A true active offer
December 7, 2023
7 December 2023
A man went to a ServiceOntario branch in central west Toronto to get an accent added to his first name on his health card.
A man went to a ServiceOntario branch in central west Toronto to get an accent added to his first name on his health card. He asked for service in French, but the branch told him that no bilingual agents were available at the moment. He also noticed that several posters were in English only. The City of Toronto is a designated region under the French Language Services Act, which means that government agencies within it must offer services in French.
RESULT: We raised the issue with ServiceOntario (part of the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery). It reviewed various aspects of the French services offered in this branch, which is managed by a private provider on behalf of the government. As a result, ServiceOntario made the following improvements:
Hired a new bilingual agent;
Reminded employees that they are required to make an active offer of French service to clients by greeting them with: “Hello, Bonjour! Comment puis-je vous aider?” and directing Francophone clients to bilingual employees; and
Made posters, brochures and signs in the branch available in French.
Learn more about the French Language Services Unit which answers questions and takes complaints about services in French.
Read about how we helped other people in our Selected cases.