Canadian Advantage
Skilled Worker
Business Class
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Immigration Assessment
 
 
 

2005-08

TRANSFORMING PLANS INTO ACTION

PIER 21, HALIFAX, March 30, 2005 — The Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), launched Towards Building a Canadian Francophonie of Tomorrow, a document that outlines progress made on projects designed to attract, welcome and integrate immigrants to Francophone Minority Communities outside Quebec. It also includes plans for continued work in 2005 and 2006.

“Linguistic duality is a core value of Canadian society. Through immigration, we want to help Francophone minority communities prosper and grow. We have made a lot of progress over the last few years and would like to thank all of our partners, particularly the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, for their hard work in helping us move forward,” said Minister Volpe. “The summary released today is a solid example of how we can reach our objectives if we all work together.”

The initiatives described in the summary stem from the release of the Strategic Framework to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities, launched in November 2003 by the CIC–Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee. The Strategic Framework is contained within the Government of Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages, launched in March 2003. The first objective in this framework is to increase the number of French speaking immigrants to 4.4% by 2008.

“I am happy to report that we have surpassed our goal. In 2001, 3.1% of immigrants outside Quebec spoke French. In 2004, this percentage increased to 4.9%,” said the Honourable Mauril Belanger, Minister responsible for Official Languages, who also attended today’s event. “Through hard work and dedication, we hope that this percentage will continue to rise each and every year. I am also looking forward to the release of the Steering Committee’s five-year action plan which will further support the development of Francophone minority communities in Canada.”

For more information on what CIC is doing to foster immigration to Francophone minority communities and/or to learn more about the document released today, please visit the “What’s New” section of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Web site at www.cic.gc.ca

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For more information (media only):

Stephen Heckbert
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
(613) 954-1064

Maria Iadinardi
Media Relations
Communications Branch
(613) 952-0740

Orli Namian
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Mauril Bélanger
(613) 299-6422

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BACKGROUNDER
Immigration Helps Official Language
Minority Communities Grow

Recent studies show that Francophone minority communities in Canada have not benefited from immigration as much as Anglophone minority communities. Since immigration is a major factor in Canada’s population growth, both of our country’s linguistic communities should benefit equally.

The 2005 Budget reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to improve the integration of immigrants to the Canadian labour market and society. The Government of Canada is investing $298 million over five years for settlement programming which will benefit all newcomers to Canada, including newcomers who choose to settle in an Official Language minority community.

Reaching the Objectives of the Strategic Framework

In 2003, the CIC–Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee launched a Strategic Framework containing five objectives to gradually receive more French-speaking newcomers over the next five years. The five objectives are:

  1. Increase the number of French-speaking immigrants to Francophone minority communities
  2. Ensure that Francophone minority communities have the reception and settlement infrastructures to receive Francophone newcomers
  3. Ensure the economic integration of French-speaking immigrants into Canadian society and into Francophone minority communities in particular
  4. Ensure the social and cultural integration of French-speaking immigrants into Canadian society and into Francophone minority communities
  5. Foster regionalization of Francophone immigration outside Toronto and Vancouver

Going Beyond Our Goal: 4.9% of Immigrants to Canada Speak French

In 2001, 3.1% of immigrants to Canada outside Quebec were French-speaking. The first objective of the Framework described how we planned to increase that amount to 4.4% by 2008. We have gone beyond that goal. In 2004, 4.9% of immigrants speak French.

Where We Are, What We’ve Done and Where We’re Going

On a national level, CIC included linguistic provisions in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Provincial Nominees Programs. We are working with our partners to promote immigration to Francophone minority communities abroad. We have organized successful tours to Central Europe, South America and Africa, to let people know that there are Francophone communities that exist outside Quebec.

In March 2005, the Steering Committee launched Towards Building a Canadian Francophonie of Tomorrow. This report provides a look at what has been accomplished since the implementation of the Strategic Framework. While there is still a lot of work to be done, a great deal of progress has been made to strengthen Francophone minority communities. For example, in New Brunswick, a round-table session was launched as a pilot project to encourage integration of French-speaking immigrants and to promote community awareness. Under the Settlement Worker program in Ontario schools, information sessions on the Canadian education system are being organized for French-speaking immigrant parents and children. These are but a few examples of the progress that has been made across the country.

The CIC–Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee is also getting ready to prepare its five-year action plan which will further support the development of Francophone minority communities in Canada.

For More Information

For more information on what CIC is doing to foster immigration to Francophone minority communities and/or to learn more about the Strategic Framework and the Summary of Initiatives, please visit CIC’s Web site at www.cic.gc.ca under the “Francophone Immigration” section.