Investing in Official Languages in Alberta

News release

EDMONTON, March 6, 2024

Official-language minority communities are a cornerstone of Canada’s identity and culture.

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, announced investments of nearly $5 million to support official languages in Alberta.

Community organizations and the provincial government will benefit from this support, provided through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Official Languages Support Programs (see the attached backgrounder for more details). These programs enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities, in addition to promoting, spreading and preserving linguistic duality across the country.

The Government of Canada is investing close to $2.5 million in 2023–2024 through the various components of the Official Languages Support Programs. These funds will be allocated to projects that aim to improve access to services, infrastructure and education in French in Francophone communities in Alberta. These components include the Community Cultural Action Fund, which supports and strengthens the cultural, artistic and heritage expressions of official-language minority communities, as well as the Promotion of Linguistic Duality component, which supports activities that promote a better understanding and appreciation of the benefits of knowing and using both of our official languages. This component also encourages the offer of services in both official languages.

In addition to these significant community investments, funds are being provided to the Government of Alberta for four other projects.

It is receiving nearly $1.5 million to renovate and refurbish the premises of the Campus Saint‑Jean, the Francophone campus of the University of Alberta, to increase support for the student body and administrative staff.

Campus Saint‑Jean will also receive $427,000 to create a professional experience program in association with local businesses in order to offer Francophones and newcomers an opportunity to acquire recognizable skills and work experience.

The Government of Alberta will also receive close to $290,000 to create and promote a Francophone environment for students by offering them French identity-building services in each of the 15 schools of the Conseil scolaire FrancoSud.

Finally, through an investment of $110,000, the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta will be able to develop two promotional campaigns and hold a summit on French‑language postsecondary education in Alberta.

The investment announced today also reflects the $62.5 million allocated over five years as part of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028. That support, announced by Minister Boissonnault a few days ago in Dieppe, New Brunswick, is intended to increase base funding for official-language community organizations.

These projects are possible through funding from the Official Languages Support Programs and the Action Plan for Official Languages.


“As a proud Franco-Albertan and former student at Campus Saint‑Jean, I have made the promotion and support of the French language in Alberta a priority for me. The organizations receiving funding today are making considerable efforts to strengthen the French fact and foster a greater sense of belonging in their communities. This announcement is an important step in promoting the social and cultural vitality of Francophone communities in Alberta.”

—The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

“Alberta’s government is committed to providing exceptional Francophone education to students in communities across the province. Our investments in new student spaces and updated and enhanced curriculum means students are able to learn and develop French language skills, while deepening their cultural connections with Alberta’s vibrant Francophone communities.”

—Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education, Government of Alberta

“Alberta’s Francophone community is growing rapidly. We therefore welcome the new funding announced today, which will support several organizations. ACFA is also thrilled with the funding received to organize a summit on French‑language postsecondary education in Alberta. This file is extremely important to our community and brings together community leaders from across the province to discuss it.”

—Nathalie Lachance, President, Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta

“The funding announced today will help the Campus Saint‑Jean offer better services to its student community and its staff. By optimizing spaces through this funding, the Campus can continue to develop to meet the needs and expectations of a growing modern university faculty.”

—Jason Carey, Dean, Campus Saint‑Jean, University of Alberta

“This is a significant investment that will enable FrancoSud to implement new projects and activities that contribute to the development of our students’ Francophone identity and culture. In real terms, this will result in the addition of three to four cultural identity facilitators to our staff, who will work directly with our students and community partners. We are very pleased by this announcement and we thank the government for recognizing the importance of identity building in Alberta’s Francophone schools.”

—Monique Baker, Superintendent, Conseil scolaire FrancoSud

Quick facts

  • After Ontario and New Brunswick, Alberta has the largest minority Francophone population in the country. According to Census 2021 from Statistics Canada, over 88,000 Albertans report French as their mother tongue.

  • The funding from the Government of Canada, allocated through the Official Languages Support Programs, is intended to foster the vitality of Francophone and Anglophone minority communities and promote English and French in Canadian society.

  • The Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028: Protection‑Promotion‑Collaboration provides for an investment of $4.1 billion to support 7 departments and 33 new or enhanced measures to protect and promote official languages in Canada. This is the largest amount ever allocated by a government to official languages.

  • In June 2023, Bill C‑13, An Act for the Substantive Equality of Canada’s Official Languages received Royal Assent. That Act helps modernize and strengthen Canada’s linguistic regime and provide considerable benefits to Canadians in every province and territory, while taking into account their distinct linguistic realities.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Mathis Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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