Backgrounder – The Government of Canada is helping address the shortage of French teachers across the country and is supporting Simon Fraser University’s French programming


Teacher recruitment and retention strategy in minority French-language schools and in French immersion and French as a second-language programs

According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, Francophone communities outside Quebec represent 3.8 percent of the population, and the rate of bilingualism among Anglophones outside Quebec is 6.8 percent. According to projections for 2036, the percentage of Francophones outside Quebec could fall to three percent, and the national bilingualism rate could increase only among Francophones in Quebec.

The shortage of teachers affects children and their families’ access to French education, whether it be in minority-language schools, or through immersion and second-language programs, and can have an impact on French-language minority communities as well as on bilingualism.

The Government of Canada is launching a two-fold national strategy to help recruit and retain teachers in minority-language schools, French-immersion and French as a second-language programs. A national call for proposals will support projects that aim to further understand the shortage and increase the capacity to recruit and retain teachers. Provinces, territories and not-for-profit organizations can submit project proposals. More information on project eligibility and how to apply is available on the Official Languages Support Programs web page.

The Government of Canada is also announcing that a new national roundtable on French as a second language will be established to bring together key players including federal, provincial and territorial governments as well as relevant organizations to discuss issues such as French second-language education and the teacher’s shortage.

This new $62.6-million national strategy is part of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023 and will support official-language minority communities and the promotion of our two official languages.

Simon Fraser University is a Leader in French-Language Education in British Columbia

In order to support the growing demand from students and their families for more French-language education in British Columbia, the Government of Canada is investing $3 million to help Simon Fraser University extend the reach of its courses and programs in French. The funding will allow for the continuing support of SFU’s Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA) in the development of these programs, and future educational projects in French across the university.

This funding is subject to the ratification of a new Canada–British Columbia agreement on minority-language education and second official-language instruction covering the period targeted by the project.

Bilateral agreements between Canada and British Columbia have been in place for almost 50 years to support the province in implementing its French educational activities and its second official-language instruction activities.


Jérémy Ghio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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