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Connecting the Public with French Services

What Happened

We heard from Andre, who was upset because they said that Toronto Employment & Social Services (TESS) would not provide them service in French. Andre had questions about the Housing Stabilization Fund and Ontario Works but wanted TESS staff to communicate with them about the matter in French.

What We Did

We spoke with TESS, who assured our office that they provide French language services. TESS also told us that Andre had been offered services in French but had declined. After our discussion, TESS confirmed that they would communicate with Andre in French in the future and that any further questions Andre had could be addressed directly with a French-speaking case worker.

The Result

TESS staff answered Andre’s questions in French, and we let Andre know that they were welcome to contact us again if they had any further issues.

Why this Matters

A fundamental aspect of equitable and fair service is that people are communicated to in the language of their choice. While TESS did in fact offer French language services, we encountered a communications breakdown between TESS and Andre, and worked to resolve the issue.