Acadian Afairs - Youth Citizenship: A Priority for Canadian Francophonie Ministers



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    NOTE TO EDITORS: Background on the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian
    Francophonie follows this release.
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    HALIFAX, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - During the 12th Ministerial Conference on the
Canadian Francophonie, held in Halifax on Sept. 12 and 13, the ministers
responsible for Canadian Francophonie adopted a strategy to encourage active
citizenship among young Francophones.
    A youth consultation enabled the identification of three key elements:
citizenship, leadership development and communication. The conference will ask
an implementation committee, which will include youth representatives, to
support the organization of a gathering of francophone youth from across the
country in 2008. They will then be invited to present their report during the
13th conference.
    "To ensure that the Canadian Francophonie stays vibrant and committed, it
is important that the governments work constructively with youth to implement
projects that will allow them to develop a sense of pride in their Francophone
and Acadian identity, and to fully engage in their role as citizens," said
Chris d'Entremont, Nova Scotia Minister of Health and Minister of Acadian
Affairs.
    During the conference, the ministers also talked about the renewal of
intergovernmental agreements on French-language services, which expire in
March 2009. The ministers agreed on a common approach to facilitate the timely
renewal of the agreements.
    "Canada's government is committed to actively working with the provincial
and territorial governments to ensure the continued development of
Francophones in Canada," said the Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage,
Status of Women and Official Languages. "Today's discussions confirm that the
conference is an ideal forum for the promotion of more concerted action among
governments aimed at strengthening support and services for the Canadian
Francophonie."

    Held for the first time in 1994, the Ministerial Conference on the
Canadian Francophonie aims to strengthen the ties between the federal,
provincial and territorial governments in order to enhance French-language
services for citizens and to strengthen the Canadian Francophonie.
    The next conference will be held in Quebec City on Sept. 17 and 18, 2008,
during the 400th anniversary of the city's founding.

    See attached backgrounder for more details on the youth strategy.

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    FOR BROADCAST USE:

    During the 12th Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, held
in Halifax on Sept. 12 and 13, the ministers responsible for Canadian
Francophonie adopted a strategy to encourage active citizenship among young
Francophones.
    The ministers also discussed the renewal of intergovernmental agreements
on French-language services, which expires in March 2009. The ministers agreed
on a common approach to facilitate the timely renewal of the agreements.


    The following is background on the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian
Francophonie Youth Strategy:

    Background

    In the spring of 2007, the Intergovernmental Network on Canadian
Francophonie, which supports the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian
Francophonie, identified existing youth initiatives to determine the areas
where intervention would be effective and necessary.
    During the summer of 2007, the INCF initiated dialogue with youth
representatives across the country in order to align its actions with the
priorities established by Canada's young Francophones.

    The dialogue led to the following findings:
    
    - Citizenship was identified as a key area for the future of the
      Francophonie.
    - "By and for youth" was confirmed as the fundamental principle for any
      action by the MCCF in this area.
    - There was a need and willingness for increased co-operation between the
      various youth associations and among the government and community
      players in this field.
    - The MCCF will focus on sharing best practices and providing strategic
      leadership to the partners and will not be involved in program creation
      or delivery.
    - In the context of this strategy, citizenship refers to the involvement
      and social participation by youth in local, provincial, territorial,
      regional or national development.

    Youth strategy

    - Encourage MCCF member governments to take action to facilitate
      citizenship by young Francophones.
    - Encourage increased co-operation among Canada's Francophone youth
      stakeholder groups with regard to citizenship.
    - Support the development of leadership in Canada's young Francophones.

    2008 Action Plan

    - Strike a committee with youth representation to implement the strategy.
    - Help organize a gathering of young Francophones in 2008.
    - Leadership development and dialogue forum on citizenship.
    

    Participants could present a report to the 2008 MCCF in Quebec City as
part of the activities held in connection with the Francophonie Summit.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jennifer Bourque, Nova Scotia
Office of Acadian Affairs, (902) 424-8549, bourquja@gov.ns.ca; Richard Walker,
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official
Languages, (819) 994-5978; Donald Boulanger, Canadian Heritage, (819)
994-9101

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