The Governments of Canada and Manitoba announce an agreement to improve access to French-language programs and services in the province
WINNIPEG, Feb. 15, 2019 /CNW/ - Over the generations, Canadians have kept their official languages and culture alive and well. English and French are at the heart of our identity and values. Ensuring their vitality is essential and depends on building strong and vibrant communities. Making services available in both official languages allows official-language minority communities to flourish.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, together with Rochelle Squires, Manitoba Minister of Sustainable Development and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, announced a cost-sharing agreement to support both provincial and municipal services in a minority language—in this case, French—in the Province of Manitoba.
Under this agreement, the governments of Canada and Manitoba will each contribute $7 million over five years, which equals out to $1.4 million annually. This funding will allow the province to offer French-language services and programs in several areas, including early childhood care, economic development, tourism, as well as health and social services. This investment is in addition to the funds from the Action Plan for Official Languages 2019–2023 to support official-language minority communities and preserve linguistic duality across the country.
"Our government recognizes how important it is for Anglophones and Francophones living in official-language minority communities to have access to services in their language. This agreement will help support the Franco-Manitoban community so that it has easier access to the various programs and services offered in the province, without any language barrier."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
"We are pleased to collaborate with the Government of Canada in our shared commitment to provide services in both official languages. This agreement will allow Manitoba to further improve its French language services. It will help support our vibrant Francophone community, who will be able to access a broader array of services and information in French."
—Rochelle Squires, Manitoba Minister of Sustainable Development and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
Annual and multi-year cost-sharing agreements are reached with provincial and territorial governments to support intergovernmental collaboration on official-language minority services.
Intergovernmental Cooperation on Minority Language Services aims to help provincial and territorial governments offer provincial, territorial and municipal services in the language of the official-language minority community, as well as implement and maintain the necessary infrastructure to provide these services.
The Action Plan for Official Languages 2019–2023 proposes an unprecedented investment of $2.7 billion over five years to support official-language minority communities and promote bilingualism across the country.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
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