During the 14th annual Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, held on September 23, and 24, 2009, in Vancouver, ministers responsible for Canadian Francophonie discussed the progress made in a number of key areas related to the growth of the Canadian Francophonie.
In the excitement surrounding the upcoming 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Para-Olympic Winter Games, the ministers were happy that February 13, 2010 was proclaimed a day of celebration of Canadian Francophonie, featuring cultural and social activities, that will take place in Vancouver as part of this international event.
The ministers also addressed the issue of whether French will be equally represented at the Games. Mr. Jacques Gauthier, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Official Languages and member of VANOC board of directors, gave a presentation on the topic.
Also in the spirit of the Olympic Games, mascots Miga, Quatchi and Sumi visited the ministers and recognized their commitment during a signing event in connection with ActNow BC, an initiative of the British Columbia government encouraging people to make healthier life choices.
Over the past year, the ministers continued to discuss issues raised by the report entitled Canadian Francophonie: Issues, Challenges and Future Directions, identifying new actions that need to be taken, notably in the areas of Francophone immigration and economic development. With regard to immigration, the Conference will partner in the organization and delivery of a preconference workshop dedicated to Francophone immigration, to be held on March 18, 2010, in Montreal, as part of the National Metropolis Conference.
The presence of youth leaders again this year confirmed that the Youth Intervention Strategy is successful. Participants outlined, among other things, the priorities by which future prospects for the Conference’s Youth Strategy should be developed. They also presented a special issue of their JeuneXpression magazine on the theme of youth citizenship.
Finally, the ministers discussed their concerns over the consequences of the CBC/SRC budgetary cuts to French-language services, and they are committed to doing what they can to address the issue of the accessibility and quality of Canada’s French-language broadcasting services.