Review on Official Languages 2016-2017

Prepared by: Nicole P. LeBlanc

 

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

 

Minister responsible:

The Honourable Navdeep Bains

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

 

Deputy Head:

Daryell Nowlan

Acting President, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

daryell.nowlan@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-851-6128

 

Official Languages Champion (or other senior official(s) responsible for official languages):

Kent Estabrooks

Vice President, New Brunswick Regional Office

kent.estabrooks@canada.ca  / Tel.: 506-452-3342

 

Name of the person responsible for official languages (Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (OLA)):

Charlene Sullivan

Director General, Human Resources

charlene.sullivan@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-851-2141

 

Name of the national coordinator or contact person responsible for the implementation of section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA.:

Gilbert Philion

Director General, Community Development

gilbert.philion@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-851-3818

 

Gerry Morrissey

Manager, Community Investment and Official Languages

gerry.morrissey@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-378-1179

 

Nicole P. LeBlanc

Program Officer, Official Languages

nicole.leblanc@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-380-5043

 

Name(s) of the regional contact person(s) for section 41 of the OLA (if applicable):

New Brunswick

Michael Collicott

Economic Development Officer

michael.collicott@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-452-3877

 

Nova Scotia

Mike Comeau

Economic Development Officer

mike.comeau@canada.ca / Tel.: 902-742-0809

 

Cape Breton

Gerard McPhee

Program and Development Officer

gerard.mcphee@canada.ca / Tel.: 902-304-0496

 

Prince Edward Island

Deborah Doucette

Economic Development Officer

deborah.doucette@canada.ca / Tel.: 902-218-2218

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Jocelyn Chaytor

Development Officer

jocelyn.chaytor@canada.ca / Tel.: 709-746-7009

General Information

Context

In accordance with section 44 of the Official Languages Act (OLA), the Minister of Canadian Heritage must submit an annual report to Parliament on matters relating to official languages under her mandate.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage must report on the implementation of Part VII of the OLA by federal institutions.

The information provided by your institution through this questionnaire will be used to evaluate your performance and to produce the 2016-2017 annual report on official languages of the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

 

Instructions

Please return this completed document to us in both official languages no later than May 31, 2017, to: pch.portail41-gateway41.pch@canada.ca

For more information, please contact the Interdepartmental Relations and Accountability Directorate at Canadian Heritage (819-994-3577).

 

A copy of this document must be sent to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and to both Parliamentary Standing Committees on Official Languages. You will find their addresses below:

Ms. Ghislaine Saikaley

Acting Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

30 Victoria Street

Gatineau, Quebec   K1A 0T8

comm@clo-ocol.gc.ca

 

Ms. Christine Holke

Committee Clerk

House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages

House of Commons of Canada

131 Queen Street, 6th Floor

Ottawa, Ontario   K1A 0A6

lang@parl.gc.ca

 

Mr. Kevin Pittman

Clerk

Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages

Senate of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario   K1A 0A4

ollo@sen.parl.gc.ca

 

Federal institutions are responsible for communicating the results of their Review regarding the implementation of Part VII of the OLA to the various community stakeholders (e.g., the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (info@fcfa.ca) and the Quebec Community Groups Network (info@qcgn.ca)).

 

Development of official-language minority communities and promotion of English and French in Canadian society (Part VII of the OLA)

Note:

 

Tangible Results

1.    If your institution had to highlight three key initiatives or more in relation to the development of official-language minority communities, which ones would those be?

a)    Describe these initiatives.

b)    What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives on/in the official-language minority communities?

c)    What do you think is the determining factor for the success of these initiatives?

Answer:

In New Brunswick (NB), ACOA approved $702,983 in funding of for LearnSphere Canada Inc. under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) to support the further development of its –Training for the Non-profit Sector program. The non-profit sector comprises registered charities, social services organizations, industry associations and other businesses that provide direct benefit to communities across the province. The sector also accounts for an estimated 40,000 jobs in New Brunswick. LearnSphere recognized an opportunity to support the future viability of non-profit organizations by offering training, mentoring and counselling tailored to the specific needs of the sector. This project supported the development of new learning modules to build stronger governance structures and management capacity in non-profit organizations. Between April 2014 and September 2016, LearnSphere delivered 171 workshops in the province that attracted more than 2,000 participants; 66 of the workshops were delivered in French and benefitted organizations in communities throughout the largely rural areas of the province’s northern and eastern regions. The objectives of the project included helping organizations to clarify their vision and mission statements; improve the management capacity of staff, volunteers and board members; enhance board functionality and governance; and develop leadership and supervisory skills.

From ACOA’s perspective, the project is an opportunity to strengthen and align resources, establish strategic partnerships, and help ensure the effective use of ACOA funds.  

An interesting initiative that is not funded by EDI and that is being undertaken  in PEI is the Francophone Resources Development Committee (FRDC) and its standing committees on Community Economic Development and on Linguistic Vitality and Human Resources Development, the principal forum for consultation with representatives of the Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC). Under the Business Development Program, ACOA approved $20,250 to support this not-for-profit organization. The FRDC is co-chaired by the Vice-President of ACOA’s regional office in Prince Edward Island and the President of Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É. This tripartite committee is composed of members representing the federal government (ACOA, Canadian Heritage and Service Canada), the provincial government (the Acadian and Francophone Affairs Secretariat and the Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning, including Skills PEI) and OLMCs (RDÉE Î.‑P.-É., Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É. and the Société Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin). The mandate of the FRDC is to facilitate the exchange of information on development strategies pertinent to the Acadian and Francophone community and to provincial and federal policies, programs and services. The committee supports the growth and development of the Acadian and Francophone community of Prince Edward Island by promoting the Acadian and francophone lens or perspective when developing or modifying new programs and services. In addition to its role on the main steering committee, the ACOA is an active member of the FRDC’s standing committee on Community Economic Development. The standing committee is mandated to facilitate community economic development and entrepreneurial development within the Acadian and francophone population of Prince Edward Island. The work of the FRDC has led to the development of new projects and initiatives, including tourism product development in the Evangeline region, the development of a new community governance model to promote efficient use of existing resources, and the development of a community asset map to be used as an investment attraction tool. The co-operation among federal and provincial governments and the community has been key to the success of the FRDC’s work. The tripartite approach ensures ongoing communication between government and the community and allows government to proactively address the opportunities and challenges of the Island’s francophone and Acadian communities.

In Nova Scotia (NS), Université Sainte-Anne received approval for $27,000 under EDI to hire a team of consultants to develop an infrastructure development plan in order to increase the synergies between existing and planned facilities in the Louis R. Comeau Building and the sports complex at Université Sainte-Anne’s Church Point campus. Université Sainte-Anne is Nova Scotia's only French-language post-secondary educational institution. A treasured asset within the Acadian community, the university plays a crucial role in the social and economic well-being of the regional economy. Directly employing some 140 employees, the university is one of the largest employers in the region. In addition to addressing the needs of its 500 plus students, the university also serves as a recreational, cultural, and tourism hub for the region. Improving the efficiency and functionality of the university’s infrastructure is critical for student attraction and retention, for meeting the needs of the community and for overall operational efficiency. The infrastructure development plan provides the university with designs and recommendations for enhancements to the Louis R. Comeau Building and the attached sports complex. The Louis R. Comeau Building houses the Acadian interpretive centre, the visitor information centre, a performing arts theatre, library, café, and the Acadian research centre. It will also be the future home of the Founding Families exhibit showcasing the first families to settle in the area. The sports complex houses the pool and gymnasium. The determining factor for success will be the actual implementation of the plan’s recommendations, which will depend on securing the required funding.

In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), ACOA provided $11,910 (non EDI funds) to the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité de Terre-Neuve et Labrador (RDÉE TNL) to host the 2016 bilingual career and entrepreneurship conference. This youth-oriented conference highlighted critical information on entrepreneurship, innovation and bilingual career options for francophone and French immersion secondary students in the province. Over 500 students from francophone and French immersion secondary schools across the province attended the November 2016 conference in St. John’s. The conference helped participants gain a more comprehensive understanding of the many career opportunities available in some of Canada’s most innovative sectors, especially those in which entrepreneurship and bilingualism play a significant role. Over the past four years, 80% of the students have reported that the event encouraged them to continue their studies in French and pursue a bilingual career. Students also stated that they considered French as an added value. Additionally, 65% of the students reported that they were very open to pursuing entrepreneurship as a career path. Thus, the project’s positive impact will be felt for a number of years as students make important career decisions. One of the key determining factors for the success of this project is the partnership between RDÉE TNL and the province’s English and French school districts.


2.     If your institution had to highlight three key initiatives or more in relation to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society (Please do not confuse with obligations related to Parts IV and V), which ones would those be?

a)     Describe these initiatives.

b)     What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives on the Canadian society?

c)     What do you think is the determining factor for the success of these initiatives?

Answer:

In NB, Université de Moncton (UdeM) is the largest French-speaking Canadian university outside of Quebec, with three campuses, 14 faculties and 375 professors offering more than 175 different academic programs. Student enrollment is approximately 7,000 (5,000 full-time). In support of its research efforts, UdeM also has more than 50 research centres, institutes, groups and laboratories. Priority research areas include health, the environment, Acadian studies and continuing education. Under the EDI, ACOA funded a project for $87,000 that is creating greater visibility for UdeM in the European market. The university identified a need to build its graduate studies and research capacity in select disciplines, then looked to France as a market for potential recruits. Through limited and targeted interventions held at six universities in France, UdeM reached out to nearly 400 graduate students considering opportunities for rewarding educational experiences in post-graduate programs in North America. UdeM has a unique value proposition in that it is a recognized Francophone university based in a minority linguistic community where students can study in French and enjoy traditional Acadian culture while acquiring, or improving, their English-language skills through interactions in the communities of Canada’s only officially bilingual province. UdeM has since received applications for admission and internships at the master and doctoral levels, and professors have created research links with laboratories and teams in France, which will enable UdeM to transfer and share knowledge. Some of the universities visited have also applied for student exchange agreements. 

In PEI, RDÉE received approval for $35,964 under EDI for a project targeting young/new entrepreneurs in the Francophone and Acadian community seeking to launch or expand their business ideas. Participants took part in workshops designed to develop their entrepreneurial skills, with particular emphasis placed on helping participants develop and deliver their respective business pitches. Participants delivered their pitches to a panel of judges in a format similar to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Dragon’s Den show. Pitch sessions included pre-selection rounds followed by the final competition between the top finishers. The winning entrepreneur received an investment in their company. RDÉE continues to deliver business mentorship services to the top four finalists. The goal was to support the establishment of four new businesses in PEI’s Francophone and Acadian community. The winning company was able to use the new investment to successfully access a new loan through the provincial government in order to pursue its expansion plans.

In NS, the Société Promotion Grand-Pré (SPGP) obtained $243,366 in funding under EDI to develop five new tourism products and experiences in both official languages for visitors to Grand-Pré National Historic Site (Grand-Pré, N.S.) in an effort to increase visitation levels. Visitation to the Park has been in decline in recent years and a major point of concern is the decrease in young visitors. To address this issue, the SPGP hopes the introduction of five new tourism offerings in both official languages will appeal to young people, families and tourists looking for experiential tourism opportunities. Operating at a National Historic Site, the SPGP values and promotes the use of both of Canada’s official languages. The new offerings are set to align with the mandate of Parks Canada and target future opportunities in the tourism sector. These include:

The determining factors for the success of this project will be the development of high quality offerings in both official languages that meet the expectations of today’s tourists. Effective marketing to target audiences will be crucial. 

In NL, EDI funding of $25,000 was provided to RDÉE TNL to produce a French-language 2015-2016 edition of the Tourism Guide/ Guide touristique for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Some 40,000 copies were made and a digital version is available online at www.tourismetnl.ca‎ which serves to promote French in Canadian society. One of the key determining factors for the success of this project is RDÉE TNL’s partnership with the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, which distributes the guide free of charge through the province’s Visitor Information Centres. This collaboration and partnership is critical to the project’s success. While the project was approved in 2015-16, its positive impact continued throughout 2016-17.


3.       What “key achievement” having a regional impact (success stories or results in official-language minority communities or on the promotion of English and French in Canadian society) would your institution like to highlight?


Answer:

In NB, ACOA approved $79,200 under EDI to Grappe en Composites NB Cluster Group Inc. (GCNBCG), a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Tracadie-Sheila, a community located in the Acadian region of northeastern New Brunswick. The GCNBCG is currently working to establish a thriving cluster of New Brunswick companies specializing in the manufacturing of composites materials. The cluster also draws upon the capacity of other entities that provide products and services supporting the sector, such as university and college researchers and economic development institutions. New Brunswick’s advanced manufacturing sector is evolving and, at the same time, many opportunities are being presented to French and English SMEs wishing to grow their business. The GCNBCG works with these businesses to enhance competitiveness through product innovation, to encourage technology adoption and adaptation, and to facilitate partnerships with various research institutes/ universities providing NB companies with R&D support. The corporation also seeks to maximize existing business and research institute partnerships in Quebec and France. GCNBCG received EDI funds to organize its first Advance Manufacturing Composites Symposium, a bilingual event drawing together composites companies, government and educational institutions. In addition, $53,625 was approved for another EDI project to develop a bilingual capabilities guide showcasing the capacity of New Brunswick companies working in this specialized sector to potential customers in both domestic and international markets. This investment is helping the New Brunswick cluster companies to enhance their skills, networks, research, processes and products. It offers potential growth opportunities to those businesses working directly in the sector as well as to businesses supplying required products and to service suppliers. The investment also supports the development of a more diversified regional economy, especially in the province’s rural areas, which have traditionally depended on the processing of natural resources.

The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) has launched a two‑year $500,000 project under the ACOA’s Business Development Program (non EDI) to meet the needs of the marine industry and actively participate in the development of the sector as part of its commitment. The CCNB is a Francophone post-secondary institution that comprises five campuses throughout the province. The CCNB has increased capacity to work closely with the industry and to develop a significant number of technical and applied programs that prepare students for industrial sector jobs. In addition, the Collège is working to create a system that is more focused on the respective needs of both language communities through a more integrated approach to the communities. The CCNB is engaged in a process to modernize two navigation simulators and a radio simulator in order to comply with the new regulatory changes and Transport Canada standards, and to support New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada’s maritime sector. It will acquire hardware and add‑on software to diversify its training offering in New Brunswick as well as professional development opportunities within the industry, and to offer trainers the development required for optimal use of this new technology. The new equipment will enable the CCNB to provide training related to commercial navigation (transportation of goods, towing, etc.), which will allow it to attract other types of students. Education and workforce training play a prominent role in provincial economic development. The modernization of equipment is therefore an important asset that supports economic activity related to the fishing sector in New Brunswick.

In PEI, RDÉE-ÎPÉ was provided $26,717 under EDI to organize and implement a sales mission between francophone Island companies and the Province of Quebec in November 2016. RDÉE led a multi-sector mission of six companies to Montreal and surrounding regions. A qualified matchmaker was hired to prepare participating companies for the mission and to facilitate meaningful meetings and networking opportunities in the destination market. The purpose of the mission was to identify new market opportunities and to establish new sales networks between PEI’s francophone business community and the Province of Quebec. A total of 45 meetings were held with the eight Island companies. The participating companies all reported making important business contacts, and several companies reported sales during the mission.

150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 2017

 

The 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation is a unique opportunity for federal institutions to contribute to the development of official-language minority communities and to promote official languages.

4.       Will your institution contribute to the 150th anniversary of Confederation?

a)       If so, please describe the activities planned.

b)       Please identify any processes that your institution undertook in order to comply with the obligations set out in Part VII of the Act (for example, consultations, impact analysis, use of specific official languages clauses, forming partnerships).

c)       Please identify the expected results.

Answer:

In NS, ACOA approved $267,000 under EDI to support Ulnooweg Development Group Incorporated for a Canada 150 celebration that will take place in August 2017 at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. This celebration will highlight the historic relationship between two cultures – the Mi’kmaq and the Acadians. ‟Grand-Pré 2017 – A Peace and Friendship Gathering of the Mi’kmaq and Acadian People” will revisit and celebrate the relationship that began over 400 years ago – a relationship that was a critical component in the building of Canada. The celebration will include a series of cultural and educational events held over four days. This event will bring national exposure to the historic relationship between the Acadian and Mi’kmaq people that goes back more than 400 years, when Champlain and his crew were first greeted by Chief Membertou in 1604.  It will instill pride in both cultures and represent a step forward in the reconciliation process between Canada and its first nations. The event will also showcase nationally renowned Indigenous and Acadian performers and display Indigenous and Acadian artists, arts and crafts. Increased tourism revenues in the Annapolis Valley and Clare regions are anticipated as a result of the activities in Grand-Pré.

In NL, ACOA provided $109,820 under the Community Infrastructure Program 150 (CIP 150) to the French Shore Historical Society Inc. towards the extension of and interior improvements to the French Shore Interpretation Centre in Conche, including the construction of a viewing case to display the French Shore Tapestry, as well as enhancements to the surrounding landscape. The French Shore Tapestry is a 217-foot-long embroidery that is loosely based on the Bayeux Tapestry in France, which depicts the history of the French Shore in NL. Community members, under the direction of renowned artist Jean Claude Roy, learned to create the tapestry and over the years have finalized the piece, which is now ready to be professionally displayed. The project is a significant community development initiative, as the tapestry celebrates the history and heritage of French settlers in NL, thereby contributing to the development of official language minority communities. The project will also increase the tourism potential of the community and surrounding region, as the tapestry is becoming a major attraction for visitors to the area and complements the cultural tourism product that is offered on the Great Northern Peninsula.

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