QUEBEC, Oct. 30, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - On the initiative of the governments of Quebec and Ontario, representatives of the governments of seven provinces and territories met today in the presence of elected members of the federal government in order to identify avenues for collaboration and synergies related to tourism and promotion of Canada's Francophone heritage.
At the meeting, the representatives discussed the possibility of developing a proposal for a tourism and heritage circuit of the Canadian Francophonie, which would highlight the key role that Francophones played in building Canada and would also contribute to making today's Francophonie a catalyst of cultural, social and economic development for Canadians. Following exchanges between the participants, the governments of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, whose ministers responsible for the Francophonie, Madeleine Meilleur, Jean-Marc Fournier and Francine Landry as well as Nova Scotia Minister of Immigration, Lena Metlege Diabone and a representative from the Manitoba Government, were present, and agreed to take the lead on this file in order to complete the necessary documentation to ask the federal government to set up this circuit, as a permanent legacy for the Canadian Francophonie on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Federation in 2017. This circuit would highlight Francophone heritage, key milestones of Francophone history and today's Francophone reality, most notably in the context of numerous cultural events, under a common umbrella. It will also serve as a key vector for economic development and would demonstrate the priceless value of belonging to the Canadian Francophonie.
The circuit would be developed around existing paths, roads, routes and places of remembrance dedicated to Francophone heritage and today's French reality. It would also include activities as well as tourist, cultural and heritage attractions, such as museums, interpretation centres and festivals. It could also provide a listing of French services related to tourism, such as tourist information offices, libraries, archives, genealogy centres and associations. Moreover, synergies, most notably with the hospitality and food service sector, would help to create an overall experience for visitors.
"For the 8 million Quebeckers, 2.6 million Francophones and Francophiles in Canada and for all Canadians who would discover our Francophone heritage and uniqueness, this route of the Canadian Francophonie would provide an opportunity to strengthen ties which already connect us to one another and allow us to take concrete actions together to ensure the long-term vitality of the French reality in Canada", said Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec's Minister Responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie.
"In 2015, the Government of Ontario supported over one hundred cultural and heritage-related initiatives in the context of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the French presence in Ontario. Activities attracted thousands of visitors and yielded significant economic benefits for local communities. We are therefore proud to be associated with this highly promising Canada-wide project, which will generate additional long-term benefits for the 400th anniversary and tourism", added Madeleine Meilleur, Ontario's Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.
Francine Landry, New Brunswick's Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, and Minister responsible for La Francophonie insisted on the positive impact that such an initiative could have on community economic development. "Our government continues to see New Brunswick's Acadie and our Francophonie as a valued asset that makes us unique and ensures the development of our communities. A Canadian Francophonie tourism route would support our economic-development and promotional efforts and those of other francophone communities in the country".
This circuit will undoubtedly benefit the entire Canadian population and will help highlight the key contribution of Francophones to the identity of our country.
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre responsable des Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne
For further information: Karla Duval, Press Attachée, Office of the Minister Responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and Canadian Francophonie, Telephone: 418-956-0379, firstname.lastname@example.org; Christine Michaud, Senior Communications Advisor, Office of the Ontario Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, Telephone: 416-326-4019, email@example.com; Molly Cormier, Communications, Francophonie, Government of New Brunswick, 506-444-3194, firstname.lastname@example.org