Government of Canada investment supports Francophone community in Northwest Territories

News release

CanNor invests over $285,000 to foster the economic and entrepreneurship development of the Francophone community in NWT

March 23, 2021 – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Entrepreneurship is important to the growth and recovery of the Canadian economy, whether national, provincial, territorial or local. The Government of Canada is making investments to help Francophone businesses and communities affected by the pandemic meet new challenges and to help them succeed in a post-COVID economy. On the heels of International Francophonie Day, the Government of Canada is making key investments to ensure the sustainability and vitality of the Francophone business community in the Northwest Territories.

Federal government invests in NWT Francophone community

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CanNor, announced that an investment of over $285,000 has been made to support the development of Francophone businesses and entrepreneurs in the Northwest Territories.

This investment supports the Conseil de Développement Économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDETNO) in a three-year project to improve their French business education series and encourage entrepreneurship in students through activities delivered in classrooms of Francophone high schools and schools offering French immersion programs.

As part of this project, the CDETNO will work in collaboration with NWT Tourism to promote the territory to Canadian Francophone organizations and businesses as an ideal location for future conferences.

This project also aims to develop a strategy for a transition to a circular economy—a green approach to stop consuming non-renewable resources and transition to using renewable ones. The CDETNO will engage different stakeholders in a series of consultations and workshops to develop a roadmap to guide businesses towards this transition.


"As we continue to celebrate the French language and Francophone culture in our country, the Government of Canada is pleased to promote this project which highlights NWT's vibrant Francophone community and the savviness of its young French-speaking entrepreneurs. Coupled with its goal of helping transition businesses to using more renewable resources, this project will create important economic possibilities for our NWT communities."

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CanNor

"I look forward to seeing what our young Francophone entrepreneurs will bring to our local economy and to hosting Francophone conferences while showcasing our lands and culture to their participants. On the heels of International Francophonie Day, the timing of this project couldn't be better. I am also looking forward to seeing our businesses working together towards a greener economy."

- Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

"We are very appreciative for this funding from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, as it will help showcase the potential of the NWT to future visitors and investors. Furthermore, it will strengthen business education and entrepreneurship initiation for youth in schools as we are working collaboratively to shape the next generation of Francophone and Francophile entrepreneurs for our northern communities."

- François Afane
Executive Director, Conseil de Développement Économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest

Quick facts

  • CanNor is investing $285,500 towards a 3-year $685,500 project put forward by the Conseil de Développement Économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDETNO).

  • CDETNO is investing $25,000, with a further investment of $45,000 from the Government of the Northwest Territories, an investment of $115,000 from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and an investment of $215,000 from Employment and Social Development Canada.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Christian Poulin
Communications Advisor

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