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Final Report: Research on Settlement Services Available in French for Francophone Newcomers to Ontario

STUDY CONDUCTED FOR THE ONTARIO Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration



This report was prepared in response to a request for proposals from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI).

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration welcomes newcomers in addition to supporting and promoting equal opportunities and measures for responsible citizenship and voluntarism, in the economic and social interests of Ontario’s communities. The Ministry has a mission to build a province in which newcomers are warmly welcomed, diversity is celebrated, voluntarism is valued and recognized, and people are engaged in working together to improve quality of life for everyone.

The Immigration Policy Branch and the Immigration Programs Branch support the social and economic integration of newcomers by developing policies and offering a number of programs, specifically, settlement services, language training, and labour market integration. The Ministry funds third-party organizations to deliver a wide range of programs such as the Newcomer Settlement Program, the Ontario Bridge Training programs, the Language Interpreter Services Program, and Ontario’s Community Builders. Settlement services are offered in a variety of languages to meet the needs of newcomers to Ontario.

Francophones have lived in Ontario for over 350 years. The preamble to the French Language Services Act (1986) states that the Legislative Assembly recognizes the contribution of the cultural heritage of the French speaking population and wishes to preserve it for future generations. Supporting immigration in Francophone communities is one way of ensuring that they continue to flourish. After Quebec, Ontario is the province that welcomes the greatest number of Francophone newcomers to Canada.

MCI is committed to ensuring that Francophone newcomers receive services in French that enable them to fully participate in all areas of life in Canada and that optimize the benefits of their participation in, and contribution to, Canadian society.

The overall objective of the study is to help MCI to better understand the strengths, weaknesses, best practices, and gaps in the settlement services offered to Francophone newcomers to Ontario. MCI is also interested in the challenges and obstacles that Francophone newcomers face in accessing services in French that are adapted to their needs.

The mandate of the study is to perform the following tasks:

In the context of this study, the following terms and expressions have the following definitions:

"Francophone Newcomer": refers to a newcomer:

  • whose mother tongue, with or without another language, is French;
  • whose mother tongue is not one of the official languages (i.e., who is an Allophone), and who, of Canada’s two official languages, speaks only French;
  • whose mother tongue is not one of the official languages; who speaks both French and English; and who usually speaks either a language that is not an official language or French, alone or in combination with another language, in the home.
  • This meets the new Inclusive Definition of Francophone (IDF) introduced by the Government of Ontario in June 2009 (see http://www.ofa.gov.on.ca/en/news-090604.html)

    "Organization delivering services": refers to a non-government organization that delivers services to immigrants, refugees, and refugee claimants.

    "Settlement services": these services include client needs assessment, support in settlement and orientation, information and orientation, counselling, language training, interpretation and translation services, and employment support services such as help finding work, writing a résumé and preparing for an interview, labour market integration, and career planning.

    The mandate of the study required us to perform the following tasks:

    1. The preparation of a preliminary report with a review of the literature on the settlement and integration of Francophone newcomers in Ontario.

    2. A series of consultations with Francophone newcomers and French-language service providers (Francophone and non-Francophone organizations). These consultations included conversations with key leaders in the Francophone community, Francophone newcomers whether or not they had used settlement services adapted to their needs (by means of a sample of Francophone newcomers from various regions of Ontario), and with representatives from a variety of service providers (small, large, exclusively Francophone, bilingual).

    3. In the context of the consultations, we examined the strengths, weaknesses, and quality of settlement services for Francophone newcomers to Ontario. We also examined best practices and gaps in services.

    In accordance with the mandate, the final report had to address the strengths, weaknesses, best practices, and gaps in the settlement services adapted and offered to Francophone newcomers to Ontario. It had to include:

    1. A summary including the main research findings and the impact in terms of policy-making;

    2. An analysis of the information collected during the consultations;

    3. An overview of the links between our review of the literature and our conclusions.

    Table of Contents

    Executive Summary
    List of Tables
    1. Mandate
    2. Organization of the Report
    3. Demographic Analysis
    4. Review of the Literature
    5. Survey of Settlement Service Organizations
    6. Finding of Our Interviews with Service Providers
    7. Findings of Interviews with Francophone Leaders
    8. Findings of the Focus Groups
    9. French Language Bridge Training Programs
    10. Summary of Research Findings
    11. Conclusion: Further Avenues for Research