Letter to the Editor – Eric Little of Ottawa Ontario on Linguistic Administration Costs

LTE UWith health care in Ontario taking about half of the annual budget and rising, have you wondered how much administration cost there is, even before the hospital’s share? Is that an area to review for savings?


We see much dedication and administration expense towards the promotion of French through doubling of services, and as an example, take a look at health care services in Ontario, none of which provide a written guarantee for funding or service to English residents in the same way. Remember, the 2011 Census lists just 42,980 people in Ontario who only speak French, 298,920 who speak neither Eng. nor Fr. and 1,395,805 self assessed as speaking both Eng. & Fr. There is much effort and funding to help a small minority, but try and follow the most obvious paths of extra administration.


Ontario has an Office of Francophone Affairs; Madeleine Meilleur is the current Minister that oversees the French Languages Services Act and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner.  We have French Language Coordinators (ensured in the French Language Services Act & Regulations) that promote French to each Ministry (approx. 30). Also under the French Language Services Act, we have over 200 public service entities who agreed to provide certain levels of French service (in exchange for funding and law guarantees), many of which are health care related but also cover Justice, Education and Community and Social Services.

We have 14 LHIN’s (local health integration networks) in Ontario. Each of them has a dedicated French Language services Coordinator position. Remember Ontario also has about 2 dozen French Language Coordinators to assist Ministries in promoting more French, and a FLS ministry and a commissioner office, obviously more were needed. (BTW Federal also has language coordinators for each ministry as well.)


It is not over yet!

Ontario also has a group called ENTITE 4 to provide advice to 14 LHIN’s with 6 more entities.

To advise the advisers of the advisers at ENTITE 4 we have another organization called the French Language Heath Services Advisory Council. This council is formed by the 7 (tax payer funding) associations noted below.






The following organizations are prescribed for the purposes of appointing members to the French Language Health Services Advisory Council: (Who speaks up for English?)

1.       Alliance des réseaux ontariens de santé en français

2.       Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO)

3.       Association française des municipalités de l’Ontario (AFMO)

4.       Fédération des aînés et des retraités francophones de l’Ontario (FAFO)

5.       Groupe francophone de l’Association des centres de santé de l’Ontario

6.       Regroupement des intervenantes et intervenants francophones en santé et en services sociaux de l’Ontario(RIFSSSO)

7.       Union Provinciale des Minorités Raciales et Ethnoculturelles Francophones de l’Ontario (UP-MREF)


When will Ontario residents ask for a needs assessment to help those that need it of course, to stop the duplication, provide hiring fairness and provide fairness for more than just one minority? Perhaps a possible Ontario election this year is the time.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)


 River Kings


  1. Here we go again…
    @ Eric. Have you discussed this travesty with Tea-Party Tim? You’d think he’d be all over this issue like a dog on a bone. If he isn’t, why isn’t he?

  2. I just do not understand why these things bother you so much.. there are more French people in Cornwall that even I thought and through out Eastern Ontario.. I think they are entitled to these things..

  3. @ Jane Doe. Yup. And there is a vibrant French population all along the Ottawa Valley and across northern Ontario and beyond into Manitoba. Poor Mr. Little… It must be tough putting up with these people.

  4. Jane & Furtz, what bothers me is the advanced effort and cost going towards dual services. One service / building/administration with a few bilingual staff should suffice. What we get and are going too increasingly, is 2 services/buildings/administrations as we see with the 2 of our 4 Ontario school boards.

    The Francophones I grew up with were and are some of the best people I have had the privilege to meet, we worked and played as neigbours, that is not an issue. Creating separate facilities because of the continuous flow of laws is not creating a better society and the expense is removing funding in many areas that could help all.

    Furtz, you know full well politicians are afraid to say anything controversial for fear of getting the taxpayer funded Francophone organizations to further organize.

    Jane, it is not an us against them thing, segregation is not the Ontario I want to live in.

  5. Anybody following the health care system is aware that since the very early 80″s the administrative side has been gathering steam. Beds continued to be shut down as the system became more and more administratively top, obviously both in personnel and the accompanying diversion of tax dollars. Efficient it is not. A model for other countries to emulate, it is not. A system we can take pride in, no, at least not any more. The swell of boomers who will place a huge demand on the system are like the rest of us about to find out just how many services are either being withdrawn or severely impacted by the dollars being diverted to the administrative side. The various provincial governments of Ontario have continued to ignore the problem and have allowed a very socialistic approach by hampering the private sector from offering an alternative.

    My ire comes from the fact that I have to pay through the nose for a seriously crippled system when a democratic system would have given me an alternative, private health care which would employ Canadians.
    I can legally turn to the American system, as many do, due to wait times and be reimbursed by OHIP, but the billions of dollars each year that flows to the USA does not help the common good.

    The French issue only further compounds the dire straights that we find ourselves in. Politics continues to win over commonsense. Fortunately like an alcoholic when things bottom out there will only be one direction to travel.

  6. Not only nurses have to be bilingual but even the office staff and everyone else. If you are a medical secretary and you are not bilingual you can forget about that job in hospitals and even among private physicians. When you answer the phone or type out reports you have to be able to meet all criteria. The same thing in nursing and everything else. French is an essential language and more essential than what a lot of people think. There are plenty of Francophone in Cornwall and mostly here in Ottawa. Most nurses here in Ottawa are part time and on call – that job is one of the hardest jobs out there and you have to be both physically and emotionally well to do that job. Doctors as well have to be bilingual and you can’t rely on other people to keep translating for you.

  7. jules, do English speakers not get sick? They are the majority in Ontario and might like a job as well, but fairness only works one way.

  8. I use some of these facilities too Eric… The diabetic center and the Health center at 9th and Pitt..(5). I take exercise classes there twice a week… Yes the classes are in French at Seaway they are in English… The seniors need their own I believe also… (Item 4)

  9. jane Doe, the letter is directed towards the formation of rules even before the hospital is involved. There is an over concentration to add more French than is needed that removes money to help users and ensures Anglophones get less jobs. Are you OK with that as a taxpayer? As a parent of unilingual kids?

  10. my grandchildren are in French school and they are Anglos.. If my daughter had not gone to French school they might not have gotten in…Most of the articles mentioned are Provincial therefore not raising my taxes.. The city is wasting my tax dollars in more ways…

  11. @ Eric Little. Maybe I’m a little thick in the head, but I still don’t get why the provincial Cons, or any other party for that matter, wouldn’t be all over this issue, and doing something about it, or promising to do something about it. If, as you say, a tiny percentage of the Ontario population (Francophone) is getting an unfair advantage over the vast majority, and that vast majority is pissed off about it, wouldn’t it be a no-brainer for any political party to please the vast majority? Why would they worry about losing votes from an insignificant segment of the population when they could please all the unilingual English speakers in Ontario? Surely, they can’t be afraid of a few groups (tax-funded or not) whipping up such a small number of votes.

  12. Eric then truth hurts for some and theywill defend this unfair policy no matter.
    Cornwall is approx 18% Francophone yet hiring at local government entities are 300%+ above the needs.
    Health unit only hires bilingual.
    In Canada some are more equal then others and francophones services represents this.

    If all were were equal why promote only one culture and language out of the 200 cultural groups in Canada?
    The answer is governments practice social engineering .

    Folks take a look at the definition of social engineering and see it certainly defines the governments approach to bilingualism.

    I understand that legislation provides language services, but when those services are WELL BEYOND NEEDS it questions discrimination against those that are not bilingual.

    80 % of cornwall remains unilingual , but minimal 65% of local government jobs are deemed bilingual, representation by population a democratic principle is not even a thought in fact its readily abused.

  13. @ Highlander. If living so close to the Quebec border where a lot of French speaking people also live makes you pissed off and angry all the time, maybe you should consider moving a little further into the “heart-land” of Ontario where everyone speaks English. It’s not healthy to be in a constant state of agitation.

  14. jane Doe, you don’t think your Ontario taxes are higher because of extra language costs, I really thought you were paying attention. People need to see the larger picture and connect the dots.

    Furtz, I doubt you are thick in the head, most of the advancing French has been below the radar, one domino at a time. During the last Ontario election, Hudak was harping on the ABC’s. He said his daughter could place kids magnetic letters on the fridge and come up with an acronym for a government agency, I think there were over 600 at the time. That all went above voters heads, and we see with the above letter, there are way too many groups affecting unneeded and expensive change.

    Currently there are so many laws to help minorities, French being the main recipient, that legally need to be changed first. We should provide service for the 42,980 French only and few thousand more who need it of course, but having employees work and be supervised in the language of their choice could be a good first change.

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