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OPSEU celebrates Franco-Ontarian Day

Franco Ontario flag (Quebec and Ontario logos)
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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 44th anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag.

Nearly 612,000 francophone people call Ontario home and thousands of them are OPSEU members working in the Ontario Public Sector and across the entire Broader Public Sector.

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.

We’re also 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.

This work is more important now than ever with the Ford government’s attacks on minority rights, including cuts to francophone services and the elimination of Ontario’s first francophone university.

Ford didn’t understand the strength and resilience of the Franco-Ontarian community and its supporters, like OPSEU. But after facing major backlash, his government was forced to backtrack on its decision – coughing up funds for the new university and entering negotiations with the federal government to split the costs.

This is a major win for the Franco-Ontarian community, and proof of the power of the people.

So to all those celebrating today: bravo et bonne journée des Franco-Ontariens!

In Solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
OPSEU President

Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer

Nathalie Gareau-Miskiw
Chair, OPSEU Francophone Committee