Improving Francophone immigrant services at Pearson Airport

News release

June 18, 2018 – Toronto, ON – Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was joined by Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, to announce improvements in services for Francophone immigrants arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Approximately 2,100 French-speaking new permanent residents land at Pearson each year. IRCC is committed to strengthening the quality of settlement services for these new arrivals and connecting them to Francophone communities outside Quebec as early as possible in their settlement and integration process.

To meet this commitment, IRCC is launching a Request for Quotations process to select a Francophone organization to provide services in French for new arrivals at Pearson. This process is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018.

While Pearson is the main intake point for newcomers to Canada, IRCC is looking at options that could be implemented at other international airports across the country where French-speaking newcomers arrive.

In March 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly announced the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023, which includes increasing investments by $40.8 million over 5 years to support a consolidated Francophone integration pathway and coordinated Francophone immigration policies and programs. This includes improving Francophone settlement services at Pearson.


“The Government supports a consolidated Francophone integration pathway where French-speaking newcomers obtain complete information regarding Francophone communities outside Quebec and high-quality services from Francophone settlement organizations. Having a quality Francophone service provider at Pearson International Airport will help us meet this goal.”

- The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“The new Action Plan for Official Languages is the Government of Canada’s most significant investment in support of official languages to date. To ensure the vitality and sustainability of Francophone minority communities, we are proposing promising solutions that will have impacts in education, as well as arts and culture. The Francophone integration pathway is a key element in our plan to help Francophone communities grow and thrive.”

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Official Languages

Quick facts

  • In 2017, over 90,300 permanent residents landed at Pearson International Airport, of which approximately 2,100 were French-speaking newcomers.

  • IRCC has been funding reception services at Pearson Airport for over 20 years.

  • Reception services at Pearson include:

    • providing information to newcomers to help them with their settlement and integration journey;
    • providing winter clothing to government-assisted refugees;
    • helping newcomers with flight connections to their final destination;
    • transportation to temporary accommodation, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • The Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023 will add $499.2 million over 5 years to the ongoing $2.2 billion to set the course for stronger, more vibrant communities across Canada.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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