Francophonie Day Celebrated at Local School
On March 20, the French Community Consultative Committee (FCCC) celebrated International Francophonie Day for the first time in 13 years outside of police headquarters.
At 330 Lansdowne Avenue in 11 Division, the Frere-Andre Catholic High School and Ecole Secondaire Toronto Ouest, which are housed in the same building, the event took place.
Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue expressed gratitude to the schools for allowing Toronto Police to celebrate in their facilities.
She stated, “Schools are an important, if not the most important, part of the community.” Schools in Toronto unquestionably represent the city’s mosaic.
Service members introduced the students in grades 10 to 12 to the Service’s various operations by engaging them.
We want to encourage you to think about becoming a police officer, special constable, auxiliary officer, etc. so that one day you can use your French skills to represent your French-speaking community,” Pogue continued.
Since 1988, International Francophonie Day has been observed to honor the French language and the diversity of French-speaking nations, such as Canada.
One of the six original consultative committees, the FCCC’s membership reflects the cultural diversity of France.
Lisa Kostakis, interim chair of the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), stated that the French community’s immense richness, variety, and complexity are comparable to those of people who speak French worldwide.
“It is both inspiring and heartening to come together to celebrate the vitality of our French language, our rich culture and our proud character,” she said. “The Board and the Service are committed to ensuring that our organization truly reflects and fully incorporates all of the groups that make up our wonderfully diverse community in all that we do.”
The TPSB pledges, among other things, to provide appropriate services that are sensitive to the ethnic-cultural makeup of the Francophoine community in its foundational Declaration of Principles, which acknowledges the significant contribution that Francophones have made to the development of Ontario.
The FCCC helps the Employment Records Management Unit translate documents, helps the Service use social media, and works with the French community to recruit officers who speak French.
“These activities ensure the community is kept informed and engaged and foster an essential positive and ongoing partnership between the police and the French community,” added Kostakis. “We deeply appreciate your help in ensuring that our commitment to inclusive delivery of services and employment practices includes Toronto’s French-speaking community.
“You have also played a vital role in outreach initiatives involving youth. It is so important that we continue to work with young people in our communities, facilitating a steady stream of discourse and an ongoing commitment to building and fortifying our ever-important partnerships.”
Marc Arseneau, the Frere-Andre Catholic High School Director, openly welcomed the Service to the school.
“As a Franco Ontarian born and raised in Toronto, I see the importance of the language and community as well as the partnership with Toronto Police,” he pointed out. “It is good to have such a positive event as this one where students can interact with police officers.”