French Language Services

As a crown agency, the South East LHIN is accountable for ensuring access and accessibility to French Language Services (FLS) in its geographic area.  That means the South East LHIN encourages collaboration across our health sectors to expand access to French language health services.

Two pieces of legislation guide French language services in Ontario:

  • French Language Services Act, 1986 – which addresses individuals’ rights to communicate and receive services in French from Government of Ontario ministries and designated agencies.
  • Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 – which provides LHINs with the authority to plan, integrate, coordinate and fund their local health system. This act places significant decision-making power at the community level, and focuses health planning on local needs.

FLS services in the South East LHIN

Click here for the French Health Services Directory of southeastern Ontario

Francophones in the South East

In the South East, Kingston has been designated as the 25th area under the Ontario’s French Language Services Act (1986) (FLSA). The City of Kingston is the first area to be designated within the South East LHIN region. According to the 2011 Census, Approximately 13,000 Francophones live in the South East. Kingston has a francophone population of about 4,130, which represents 4% of its total population.

Francophone population breakdown

2011 Census of Francophone Community

The Francophone population in the Quinte, Kingston and Rideau region is growing at a faster rate (5.5%) than in the rest of the province (Source: Ontario Trillium Foundation, Your Community in Profile : Quinte, Kingston, Rideau, 2008.)

For more information

To learn more about Ontario’s francophone communities, public is invited to visit the following websites:

Local and Regional Stakeholders in developing French Language Services

The South East LHIN collaborates with a number of local and regional health-care partners to ensure that health service planning reflects the needs and priorities of the Francophone population. In doing so, we are required to work with:

  • The French language health planning entity for our specific geographic area

  • Our local Francophone community, and

  • All health service providers but more specifically those identified to deliver French-Language health services

French Language Health Planning Entity of Eastern Ontario

In 2010, the French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario was appointed by Ontario Government as French Language Health Planning Entity in the Southeastern region to support both the South East and the Champlain LHINs planning health services for the regional Francophone community.
LHINs will ask the French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario, also called, the Réseau, for advice on the following topics:

  1. Health needs and priorities of the local francophone community, including needs of diverse groups within the local francophone community
  2. Health services available to the local Francophone community
  3. Strategies to improve the integration, accessibility, and access to French language health services in the local health system
  4. Identification and designation of health service providers for the provision of French language health services
  5. Planning for, and integration of, health services in the area
LHINs will also engage the French language health planning entities on francophone health issues to better develop:
  • methods of engaging the local francophone community
  • health services available in French to the local francophone community
  • strategies to improve the integration, accessibility, and access to French language health services in the local health system
  • identification and designation of health service providers for the provision of French language health services
To learn more about the Reseau’s advices to the LHIN, access the 2013/2014 Recommendations Report presented to both Champlain and the South East LHIN.  

For more information on the Reseau, visit the French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario website.

Francophone community

The South East LHIN recognized the vitality of the Francophone community in the South East region and values its contribution to the discussion on various health care issues. Ontario's Francophone is a dynamic community because of its many institutions and associations in the fields of education, culture, health, justice, the economy and communications.

The LHIN is working with a variety of active Francophone stakeholders in the South East region representing diverse groups: 

  • Cooperatives

  • Municipalities

  • Seniors

  • Arts, culture and heritage

  • Education

  • Communications

  • Agriculture

  • Women’s groups

  • Immigrants

  • Justice

  • Health

  • Languages

  • Community societies

Citizens’ advisory committee

In order to allow more Francophones to be involved in the planning of health services, the South East LHIN requested the creation of a citizens’ advisory committee. Formed in 2012 by Réseau, the committee’s members include:

  • 10 residents of South-Eastern Ontario,

  • the Réseau planning officer,

  • the South East LHIN representative to the Réseau Board and

  • the LHIN’s French-language services coordinator.

The citizens’ committee first learned about the strategic priorities of the local health system as well as the Réseau and LHIN’s work plan priorities for 2012-2013. The committee was also introduced to the respective mandates of the South East LHIN and the Réseau, as well as to the designation process.  

Identified Health Service providers

The South East LHIN identified a cross-section of health care organizations as providers of French language services (FLS) based on criteria set by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), including the unique services they provide to South East region residents. Many of the direct services provided by the MOHLTC to the public are offered through Health Service Providers (HSP). As managers of the local health system, LHINs are responsible for identifying HSPs that may seek designation under the FLS.

Identified HSPs are then required to plan and report on the provision of services in French as part of their accountability agreement with the LHINs. As the South East LHIN is promoting the development of culturally appropriate programs and services by all Health Service Providers (HSP), it provides extra support the following identified HSPs:


  • Kingston General Hospital

  • Hôtel Dieu Hospital

  • Providence Care (including Providence Manor for long-term care) 

Community Care Access Center

  • Community Care Access Center – South-East

Community Support Services

  • Victorian Order of Nurses

  • Canadian National Institute for the Blind

  • The Canadian Hearing Society – Kingston Region

  • Alzheimer Society of Kingston

Addiction and Mental Health Agencies 

  • Frontenac Community Mental Health & Addictions Services

  • Mental Health Support Network South East Ontario – MHSNSEO

  • The Salvation Army Kingston Harbour Light

  • Sexual Assault Center Kingston 

Long-Term Care Homes 

  • Hospice Kingston

The South East LHIN in Action

Supporting HSPs in the French Designation Process

Thirteen health-care organizations identified to offer French-language services in the Kingston area have stepped up their efforts to implement a designation plan allowing them to obtain the designation status under the French Language Services Act (FLSA).

The South East LHIN and the Réseau planning officer are providing identified HSPs all the support they need to address issues they might come across in implementing their respective designation plans.

The designation process is one of Ontario’s most tangible mean to ensure access and continuous improvement of services offered in French to our communities. Through designation, the Francophone population becomes aware that: 
  • It is possible to obtain French-language services in that organization;
  • The organization is committed to providing French-language services on a permanent basis.

What it means for the community
Video on the designation of the Kingston region : what it means for the community (July 2013)

Reporting progress to the Ministry 

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is relying on the South East LHIN to monitor FLS progress among the identified Health Service Providers (HSPs) within its geographic area.

Identified Health Services providers must report progress on the FLS designation plans annually to the LHIN. To do so, the South East LHIN offers tools, guidelines and reporting documentation to both identified and non-identified health service providers through the FLS resources center.

Joint annual action plan

According to the accountability agreement signed with the French Language Health Planning Entity (Le Réseau) and the Champlain LHIN, a Joint Annual Action Plan (JAAP) is required. This plan highlights common objectives and actions that will be accomplished over the next year, in order to advance FLS projects. Within the past years, the objectives of the JAAP used to remain the same, and only the actions would change. In light of this finding, and in order to better align FLS projects with the planning cycle of the LHINs, a three year FLS strategy was developed, including the JAAP.

The Strategy is aligned with the 2016-2019 IHSPs period, with the FLS objectives of the IHSPs of both LHINs, and with the strategic plan of the Réseau. In addition, the Francophone patients were the center of focus in the development of the strategy.

The main outcome of the strategy is to improve access to FLS, by focusing on improving active offer, information and performance of health services in French. These priorities have guided the development of objectives and actions included in the JAAP for the next three years, along with the ABP of both LHINs. The actions of the JAAPs will be revised each year and adjusted if needed, in order to adapt to achievements and new situations.

French Language Health Services Strategy 2016-2019

A LHIN-Réseau liaison committee on French-language services in Eastern Ontario oversees the implementation of the Agreement and the JAAP. To ensure continuity and improvement, the Liaison committee also performs an annual evaluation of the JAAP which will leads to the creation of the next JAAP. This committee is made up of members of each partner's Board of Directors and management. 

Francophone Community Events

2016 Health Care in French Social

Healthcare in French Networking event poster

French speaking and bilingual health care professionals from Kingston and surrounding area are invited to the second edition of our Health Care in French networking opportunity in Kingston.

Registration deadline is March 29, 2016

Register Now!

Jeannine Proulx
Planning Officer, South-East region
613-747-7431 extension 214

Community involvement

The South East LHIN is committed to engaging with the Francophone community in order to identify needs and promote culturally appropriate programs and services, and to receive input into our priorities. The South East LHIN also plan and implement Francophone engagement strategies that improve relationships and reach out to the French Community on its current initiatives.

  • Francophone engagement strategy (engagement webpage of SELHIN)

Provincial participation

The South east LHIN is working at the provincial level and is involve in the French community of healthcare professionals to learn and share best practices and successes.

Where to find services in French