New $1 Billion Federal-Provincial-Territorial Protocol for Agreements to Support Education for Official-Language Minorities and Second-Language Learning
OTTAWA, September 4, 2019
Our two official languages are a source of pride for all Canadians. All young Canadians should have the chance to learn, grow, thrive, and have fun at school in their first official language and learn their second official language. Our government is committed to supporting the growth of official-language minority communities across the country and supporting bilingualism.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced that the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial governments* have reached an understanding on the text for a new protocol for agreements. Through this new protocol, the Government of Canada will invest $1 billion over four years to support French education in minority language communities, education in English for English-speaking communities in Quebec as well as second-language instruction for the 2019–2020 to 2022–2023 period.
The new protocol differs from past ones by allowing for greater consultation and collaboration with educators and greater transparency in reporting on program performance. These measures set the stage for inclusive and participatory growth in official-language minority communities. They will also help Canadians assess and understand how federal government spending is strengthening official-language minority communities and promoting second-language learning.
The protocol will form the basis for bilateral agreements with provincial and territorial governments. More than $235 million will be provided to the provinces and territories each year over the next four years. An additional $60 million from Budget 2019 will be used to increase the availability of quality education in official-language minority communities over four years.
* While it shares the main objectives of the Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction, the Government of Quebec does not subscribe to this Protocol and intends to fully exercise its exclusive responsibility in this area on its territory. The conclusion of a bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec, that respects Quebec’s exclusive jurisdiction in education, will enable the Government of Quebec to obtain its share of federal funding. The Government of Quebec will continue to collaborate with other governments by sharing information and best practices.
“Education is a critical to the vitality of official-language minority communities and the promotion of bilingualism across the country. This protocol for agreements is the result of collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to strengthen minority-language education as well as second-language instruction in cooperation with the various sector stakeholders so that investments better reflect their priorities.”
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
According to the 2016 Statistics Canada Census, French-language communities make up 3.8 percent of the population outside Quebec, while English-language communities make up 13.7 percent of the population in Quebec. Outside Quebec, the rate of bilingualism among Anglophones is 6.8 per cent. Statistics Canada noted that the number of students enrolled in immersion programs increased by 47.8 percent from 2006–2007 to 2016–2017, while the number of students enrolled in French‑language schools in a minority setting increased by 14.3 percent.
The Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction is a policy framework established between the Government of Canada and the provincial and territorial governments. It sets the basis for bilateral agreements.
Now that Minister Joly has signed the protocol, provinces and territories can now begin the process of approving and signing it.
The 2018–2023 Action Plan for Official Languages provides an unprecedented $2.7 billion over five years, including $500 million in new funding, to support official-language minority communities and to promote bilingualism across the country. This plan includes a number of new initiatives to support the learning environment of youth living in linguistic minority situation or learning their second official language.
- $95 million for community and educational infrastructure, including $67.25 million over 5 years and 28 million over 5 years (this funding comes from Budget 2017 $80 million investment over 10 years);
- $31.3 million to support recruitment of teachers for minority-language schools;
- $11.1 million over 5 years for the Community Cultural Action Fund, including up to $7.5 million to support cultural community initiatives in official-language minority schools.
- $5.3 million for the Civic Community School Support Fund
Initiatives to support youth bilingualism:
- $31.3 million to recruit French-as-a-second-language and French immersion teachers;
- $12.6 million to support English-speaking students enrolled in post-secondary programs in French;
- $21 million for immersion bursaries to learn a second official language in spring or summer (Explore)
- $17.5 million for youth language instructor program (Odyssée).
And a new investment of more than $1 billion over four years to support education in official-language minority communities and second-language learning
The plan provides a clear vision, new financial assistance and specific measures to support the vitality of official-language minority communities and promote English and French across the country.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Cabinet of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
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