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Flag raising celebrates St-Jean-Baptiste Day in Sudbury

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June 24 is St-Jean-Baptiste Day, a day when Francophones across the country show their pride by celebrating their language and traditions.

On Monday morning in Azilda, there was a flag raising at the Lionel Lalonde Centre in Azilda, is a city facility where the Franco-Ontario flag will permanently fly.

“Francophones have been in Sudbury since its inception -- since it started, since it was incorporated,” said Joanne Gervais, the executive director of Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario Du grand Sudbury.

“The first mayor of Sudbury was a Francophone. So we are from here, this is home.

Mayor Paul Lefebvre said French speakers make up more than 35 per cent of the population of Greater Sudbury and that number is increasing.

“We are seeing the numbers actually rise with new immigrants coming to our city and certainly we have the schools we have the businesses,” Lefebvre said.

“We have a lot College Boreal, Laurentian and the University of Sudbury. There is a lot of institutions that are bilingual, actually. Francophone, as well ... So it’s actually an added value for our city. A lot of the jobs by the federal government and provincial government are brought here to Sudbury because of the bilingual aspect of what we can offer.”

The city said the Franco-Ontario flag was created by a Laurentian university professor and a group of students in 1975. 

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