Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie (MCCF)
INTERGOVERNMENTAL CO-OPERATION ESSENTIAL FOUNDATION FOR THE GROWTH OF FRANCOPHONE AND ACADIAN COMMUNITIES
The Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie (MCCF) held its annual meeting on July 6 and 7 in Vancouver to discuss key issues for Francophone and Acadian communities. In the wake of announcements concerning the modernization of the Official Languages Act and the 2023–2028 Action Plan on Official Languages, the ministers pledged to continue their efforts to strengthen coordination of their governments’ investment in the Canadian Francophonie for the benefit of Francophone and Acadian communities.
“The Canadian Francophonie is comprised of diverse individuals who share the French language and Francophone cultures”, stated the Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs for the Government of British Columbia and Co-President of the MCCF. “Intergovernmental collaboration remains a strong foundational element of the Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie and the meeting in Vancouver highlighted again the important contributions of the Canadian Francophonie to the social, economic, linguistic and cultural fabric of Canada.”
“I firmly believe the recently modernized Official Languages Act and the Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028 will give us the tools we need to create more learning opportunities, enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities, and address the decline of French in Canada”, said the Co-Chair of the MCCF, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “Strengthened collaboration will allow us to promote the Canadian Francophonie across the country and better support government services in sectors essential to the development of Francophone communities, including in the fields of culture, health, justice, employment, immigration, and education—from early childhood to the post-secondary level.”
The ministers discussed measures being developed to support Francophone immigration. The governments presented their progress on the issue and explored opportunities for future collaboration, to be guided by the following statement:
The MCCF is very pleased that the 4.4% target for Francophone immigration outside Quebec was reached in 2022. Francophone immigration contributes to the vitality of the Canadian Francophonie and Canada’s socio-economic growth, in addition to supporting the delivery of public services in French. The MCCF therefore hopes that Francophone immigration pathways will be maintained across the country. It also reaffirms the relevance of supporting ministers responsible for immigration to ensure they take into account the importance of welcoming newcomers who are proficient in French.
The ministers examined new data on the Francophone and bilingual workforce outside Quebec. The data, made available thanks to a partnership between the MCCF, Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada, will help governments identify bilingual workforce needs. The ministers also discussed potential initiatives related to Francophone economic development, as well as ways to leverage the promotion of the Francophonie for that purpose in Canada and abroad.
The ministers—aware of the growing importance of French internationally—were delighted to welcome Patrick Van Gheel, Ambassador of Belgium and representative of Francophone ambassadors in Canada. Mr. Van Gheel talked about the desire of these countries to strengthen ties with Francophones in Canada.
As part of their activities aimed at promoting the Canadian Francophonie, the ministers released a second video in the series How Far Can French Take You? (Le français peut vous mener loin), a social media initiative designed to celebrate learning and using French. To reiterate the importance of including French in crisis communications and to follow up on a video it produced on the topic in 2021, the MCCF partnered with the Université de Moncton, which developed a training module called Bilingualism Can Save Lives. The module, which is intended primarily as a tool for communicators whose language of work is not French, is now available for everyone—individuals, institutions and organizations—on the MCCF’s website.
In response to the commitment made in Regina in 2022 to support the development of online government services in French, the ministers continued their reflection on future delivery methods arising from new technologies.
The Government of Nova Scotia will co-chair the next MCCF annual meeting, to be held in Halifax in August 2024.
The Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie (MCCF), created in 1994, is an intergovernmental forum that is made up of the ministers responsible for the Canadian Francophonie. The MCCF works for an inclusive and dynamic Francophonie that contributes to and fully participates in the development of Canadian society. Visit the Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie website at https://cmfc-mccf.ca/en/.
Media Relations Director
Communications & Public Engagement (GCPE)
Government of British Columbia
Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency