Three New Initiatives to Support Official-Language Minority Communities and Promote Bilingualism in Canada

News release

OTTAWA, June 27, 2019

Our two official languages are at the core of our Canadian identity, and are strong forces for inclusion and integration that reflect Canadian diversity. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting official-language minority communities and promoting bilingualism across the country.

Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament (Ottawa–Vanier), today announced three new initiatives in French-language post-secondary training with a combined value of $34.6 million. She made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie; the Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; and the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. The three new initiatives are:

  • A partnership between Canadian Heritage and the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie (ACUFC) to encourage Anglophone students to pursue post-secondary studies in French as a second language, thanks to education grants (an investment of $12.6 million over four years)

  • A partnership representing $12 million over four years between Employment and Social Development Canada and the ACUFC to support training for early childhood educators and strengthen their capacity in French-speaking minority communities

  • Funding of $10 million over five years provided by Health Canada to five post-secondary education so they can join the ACUFC’s Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) and offer French-language health care training programs, with a view to increase the number of health care professionals who can provide services to Francophone minority communities. The following institutions will receive the funding:

    • Glendon College and Université de Hearst in Ontario
    • Cité universitaire francophone à l'Université de Regina and Collège Mathieu in Saskatchewan
    • Collège Éducacentre in British Columbia

These new initiatives are an important step in the implementation of the Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future, which proposes an unprecedented investment of $2.7 billion over five years.

For more information, please see the attached backgrounder.

Quotes

“These three initiatives from the Action Plan for Official Languages help solidify our government’s commitment to continue strengthening Francophone minority communities and promote bilingualism across the country. We are pleased to join with French-language colleges and universities, which are pillars of their communities and key partners in both promoting bilingualism among Anglophones and training professionals that the communities need to ensure their long-term vitality.”

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

“All Canadian children deserve access to inclusive, quality early learning services to support their development and give them the best possible start in life. Providing programs to children from official-language minority communities in their mother tongue is essential to their well-being and to the vitality of Canada’s linguistic duality.”

—The Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Our government is committed to facing the challenges of Francophone minority communities by promoting access to health services in the patient’s preferred official language. This funding will strengthen training initiatives and improve access to bilingual health professionals so that members of minority Francophone communities can get the best health services possible.”

—The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

“The Government of Canada is committed to meeting the needs of official-language minority communities and promoting bilingualism in Canada. The announcements made today are an important step in ensuring the vitality of these communities and strengthening the Canadian Francophonie over the long term.”

—Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament (Ottawa–Vanier)

“The ACUFC is delighted by the federal government’s major investments in post-secondary education in French, which will contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Francophone minority communities, as well as Canada’s linguistic duality.”

—Allister Surette, Co-Chair of the ACUFC, President and Vice-Chancellor of Nova Scotia’s Université Sainte-Anne

“The ACUFC is proud to be able to administer this bursary program and, in so doing, help promote a bilingual Canada. Thanks to the two other new investments, the 21 member institutions of the ACUFC will be able to improve training in early childhood education in French, while the 5 new members of the CNFS will increase health training in French. Canada’s future as a bilingual country depends on the growing use of both official languages in everyday life.”

—Pierre-Yves Mocquais, Co-Chair of the CNFS and the ACUFC, Dean of Campus Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta

Quick facts

  • The ACUFC comprises 21 member institutions, including colleges and universities, served by more than 70 service points across the country. The ACUFC is a strong voice for post-secondary education in French, and reaches out to college and university students through its large network of post-secondary institutions in the Canadian Francophonie.

  • Health Canada received $16.9 million in additional funding over five years as part of the Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future.

  • The Action Plan for Official Languages includes $20 million in additional funding to support early childhood development initiatives in Francophone minority communities. Of this amount, $13.5 million will be allocated to training and capacity building for early childhood educators.

  • The Action Plan is providing a record $2.7 billion over 5 years, including $500 million in new funding, to support minority language communities and promote bilingualism across the country.

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Associated links

Contacts

For more information (media only), please contact:

Jérémy Ghio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
jeremy.ghio@canada.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
pch.media-media.pch@canada.ca

Valérie Glazer
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and
Social Development
819-654-5546

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Thierry Bélair
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Health
613-957-0200
Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

Carole Breton
Communications Director
Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne
613-244-7837, ext. 105
Toll-free: 1 866 551-2637
Cell: 613-222-6076
cbreton@acufc.ca


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