The Government of Canada supports services in French for Ottawa residents and visitors
OTTAWA, Aug. 23, 2019 /CNW/ - Our two official languages are central to Canadian identity. They are a way to promote inclusion and integration in our diverse society. The bilingual character of Ottawa, Canada's capital city, is a source of pride and a reflection of who we are. That is why the Government of Canada recognizes how important it is to get behind initiatives to foster it.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, has announced $224,500 in funding to improve the quality of French-language services provided to Ottawa residents and visitors.
With this financial support, provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Development of Official-Language Communities Program, the City of Ottawa will support its staff in improving services in French. It will do this through its "One City, Two Languages" project to actively offer services to citizens, which will continue until 2021.
The project will improve recreational and cultural programs in French. Six Francophone hubs will be created within existing municipal and community facilities. These hubs will play a role in coordinating and promoting French-language services and programs. This component will also seek to implement initiatives and put in place French-language resources to give staff the tools they need to offer services in French.
In addition, the project aims to update existing tools to promote the active offer of municipal services in both official languages. A training video will be produced to promote the City's bilingualism policy and the tools available to employees.
"This country's cultural diversity is expressed through our two official languages. Our capital must reflect this cultural and linguistic asset. As the federal government, we are committed to enhancing French-language services in Ottawa."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
"Visitors and residents of Ottawa will benefit from expanded and improved services in French. Municipal employees will be better equipped to provide these services, and the Francophone community will be better served. They will be able to enjoy more cultural experiences through the Francophone hubs."
—Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament (Ottawa‒Vanier)
"The City is proud to work with Canadian Heritage as part of the Action Plan for Official Languages. The City recognizes the important contributions of the Francophone community in all fields, and we are committed to contribute to its development and vitality. I am sure that Ottawa residents and the City's staff will benefit from the many positive impacts of this project."
—Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
In 2017, the Government of Ontario passed legislation to make the City of Ottawa's bilingual status official. The act recognizes that both official languages will enjoy the same rights, status and privileges in Ottawa.
The Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future is providing an unprecedented $2.7 billion over five years, including $500 million in new funding, to support official-language minority communities and promote both official languages across the country.
The Action Plan provides a clear vision, new financial assistance, and specific measures to foster the vitality of official-language minority communities and promote English and French from coast to coast to coast.
On June 13, 2019, Minister Joly announced a two-year partnership between the Government of Canada and the Association des communautés francophones d'Ottawa to strengthen the French fact in Ottawa and bolster the bilingual nature of Canada's capital. The organization will receive $1.25 million over two years through the Action Plan to support businesses and community organizations that promote, through various projects, the vitality and economic development of the Francophone community and bring official-language communities closer together.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only), please contact: Jérémy Ghio, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, [email protected]; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]