Thursday, April 2, 2015

C' est fantastique - merci!

If you haven't yet heard, I have great news to share: the Ottawa Humane Society is now offering our humane education programs in English and in French. This may seem like a small milestone to you, but to me it's a momentous event and the fulfilment of a promise. I couldn't be more pleased.

The promise I am referring to is one I made to a number people who contacted me early in my tenure about the lack of OHS services and materials in French. At the time, the OHS was living hand to mouth, and addressing their concerns would have meant diverting very scarce resources away from animal rescue, care and welfare. There was simply no reasonable or acceptable way to achieve what I knew the OHS should at that time. But I promised to move forward on their concerns as soon as it was possible.

Now, because of your generosity, the OHS can now help build compassion in thousands of local school children who speak or study in French.

Of course, there is more work to do. French humane education is not the end of our journey to serve our entire community. While it is not realistic to offer everything we do and everything we produce  in both official languages — an endeavour that would cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars annually — we have translated many of our key materials and that work is continuing. We have hired and continue to hire more bilingual staff members. Certain public-facing positions require bilingualism now. And overall I think we are more open, more welcoming and more accessible to our French-speaking community.

Thank you for helping us do it. Or rather, merci de nous aider à le faire.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

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