French Language Services

As a crown agency, the South East LHIN is accountable for ensuring availability and access 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 FLS in Ontario:

  • French Language Services Act, 1986 – which addresses an individual’s 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, as well as LHIN-delivered home and community care services. The Act places significant decision-making power at the community level and focuses health planning on local needs.

Francophones in the south east

In the south east region, 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 2016 Census, 14,825 Francophones live in the south east.

Francophone population breakdown

Number of Francophones* and percentage of total population
by Sub-Region, South East LHIN, 2016.


Number of

Percent of
Total Population

Rural Hastings






Rural Frontenac,
Lennox & Addington






Lanark, Leeds & Grenville



South East LHIN






*Francophones are defined as “those persons whose mother tongue is French, plus those whose mother tongue is neither French nor English but have a particular knowledge of French as an Official Language and use French at home”, as per the inclusive definition of the Francophone population (IDF) adopted by the Ontario government in 2009.

For more information, or to learn more about Ontario’s francophone communities, please 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 (see list below).

French Language Health Planning Entity of Eastern Ontario

In 2010, the French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario was appointed by the Ontario Government as the French Language Health Planning Entity in Southeastern Ontario to support both South East and Champlain LHINs in health services planning for the regional Francophone community.

LHINs seek guidance from 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 the 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 (HSPs) 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 in order 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; and
  • Identification and designation of HSPs for the provision of French language health services.

For more information on the Réseau, please 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 community is dynamic 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 region who represent a variety of diverse groups.

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:

  • Residents of Southeastern Ontario,
  • The Réseau planning officer,
  • The South East LHIN representative to the Réseau Board and
  • The LHIN’s French Language Services Coordinator.

The committee is informed of the strategic priorities of the local health system, and of the Réseau and LHIN’s work plan priorities. Members are also educated about the respective mandates of the South East LHIN and the Réseau, and of the designation process. They are frequently engaged to provide feedback regarding ongoing priorities and initiatives taking place in the region.

Identified Health Service providers

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

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


Community Support Services

Addiction and Mental Health Agencies 

The South East LHIN in Action Supporting HSPs in the French Designation Process

Nine health care organizations identified to offer FLS in the Kingston area have stepped up their efforts to implement a designation plan allowing them to obtain the designation status under the FLSA.The South East LHIN and the Réseau Planning Officer provide all identified HSPs with 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 means to ensure access and continuous improvement of services offered in French. Through designation, the Francophone population becomes aware that: 

  • It is possible to obtain French-language services in that organization; and
  • The organization is committed to providing FLS on a permanent basis.

Reporting progress to the Ministry 

The MOHLTC relies on the South East LHIN to monitor FLS progress among the identified HSPs, and assess the bilingual capacity across the region.

Annually, identified HSPs must report progress on FLS designation plans. To do so, the South East LHIN, in partnership with the Réseau, offers tools, guidelines and reporting documentation to both identified and non-identified HSPs through the FLS resources center

Progress on the implementation of the 34 requirements of the designation process have been measured over the years. Below is a snapshot of the progress by identified organization as of March 31, 2017.


Joint Annual Action Plan

According to the accountability agreement signed 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. Over the years, the objectives of the JAAP would 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 aligns with the 2016-2019 Integrated Health Service Plan’s (IHSP) period, with the FLS objectives of the IHSPs of both LHINs, and with the Réseau’s strategic plan. In addition, 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 Annual Business Plans 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 FLS 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 leads to the creation of the next JAAP. This committee is made up of members of each partner's Board of Directors and management. 


Contact the Health System Navigator

Health Services in French

  • Do you or a family member require help finding appropriate health care services in French?
  • To help you navigate the system, and find health care services in French tailored to your needs contact:

Philippe Archambault
French Language Health System Navigator

  • Confidential, fast, professional, and free services.

Download French Language Services Print Material:

Helpful links to find health services in French in the South East LHIN

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.