Permanent Franco-Ontarian flag at Sudbury city hall
As French Canadians across Canada mark Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24, Francophones in the City of Greater Sudbury have an extra reason to celebrate.
A new and permanent Franco-Ontarian Flag is now flying at city hall, something Francophones have wanted to see for years.
It took 16 years to make it a permanent addition to the flag poles at Tom Davies Square and those involved are calling the moment "historic."
Joanne Gervais is the executive director of Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario du grand Sudbury.
"When we had asked in 2003, and been refused, that really created a bit of a questioning on our part of the community. We've kind of changed the way that we deal with majority." said Gervais.
And after years of developing better relationships, the Francophone community says that the flag raising is a result of the hard work it has put into working with the city.
"We never had to ask for it to be put here permanently. We have a city that understood that it had its place there. That it belonged there. That it should be there." said Gervais.
"This is the official flag of the Francophone people of Ontario. It was first created right here by Geatan Gervais. It is recognized province-wide. It took Sudbury a long time, so today, we worked hard, we waited a long time, and it is here and it is here to stay." said Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas.
The Franco-Ontarians say they still have work to do in regards to battling the province to get a French university in Ontario.
"Our provincial counterparts are working directly with government trying to make them understand; trying to negotiate; trying to work with the federal level to try to continue to advance what was taken away from us." said Gervais.
She made it clear that Francophones are here to stay and they will continue to fight for Franco-Ontarian issues.