Minister Joly, in Partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada, Announces a New Canadian Cultural Program to Promote the Learning of French and English as a second language
OTTAWA, May 28, 2019
Canada’s official languages help make our country more open and prosperous, and are a source of wealth for us all. They are at the heart of what it means to be Canadian.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, used the Symposium on the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act to announce an investment of just over $16 million in a free program to help people learn and use English and French as a second language.
CBC/Radio-Canada will design and implement this new program, dubbed “The Mauril” in honour of the late Mauril Bélanger, a champion of Canada’s two official languages. Through the program, Canadians will have access to a virtual learning environment, materials based on current events in Canada, Canadian cultural and artistic content, educational resources to help learners progress from a basic to an advanced level, and stimulating teaching tools to improve second-language comprehension and expression.
The project is in line with the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future.
“French and English are at the heart of Canadian identity. They are the languages of our national dialogue. The 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act reminds us how important it is to create more opportunities for Canadians to learn them both. That’s why “The Mauril” will become the go-to online program for all Canadians seeking to learn and master their second official language. I am delighted that it is named in honour of Mauril Bélanger, a former member of Parliament who defended our linguistic duality throughout his life.”
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
“Canada’s public broadcaster is pleased and proud to be part of the Mauril project, an edutainment app for official languages learning. Drawing inspiration from the success of curio.ca, our teaching tool for the educational community, we will be supplying this new platform with 100% quality Canadian content drawn from CBC and Radio-Canada's rich collection.
—Catherine Tait, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada
Mauril Bélanger was first elected to the House of Commons in 1995. Throughout his more than 20 years in Parliament, he was a champion of Canada’s linguistic duality.
The Mauril, an online program slated for launch in 2020, will be an easy-to-use tool to help Canadians learn or improve on their written and spoken comprehension and expression skills—and have fun in the process.
The goal of the Action Plan for Official Languages is to support communities across the country and help make sure our official languages prosper in the years to come. With $2.7 billion in funding over 5 years, it represents the largest federal investment in official languages to date.
The Official Languages Act, which came into force in 1969, recognizes English and French as the country’s two official languages. It was enacted to better protect the rights of those living in official-language minority communities and promote the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. It also lays out that Canadians have a legal right to receive federal government services in the official language of their choosing.
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
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