OCASI Member Agencies voted unanimously in support of a By-Law change at the Council's 2014 Annual General Meeting, to create a designated Francophone Director position on the Board of Directors. This show of solidarity with our minority Francophone membership, demonstrates member agencies commitment to inclusive practices in the immigrant and refugee serving sector in Ontario.
With this change Francophone member agencies will be able to elect a Francophone Director following a process similar to OCASI regional elections. The first Francophone members' only election will be held in late summer 2015 for the 2015-16 Board cycle. Francophone members will also be able to stand for election, and to vote for regional and provincial directors as all other members.
The recommendation to create the Francophone Director position on the OCASI Board came out of a 2003 OCASI research study on the service and organizational needs of Francophone immigrants and refugees in Ontario. There were several recommendations made to government (both provincial and federal) and to the Council, to improve access and equity for Francophone immigrants, including by strengthening the role of Francophone immigrant-serving agencies. Over the past decade OCASI worked to build our French capacity and to strengthen opportunities for Francophone leadership. The creation of the designated Director position is a significant step in our ongoing work to improve the Council's bilingual ability.