In focus

The conseil régional d’Ottawa-Carleton

The winds of change blowing on the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO) in the late 1960s increase the power of regions. The National Capital Region rapidly takes advantage of these changes to increase its interventions through the new conseil régional d’Ottawa-Vanier (Ottawa-Carleton, beginning in 1975). With its own resources, it wields undeniable influence on a diversity of issues.

ACFO Ottawa-Carleton – renamed ACFO Ottawa when the new City of Ottawa is established in 2001 – soon gains a foothold in the political arena. In the mid-1970s, it is intimately linked to the creation of the Festival franco-ontarien and the C’est l’temps movement. During the 1980s, it is closely associated with the establishment of a French-language school board for Ottawa-Carleton, the creation of a Francophone cultural centre in the former Guigues school and the founding of the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de l’Outaouais. In the 1990s, it participates actively in establishing the Centre scolaire communautaire Franc-Ouest, creating the Nouvelle Scène theatre and defending the Hôpital Montfortl.

Its most recent reincarnation, the Association des communautés francophones d’Ottawa, established in November 2011, is at the centre of the struggle to make Canada’s capital a bilingual city. As a co-organizer of the États généraux sur la francophonie d’Ottawa, and the 2012 summit held in the capital, ACFO is the organization actively following up and ensuring that the project to make Ottawa an officially bilingual city remains a priority of the Ottawa Francophone community. The organization that has represented the Francophone community for nearly fifty years has made this official bilingual status its main focus up to then end of 2017.