Government of Canada launches new Employment Assistance Services funding stream to strengthen the vitality of official language minority communities

News release

April 11, 2024              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Official language minority communities (OLMCs) enrich our linguistic heritage and play a vital role in strengthening Canada's workforce and economy. The Government of Canada continues to promote the economic vitality and well-being of individuals in these communities by ensuring that they have the supports they need to find employment and succeed in their careers.

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, announced the first call for proposals for the Employment Assistance Services (EAS) stream under the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (EF-OLMC). Funding of $231 million over five years (2024–2025 to 2028–2029) will support organizations that aim to strengthen the economic prosperity of OLMCs across the country. 

This new EAS stream reflects the Government's broad vision of a strong Canadian Francophonie, of Quebec’s vibrant English-speaking communities and of bilingualism that recognizes Canadian French and English linguistic heritage.

Not-for-profit and for-profit OLMC organizations and Indigenous organizations that serve an Indigenous community whose first official language—English or French—is the minority language of that province or territory are eligible to apply for funding under this call for proposals. Eligible projects must provide one of the following four services: job search assistance, counselling and case management, unassisted services, and/or other employment assistance services activities.

The new EAS stream is one of the largest initiatives under the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028: Protection – Promotion – Collaboration to ensure that people living in OLMCs can find, obtain and maintain employment. Up to 43,000 Canadians will have access to these services annually and these supports will be delivered by organizations that understand the unique needs of individuals who are part of OLMCs. Organizations have until June 20, 2024, to apply for funding.

Organizations interested in applying are encouraged to do so electronically through the Grants and Contributions Online Services portal. Creating an account on this portal is a one-time process that allows organizations to apply for various Employment and Social Development Canada funding opportunities in a secure web environment. For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply, please visit the Employment Assistance Services stream webpage on

Today's announcement demonstrates the Government's commitment to Part VII of the Official Languages Act, the protection and promotion of Canada's two official languages, the preservation of French and the vitality of OLMCs across Canada.


"Official language minority communities promote English and French across Canada. Ensuring that Canadians have the support they need when searching for jobs is essential to their success. The new Employment Assistance Services stream underlines our commitment to enhancing the vitality of official language communities across Canada. I strongly encourage eligible organizations to apply.”

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

Quick facts

  • Francophones outside Quebec experience higher unemployment (7.6%) and lower participation rates (66.5%) than the majority of the Anglophone population (Statistics Canada 2021). Additionally, the Francophone population outside Quebec continues to shrink compared to the growth of the Anglophone population.

  • The new EAS stream, announced under the Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028: Protection – Promotion – Collaboration (Pillar 3: Strong measures to support the vitality of communities), will support local organizations in official language minority communities to deliver employment assistance services to English-speaking communities in Quebec and French-speaking communities outside Quebec, in the minority official language. The Action Plan provides an investment of $4.1 billion to support seven departments and 33 new or enhanced measures to protect and promote official languages in Canada. 

  • Employment and Social Development Canada is working directly with the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique on a project to deliver employment assistance services in British Columbia. This will support strong collaboration amongst OLMC organizations in the province.

  • In June 2023, Bill C‑13, an Act for the Substantive Equality of Canada’s Official Languages received Royal Assent. This Act helps modernize and strengthen Canada’s linguistic heritage and provides considerable benefits to Canadians, while taking into account their distinct linguistic backgrounds and experiences.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

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

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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