1. Introduction

This report presents the findings from the evaluation of  the Recruitment and Integration of French-Speaking Minorities to Francophone Minority Communities Initiative (hereafter the Initiative).

This evaluation meets the requirements of the federal government’s Policy on Evaluation and the requirements defined under section 42.1 of the Financial Administration Act, which requires a federal department to “conduct a review every five years of the relevance and effectiveness of each ongoing program for which it is responsible.”

Moreover, this evaluation contributes to the work of the Department of Canadian Heritage to evaluate the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008–2012: Acting for the Future (hereafter the Roadmap), through which the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) received funding for the Initiative.

1.1 Report structure

This report is made up of four main sections, including this introduction, which describes the context of the Initiative, its key components and the logic between them. Section 2.0 describes the methodology retained for evaluating the Initiative. Section 3.0 describes the key findings of the evaluation. Lastly, section 4.0 provides the key conclusions and recommendations from the evaluation.

1.2 Initiative context

The Initiative was implemented in a specific context that must be clarified and described for the purpose of this evaluation.

Evolution of the Francophone immigration file

As Figure 1 illustrates, the Francophone immigration file at the federal level has evolved significantly since 2002. In short:

  • 2002: The Minister of CIC announced the creation of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee (hereafter the Steering Committee), which brings together representatives from CIC, other federal departments, provincial governments and Francophone Minority Communities (FMCs).
  • 2003: The Steering Committee published its Strategic Framework to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities (hereafter the Strategic Framework). This framework includes five objectives:
    • Increase the number of French-speaking immigrants to give more demographic weight to FMCs (objective: that at least 4.4% of immigrants settling outside Quebec are French-speaking).
    • Improve the capacity of FMCs to receive French-speaking newcomers and to strengthen their reception and settlement infrastructures.
    • Ensure the economic integration of French-speaking immigrants into Canadian society and into FMCs in particular.
    • Ensure the social and cultural integration of French-speaking immigrants into Canadian society and into FMCs.
    • Foster regionalization of Francophone immigration outside Toronto and Vancouver.Footnote 1
  • 2003: That same year, the federal government unveiled its Action Plan for Official Languages (APOL). This initiative included an investment of $9 million over five years (2003 to 2008) to CIC to put forward initiatives specifically for the recruitment and integration of French-speaking newcomers to FMCs.
  • 2006: The Steering Committee published its Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities (hereafter the Strategic Plan), which is “a long-term plan to work toward achieving the overall objectives of the Strategic Framework released by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee in November 2003.”
  • 2008: The federal government unveiled the Roadmap, an initiative that helped to maintain the annual financing of $2 million provided under APOL and that added $10 million over five years. Moreover, CIC benefited from this initiative to reserve $10 million from the funds financing settlement services to support Francophone immigration outside Quebec (see Table 1 for more details).

Figure 1: Evolution of the Francophone immigration file at the federal level

Evolution of the Francophone immigration file at the federal level

Commitments under the roadmap

The Roadmap represents the federal government’s strategy to support the vitality and development of official language minority communities (OLMCs). With respect to the area of immigration, the Roadmap has the following objectives:

  • Support integration services for French-speaking newcomers “by facilitating their access to French services adapted to their needs.”
  • Offer support to research in order “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.”
  • Intensify “efforts to facilitate recruiting and integration, particularly by supporting Francophone immigration in New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province in Canada.”Footnote 2
  • Strengthen “partnerships among communities, provinces and territories, employers, educational institutions, and organizations that recruit abroad.”Footnote 3

Quebec’s particular situation

Specifically regarding immigration, the Roadmap focuses on French-speaking newcomers in FMCs and does not include objectives related to Anglophone immigrants settling in Quebec. This situation reflects the parameters set out in the Canada-Quebec Accord Relating to Immigration and the Admission of Temporary Residents signed in 1991, through which the Government of Quebec has selection authority and the responsibility for its own settlement services.

Scope of the evaluation

It is important to note that the scope of the Strategic Plan is larger than the activities undertaken by CIC under the Roadmap. The Strategic Plan calls upon stakeholders other than CIC, including federal departments and provincial and territorial governments; therefore, achieving the objectives described in the Strategic Plan is not the sole responsibility of CIC, but rather requires a concerted effort from a multitude of stakeholders.

Consequently, the subject of this evaluation is not the Strategic Plan as a whole; it is rather the activities undertaken by CIC through the Initiative and funded in part by the Roadmap, in order to advance the Strategic Plan objectives.

1.3 Description of the Initiative

CIC is committed to investing $30 million over five years to facilitate the recruitment and integration of French-speaking newcomers to FMCs. To do so, the Department has focussed on three areas of activity: coordination and research, promotion and recruitment, and settlement services. This subsection outlines these components as well as their expected outcomes.

Coordination and research activities

In terms of coordination, the Initiative mainly supports the work of the Steering Committee and the Implementation Committee of the Strategic Plan. These committees bring together representatives of the federal, provincial and territorial governments and of community groups. Their work involves all of the actions taken in compliance with the Strategic Plan, including those funded by the Roadmap.

Research work was also carried out to explore the various immigration issues within OLMCs, including, for example, barriers faced by newcomers settling in those communities and the benefits of immigration to those communities.

Promotion and recruitment activities

Promotion and recruitment activities abroad include mainly those related to the annual Destination Canada event that aims to promote FMCs to Francophones who are considering immigrating to Canada.

Other activities are also organized, including information sessions for potential French-speaking immigrants, activities for students interested in studying in Canada, networking trips enabling CIC representatives and CIC partners abroad to hold meetings within FMCs in order to promote their promotion activities, as well as tours by the European press to raise awareness of economic and social opportunities in Canada.

Settlement activities

Settlement activities represent the area in which the largest sums were invested during the period covered by the Roadmap. In that respect, there were two key types of activities:

  • Direct services: Direct services cover the entire integration process of a French-speaking newcomer, including analyzing their needs, language training, orientation and economic integration assistance. A service provider may specialize in a particular area or offer several of these services.
  • Indirect services: These activities are intended to strengthen the capacity of the service providers so that they may provide services that respond specifically to the needs of  French-speaking newcomers. Tool and resource development, as well as staff training are examples of this type of activity. Activities may target the community as a whole, such as awareness campaigns in schools or cultural fairs, which foster connections between the host community and French-speaking newcomers.
    Moreover, Francophone immigration networks may be found under these “indirect services.” The purpose of these networks is to enable various stakeholders at the local and regional levels—particularly organizations offering support to French-speaking newcomers—to work more closely with one another and to coordinate their efforts.

Expected outcomes

As illustrated in the logic model (see the Technical Appendices), the activities described above are expected to contribute to the following three immediate outcomes:

  • Coordination, collaboration and research activities among key partners are maintained;
  • French-speaking potential immigrants are aware of opportunities to immigrate to FMCs;
  • French-speaking newcomers obtain strengthened settlement services in FMCs.

If these immediate outcomes are met, in the medium term there will be an increase in the number of French-speaking immigrants who settle in FMCs, and the FMCs will have strengthened capacity to receive these newcomers.

Financial resources

Table 1 illustrates the distribution of funds allocated to support the Initiative. Three key sources fund the activities of the Initiative:

  • Recurring funds of the 2003 Action Plan: The Action Plan for Official Languages (APOL) 2003–2008 set out an allocation of $9 million over five years, and $2 million per year on a recurring basis. Under the Roadmap, these recurring funds were maintained. For the five-year period covered by the Roadmap, this represents a total sum of $10 million ($6.55 million in Vote 1 and $3.45 million in Vote 5).
  • Funds related to the Roadmap (2008): The Roadmap added another $10 million in funding. For administrative reasons, this additional amount was divided over the last four years of the period covered by the Roadmap, that is, an average of $2.5 million per year, beginning in 2009–2010 (Vote  1).
  • Funds from the Settlement Program: CIC committed to retain $10 million from its Settlement Program to support Francophone immigration in FMCs, starting in 2009–2010 (Vote 5).

Of the total $30 million, $16.6 million was allocated through Vote 1. These resources were distributed in the five regionsFootnote 4 and at national headquarters, including the Integration Branch, the Integration Program Management Branch, the Immigration Branch and CIC’s International Region, in order to cover operating expenses (salary and others) related to coordination, research, promotion and recruitment, network and settlement services activities.

The remaining $13.4 million was allocated through Vote 5 to support the activities undertaken by service providers to foster the integration of French-speaking newcomers. This amount consists of $3.45 million over five years ($690,000 per year) from the APOL recurring funds and $10 million over four years (up to $2.5 million per year) absorbed from settlement funds from existing budgets.

Table 1 : Distribution of initiative financial resources, by source of funds

Source of funds 2008–2009 2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 Total
Recurring funds from the Action Plan for Official Languages $2 M $2 M $2 M $2 M $2 M $10 M
Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008–2013   $2.5 M $2.5 M $2.5 M $2.5 M $10 M
Funds retained from CIC’s settlement services   Amount up to $10 million $10 M
Total $30 M

Clients targeted

While the Roadmap targets all of the OLMCs, the Initiative focuses only on FMCs. For reasons described in this report, the federal government is not participating in the planning and delivery of settlement support services in Quebec. Consequently, its role focuses outside of Quebec, thus covering all of the FMCs.

For the purposes of this evaluation, all of the French-speaking newcomers outside Quebec were examined. The size and profile of this population are discussed further in section 3.2 under Results.


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