McDonell Receives French Language Services Petition

May 23, 2012

Local MPP Jim McDonell received a petition today from Language Fairness For All, a local group that seeks to draw attention to perceived unfairness in language-based hiring practices at Cornwall Community Hospital and the application of the French Language Services Act in general. The Act designates certain areas of Ontario as requiring the availability of key services in French.

McDonell commented:  “Under the Act, the Board of the Cornwall Community Hospital is responsible to identify the requirements needed to serve the  community and to develop the policies required to meet them. The CCH must respond to all the needs of the community through a fair and balanced  approach. A proportion of front-line staff must be able to work in both official languages to serve the residents of Cornwall and surrounding area who need care in the French language. The rest of the positions would then be open to the best-qualified healthcare professionals; after all, that is our top priority. The details of such an approach are not to be found in the FLSA, but are entrusted to the Board to determine and administer.”

McDonell acknowledged the community’s strong feelings on the issue:  “The Cornwall and SD&G community sent CCH and other employers in the area a very strong message. I am confident hiring practices and literature will reflect this need for fairness, consultation and transparency. Our Province is facing difficult challenges. It would be very unfortunate to see a language issue negatively impact our quality of healthcare and our community”.