Remarks at the launch of the Action Plan for Official Languages
We are gathered here today with a positive vision for the future of our two official languages in Canada.
French and English are two official languages, are an important symbol of our diversity in Canada. It is a great legacy that is central to our identity and that we must continue to uphold.
Since 2015, our government has made major investments to protect and promote our minority official languages. We have invested in culture, for example, in CBC/Radio-Canada, in the Canada Council for the Arts and in Telefilm Canada. With Ontario, and to some extent against Ontario, we obtained funds to build a new French-language university in Toronto. At the same time, we also invested to support English-language institutions in Quebec, but as we know, French is the minority in North America and that makes its status fragile. And with social media and new technologies, English is becoming ever more present around the world. So, as a government, it is our responsibility to continue to protect our minority official languages. That’s why we introduced Bill C-13 to modernize the Official Languages Act. And it’s also why we are launching the new Action Plan for Official Languages today. Over the next five years, we will make historic investments to protect and promote our two official languages. Our action plan is built on four themes.
First, re-establishing the demographic weight of Francophones in Canada through Francophone immigration. Last year, for example, we reached our target for Francophone immigration outside Quebec, with the highest number in 20 years. But we are determined to continue our work in this direction. The second pillar: we will promote learning opportunities across the country. Third, we will support community organizations, including those in the arts and culture sector and in early child care and employment assistance services. And fourth, we will continue to act as leaders to ensure that federal institutions implement measures to strengthen our official languages, and we will measure the performance of our institutions to make sure that they deliver concrete results.
Our action plan for official languages is an ambitious five-year plan that recognizes the important economic, social and cultural value of official languages. It 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. Our action plan will be focused on results. For example, will create a network of early childhood stakeholders in Francophone minority communities across Canada, will also expand the supply of internships in sectors experiencing labour shortages for youth in minority communities. This new action plan will help ensure the continued growth and prosperity of both English and French across our country.