Government of Canada Increases Support for Official Language Minority Communities in Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

ST. JOHN’S, May 20, 2021

The Government of Canada continues to support its network of partners to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities, while also contributing to innovation and excellence.

Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages), announced the Government of Canada has invested $1.6 million in 2020-2021 in eight organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador. That represents a 33-percent funding increase since 2018, which goes directly to organizations in the province so they can play a greater role in maintaining the vitality of the Acadian and Francophone communities. She made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

Funding through the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023 has helped create promising new initiatives and provide financial stability to community organizations. Five percent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians said they spoke both English and French in the 2016 Census. The French presence continues to grow throughout the province, particularly in St. John’s, the Port au Port Peninsula, as well as in Labrador, with help from local Francophone organizations, supported by the Government of Canada.


“Canada’s official language minority communities are part of the social fabric of our country, made up of many small, dedicated organizations that work tirelessly to ensure the sustainability and vitality of our Francophone population. Our $1.6 million in funding for eight community organizations that support official languages across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador will help them strengthen the Francophone institutions in the province. More than ever, the Government of Canada has a role to play in protecting linguistic rights and bilingualism from coast to coast to coast."

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“In every part of Canada, official language minority communities are working to keep their language and culture relevant, strong and thriving. Community organizations play a vital role in Canada’s bilingual future by providing leadership and direction while ensuring access to services, resources as well as cultural and language activities.”

—Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages)

"The federal government's Action Plan for Official Languages has had a significant impact on the development of our communities. It has allowed us to strengthen many of our community organizations, allowing them to increase French services to the public in several areas and enhance community development as well as outreach in three nascent local communities.”

— Sophie Thibodeau, President, Fédération des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador

Quick facts

  • The Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future outlines the Government of Canada’s vision for establishing a strong Canadian Francophone presence and supporting official language minority communities

  • The Action Plan proposes an unprecedented $2.7 billion investment over five years, including $500 million in new funding, to support official language minority communities and promote bilingualism across the country

  • On February 19, in the document English and French: Towards a Substantive Equality of Official Languages in Canada, Minister Joly unveiled the Government of Canada’s intentions to modernize and strengthen the Official Languages Act and related instruments. This document proposes a range of changes and new measures to achieve a new linguistic balance in the country

  • Canadian Heritage’s Official Languages Support Programs promote French and English in Canadian society and enhance the vitality of English- and French-speaking minority communities

  • There are official language minority communities in every province and territory, each with their own specific realities and needs

  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, May 30 is recognized as Provincial Francophonie Day. This symbolic day is an opportunity to celebrate the language and culture of French Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, whose presence in the province dates back more than 500 years

  • In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada proposed $392 million in support for official language minority communities across the country. This funding aims to achieve greater levels of bilingualism, make high-quality post-secondary minority-language education available across Canada, support the construction, renovation and expansion of the educational and community spaces that serve official language minority communities and modernize the Official Languages Act

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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