Official-language minority communities in Canada are in a constant struggle to hold onto their language, uphold their rights and maintain their ability to live in the language of their choice. The Government of Canada supports Canadians living in linguistic minority communities by investing in community partners that are providing the tools and opportunities to help their members learn and retain the language.
Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages), confirmed that the Government of Canada has invested $2.89 million in 2020-2021 program funding to 23 organizations in Saskatchewan, a funding increase of 35 percent since 2018, with two additional organizations receiving funding. She made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
Under the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023, the Communauté des africains francophones de la Saskatchewan and the Fédération des aînés Fransaskois were eligible to receive program funding for the first time, providing financial stability for these organizations and helping them plan multi-year activities. The increase also allowed programming funding for the Journées du patrimoine initiative of the Société historique de la Saskatchewan.
“Official-language communities in Canada are part of the very fabric of our country, made up of many small, passionate community organizations that work tirelessly to ensure sustainability and vitality of our Francophone populations. The Government of Canada is proud to support their ongoing efforts and commitment to our bilingual future.”
-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
“In every part of Canada, official-language minority communities are working to keep their language and culture relevant, strong and thriving. Community organizations play a vital role in Canada’s bilingual future by providing leadership and direction, and ensuring access to services, resources, and cultural and language activities.”
-Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages)
“The federal government’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023 has had a very noticeable impact on the level of retention in human resources across our network of Francophone organizations. Since the Action Plan has been put in place, a palpable strengthening has been felt across the majority of Fransaskois organizations. The new programming has made it possible to set up initiatives that were previously impossible. The Action Plan has allowed us to broaden our sources of funding in order to expand our offer of services in French in many sectors. It also offers substantial support for Francophone immigration.”
-Denis Simard, Chair, Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise
The Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future proposes an unprecedented investment of $2.7 billion over five years, including $500 million in new funding, to support official-language minority communities and promote bilingualism across the country.
On February 19, in the document English and French: Towards a substantive equality of official languages in Canada, Minister Joly unveiled the Government of Canada’s intentions to modernize and strengthen the Official Languages Act and related instruments. This document proposes a range of changes and new measures to achieve a new linguistic balance in the country.