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. Funding for this initiative, $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”. The strategy 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.
The 14 Welcoming Francophone Communities are: Prince George (British Columbia), Calgary (Alberta), Moose Jaw and Gravelbourg (Saskatchewan), Seine River Region (Manitoba), Hamilton (Ontario), Hawkesbury (Ontario), Sudbury (Ontario), Labrador City-Wabush (Newfoundland and Labrador), Haut-Saint-Jean (New Brunswick), Municipality of Clare (Nova Scotia), Évangeline Region (Prince Edward Island), Whitehorse (Yukon), Yellowknife (Northwest Territories) and Iqaluit (Nunavut).
“Francophone communities open up their hearts to welcome French-speaking newcomers to Canada. Yellowknife 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 selection of Yellowknife will make for a more diverse, stronger Franco-Ténoise community that supports our workforce and community needs. With the support of dedicated funding of $305,670, Yellowknife will be able to welcome more Francophones who want to make the Northwest Territories their home.”
– Michael McLeod, MP, Northwest Territories
“A welcoming Francophone community in Yellowknife will allow us to provide better integration for newcomers. We will work with all our partners to ensure that newcomers establish successfully and stay in Yellowknife.”
– Linda Bussey, Executive Director, Fédération franco-ténoise (FFT) (Yellowknife)
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.