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.

The South East LHIN is also responsible for providing Home and Community Care services in French, according to the FLS Act.

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

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 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 Francophones

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

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 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

For more information on the Réseau, 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 organizations, and with other stakeholders in the South East region representing 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 South-Eastern Ontario,
  • The Réseau planning officer,
  • The LHIN’s French-language services coordinator.

The citizens’ 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 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:


Community Support Services

Addiction and Mental Health Agencies 

Information for identified HSPs is available in the French Language Services Resources Centre

The South East LHIN in Action

Supporting HSPs in the French Designation Process

Nine 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 Planning Officer from the Réseau 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.

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, and assess the bilingual capacity (English & French) across the region.

Identified Health Service providers must report progress on the FLS designation plans annually to the LHIN. To do so, the South East LHIN, in partnership with its French Language Health Planning Entity, offers tools, guidelines and reporting documentation to both identified and non-identified health service providers through the FLS resources center.

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

French Language Health Services Strategy 2019-2022 and Joint annual action plan

According to the accountability agreement signed with the French Language Health Planning Entity (Le Réseau) and the Champlain LHIN and the South East 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.

The three year strategy, aligned with the 2019-2022 IHSPs period, was developed keeping Francophones as the center of focus.

The main expected outcome of the strategy is to improve access to health services in French, through three objectives:

  1. Improving the offer of French language health services
  2. Facilitating health system navigation in French
  3. Ensuring the quality and performance of French language health care services

These objectives have guided the development of priorities and actions included in the JAAP for the next 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.

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.