Governments of Canada and Alberta announce more than $13.3 million for University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean  

News release

EDMONTON, Friday, June 24, 2022

Postsecondary institutions are important to the vitality of our communities in Canada. They promote student mobility and allow official language minority communities to form stronger bonds in the language of their choice.

The Government of Canada recognizes that postsecondary institutions in minority areas need targeted support, which is why we are committed to helping them with their transformation projects.

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced more than $13.3 million in support for an important project at the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean. The Minister was accompanied by the Honourable Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta Minister of Advanced Education.

The project aims to increase the number of university and college academic programs and services for students, while ensuring these services are sustainable. It will also help ensure the visibility of Campus Saint-Jean.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $10.3 million over three years in this project as part of the Canada-Alberta Agreement on Minority Language Education and Second-Language Instruction from 2020-2021 to 2022-2023. The Government of Alberta is allocating $2.5 million over three years to the project. The University of Alberta is also investing $500,000.

The investment today will allow Campus Saint-Jean to:

  • hire additional teachers and personnel;
  • increase the number of French programs and courses offered to students;
  • better assess students’ linguistic skills at the time of admission;
  • improve its infrastructure, like better Wi-Fi, computer equipment, equipment for the chemistry lab, student lounge and two digital classrooms, and install an automated card system for its communal spaces;
  • reactivate the Research Centre in French;
  • improve student services like linguistic, learning and career guidance activities, as well as psychosocial support services;
  • increase its visibility through virtual online tours, workshops, conferences, cultural activities, debates and interactive seminars, and through a community engagement and visibility campaign.

The funding will allow Campus Saint-Jean to stimulate student learning and better meet the needs of the growing student population.

The announcement was made while the minister was visiting Edmonton as part of the 2022 Cross-Canada Official Languages Consultations.


“Our government is committed to investing in post-secondary institutions in official language minority communities, such as the University of Alberta's Campus Saint-Jean, which plays a leading role for students who want to thrive in a French environment. Thanks to this collaboration with the province of Alberta, we are creating the necessary conditions to ensure the vitality of the Franco-Albertan community right here in Edmonton. Today's announcement is one more step towards ensuring the vitality of the French language in Alberta.”

—The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Francophones and Francophiles in Canada will be able to benefit from this opportunity to pursue their studies in the language of their choice, without compromising on the quality of their education. Today’s funding will be a big boost to Campus Saint-Jean, which is seeing an increasing number of applications from people of all backgrounds. This funding will definitely help Campus Saint-Jean provide programs and services to students. As a proud alumnus, I know that this postsecondary institution will be able to offer services that match its ambitions, so that Francophone students from within our province, across Canada and around the world can enjoy stimulating careers and increase their contribution to Canadian society.”

—The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre) 

“The Government of Alberta is firmly resolved to supporting the continued vitality of the Albertan Francophonie. The funding announced today will enable Campus Saint-Jean to increase its programs and services and to ensure that they remain sustainable. It will also ensure the visibility of Campus Saint-Jean. Francophone Albertans have been and continue to be an important part of our society, by contributing to our economy and to our culture. I am proud that we can help students to pursue advanced studies in French.”

—The Honourable Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta Minister of Advanced Education 

“We thank the federal government for enabling Campus Saint-Jean to maintain and increase its programs, services and equipment in order to be able to offer our students learning conditions that match their ambitions and the challenges of the coming decades. This substantial funding to maintain and increase Campus Saint-Jean’s programs will enable it to continue to fulfil its mission to increase the vitality of French and the official language minority communities in Alberta, Western and Northern Canada, along with the values of Francophonie in all our communities. We thank the Minister of Official Languages and all of our partners who have worked so hard to secure this funding, which is the result of collaboration and cooperation between several parties in Canada.”

—Pierre-Yves Mocquais, Dean, Campus Saint-Jean,  University of Alberta

“I’m excited to see such strong support for Campus Saint-Jean and the University of Alberta. With this major new funding from federal and provincial governments, Campus Saint-Jean's leadership and excellence in Francophone teaching, learning and research will continue to build and enrich our university community, as well as the Francophone communities in Alberta, Canada and across the world.”

—Bill Flanagan, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1908 and located in the heart of the Francophone district in Edmonton, Campus Saint-Jean has been the main postsecondary institution for Francophones and Francophiles in Alberta and Western Canada for more than 50 years.

  • Budget 2021 included a $121-million investment to support high quality postsecondary education in a minority language over three years (2021-2022 to 2023-2024). These new investments will be made primarily through existing intergovernmental collaboration mechanisms to help provinces and territories meet pressing needs to help stabilize the minority language postsecondary education sector.

  • The Government of Canada funding, made through the Official Languages Support Programs, aims to enhance the vitality of English- and French-speaking minority communities and promote the English and French languages in Canadian society.

  • On March 1, 2022, the Government of Canada introduced an improved bill toward a substantive equality of official languages in Canada to adapt the Official Languages Act to a changing society. Among other things, this bill aims to remedy the decline of French in Canada, clarify and strengthen the section of the Official Languages Act concerning the promotion of official languages and support official language minority communities.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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