Summary of the Evaluation of the Official Languages Support Programs, 2003-04 to 2020-21
Evaluation Services Directorate
November 28, 2022
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List of tables
- Table 1: Demographic Weight by First Official Language Spoken in a Minority Context, 2006-2021
- Table 2: The Bilingualism Rate (%) of Canadians from 2006 to 2021
Summary of the Evaluation of the Official Languages Support Programs, 2003-04 to 2020-21 [PDF version - 190 KB]
List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Canadian Heritage
- GBA Plus
- Gender-bases analysis plus
- Official Languages Support Programs
- Official Language Minority Communities
- Enhancement of Official Languages
- Development of Official Language Communities
The Evaluation of the Official Languages Support Programs (OLSPs) covers the period from 2003-04 to 2020-21. It focuses on the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the OLSPs, with particular attention to the contribution of intermediate and long-term results.
The OLSPs are composed of two programs:
- The Development of Official Language Communities (DOLC), which aims to enhance the vitality of, and support the development of, Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).
- The Enhancement of Official Languages (EOL), whose objective is to promote the recognition of both official languages in Canadian society.
Significant and continuous progress has been made on official languages in Canada since 2003.
The OLSPs have supported:
- the development of OLMCs;
- the promotion of linguistic duality; and
- the learning of both official languages.
Some challenges remain:
- access to post-secondary education in the minority language;
- a shortage of qualified teaching staff;
- opportunities to practise a second language outside the school environment; and
- consideration of socio-demographic changes.
Since 2018, Official Languages represents the fifth core responsibility of PCH. The OLSPs have remained aligned with PCH’s priorities and the Government of Canada’s constitutional and legislative obligations.
The OLSPs are effective in contributing to the desired results.
The DOLC program has helped to:
- promote access to infrastructure, programs, and services for OLMCs; and
- support access to minority-language education.
The sustainability of OLMCs remains fragile, particularly for Francophone OLMCs:
- The demographic weight of Francophone OLMCS is decreasing.
- In Quebec, the number of students in minority-language has decreased between 2003-04 and 2019-20.
|Year||English in Quebec||French outside Quebec|
Sources: National Censuses 2006 to 2021
The EOL program has contributed to:
- a better understanding and appreciation of the benefits of both official languages; and
- learning a second official language.
Canadians view official languages as an important part of their identity.
Challenges remain for access to second language learning:
- the number of students in French immersion has increased, but the supply is not keeping up with demand; and
- the number of students in second language learning programs has increased only slightly between 2003-04 and 2019-20.
|Year||Quebec||Canada||Canada outside Quebec|
Sources: National Censuses 2006 to 2021
- The bilingualism rate of Canadians has increased only slightly between 2006 and 2021.
- The rate of bilingualism has increased in Quebec, while it has decreased in Canada outside Quebec between 2006 and 2021.
The efficiency of the OLSPs has improved, particularly by adapting reporting and working with the provinces and territories.
Some issues have limited the efficiency of the OLSPs:
- complex structure;
- funding has increased only slightly between 2008-09 and 2017-18;
- funding is not sufficiently aligned with provincial and territorial needs; and
- cumbersome reporting for beneficiaries.
Based on the findings of this evaluation, it is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Official Languages, Heritage and Regions:
- Review the structure of the OLSPs, as well as its priorities and objectives, with particular attention to the objectives of the EOL program.
- Analyze the results chain to improve the consistency of the logic model and the indicators associated with it.
- Revise the reporting process and targeted data collection to strengthen informed decision-making.
© His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 2023
Catalogue No.: CH7-18/2-2023E-PDF
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