Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed Franco-Ontarian Day in Ottawa at a ceremony this morning to mark the 38th anniversary of the first raising of this emblem of the Franco-Ontarian community. Franco-Ontarian Flags were raised at 10 City locations but remain at half-mast to commemorate the victims of last week’s tragic collision between a train and a bus.

“The flag represents the spirit of Francophone culture in Ontario which has a rich history in Ottawa,” said Mayor Watson. “Proclaiming this special anniversary honours our city’s Francophone community and celebrates its heritage and joie de vivre.”

In 2010 the provincial government proclaimed September 25 of each year as Franco-Ontarian Day to officially recognize the contribution of Ontario’s Francophone community to the cultural, historical, social, economic and political life of the province.

The City of Ottawa is a proud partner of the newest Monument de la Francophonie at the University of Ottawa. The Franco-Ontarian Flag will also be raised at the following City locations in compliance with the current flag protocol:

 – Heritage Building entrance on Elgin Street

 – Orléans Client Service Centre, 255 Centrum Boulevard

 – Kanata Client Service Centre, 580 Terry Fox Drive

 – Ben Franklin Place Client Service Centre, 101 Centrepointe Drive

 – Ottawa Police Service headquarters, 474 Elgin Street

 – OC Transpo headquarters, 1500 St. Laurent Boulevard

 – By-law and Regulatory Services, 735 Industrial Avenue

 – Ottawa Paramedic Headquarters, 2465, Don Reid Drive (ceremony at 10 a.m.)

 – Ottawa Fire Services headquarters, 1445 Carling Avenue

 – Centre d’accueil Champlain (Champlain Long Term Care facility), 275 Perrier Avenue

The Franco-Ontarian Flag was created in 1975 by Laurentian University history professor Gaétan Gervais, and first year political science student Michel Dupuis. It was officially recognized as the emblem of the Franco-Ontarian community in the Franco-Ontarian Emblem Act of 2001.