Under the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative, a total of 14 communities across Canada will receive funding so they can create programs and activities to help French-speaking newcomers feel welcomed and integrated into Francophone minority communities. This initiative of $12.6 million over 3 years was announced in Budget 2018 to support the integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers in Canada.
The new Meeting Our Objectives: Francophone Immigration Strategy, announced on March 13, 2019, is a collaborative approach with federal, provincial, territorial and community partners, an approach described as “by and for Francophones”. It seeks to enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities through immigration, specifically by increasing the proportion of French-speaking permanent residents outside of Quebec, supporting the integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers, and building the capacity of Francophone communities.
“Francophone communities open up their hearts to welcome French-speaking newcomers to Canada. Hawkesbury will be able to be even more inviting to Francophone immigrants so they can feel welcome and where they will have more opportunities to make Canada their home. Through the launch of the Francophone Immigration Strategy, we are committed to increasing the proportion of French-speaking immigrants in Francophone minority communities.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“The Francophone community is rooted in Hawkesbury and contributed to its founding. This announcement is an important step in addressing Hawkesbury’s current workforce shortage. Several new businesses and organizations are establishing themselves in Hawkesbury, and from the health sector to the manufacturing sector, there are opportunities for everyone. The community has an array of services that will work together on this pilot project. This $ 1.35 million funding awarded to the community will make Hawkesbury an ideal place to welcome Francophone immigrants so they can make it their new home.”
– Francis Drouin, MP Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
“The AFO is pleased that the Government of Canada has put forward 1 of the 11 recommendations in the White Paper on Francophone Immigration in Ontario by proposing a pilot project to increase the number of welcoming Francophone communities for Francophone immigrants in Ontario. We also congratulate the 3 Réseaux en immigration francophone (RIF) in Ontario for their work with regard to this major step taken today. In addition, by selecting 3 municipalities in the province, the pilot project contributes to the regionalization of Francophone immigration. We will continue to work with the Government of Canada and the RIFs to ensure the success of this initiative.”
– Carol Jolin, President of the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) (Ottawa)
Francophone Welcoming Communities initiative
- The initiative is a pilot project co-led by IRCC and Francophone communities, which include the 13 Réseaux en immigration francophone, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA) and the Comité atlantique sur l’immigration francophone (CAIF).
Meeting Our Objectives: Francophone Immigration Strategy
- A number of initiatives under the new strategy are already under way, including those announced by the Minister in November 2018 as part of National Francophone Immigration Week.
- As of December 2018, 4.5% of Express Entry invitations to apply were issued to French-speaking candidates, compared to 2.9% in 2017.