The Government of Canada's new action plan represents the largest federal investment in official languages in our history to support the vitality of official-language minority communities and promote our official languages
CALGARY, April 27, 2018 /CNW/ - Our two official languages are at the heart of who we are as Canadians. It is crucial to have a robust, pan‑governmental approach in place to ensure that official-language minority communities continue to grow and thrive, and that our two official languages are promoted across the country.
Today, at an event that brought together key members of the Franco-Albertan community, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre), reiterated the recent announcement of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future. He made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Official Languages.
This plan offers a vision for the future, new funding and specific measures to support the vitality of official-language minority communities and promote French and English from coast to coast to coast.
In addition to maintaining the funding in support of official languages, this new plan proposes an additional investment of nearly $500 million over five years. This amount includes the $400-million investment announced in Budget 2018, not to mention such recent initiatives as the investment in community-based educational infrastructure for official-language minority communities announced in Budget 2017.
To find out more about all the initiatives in the Plan, which will be implemented by half a dozen departments, peruse the Action Plan.
"This new plan includes more than 30 new measures—from a Francophone immigration strategy and early childhood education measures, to culture and education initiatives and a new fund for Anglophones in Quebec. These measures will have a real impact on the vitality of official-language minority communities, like the one here in Calgary."
—Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament (Edmonton Centre)
According to Statistics Canada's 2016 Census, Francophone communities outside Quebec represent 3.8 percent of the population, and the rate of bilingualism among English-speakers outside Quebec is 6.8 percent. According to projections for 2036, the percentage of Francophones outside Quebec could fall to 3 percent, and the national bilingualism rate would increase only among Francophones in Quebec (rising from 44.5 percent currently to 49 percent in 2036). The current rate of bilingualism in Canada is 17.5 percent.
There are official-language minority communities in every province and territory, each with its own specific realities and needs. This plan addresses the unique challenges facing French‑speaking communities outside Quebec, as well as English-speaking communities in Quebec.
The Plan proposes additional funding of $499.2 million over and above current investments of $2.2 billion, bringing the Government of Canada's total support to almost $2.7 billion over five years.
The Plan is the result of an analysis of the Pan-Canadian Consultations on Official Languages that were held from June to December 2016. More than 6,500 Canadian individuals and organizations participated, and parliamentary committee reports were tabled on the subject.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only), please contact: Simon Ross, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Constituency Office, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, 780-442-1888; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]