L’ombudsman de l’Ontario et la Loi sur les services en français
Keywords:Ontario, Language rights, French Language Services Act, Ombudsman, Language commissioner, Jurisdictions
In 2018, the Ontario government controversially amended the French Language Services Act in order to eliminate the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner and transfer its powers to the Ontario Ombudsman. The amendment also created the new position of Deputy Ombudsman, also called French Language Services Commissioner. In the wake of these legislative reforms, it is important to examine Ontario’s language rights system and its enforcement scheme. This article systematically compares the powers of the Ombudsman and his deputy with those of other language commissioners in Canada. Although the new “French Language Services Commissioner” of Ontario does not enjoy the independence or powers of her predecessor, or of the other Canadian language commissioners, the enforcement of the French Language Services Act remains in the hands of an officer independent of the Legislative Assembly – the Ombudsman – whose established track record and influence could serve to shore up his office’s new linguistic mandate.