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A welcoming Francophone community

Prince George, BC, has been selected as a Welcoming Francophone Community as part of Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages.

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 three years was announced in Budget 2018 to support the integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers in Canada.

The new Francophone immigration strategy, 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,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

“Prince George 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 British Columbia Francophone community and the members of the RIFCB (Francophone Immigration Network of British Columbia) are going to combine their efforts for this initiative in Prince George to be successful, so that Francophone newcomers feel welcome, can thrive in French and firmly establish themselves there,” said Robert Rothon, Executive Director, Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique.

“The Fédération is pleased with IRCC’s trust in local Francophone stakeholders as part of this initiative.

“It is confident that the significant progress made by IRCC with regard to the development of Francophone immigration in British Columbia, according to the ‘by and for’ principle, will continue.”

“Francophone immigration is a collaborative project designed to build a diverse and open Francophonie where everyone has a sense of belonging and feels at home, regardless of what their mother tongue is or where they are from,” said Jean Johnson, President, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA). “The Welcoming Communities Initiative is another tool for achieving this as it enables our organizations and institutions to create activities that build the relationships and bridges, and the collective ‘we’ that we want.

“Moreover, we are confident that the national strategy will finally make it possible to meet and even exceed the targets set for Francophone immigration.”

A few quick facts:

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).

A number of initiatives under the new strategy are already under way.

As of December 2018, 4.5 per cent of Express Entry invitations to apply were issued to French-speaking candidates, compared to 2.9 per cent in 2017.

 – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

 

 

Posted: Jun 5, 2019

November 2019

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