Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future

View the PDF version of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013 (3.2 MB)

Table of Contents

Message from the Prime Minister of Canada

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.

Our federation was born of a desire by English- and French-speaking Canadians to share a common future, and it was built on respect for the language and culture of all Canadians. Linguistic duality is a cornerstone of our national identity, and it is a source of immeasurable economic, social, and political benefits for all Canadians.

Recognizing this, our Government is committed to strengthening this duality by providing support for English and French minority-language communities and by taking action to ensure that Canadians can obtain government services in both official languages.

Our country is more united today than it has been since our centennial. Old, tired debates are giving way to a new era of open federalism where the federal, provincial and territorial governments cooperate in the protection and development of English and French minority-language communities and in the creation of opportunities for all Canadians to reap the benefits of our linguistic duality.

As Prime Minister of Canada, I am proud to report that the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future reiterates the commitment of the Government of Canada to linguistic duality and our two official languages. It lays out the path we intend to follow over the next five years to build on Canada's sturdy foundations. English- and French-speaking Canadians have come a long way together since the founding of Québec City, which also marks the founding of the Canadian state, 400 years ago this year. This Roadmap points the way to an even stronger future and a more unified Canada.

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.

Word from the Minister of Canadian Heritage, status of women and official languages and minister for la francophonie

The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P.

Canada's official languages are part of our national identity. They forge links that unite us within a thriving and dynamic society. To further strengthen these ties, we must provide opportunities to both French- and English speaking Canadians to better understand and appreciate one another, while continuing to promote the development of their unique cultures and communities.

The Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future is an unprecedented, government-wide commitment. In planning it, we not only scanned today's social and economic landscape; we also followed the markers laid out by Canadians. This led us to identify five areas where action would make the most difference: the promotion of linguistic duality, youth, services, economic development and governance. The Roadmap proposes new projects and investments that will allow English and French minority-language communities to receive essential services in their own language; and that will encourage dialogue and bring Canadians closer, whatever their official language of choice.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages and Minister for La Francophonie, I would like to thank once again all the citizens who participated in the Government consultations on linguistic duality and official languages. The Roadmap reflects the results of those consultations, as well as the work of other key stakeholders, including official-language minority communities, parliamentary committees and the Commissioner of Official Languages. With this Roadmap, we begin a promising journey for the future of English and French in Canada.

The Honourable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P.

Summary

The Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future reaffirms the Government of Canada's commitment to linguistic duality and our two official languages. It charts the course the Government intends to follow over the next five years to build on Canada's solid foundations.

The Roadmap reflects the results of the Government of Canada's consultations, as well as the work of other key stakeholders such as official-language minority communities, parliamentary committees and the Commissioner of Official Languages.

The Roadmap is an unprecedented government-wide investment of $1.1 billion over five years, based on two pillars: the participation of all Canadians in linguistic duality, and the support for official-language minority communities.

It invests in priority sectors, including:

  • health;
  • justice;
  • immigration;
  • economic development; and
  • arts and culture.

The Roadmap targets five areas for government action to strengthen these pillars:

  • emphasizing the value of linguistic duality among all Canadians;
  • building the future by investing in youth;
  • improving access to services for official-language minority communities;
  • capitalizing on economic benefits; and
  • ensuring efficient governance to better serve Canadians.

Through the Roadmap, the Government will increase its support in the areas of health, immigration, justice, economic development, and arts and culture. In this last area, the Government will establish a Cultural Development Fund and will launch a new program; Music Showcases for Artists from Official Language Minority Communities.

The Roadmap also calls for additional funding to enable all Canadians to benefit from linguistic duality. For example, the Government will provide all Canadians with free access to the Government of Canada language portal. A National Translation Program for Book Publishing will also be put in place to increase the availability of books in both official languages.

These new initiatives are in addition to resources already allocated by the Government of Canada to support the cultural dynamism of communities and improve access for all Canadians to English- and French-language culture.

The Government of Canada will work with key partners and stakeholders including the provincial and territorial governments, the communities and all Canadians to implement the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality so that people throughout the country can benefit from it.

The starting point

Both official languages, English and French, represent a great cultural wealth for Canada. As a founding and fundamental characteristic of Canadian identity and culture, linguistic duality is at the heart of the values that have forged Canada, making it a strong and united country that is open to the world. This duality rests on the synergy of two large communities, and is well expressed, notably, in the vitality of the many officiallanguage minority communities throughout the country. This duality is also shaped by multitudes of Canadians who use their knowledge and appreciation of both English and French to build bridges between the country's linguistic communities.

Over the past few years, Canada has seen gradual but definite progress in this area: Canadians have gained more access to services in both official languages, particularly in the areas of justice and health services; a host of other actions from federal institutions have been complemented by the efforts of the provinces and territories. The Government of Canada believes in the importance of building on these successes and the partnerships that drive them. So, over the past year, the Government made a concerted effort to gather the ideas and perspectives of all stakeholders, including Canadians from both official-language communities, to chart the road ahead for official languages in Canada – one that would consolidate current actions and present a coordinated approach for the future. This effort became the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future.

This Roadmap marks a new start, and invites all Canadians to participate. It aims at allowing Canadians, whatever their official language of choice, to participate fully in Canadian society and to take advantage of linguistic duality today and for the future. As an unprecedented $1.1 billion investment, the Roadmap enhances and expands action across the Government of Canada to increase the benefits of linguistic duality and extend them to all Canadians. It presents new, targeted measures that will have a ripple effect, promoting an approach that contributes to a better understanding among English- and French-speaking Canadians, and to their mutual enrichment.

In planning the Roadmap, the Government has taken into account, among other things, the environment and the viewpoints expressed by Canadians and key partners. These factors acted as the "signposts" outlined in the next section.

Five areas for action emerged from consultations and conditions:

  • emphasizing the value of linguistic duality among all Canadians;
  • building the future by investing in youth;
  • improving access to services for official-language minority communities;
  • capitalizing on economic benefits; and
  • ensuring efficient governance to better serve Canadians.

These five areas are the heart of the Roadmap; the Government's planned actions in these areas and their benefits for Canadians are detailed in the "Charting the course for the next five years: Acting for the Future" section.

The Government of Canada exercises its leadership and collaborates closely with its key partners, notably the provinces and territories, to help promote the vitality of official-language minority communities, and to offer every Canadian the benefits of linguistic duality. It supports the development of Francophone communities outside Quebec and of Anglophone communities within Quebec, by promoting access to education, services and a social environment in the minority language. The Government is working to encourage and strengthen the learning of both official languages, and to promote them throughout Canada and on the world stage. The Government also aims to create conditions that favour a dialogue between the country's two official-language communities, which include all Canadians.

To better serve Canadians, the Government has been working to give itself the necessary tools to respect both the spirit and the letter of the Official Languages Act. It ensures that services are provided in both English and French and that English- and Frenchspeaking Canadians can work within federal institutions in the language of their choice, in the National Capital Region and in other regions designated as bilingual in terms of their language of work.

The signposts

Canadians' lives, ideas, expectations and means of expression are rapidly evolving – and the Government of Canada has been listening, so that our actions yield concrete results where it counts. Public opinion, demographic trends and the viewpoints expressed by Canadians are the signposts that guided the Roadmap's development.

The environment

Canadians' support for bilingualism is progressing and has reached a level of 80 percent, as shown by many surveys. More than two-thirds of Canadian adults believe that linguistic duality is a characteristic of the country and a source of cultural enrichment. Surveys also confirm that there is increased interest in learning the second official language. Support is particularly strong among young people, a majority of whom believe that it is important for their children and the children in their communities to learn a second language, and that doing so will increase their chances of finding jobs. A majority want to learn more about the culture of those who speak the other official language.

The 2006 Census showed that Canada's population is growing and aging – with higher levels of immigration over the past few years primarily driving this growth. The results of the 2006 Census and the Survey on the Vitality of Official Language Minorities paint a portrait of official-language minority communities in diverse economic and social situations – and with equally diverse needs. The Survey also showed that members of these communities have a strong commitment to their language and to receiving services in that language. Nationwide, both official languages remain the languages used most often by the large majority of Canadians.

The provinces and territories recognize the importance of ensuring the vitality and development of official-language minority communities – and collaborate with the Government of Canada to support them. Over the past few years, they have demonstrated a renewed commitment to linguistic duality in several ways. For example, the Ministerial Conference for the Canadian Francophonie, which brings together the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the Canadian Francophonie, produced in 2006 the Canadian Francophonie: Issues, Challenges and Future Directions report, which takes stock of the main roadblocks facing Francophones and proposes possible avenues for the future.

Canadians' viewpoints

The Government of Canada's nationwide consultations, facilitated by Mr. Bernard Lord, allowed Canadians to offer their viewpoints on linguistic duality and official languages. These consultations highlighted the importance of taking regional issues into account in any government action, along with the dynamics of Anglophone and Francophone minority communities. Participants also expressed their support for official languages and their commitment to promoting them. They also spoke about their lives: the importance of working in their own language; the importance of seeing that their language is taught to their children and grandchildren; the importance of having access to services in their language, when and where they need them; and the central role of arts and culture in the building of their identity.

Several of the community forums – such as the 2007 Sommet des communautés francophones et acadiennes and the 2008 Community Revitalization: Trends and Opportunities for the English-speaking Communities of Quebec – brought the needs of official-language minority communities into sharper focus. Some of these needs require increased investment, to better integrate newcomers, increase community members' capacity to live in their own language, support their economic and social development, and build the capacities of their community networks.

The planning of this Roadmap took into consideration the work done by parliamentary committees on official languages, the contributions of the Commissioner of Official Languages and intergovernmental forums, and the ongoing dialogue between federal departments and key stakeholders. The insights drawn from these stakeholders have illuminated the road toward strengthening the country's linguistic duality. The results of these endeavours reflect the needs expressed by the communities and include other suggestions, such as ensuring horizontal governance and coordination, and instituting effective accountability mechanisms for all federal institutions.

Charting the course for the next five years: acting for the future

The Roadmap reflects the Government of Canada's renewed commitment to Canada's linguistic duality. It invests $1.1 billion to consolidate, adapt and modernize a variety of existing initiatives aimed at promoting the country's linguistic duality. This inclusive approach responds to changes within communities and in the Canadian population, and includes new targeted measures to give a greater number of Canadians access to the benefits of this duality.

Progress in this area has been gradual, but it has deeply affected the country's social fabric. In March 2003, the Government of Canada launched the 2003- 2008 Action Plan for Official Languages. This plan enabled the Government to increase access to services in both official languages, particularly in the areas of justice and health services. The Government believes in the importance of building on these successes, in the increased mobilization of stakeholders, and in doing more so that Canadians can benefit from the cultural, social and economic advantages of linguistic duality.

The five areas for action that plot the course of this Roadmap take many elements of the landscape into account: the Government of Canada's priorities and resources, the viewpoints of Canadians, the country's social and economic situation, the recommendations of parliamentary and community bodies, the analysis and evaluation of ongoing initiatives, and the respective provincial and territorial jurisdictions. These areas for action also correspond to the needs of official language minority communities, in terms of service, arts, culture and economic development. They reflect the advice of parliamentary committees and the Commissioner of Official Languages, among others, on matters of governance and coordination.

The five areas for action are:

  • emphasizing the value of linguistic duality among all Canadians;
  • building the future by investing in youth;
  • improving access to services for official-language minority communities;
  • capitalizing on economic benefits; and
  • ensuring efficient governance to better serve Canadians.

Emphasizing the value of linguistic duality among all canadians

Every year, the Government of Canada carries out a range of activities to promote English and French in Canadian society. Although all Government actions on official languages, including the initiatives presented in this Roadmap, aim at emphasizing the value of this asset for all Canadians, this will be the specific focus of three new initiatives in particular.

The Government will give all Canadians access, free of charge, to the Government of Canada's language portal, which is now available to federal public servants. As a single website, the portal will bring together a range of quality language tools (including TERMIUM®) developed both by federal institutions and other organizations across the country. As the first such portal of national scope, it will serve as a gateway for Canadians to use and understand both of their official languages more readily, through free access to quality language tools.

The Canada School of Public Service will aim to extend access to its learning products to Canadian universities, to support the learning of a second official language. The School has acquired internationally recognized expertise in adult language learning, and created a series of language-training tools for federal public servants. Through a pilot project, the School will share these products with Canadian universities free of charge. For Canadians, this will mean a starting point toward allowing university students access to the same quality language-learning tools that federal public servants have.

So that Canadians may have better access to the literary culture of the country's two official-language communities, a National Translation Program for Book Publishing will aim to increase the number of books available in both official languages. This program will help Canadian publishers translate works of Canadian authors in English and French. For Canadians, this will mean greater access to the cultural wealth and literature of the country's Anglophone and Francophone communities in both official languages.

Building the future by investing in youth

Investing in youth not only makes Canada's linguistic duality more sustainable; it also contributes to the vitality of official-language minority communities. This is done by emphasizing the value of learning and living experiences in both English and French.

The Government will continue to invest in the instruction of both languages and in initiatives outside the classroom. The young are at the heart of the Government of Canada's priorities: within minority communities, their parents have strived to preserve their language; it is now important for them to become fully aware of the wealth being passed along, and to make the most of it.

In the classroom, the Roadmap will continue to support provincial and territorial programs aimed at education in the language of official-language minority communities, and in second-language education, including bursary and official-language monitor programs. Through agreements, the Government of Canada will continue to invest in education, maintaining its planned investments and building on its enduring collaboration with the provinces and territories. For young Canadians, this will mean continued capacity to learn in school in their own official language, or to learn the other official language.

But school is not the only means of learning: the Government will continue to support initiatives that allow young Canadians to put the languages they have learned to use – in cultural, sport or other activities outside the classroom. Measures are also planned to support community radio and other local media that promote cultural and community activities among youth. For young Canadians, this will mean greater availability of local media and activities in the minority official language.

To improve access to Canada's linguistic duality and to offer learning opportunities to young Canadians, the Translation Bureau (of Public Works and Government Services Canada) will launch a University Scholarships Program in Translation. The translation and interpretation professions need an increasing number of graduates if they are to respond to the requirements of the language industry and of Canadian society; this program will encourage the training of the next generation of translators and interpreters. For young Canadians, this will mean continued capacity to produce, communicate or access work in both languages.

The Government of Canada considers linguistic duality not only as a basis of Canadian identity, but also an essential tool for ensuring Canadians' openness to the world. Through second-language education, the Government offers young Canadians a boost toward wider professional horizons and a key to the international stage.

Improving access to services for official-language minority communities

Health; justice; immigration; early childhood, family and literacy; and arts and culture are all essential service areas for official-language minority communities. It is therefore essential that these services be available in both official languages within these communities.

The Roadmap consolidates gains already made in access to services in both official languages and includes a new component to support arts and culture. The actions of the departments involved in these areas will support the development of these communities and the individuals in them. The Government departments involved will continue their cooperation with other governments, to extend and enhance service delivery in both official languages in the provinces and territories. They will continue to support community networks and improve the efficiency of the administrative process, building environments that encourage the regular use of minority official languages.

Health

In the health sector, the Roadmap increases available resources to provide greater access to health services in the official language of one's choice, as these services have a direct impact on both individual and collective well-being. Health Canada will increase its investments in retention, training and development of health professionals in the minority official language, facilitating service delivery in the language of Anglophone and Francophone minority communities. Support for community networks and for community and regional projects – for example, by improving information tools to better meet health needs – will reinforce previous efforts in this area. These Health Canada initiatives are aimed at all official-language minority communities, with special focus on the most vulnerable groups, such as children, youth and the elderly. For Canadians, this will mean greater access to health services in their own official language and capacity to communicate with health-service providers.

Justice

In the area of justice, the Roadmap aims to intensify training efforts to improve language skills of those working in the justice system, be they court clerks, stenographers, justices of the peace or mediators. Justice Canada will implement a new justice training initiative to encourage young bilingual Canadians to pursue careers in these areas. The Department will also continue to help provincial and territorial governments bridge gaps in bilingual service delivery, particularly when they undertake proceedings on behalf of the federal government pursuant to the Contraventions Act.

Justice must reflect the country's linguistic reality. To achieve this, the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Fund aims to sensitize the legal community and official language minority communities as to the exercise of their rights in both official languages, and to help them find ways to do so. For Canadians, this will mean improved access to justice services in the official language of the minority, both today and in the future.

Immigration

In the area of immigration, the Roadmap promotes a partnership approach, and allows for the consolidation of existing community networks. Working with service providers, the Government will implement measures to ensure the best possible integration of French-speaking newcomers by facilitating their access to French services adapted to their needs. Allocating funds for research and data analysis will make it possible to better target issues related to Francophone immigration outside of Quebec, and to address the various needs of the communities, the provinces and territories, and employers.

By welcoming a greater number of French-speaking immigrants, Francophone minority communities help to maintain their gains while providing immigrants with opportunities to contribute to the community. To this end, the Roadmap will intensify current efforts to facilitate recruiting and integration, particularly by supporting Francophone immigration in New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province in Canada.

To facilitate the recruitment and integration of Frenchspeaking immigrants, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will strengthen partnerships among communities, provinces and territories, employers, educational institutions, and organizations that recruit abroad. In September 2006, Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee launched the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities. The main objective of this plan is to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants in Francophone-minority communities and to facilitate their reception and integration within the communities. For Canadians, this will mean a better reception for newcomers, who will be better able to contribute their talents and skills to Canadian communities.

Early childhood, family and literacy

The Roadmap maintains the Government's support to early childhood and family within official-language minority communities. Human Resources and Social Development Canada will therefore continue to provide funding to strengthen the capacity of non-governmental organizations in official-language minority communities, allowing them to promote the implementation of early-childhood programs and services for families. The Department will also continue its research to better understand the effects of programs aimed at supporting children's linguistic and cultural development and academic success.

Literacy is fundamental to the social and economic development of official-language minority communities and to the vitality of families in them. In view of this, the Department has put in place programs to improve access to family literacy services, mainly by building networks and partnerships among various community groups. For Canadians, this will mean access to community-based services for early-childhood development and family literacy, which provide the tools for lifetime success in society and on the job market.

Arts and culture

Arts and culture are ways that individuals express their linguistic identity and key drivers of community vitality. Official-language minority communities, be they Acadian, Francophone or Anglophone, must feel that their culture is a living and dynamic reflection of their identity. The Government of Canada already plays a leading role in supporting arts and culture, notably through film, broadcasting, literature, publishing, music and both visual and performing arts.

Canadian Heritage already invests in community cultural activity and its coordination. The Department supports the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française, implements the Agreement for the Development of French Canadian Arts and Culture, and supports the networking of English-speaking artists in Quebec. The Government is aware of the cultural impact of today's transition towards digital media; this is why it will ask the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission to review, as it did in 2000, how the current broadcasting system is serving official-language minority communities – and whether it truly reflects their diversity.

The Roadmap targets arts and culture through two new Government initiatives that complement its many others.

The Canadian Heritage Cultural Development Fund will support cultural actions to foster the vitality of official-language minority communities. The Fund also aims to promote the contribution these communities make to the cultural and artistic enrichment of Canada. Preferred initiatives will be those that encourage the cooperation of many partners, and that complement initiatives already supported by Canadian Heritage cultural programs. This support will help young people develop their identity and facilitate access to community cultural products and increase their ability to reach broader audiences. For Canadians, this will mean a richer cultural life within official-language minority communities.

Canadian Heritage will launch a Music Showcase Program for Artists from Official-Language Minority Communities, which will give these artists the opportunity to produce at the local, regional and national levels. This will increase access to regional and local music for Canadians, and help to promote the artists' careers.

Capitalizing on economic benefits

The Roadmap seeks to take advantage of the economic benefits of linguistic duality, and strengthen support for the economic development of official language minority communities. Through the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities, Human Resources and Social Development Canada will continue to support economic and community development. The Fund engages community leaders and leverages partnerships to strengthen community capacity in the areas of human resources and economic development. For Canadians, this will mean continued support for minority-community economic and labour-market development, through partnerships, development plans and capacity building.

In a highly globalized and knowledge-based marketplace, linguistic duality is a key competitive advantage, which can help Canada further its economic success. Having two languages of international scope puts Canada at the forefront of societies with knowledge-based economies. This asset allows Canadian businesses easier access to global markets and partners. The language skills of Canada's workforce, particularly among youth, are also a major asset for the economy. These skills strengthen Canada's human capital advantage and allow Canadians to build stronger economic links with international partners. The National Research Council will continue to produce new technologies to support Canada's language industry and to work in close collaboration with partners such as the Language Technologies Research Centre. Through the Roadmap, the Government will implement two new initiatives to capitalize on the economic benefits of linguistic duality.

Industry Canada and the regional development agencies (the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Western Economic Diversification Canada) will implement an Economic Development Initiative to foster the development of new business expertise in communities. For Canadians, this will mean economic development tailored to their regional needs, through innovation, entrepreneurship, partnerships and iversifying economic activities.

To support the language industry, Public Works and Government Services Canada will implement a Language Industry Initiative to help Canadian translation and language-technology companies become more recognized in both Canadian and international markets. For Canadians, this will mean Canadian companies that are industry leaders and internationally competitive.

Ensuring efficient governance to better serve canadians

All federal institutions play a role in supporting official languages and Canada's linguistic duality. However, some play a leadership role that involves coordinating the overall federal effort. The Roadmap will make sure that federal institutions, particularly those with specific responsibilities under the Official Languages Act, ensure better horizontal governance and coordination. In turn, this will increase the efficiency of their respective actions, in accordance with the Official Languages Accountability and Coordination Framework.

The Official Languages Secretariat (Canadian Heritage) supports the Minister of Official Languages in the role of leadership and horizontal coordination of the federal administration, and in the area of intergovernmental relations. Through the Roadmap, the Secretariat will work together with key federal institutions to improve governance and horizontal coordination of Government actions related to official languages, in order to enhance the accountability process and ensure results.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, together with the Canada Public Service Agency, develops and coordinates the policies and programs related to the use of official languages in federal institutions. The Agency will continue its work in the field of official languages so as to monitor issues related to service to the public, language of work, and the representation of both language groups within the federal administration. Furthermore, it will continue to promote the creation of work environments that encourage federal public servants to exercise their right to work in the language of their choice in the National Capital Region and other regions designated as bilingual in terms of language of work. The Canada School of Public Service will work to improve the governance of language training provided to federal public servants.

Justice Canada will continue to offer advice on the language provisions of the Constitution, as well as the overall implementation of the Official Languages Act, and work together with Canadian Heritage and the Treasury Board Secretariat to ensure increased information sharing, and the compliance of policies, programs, initiatives and government documents with the language provisions of the Constitution and the Act.

Canadian Heritage plays a coordination and support role in the Government's commitment to official language minorities and fostering the full recognition of English and French in Canadian society. The Department's role also includes supporting and guiding federal institutions, especially those whose activities could have an important impact on official language minorities or the recognition of both official languages. The Department will expand its coordination efforts to all federal institutions and, to this end, will identify the most appropriate ways for these diverse organizations to report on their activities. It will also develop new tools to help federal institutions understand and meet their responsibilities.

To ensure the efficiency and coordination of the Government's actions, the Roadmap will include a review of its horizontal governance, and improve the mechanisms used to ensure accountability. The 2005 Horizontal Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework – one of the main tools to ensure efficient Government action – will be revised and modernized. For Canadians, this responsible approach will mean coordinated Government actions in official languages and efficient use and management of public funds.

Sharing the road: a more inclusive implementation

The Government of Canada is committed to exercising its leadership in official languages in a spirit of complementarity and respect for the jurisdictions of its provincial and territorial partners. Increased recognition of the value of linguistic duality, and its expression in many communities, stems from the collaboration of many actors. In this respect, the Government of Canada considers the roles of its partners essential to the promotion of English and French in Canada, and hopes to increase the number of areas of cooperation.

Among these collaborative efforts, the Government will favour those with the provincial and territorial governments, including with Quebec, the cradle of the Canadian Francophonie, and with New Brunswick, which occupies a unique place as the country's only officially bilingual province. The Government will also leverage civil-society partners, the private and volunteer sectors, and those Canadians who know, learn and teach their second official language.

In the spirit of partnership, the Government of Canada provides financial assistance to the provinces and territories so that they may offer young Canadians an education in the minority official language and of the second official language. Agreements signed with provinces and territories have allowed the implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing core and immersion programs, supporting teaching staff, and increasing access to postsecondary education. The Government of Canada and provincial and territorial governments have also struck agreements to ensure the delivery and development of services in certain key areas for official-language minority communities, such as early childhood, healthcare and social services, justice and economic development.

The course to follow: towards a linguistic duality for everyone

The Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future puts into action the Government of Canada's commitment to promote linguistic duality and support the development of Anglophone and Francophone minority communities for the benefit of all Canadians. This unprecedented $1.1 billion government-wide commitment is based on the Government's clear leadership and a continuous and sustained dialogue with the provinces and territories, official-language minority communities and all Canadians.

Above all, the Roadmap is a reflection of Canadians' perspectives and a response to their concerns, mapping out areas for action on official languages: emphasizing the value of the benefits of linguistic duality; investing in youth to ensure a promising future for English and French in Canada; ensuring that communities will have access to key services, to foster their vitality and their contribution to Canadian society; reinforcing the economic development of official-language minority communities, and contributing to the country's competitiveness on the national and international stages; and ensuring efficient horizontal governance and coordination that will better serve Canadians.

Together, the course of action set by the Roadmap will lead to a stronger, more united Canada that continues to thrive on the benefits of its linguistic duality.

Annex A: Official Languages in Canada

Official Languages in Canada in 2006
  French Speaking Population English Speaking Population
Newfoundland and Labrador 1 933 (0,4%) 497 913 (99,5%)
Prince Edward Island 5 133 (3,8%) 129 028 (96,1%)
Nova Scotia 32 225 (3,6%) 869 565 (96,3%)
New Brunswick 235 128 (32,7%) 483 843 (67,2%)
Quebec 6 373 228 (85,6%) 994 723 (13,4%)
Ontario 537 595 (4,5%) 11 230 380 (93,4%)
Manitoba 43 118 (3,8%) 1 080 228 (95,3%)
Saskatchewan 14 850 (1,6%) 935 870 (98,1%)
Alberta 62 785 (1,9%) 3 154 385 (96,9%)
British Columbia 61 735 (1,5%) 3 891 890 (95,5%)
Yukon 1 185 (3,9%) 28 890 (95,7%)
Northwest Territories 1 005 (2,4%) 39 730 (96,8%)
Nunavut 425 (1,4%) 26 615 (90,7%)
Canada 7 370 343 (23,6%) 23 363 058 (74,8%)

Note : French and English speaking populations have been calculated using the Official Languages Regulations definition of "First Official Language Spoken".

Source : Canadian Heritage, 2008. Based on the 2006 Census Data, Statistics Canada, 20% Sample

Annex B: detailed financial commitments of the 2008-2013 roadmap

Department and Agency Initiatives ($ millions)
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency ($16.2 M) Support to Francophone immigration in New Brunswick 10.0
Economic development initiative 6.2
Canada Public Service Agency ($17.0 M) Centre of excellence 17.0
Canada School of Public Service ($2.5 M) Extend access of language-learning tools to Canadian universities 2.5
Canadian Heritage ($611.0 M) Support to education in the language of the minority 280.0
Support to second-language education 190.0
Summer language bursaries 40.0
Support to Official-Language Minority Communities 22.5
Intergovernmental cooperation 22.5
Official-language monitors 20.0
Cultural Development Fund 14.0
Youth initiatives 12.5
National Translation Program for Book Publishing 5.0
Music Showcase Program for Artists from Official-Language Minority Communities 4.5
Citizenship and Immigration Canada ($20.0 M) Recruitment and integration of immigrants 20.0
Economic Development Agency of Canada
for the Regions of Quebec ($10.2 M)
Economic development initiative 10.2
Health Canada ($174.3 M) Training, networks and access to health services 174.3
Human Resources and Social Development Canada ($94.0 M) Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities 69.0
Childcare pilot project 13.5
Literacy 7.5
Improving NGOs' means for early childhood development 4.0
Industry Canada and Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario ($10.9 M) Economic development initiative 10.9
Justice Canada ($93.0 M) Contravention Act Fund 49.5
Access to justice in both official languages 41.0
Accountability and coordination framework 2.5
National Research Council Canada ($10.0 M) Language Technologies Research Centre 10.0
Official Languages Secretariat ($13.5 M) Accountability and coordination framework 13.5
Public Works and Government Services Canada ($34.0 M) Government of Canada linguistic portal (TERMIUM®) 16.0
Language industry initiative 10.0
University Scholarships Program in Translation 8.0
Western Economic Diversification Canada ($3.2 M) Economic development initiative 3.2
Total (in millions of dollars) 1,109.8
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Privacy statement

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: