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St. John’s (N.L.) – 2002

At this October meeting, the ministers and elected representatives responsible for francophone affairs in the provinces and territories signed a declaration of principles recognizing that government leadership is vital to the future of the Canadian Francophonie.

By signing and releasing this statement, they wished to emphasize and formally recognize elements that are key to the development of the Francophone and Acadian communities. They thus expressed their desire that Francophones and Acadians live and achieve their full potential both individually and collectively in French throughout Canada. The Government of Quebec, committed to the preservation and development of the French language and culture, joined in the declaration of principles.

Participants in the provincial-territorial session focused on intergovernmental cooperation to advance francophone issues. They reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate strategically and share resources between their governments, as well as to promote the expertise, institutions, and organizations of the Francophone and Acadian communities, and ensure their participation in the planning and implementation of cooperation projects.

Discussion of the federal action plan on official languages during the federal-provincial-territorial meeting revealed that the outline of the federal plan largely matched the focus of the provinces and territories at the ministerial conferences on francophone affairs. Moreover, it was agreed that the provincial and territorial governments would have a key role to play in the implementation of certain components of the action plan. It was pointed out that federal-provincial-territorial agreements on the promotion of official languages are an ideal tool in this respect.

Francophone immigration was one of the new topics on the agenda. The ministers and elected officials acknowledged the need to facilitate the recruitment, selection, reception and integration of new Canadians in Francophone and Acadian communities, in partnership with various community, government and private sector stakeholders.

This conference served to broaden the scope of intergovernmental synergy.

St. John’s (N.L.) – 2002