Government of Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, Sign Official Languages in Education Protocol

    WINNIPEG, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of
Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Diane McGifford,
Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy for Manitoba and Chair of the
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), today announced the renewal
of the Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and
Second-Language Instruction. The protocol paves the way for bilateral
agreements on official-languages education. Under the protocol, the federal
government will invest more than $1 billion over a four-year period in the
provinces' and territories' delivery of minority-language education and
second-language instruction (English in Quebec and French in the other
provinces and territories).
    The Government of Canada's investment in official-languages education
comes, in part, from the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013:
Acting for the Future. The Roadmap is an unprecedented, government-wide
investment and reaffirms the Government's commitment to linguistic duality and
to the vitality of minority official-language communities.
    "This agreement marks another important step in our Government's plan to
ensure that both our country's official languages are promoted and respected,"
said Minister Moore. "Having studied in an immersion program from elementary
through high school, I can personally attest to the value of having the
opportunity to learn in one's second language. I'm proud that our Government
is standing up for second-language and minority-language education by making
such an important investment."
    "Official-languages education in Canada is a key priority for the
ministers of education in all 13 educational jurisdictions, as put forward in
our joint declaration, Learn Canada 2020. The renewed protocol demonstrates
not only our continued collaborative efforts to ensure that all students in
Canada benefit from the strength of our education systems, but also the
importance that provinces and territories attach to learning both official
languages. The federal government's contribution to the costs that the
provinces and territories incur in the delivery of official-languages
education will help to ensure the future of Canada's linguistic duality," said
Minister McGifford.
    Approximately $938 million will be invested over four years in provincial
and territorial bilateral agreements, complementing the provincial and
territorial investments in minority-language education and second-language
instruction. The protocol also provides for federal investments, totalling
approximately $96 million over four years, in the implementation of the
Explore and Destination Clic bursary programs and the Odyssey
language-assistant program, which are administered by the Council of Ministers
of Education, Canada. The Explore, Destination Clic, and Odyssey programs
complement classroom language instruction by providing young people with
opportunities to learn Canada's official languages or work as language
assistants in other parts of Canada.
    The protocol, which extends from 2009-2010 to 2012-2013, reiterates the
objectives pursued in past protocols and includes, for the first time, an
outcomes framework that will serve as a basis for the development of
performance targets and indicators in provincial and territorial action plans.
This framework will enable governments to provide relevant and timely public
information on the outcomes of this intergovernmental collaboration.
    An electronic copy of the protocol is available at
13/09-13Entente-CMEC-eng.cfm and

    CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible
for elementary, secondary, and advanced education in 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: Deirdra McCracken, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, (819)
997-7788,; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage,
(819) 994-9101, 1-866-569-6155,; Tamara Davis, Coordinator,
Communications and Media Relations, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
(CMEC), Cell: (416) 804-6548, Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241, E-mail:

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