Working together on behalf of the Canadian Francophonie - Manitoba and Quebec Renew Their Co-operation Agreement And Take Concrete Action To Promote the Vitality and Longevity of the French Language in Canada

WINNIPEG, Jan. 18, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Premier of Manitoba and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs, Greg Selinger, today welcomed the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie in Quebec, Jean-Marc Fournier, to renew the Quebec-Manitoba
Co-operation Agreement and to mark their commitment to the longevity of the French language.

The new co-operation agreement on the Canadian Francophonie to support the development of the Francophone community signed by Premier Selinger, Premier Couillard and Minister Fournier strengthens relations between Quebec and Manitoba. This agreement builds on a long-lasting relationship between the two provinces and marks their commitment to work together in the area of economic development, education, culture and immigration. It is also in this spirit that Quebec and Manitoba commit to increase the funding allocated to this agreement and to each invest over $50,000 annually to implement development projects for the Francophone community in the various areas covered by the agreement.

"Through this strategic alliance, which we have consolidated with an agreement that includes quantified objectives, and especially through our stated commitment to the Canadian Francophonie, we once again affirm the importance of the French language as a characteristic of the Canadian identity. The French language must be heard and promoted beyond our common borders and it is through the growing ties and sustained cooperation between our Francophone communities that we will achieve this, and that we are already doing so," stated Minister Fournier.

Premier Selinger, Premier Couillard and Minister Fournier also signed a statement on Canadian Francophonie recognizing the key role played by Francophones in the founding of Canada and building the country we know today. Quebec wishes to renew and extend its actions in the area of Canadian Francophonie with all its partners and hopes this will be one of many other statements to be signed.

"Manitoba has a dynamic Francophone community and signing an agreement and statement provide an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made by this community to the economic and cultural diversity of our province," said Premier Selinger. "We also reaffirm our commitment to supporting the development of Manitoba's Francophonie and co-operating with the other Canadian provinces."

The governments of Quebec and Ontario signed a similar statement in November 2014, to foster the promotion and protection of the French language in Canada.

It is also in a spirit of co-operation and solidarity that the two provinces commit to ensuring governmental leadership with respect to the Canadian Francophonie, particularly by taking concrete action to ensure the demographic weight of francophones in Canada through francophone immigration, and by encouraging the active offer of services in French by promoting access to French-language schools and health services.

"I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to the Government of Manitoba and to all Manitobans on their commitment to the Francophone community. As a founding language of our country, French is not only a page in Canada's history, it bodes well for the future and we have an obligation to sustain it. It is through actions such as that undertaken with Ontario and undertaken today with Manitoba, that we will continue to forge an exciting path toward the Francophonie of tomorrow," stated Minister Fournier.

 

SOURCE Cabinet du ministre responsable des Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne

For further information: Karla Duval, Press Secretary, Ofiice of the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie, karla.duval@mce.gouv.qc.ca

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Cabinet du ministre responsable des Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne

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