The Ontario government announced today that starting January 25, francophone non-profit organizations can begin applying for financial assistance from the $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund, which is being administered by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario, will provide operational funding to eligible organizations to support them during the pandemic.

“Francophone non-profit organizations are part of a community-based network that help expand the range of French-language services offered in the Province and play an essential role in the social and cultural fabric of the francophone community,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs. “Many are struggling during this pandemic and it is important that the government support these organizations so that they can continue serving and helping francophones.”

In the November 2020 Budget, the government announced a working group which included the Ministry of Francophone Affairs and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario. Their mandate was to help francophone organizations in need access government funds. The working group proved to be an exceptional partnership which ensured that funds were made available quickly in order to meet the urgent needs of the organizations.

Building on the success of this working group, the Ministry of Francophone Affairs has delegated the administration of the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Francophone Non-Profit Organizations to the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the survival and functioning of Franco-Ontarian organizations and the Relief Fund is timely,” said Carol Jolin, President of the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario. “The confidence given to the AFO by the Ontario Ministry of Francophone Affairs, as shown through the mandate to distribute these funds, is welcome and appreciated. This is yet another opportunity for the AFO to reiterate our commitment to serving the Franco-Ontarian community in general, and francophone non-profit organizations in particular.”

Today’s announcement reflects the Ontario government’s ongoing commitment to supporting the vitality of Ontario’s French-speaking community.