Federal Government Announces Significant Increase in Support for French-Language Services in the Territories

News Release

WHITEHORSE, May 26, 2017

The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament (Yukon), today announced major funding for Francophone communities in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Mr. Bagnell made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

For more than three decades, the Government of Canada has supported the implementation of territorial legislation for services in French. In late 2016–17, agreements were signed with each of the territorial partners that significantly expand federal financial support for French-language services delivered by the territories. This will allow the territories to more fully meet their official-language obligations.

These agreements will enable members of the Franco-Yukonais, Franco-Ténois, and Franco-Nunavois communities to benefit from improved access to territorial services in French.


“Our official languages, French and English, are at the heart of who we are as a country. Our government is committed to enhancing the vitality of official-language minority communities throughout Canada, including the vibrant Francophone communities in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. These agreements offer a much-anticipated boost to the work being done by territorial governments to improve access to services in French.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“We are very pleased that this agreement has been signed, as it is an important step in the provision of services in French in Yukon. The enhancement of government services in French, particularly in the health and social services sector, will greatly benefit Yukon’s Francophone community.” 

—The Honourable John Streicker, Minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate, Government of Yukon

“In the Northwest Territories, there are many partners working together to focus our efforts to build on the tremendous work to date to integrate the French language into the territorial government’s service and program delivery. We have committed to ensuring the needs of the Francophone community are supported and promoted in the context of our multicultural region. Language plays a critical role in identity, and with the new agreements in place, we will be able to further support and enhance the excellent work already underway for French-language services and communications.”

—The Honourable Alfred Moses, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Government of the Northwest Territories

“We are delighted with this new multi-year agreement. This is a positive step in creating a new partnership with the Government of Canada for the protection and promotion of official languages in Nunavut. This agreement will allow us to better meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act while strengthening our collaborative ties with Canada.”

—The Honourable George Kuksuk, Minister of Languages, Government of Nunavut

“I welcome this collaboration between our governments. These agreements are significant and allow us to devote resources that meet the communities’ needs. In the end, the Francophone communities in the territories will be better served.”

—The Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament (Yukon)

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada has been supporting services in French in the North since 1984 after striking an agreement with the Northwest Territories; similar agreements were reached with Yukon in 1988 and Nunavut in 1999.

  • Financial support by territory:


    Baseline                                                $1.75 million
    2017–18                                                 $3,996,288
    2018–19                                                 $4,756,211
    2019–20                                                $5,246,746

    TOTAL                                                    $13,999,245

    Northwest Territories:

    Baseline                                               $1.9 million
    2016–17                                                $5,702,000
    2017–18                                                $5,800,000
    2018–19                                                $5,500,000
    2019–20                                               $5,500,000

    TOTAL                                                  $22,502,000


    Baseline                                               $1.45 million
    2016–17                                                $1,910,824
    2017–18                                                $3,672,758
    2018–19                                                $4,185,236
    2019–20                                               $4,483,044

    TOTAL                                                  $14,251,862


For more information (media only), please contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications 
Government of Yukon

Patrice Tremblay
French Language Services Directorate
Government of Yukon

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Executive and Indigenous Affairs
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9140, ext. 11092

Jacqueline McKinnon
Communications and Public Affairs
Policy, Legislation and Communications 
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9352, ext. 71073

Dan Pimentel
Communications Manager
Culture and Heritage
Government of Nunavut

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