OTTAWA– Alex Munter, President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Francophonie Award in the Francophile category. The Government of Ontario chose Munter in recognition of his work in advancing and promoting the French language in Ontario.
“My parents are immigrants who instilled in me from a very young age an intense pride in being Canadian, as well as respect for the two large linguistic communities of our country and their respective richness. This award is therefore a significant honour for me and my entire family,” said Munter. “My parents also taught me that language is much more than a simple means of communication; it’s also a windowto another world, another culture, that helps us to see things from a different perspective.”
The Francophonie Awards were created in 2006 by the government of Ontario to mark the20thanniversary of the French Language Services Act. Every two years, the Ontario Francophonie Awards honourFrancophones, Francophiles and young Francophones and Francophiles under 25 years of age who work to promote the French language and Francophone culture.
“We are very proud of Alex,” said Johanne Levesque, chair of the CHEO board of trustees, speaking on behalf of all hospital staff and physicians. “I can vouch for the importance that Alex places not only on the practice of the French language, but also on ensuring that Francophone families have access to hospital services in their own language, and that is a practice that we strongly encourage.”
“As I humbly accept this award,” said Munter. “I acknowledge the vigour, tenacity and passion that Franco-Ontarian families have for their language, as well as that of all Francophiles, who, like me, share their enthusiasm. Together, we can promote the growth of the French language and culture in Ontario.”
From 1991 to 2003, Munter was an Ottawa municipal and regional councillor. During that time, he worked to improve access to municipal services in French for families in his community, particularly in daycares, libraries, recreational facilities and healthcare. Later, as Executive Director and President/CEO in healthcare and social services, he demonstrated the same passion for ensuring delivery of services in both official languages.
Munter was named Francophile of the Year in 2003 by the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario.
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For more information, please contact Marie Bélanger at613-737-2343.