Investing in Official Languages in British Columbia

News release

VANCOUVER, December 3, 2018

Today, Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced investments totalling more than $3 million in support of official languages in British Columbia. Parliamentary Secretary Lockhart made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie.

Twenty organizations from across the province will benefit from support through Canadian Heritage’s Official Languages Funding Programs (see attached backgrounder).

These programs help foster the vitality of Canada’s official-language minority communities, and promote, develop and preserve linguistic duality from coast to coast to coast. The funding announced today supports a wide range of organizations and projects in 2018–19 and provides operational support for several community organizations in British Columbia.

In May 2018, Minister Joly announced that core funding for official-language community organizations would be increased by 20 percent, starting this year and for the duration of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future. This support will strengthen close to 300 organizations across Canada.

This is the first stage in the re-investment in organizations outlined in the Action Plan. In addition to this 20‑percent increase, $25 million will be available for organizations funded by Canadian Heritage from 2019 to 2023.


“Official-language minority communities across Canada have their own specific realities and needs. The Government of Canada recognizes this and makes investments that will have real, meaningful impacts on the lives of Francophones, Francophiles and their communities. Today’s announcement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting the promotion, preservation and development of our country’s unique linguistic duality.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“Linguistic duality is one of Canada’s core values, a cornerstone of our society’s identity and diversity. This funding will support official-language projects, services and activities for British Columbians at work, play and school. We will continue to lead by example when it comes to promoting a bilingual Canada, making strategic investments that strengthen and celebrate diversity through the use of English and French.”

—Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“My thanks to Minister Joly and Parliamentary Secretary Lockhart for listening to the Francophone community. I am encouraged by the federal government’s ongoing commitment to official languages. This substantial funding will support us in strengthening the vitality of British Columbia’s Francophone community.”

—Padminee Chundunsing, President, Board of Directors, Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique

“For over 40 years, Canadian Parents for French, BC & Yukon, has worked in communities across the province to promote and support French-language educational programs. Parent volunteers have dedicated countless hours to advocating and building support for bilingualism here in Canada’s westernmost province. We warmly thank the Government of Canada for its continued financial support. Without this funding, we would not be able to help ensure all young students have equitable access to quality French second-language programs.”

—Glyn Lewis, Executive Director, Canadian Parents for French, BC & Yukon

Quick facts

  • In British Columbia, French is the first official language of 1.4 percent of the population, and 7 percent can speak both English and French. Nearly 6,000 students are enrolled in French-language schools in the province, a 25-percent increase over the past five years.

  • Canadian Heritage supports a range of Official Languages Funding Programs. The collective goal of these programs is to promote French and English in Canadian society, and to encourage the development of Francophone and Anglophone minority communities. There are several components within the Official Languages Funding Programs.

  • The Community Cultural Action Fund supports and strengthens the cultural, artistic and heritage expressions of official-language minority communities.

  • The Community Life component enables the federal government to work with partners to offer official-language minority communities (Anglophone communities in Quebec and Francophone communities outside Quebec) access to services in their own language, as well as the infrastructure necessary to ensure their growth and development.

  • The Promotion of Linguistic Duality component supports Canadian organizations from various sectors in activities that promote a better understanding or appreciation of linguistic duality among members of the two official-language communities. This component also promotes the provision of services in both English and French, in order to build a bilingual capability within non-governmental organizations.

  • In March 2018, Minister Joly unveiled the Government’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future. This plan offers a vision for the future, new financial support, and specific measures to support the vitality of official-language minority communities and promote French and English from coast to coast to coast. The Plan proposes a historic investment of $2.7 billion over five years for official languages.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Sandra Aubé
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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