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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


We conducted an exhaustive survey of all of the organizations that offer welcoming and settlement services to immigrants, whether they speak French or not. This survey was necessary in order to generate a sample of organizations throughout the province for interviews. An Excel database was submitted to MCI. This database contains only information that is available to the public on the websites of the organizations that were surveyed or information on information gateways.

Key information on the organizations surveyed can be found in the schedules. To make this database easier to use, the data are presented alphabetically, by location. To our knowledge, this survey, which identifies the language in which services are offered to immigrants in all sectors, is the first of its kind.

Highlights of our survey of settlement service organizations are described below.

Organizations offering settlement services

Our survey made it possible to identify 189 organizations offering a variety of settlement services to immigrants in Ontario (see Schedule 1 – Organizations offering settlement services).

The websites are revealing. The survey made it possible to identify three types of organizations offering welcoming and settlement services to immigrants:

Our interviews with service providers made it possible to validate this assumption.

Of the 189 organizations identified, 113 did not indicate whether they offer services in French. Seventy-six indicated that French-language services are available.

Of these 76 organizations, 45 indicated that French is one of three, four, five or even more languages of service being offered. Thirty-one organizations indicated that the language of service is French-only or French and English.

An analysis of the websites of these 31 organizations confirms that approximately 12 organizations have a Francophone identity. These are organizations such as ACFO London-Sarnia, Centre de santé communautaire de Hamilton-Niagara, and Contact interculturel francophone de Sudbury.

Approximately 12 organizations appear to actively offer services in French and in English. These are organizations such as the YMCA, the Cornwall & District Immigrant Services Agency, the Ottawa Community immigrant Services Organization, and Brampton Multicultural Community Centre.

Organizations offering language training

Our survey identified 95 organizations in the province that offer language training; 18 of these offer services in French (see Schedule 2 – Organizations Offering Language Training ). These are well-known organizations such as French-language school boards, Collège Boréal, and La Cité collégiale. Other organizations, such as some YMCAs, offer language assessment testing in French.

Organizations Offering Employability Services

Our survey identified 93 organizations that offer immigrants employability services (see Schedule 3 – Organizations Offering Employability Services ). Of these, 54 offer services in French. Once again, our survey made it possible to identify organizations with a Francophone identity and organizations actively offering services in French and English.

Our survey revealed an interesting fact: of the 93 organizations identified, 43 are private-sector organizations, such as Spherion and Drake International. The websites of these firms are all bilingual. The survey counted the regional offices of a single firm, which increased the total number of organizations in the survey.

Settlement Workers in Schools

Settlement workers provide settlement and adaptation services to Francophone immigrants in schools so that they can become adequately integrated into Canadian society. These services include:

The Settlement Workers in Schools Program has been made possible with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Table 13 provides a breakdown of these programs in 66 French-language elementary and secondary schools in Ontario’s public and Catholic school systems (for detailed information, see Schedule 4 – Settlement Workers in French Schools).

Table 13 – Settlement Workers in Schools Program, distribution in Ontario’s French-language public and Catholic schools - 2010-2011
Settlement Workers in Schools Program, distribution in Ontario’s French-language public and Catholic schools - 2010-2011
French-language School Boards Elementary Level Secondary Level Total
Public Schools 22 12 34
Catholic Schools 22 10 32
Total 44 22 66

Ethnic and Cultural Organizations

Our research revealed the existence of ethnic and cultural organizations in French-speaking immigrant communities. All of the information presented was taken from public sources, such as websites and information gateways (see Schedule 5 – Ethnic and Cultural Organizations in Immigrant Communities). Our research identified 95 organizations, 91 of which offer services in French. In the case of four organizations, the language of service was not identified. All of these organizations are located in southern Ontario, Ottawa or Ottawa-Gatineau. Approximately 40 organizations are well-established and have a website, an office, and staff who are identified.

Places of Worship

Our research identified 32 Christian places of worship within immigrant communities that offer services in French, in addition to offering services in English or in other languages. In most cases, these are evangelical Christian churches (see Schedule 6 – Christian Places of Worship in Francophone Immigrant Communities). Many Francophone immigrants are also members of Roman Catholic churches, but the websites do not identify these worshippers. Our research identified 137 mosques in Ontario. Their websites did not indicate whether services were offered in French, in addition to other languages (see Schedule 7 – Mosques and Islamic Centres ).

The Media in Francophone Immigrant Communities

Our research identified nine French-language media organizations within immigrant communities. These are primarily newspapers, magazines, and web portals (see Schedule 8 – Media in Francophone Immigrant Communities ).

School Boards Offering Language Courses

Our research identified 41 school boards that receive funding from the province to offer language courses to immigrants (see Schedule 9 – School Boards Offering Language Courses). This list includes five French-language school boards: one Catholic and one public French-language school board in Ottawa, one Catholic and one public French-language school board in North Bay, and one Catholic French-language school board in Windsor.

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