New plan introduces French language immigration priorities
The Francophone population, those who speak French as their first language, has grown at a slow pace in recent Canadian history. Between 2016 and 2021, the population of people who speak French as their first language grew by 1.6% to 7.8 million. However, the general growth rate of the whole country was 5.2% during the same period. This means that the Francophone population is shrinking in its overall representation as a portion of the Canadian populace.
In order to address this shortage, the Canadian government has released the Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028. This plan is based on four pillars, the first of which is Francophone immigration. As such, they are allocating new funding to support the growth of the Francophone community. Let’s explore some of these measures together.
Today, we are presenting our Action Plan for Official Languages 2023-2028: Protection-Promotion-Collaboration. This ambitious five-year plan is the next step in our ongoing efforts to achieve substantive equality of English and French in Canada, with a clear focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity. It recognizes the important economic, social, and cultural value of our official languages, and takes into account the current and future situation of minority communities in Canada – both French-speaking minorities outside Quebec and English-speaking minorities in Quebec.The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
New Francophone immigration policy
The plan introduces $13.4 million over five years to replace the current Francophone Immigration Strategy, created in 2019. Moreover, this plan will support the framework of allowing French-speaking immigrants to settle in Francophone minority communities. The aim of this policy is to strengthen the demographic weight of Francophones in communities across the country.
A key factor in this new policy will be consolidating the Francophone integration pathway. New funding will be introduced to support this as well, totalling $50 million over five years. This will include current measures, like the Welcoming Francophone Communities, and new ones targeting specific communities, like French-speaking immigrant women. There will also be $3.5 million over five years allocated to adding a Francophone lens to current economic immigration pathways.
New opportunities for Francophone immigration will also be explored by the $25 million investment in creating the Centre for Innovation in Francophone Immigration. This will allow Francophone communities to promote themselves and conduct specific immigration plans.
<<Francophone communities in Canada outside of Quebec>>
Targeting and recruiting French workers
The government is hoping to recruit more French-speaking and bilingual workers into Canada’s workforce. They have allocated $18.5 million over five years for bolstering this recruitment both inside Canada and abroad. Overseas, Canada is targeting French speakers in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas to increase the labour market pool for Canadian employers in French-speaking communities.
French teachers are also being targeted in this recruitment of workers. Canada has allocated $16.3 million over five years to bring primary- and secondary-school French teachers to Canada. These teachers would then be able to work and settle in French-speaking communities. Tied into this goal of teaching French to a new generation, there is $10.5 million over five years being put towards teaching new immigrants to speak English and/or French.
To read the whole report, visit the page on the Government of Canada’s website.
<<The 10 most spoken (non-official) languages in Canada>>
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