No new federal funding for official languages in education



    TORONTO, July 14 /CNW/ - Through the Council of Ministers of Education,
Canada (CMEC), the ministers responsible for education across the country are
pleased that federal funding for the official languages in education will
continue but have expressed disappointment that the Government of Canada will
not increase its funding under its new Roadmap for Linguistic Duality in
Canada, announced by the Minister of Canadian Heritage on June 19, 2008.
    "We were happy to receive an assurance that the federal government will
continue its commitment to the official languages, said Kelly Lamrock, New
Brunswick Minister of Education and Chair of CMEC. "However, given inflation
and the enrolment growth in many provinces and territories, maintaining the
status quo basically means a considerable reduction in funding."
    Federal contributions to the provinces and territories for official
languages in education are provided under bilateral agreements with each
jurisdiction. The bilateral agreements are negotiated according to a protocol
between Canadian Heritage and CMEC. The federal government is contributing a
minimum of $258.6 million this year to assist provinces and territories to
meet the costs they incur in providing French-language education to
francophone students outside Quebec, English-language education to anglophone
students in Quebec, and instruction in French and English as second languages.
    All jurisdictions offer programs for official-language minority learners
and second-language learners. The provinces and territories are continually
striving to improve the quality of those programs and to improve outcomes for
learners. They are also endeavouring to increase access for learners who have
a right to education in their mother tongue and those who wish to study their
second official language.
    Lamrock observed that current federal funding for official languages in
education is lower than 1991-92 levels. With inflation, over $400 million
would be required annually from Canadian Heritage to deliver the same
programs.
    "Our partnership with the federal government over the past years has been
very productive, but we feel it is essential that the Government of Canada
enhance its support to assist us in our ongoing efforts," added Lamrock. "Our
officials will be meeting soon with their federal counterparts to discuss how
that partnership will continue under the new roadmap, and we look forward to
those discussions."

    CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible
for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and
territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects
in areas of mutual interest and concern.





For further information:

For further information: Colin Bailey, Assistant Director,
Administration and Communications, (416) 962-8100, ext. 259, Web site:
www.cmec.ca

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Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

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