The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, together with the Honourable Zach Churchill, Nova Scotia Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and a representative from the Pomquet Area Cultural Recreation Community Development Association, today announced funding for the Centre culturel et communautaire de Pomquet infrastructure and school expansion project. The Government of Canada will invest $3,441,270 in this project. The Provincial Government intends to match the Government of Canada’s investment for the school expansion and the Pomquet Area Cultural Recreation Community Development Association will contribute $800,000.
This major infrastructure project involves the construction of a new community wing at the École acadienne de Pomquet and the expansion of its school wing. This will enable the school to better meet the needs of the region’s Francophone student population, which is growing considerably.
These renovations will also allow for the creation and establishment of the proposed Centre culturel et communautaire de Pomquet, which is intended to be a gathering place for Acadian and Francophone families. The new community facilities will include a daycare centre with room for 20 to 25 children age 3 and under, a meeting room, a multipurpose room that can accommodate up to 150 people, an industrial-style kitchen, storage space, and two offices. The investment of the Pomquet Area Cultural Recreation Community Development Association comes from funds raised by the community and will be used to support additional community spaces.
The Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, the Société acadienne Sainte-Croix and the Pomquet Area Cultural Recreation Community Development Association will work together to make this educational and community centre a gathering place for the entire community of Pomquet and the surrounding area. The new space will contribute to the vitality of the region by providing its residents with a meeting place where they can share their Franco-Acadian heritage.
“The Government of Canada wants to support official-language minority communities by making available spaces where they can gather and interact. It is thanks to these community spaces that our language and culture continue to thrive. One day this pandemic will end, and we will need these places to come together. It is through investments like the one announced today that the government can continue to ensure the sustainability and vitality of our communities.”
-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
“Nova Scotia schools are at the heart of the local community, acting as an important hub for our children and families to learn and thrive. With the expansion of the École acadienne de Pomquet, we look forward to supporting the growing Acadian and Francophone community in Pomquet. The expansion of the existing school, including the addition of a new, modern community centre, will enhance education, recreation and arts support for generations to come.”
The Honourable Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
“I am delighted that the Acadian community in Pomquet will benefit from new community spaces. Rural Acadian communities like Pomquet are an integral part of the diverse tapestry of Cape Breton and northeastern Nova Scotia. They are experiencing strong demographic growth, and need appropriate and welcoming infrastructure in order to preserve the vitality of their language and culture.”
-Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament (Cape Breton-Canso)
“Every opportunity to advance the Francophonie in Canada is close to my heart, particularly in my home province of Nova Scotia. It is by investing at the grassroots level, in small communities, that we can build the foundations of a solid and sustainable Francophonie.”
-Darrell Samson, Member of Parliament (Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook)
“The Acadian and Francophone community of Pomquet celebrates today the construction of a multi-generational cultural center. Many years of hard work and fundraising have brought us to this day. This center will support a vibrant Acadian language and culture in our region.”
– Rémi Deveau, representative of the Pomquet Area Cultural Recreation Community Development Association
The Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future reflects the Government of Canada’s broad vision for establishing a strong Canadian Francophonie and supporting official-language minority communities.
The Action Plan provides $67.2 million over five years for construction projects linked to educational and cultural infrastructures of official-language minority communities. This is in addition to the $80 million over 10 years for community educational infrastructure announced in Budget 2017 through the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada plan.
Through the Official Languages Support Programs, the Government of Canada works in partnership with all provincial and territorial governments, as well as more than 350 community organizations, to meet the needs of our communities.
Through the Development of Official Language Communities Program, the Government of Canada enhances the development and vitality of official-language minority communities.
There are official-language minority communities in every province and territory, each with its own specific realities and needs.