French-language services campaign could have economic, social benefits: councillor

·2 min read

The City of Timmins has approved a committee's recommendation to participate in a provincial campaign promoting French-language services and enhancing customer service.

The city’s Francophone Liaison Committee presented a letter to council recommending the city sign up for the Bonjour/Welcome campaign.

It is a provincewide campaign, led by Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario, encouraging businesses and organizations to offer services in both languages and encouraging the public to request services in French.

At Tuesday's meeting, council unanimously approved the recommendation.

In the recommendation letter, Coun. Michelle Boileau said some of the departments and organizations that could benefit from participating in the campaign include Service Timmins, the library, the museum, Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) and Tourism Timmins.

In an interview, Boileau said participating in the campaign will enhance client service experience to visitors and residents, expand the reach and increase the number of people the city is serving.

“It tells francophone visitors to Timmins they’re welcome and they’re able to receive services at these service points,” she said. “For business, there’s a lot of economic return that you could have by participating in this … it also just adds to the effort that is made by different community organizations and partners to making Timmins a more welcoming community.”

By registering for the campaign, businesses and organizations will receive bilingual promotional material like information cards, signs and window decals. There are also services available such as oral communication training for staff, translation services and recruitment of bilingual staff.

“It’s cost-effective in a sense there’s no cost to the city to be a part of this provincial campaign. It’s a low-cost initiative that could bring significant not only economic return but social return,” Boileau said.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com