TORONTO – Following the days of francophone service cutbacks, Ontario's progressive conservative government says it is making changes to recognize the "significant and continuing" contributions of the Franco-Ontario community.
In a statement Friday evening, Prime Minister Doug Ford says his government is setting up the post of French language commissioner at the provincial ombudsman's office and seeking to turn the French-speaking business office into a ministry.
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Leaders announced last week that they were transferring the Ombudsman's mandate to Ombudsman and that they were changing plans for an independent university in French.
The movements provoked a massive crisis from the francophones in Ontario and Quebec and were publicly denounced by a member of Ford's home, Amanda Simard, who is a largely Francophone journey.
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Both Ford and Francophone Minister Caroline Mulroney said the cuts were needed to reduce the province's deficit, although they did not say how much they would be saved.
In Friday's statement, Ford thanked "all the people who returned" to his office after last week's announcement and said he was looking forward to building a "constructive dialogue" with Franco-Ontarians.
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They're fighters. I'm part of Ontario history. They continue to work hard for generations to promote and preserve their culture and beautiful language in our province, "he said.
The government also said that Ford's office will hire a senior consultant in French-speaking business. There were no changes to the university, but Mulroney was quoted as saying he is looking forward to the day the province is in a "financial position" to continue such projects.