Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement – Annex C: French-Speaking Immigrants 2018

1.0 Preamble

  • 1.1 WHEREAS the Parties have a mutual interest in attracting and retaining French-Speaking Immigrants.
  • 1.2 AND WHEREAS the Parties recognize that the French language is both a historic and living language in Ontario and that Ontario is home to the largest number of French-speaking people in Canada outside of Quebec.
  • 1.3 AND WHEREAS Canada recognizes the objectives of Ontario, which include:
    • attracting French-Speaking Immigrants to support the vitality of francophone communities in Ontario; and
    • partnering with the Government of Canada to increase the number of French-Speaking Immigrants and to support Ontario’s goal of 5% francophone immigration.
  • 1.4 AND WHEREAS Ontario recognizes the objectives of the IRPA to, among other things:
    • enrich and strengthen the cultural and social fabric of Canadian society, while respecting the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada; and
    • support and assist the development of Minority Official Languages Communities in Canada.
  • 1.5 AND WHEREAS Ontario recognizes the objectives of the Official Languages Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.), including those under Part VII, to, among other things:
    • enhance the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and support and assist their development; and
    • foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.
  • 1.6 AND WHEREAS Ontario recognizes that Canada has a federal framework to promote official languages and enhance the vitality of Minority Official Languages Communities.
  • 1.7 AND WHEREAS Canada recognizes Ontario’s French Language Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, and Ontario’s commitment to promoting the French language and enhancing the vitality of francophone communities in the province.
  • 1.8 AND WHEREAS the Parties recognize that francophone communities and the not-for-profit sector are critical partners in supporting the attraction, integration and retention of French-Speaking Immigrants to Ontario.
  • 1.9 AND WHEREAS the Parties recognize the importance of working in partnership with other ministries and governments in Canada at federal, provincial/territorial and municipal levels, and with stakeholders, to achieve the goal of increased francophone immigration.

Therefore, the Parties agree to the following:

2.0 Purpose

  • 2.1 The purpose of this Annex is to facilitate cooperation between the Parties regarding French-Speaking Immigrants, and to define the respective roles and responsibilities of the Parties in achieving the objectives set out in section 3.0.

3.0 Objectives

  • 3.1 The objectives of this Annex are to:
    • identify opportunities for increasing the number of French-Speaking Immigrants coming to Canada, and in particular to Ontario, in order to achieve the Parties’ respective targets; and
    • help Ontario facilitate sustainable connections between French-Speaking Immigrants and local and regional francophone communities to ensure the reception, settlement, integration and retention of French-Speaking Immigrants in these communities, and raise awareness of services available in French.

4.0 Promotion and Recruitment

  • 4.1 The Parties will continue to jointly promote, where possible, immigration to francophone communities located in Ontario, and will work towards the establishment of a targeted international promotion and recruitment strategy that could include events such as immigration information sessions, web conferences, job fairs and forums (e.g. Destination Ontario français).
  • 4.2 The Parties will, where possible, develop, identify and promote international job fairs, and encourage employers to hire French-Speaking Immigrants from diverse backgrounds, and foster a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • 4.3 The Parties will support, where possible, promotion and recruitment events organized by either Party to promote Canada, and in particular Ontario, as a destination of choice for French-speaking economic immigrants, with the objective of meeting Canada’s and Ontario’s francophone immigration targets.
  • 4.4 The Parties will work together, where possible, to promote to employers the advantages of French-Speaking Immigrants as a potential option to meet employer needs within the province.
  • 4.5 The Parties will continue to promote francophone communities in Ontario and support Ontario’s objectives to foster the regionalization of francophone immigration outside of large urban centres, including to small, rural and northern communities.
  • 4.6 The Parties will collaborate with francophone immigration community partnership organizations and networks to ensure clear and accurate messaging when promoting francophone immigration to Ontario and attracting French-Speaking Immigrants to the province.
  • 4.7 Ontario agrees to promote the province as a destination of choice to French-speaking Temporary Residents currently in the province, including those who are under the International Mobility Program and international students, in order to inform them of federal economic programs under Express Entry, the province’s provincial nominee streams under Express Entry, and the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program outside of Express Entry.
  • 4.8 The Parties, where possible, agree to develop joint initiatives (e.g. sector partnerships) that promote francophone immigration and support the recruitment of French-Speaking Immigrants to Ontario.

5.0 Selection of Permanent Residents

  • 5.1 The Parties recognize Annex A to this Agreement, and Canada will continue to support Ontario’s efforts under all streams of Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program, including the French-speaking Skilled Worker stream, to attract French-Speaking Immigrants, using Ontario’s allocations for Provincial Nominees.
  • 5.2 The Parties agree to:
    • explore ways to share information on qualified French-speaking candidates in the Express Entry pool with employers, in compliance with applicable privacy law; and
    • encourage employers to use Job Bank to find qualified French-speaking foreign nationals to fill permanent positions in the province.
  • 5.3 Canada agrees to take into account, where possible, Ontario’s goal of increasing the number of French-Speaking Immigrants when determining the destination of Government Assisted Refugees who are to be settled in communities in the province.

6.0 Settlement, Integration and Refugee Resettlement

  • 6.1 The Parties will take into account the settlement and integration needs of French-Speaking Immigrants and emphasize the provision of services by francophone organizations (e.g. “by and for” francophones) when establishing priorities and developing settlement and resettlement services relevant to this Agreement with the goal of increasing the capacity, and enhancing the vitality, of francophone communities in Ontario.
  • 6.2 The Parties recognize that the commitments set out in section 9 of the General Provisions regarding Settlement, Integration and Refugee Resettlement include French-Speaking Immigrants as part of the targeted population. 
  • 6.3 The Parties will collaborate to foster welcoming and vibrant francophone communities in Ontario, supported by direct and sustainable connections between immigrants and local and regional francophone communities.
  • 6.4 The Parties, where possible, will work with other governments in Canada, and regional and local organizations to foster the integration of French-Speaking Immigrants in Ontario with a focus on improving regional labour market outcomes and social and cultural integration.
  • 6.5 The Parties, where possible, will work with francophone immigration community partnership organizations and networks to help increase the capacity of francophone communities to settle and integrate French-Speaking Immigrants.
  • 6.6 The Parties will foster the development, promotion and delivery of francophone settlement services for French-Speaking Immigrants (which may include: pre-arrival services, services upon arrival, needs assessment and referrals, information and orientation, language training, employment related services, and community connections); and resettlement services for French-speaking refugees in Ontario in a consistent and flexible manner.
  • 6.7 The Parties will work to engage with employers and local partners to improve labour market outcomes and to raise awareness of the competitive advantages of hiring French-Speaking Immigrants.
  • 6.8 Further details on settlement for French-Speaking Immigrants are set out in the separate Memorandum of Understanding on Settlement Between Canada and Ontario, signed on December 7, 2017.

7.0 Information Sharing

  • 7.1 All information sharing between the Parties shall be in accordance with section 12.4 of the General Provisions of this Agreement. 
  • 7.2 The Parties agree to share best practices in regards to the attraction of French-Speaking Immigrants.

8.0 Governance

  • 8.1 In accordance with section 12.1 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, the AMC will be responsible for the overall implementation of this Annex. In the absence of specific direction to the contrary, Focal Points from each of the Parties will report to the AMC on an annual basis.
  • 8.2 The Focal Points for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:
    • for Canada: the Director General, Settlement and Integration Policy Branch, Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and
    • for Ontario: the Director, Citizenship and Immigration Division, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
  • 8.3 Once this Annex is in force, the Parties will submit plans for working arrangements and strategies to the AMC, as required. Updates to such plans shall be permitted during the period this Agreement is in force, as required, pursuant to approval by the AMC.
  • 8.4 The Parties agree, through the AMC, to report annually on their progress towards their respective targets on francophone immigration.

9.0 Dispute Management and Resolution

  • 9.1 In the case of a Dispute under this Annex, the Parties agree to follow the Dispute management and resolution process outlined in section 12.3 of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

10.0 Duration and Amendments

  • 10.1 This Annex terminates on the date the General Provisions of this Agreement cease to be in effect.
  • 10.2 The Parties agree to review the effectiveness of this Annex no later than twelve (12) months prior to its expiry.
  • 10.3 Upon the mutual consent of both Parties in writing, the terms and conditions of this Annex can be extended at any time prior to its expiry, subject to any required approval or authorization, including the approval of the Governor in Council at the Canada level, or Lieutenant Governor in Council at the Ontario level.
  • 10.4 This Annex may be amended at any time by the mutual written consent of the Parties, subject to any required approval, including the approval of the Governor in Council at the Canada level, or Lieutenant Governor in Council at the Ontario level.
  • 10.5 Either Party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least twelve (12) months’ notice in writing to the other Party.

11.0 Notices

  • 11.1 The Focal Points referenced in section 8.2 of this Annex undertake to give one another notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs that is likely to affect this Annex.
  • 11.2 Any notice to be delivered under this Annex should be sent to the Focal Points noted in section 8.2 of this Annex, and should also be sent to:
    • Address for notice to Canada
      Deputy Minister
      Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
      365 Laurier Avenue West
      Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
    • Address for notice to Ontario
      Deputy Minister
      Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
      400 University Avenue
      Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9

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