September 25 marks Franco-Ontarian Day. Officially recognized in 2010 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of francophones in Ontario, this year’s celebration also marks the 45th anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag.
Nearly 612,000 francophones call Ontario home and thousands of them are OPSEU members working in the Ontario Public Sector and across the entire Broader Public Sector. The 2020 Social Mapping census identifies one in 12 OPSEU members (8.6 per cent) as francophone.
Franco-Ontarian Day is an important opportunity to recognize the francophone community’s cultural, social and economic contributions to the province of Ontario, and the role of francophones in shaping Ontario as a diverse and inclusive place to live, work and raise a family. Francophone OPSEU members represent the full diversity of the membership: 16 per cent are LGBT, 11 per cent are racialized, 13 per cent have a disability, 16 per cent identify with Indigenous ancestry (mostly Métis) and 26 per cent are young workers.
We’re proud of the contributions that OPSEU’s francophone members continue to make in our communities, our province and our union.
OPSEU’s Francophone Committee has been focused on creating positive change in our locals and workplaces, and part of that work has been to protect and strengthen French language services and education within our union and our province.
So, to all those celebrating today: bravo et bonne journée des Franco-Ontariens et des Franco-Ontariennes!
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
Chair, OPSEU Francophone Committee