Francophone Community

Over 31,000 Francophones live in the Central LHIN (Inclusive Definition)i.

The Central LHIN is guided by the Local Health System Integration Act, the Patient First Act, and the Minister’s Mandate Letter to achieve French Language Services (FLS) Act requirements and address the health care needs of the local francophone population.

To support FLS planning and implementation, the Central LHIN continuously engages and collaborates with many stakeholders (click here for engagement plan) – including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), the Ministry of Francophone Affairs, our local French language health planning entity (Entité 4), over 80 local Health Service Providers, other LHINs, our Patient and Family Advisory Committee, and others.

By engaging with patients and caregivers, and health system stakeholders, the Central LHIN is committed to understanding the health needs and improving service access and outcomes for francophone residents.

Working Together with the Francophone Community

Patients First Act – 2016

The Patients First Act, 2016 includes a requirement “to promote health equity, reduce health disparities and inequities, and respect the diversity of communities and the requirements of the FLS Act, in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of services.”

Active Offer – 2016

To support government agencies and others in proactively offering services in both English and French, Ontario’s FLS Commissioner published the Active Offer of Services in French: The Cornerstone for Achieving the Objectives of Ontario’s FLS Act special report in 2016.

This report outlines some service areas and situations where the absence of actively offering services in French could be challenging for particularly vulnerable users. The report cites health care, social services and justice system institutions, and also emergency situations. The report also states that the elderly are among groups hardest hit by language barriers in health services.

Active offer outlines actions to support FLS being clearly visible, readily available, easily accessible and publicized.

Central LHIN Action Plan – 2016-2019

The Central LHIN collaborated with Entité 4, community members and other LHINs to develop our Towards Equitable Access to French Language Health Services 2016-2019.

This strategy is meant to guide decisions and actions to support our Francophone community engagement and French Language Health Services (FLHS) planning and delivery. This strategy is annually operationalized through a Joint Work Plan. The strategy and the Joint Work Plan are available to support and inform other stakeholders involved in offering FLHS.

Year 1 Results Report (March 2017) on this three year strategy.

FLS Education Sessions – 2018

In March 2018, the Central LHIN invited all Central LHIN-funded Health Service Providers to participate in an education session on Active Offer and the City of Markham’s French Language Designation to take effect on July 1, 2018. Many thanks to all participants. Please feel welcome to contact us any time.

Designated Areas There are 26 areas across Ontario designated under the FLS Act; two of these areas include geography within the Central LHIN’s catchment area:

  • City of Markham (effective July 1, 2018) – NEW
  • City of Toronto (North York is within the Central LHIN catchment)

All provincial government offices and agencies located in these municipalities are legislated to offer French-language services in accordance with the Act. This includes the Central LHIN, a Crown Agency of the Government of Ontario, which has its head office is in Markham.

Designated/Identified Health Service Providers

Designation is an official recognition by the Government of Ontario of an organization’s ability to provide FLS according to established criteria. Identified agencies are those which have identified to seek designation at a future date. Within the Central LHIN, there are two French Language Services (FLS) identified organizations:

  • North York General Hospital (FLS identified )
  • Southlake Regional Health Centre (FLS identified)

Many other local Health Service Providers offer some or all services in French. There is a provincial survey currently underway to update these providers. Please feel welcome to ask a provider if you can be served in your language of choice.

Additional Resources for Health Service Providers

Additional Resources for Patients, Caregivers and Family Members

For more information on Central LHIN’s planning for French Language Health Services, please feel welcome to contact our FLS Planner, Christelle Bony, at



iInclusive Definition of Francophone, 2011 Census IDF, Health Analytics Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care