Government of Ontario, of the position of Commissioner of French language services as well as the Franco-Ontarian university project:
“My first message today must be one of support and solidarity for the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario and the entire Franco-Ontarian community; all of Canada’s Francophones stand with you on this sad day.
This slap in the face for Ontario’s Francophones comes on the heels of the election, in New Brunswick, of 3 MPPs from a party which is openly calling to roll back key protections for the province’s Acadian community. Francophones are under attack in the two provinces where the most numerous French-speaking communities outside Quebec are found. I find this extremely worrisome – the Canadian social pact is founded on respect for linguistic duality, diversity and reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples. When you pull on one thread, the rest of the fabric may come apart.
I’m calling on Francophone organizations, governments, and Canadians who subscribe to our society’s core values. I’m asking them to voice their support for Ontario’s Francophone community. Let us show unity, solidarity and resolve. To paraphrase the Franco-Ontarian community’s motto: “We are, we will remain.”