This morning, Sean Fraser, the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, visited École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité in Sturgeon Falls to announce that Canada has achieved its target regarding Francophone immigration.
The goal was to have 4.4 per cent of French-speaking immigrants living outside of Quebec in 2022, and those numbers have been reached, Fraser noted. This past year alone, over 16,300 new immigrants have settled in Francophone communities across Canada. Fraser compared this to numbers from 2006, which saw just over 2,800 new residents choose homes outside of Quebec.
Over the past five years, the number of Francophone immigrants has increased by 42,470 permanent residents.
“Today, we are showing that Francophone immigration is at the heart of the values that make Canada rich, both culturally and through the distinct character of its two official languages,” Minister Fraser noted. Increasing French-speaking immigrants adds to the “vitality and development of Francophone communities outside Quebec,” he added.
“We have achieved our target,” he said. However, the minister’s work carries on. “We will continue to welcome French-speaking immigrants to ensure the viability of these key communities,” that help to “shape the future of our country.”
“We are on the road to success and will continue working to achieve ambitious Francophone immigration objectives in the years to come,” he added.
In part, achieving the immigration goal was made possible by the Action Plan for Official Languages, which runs from 2018 to 2023. The plan provided $500 million to support official languages, the minister’s office outlined on the Government of Canada’s website. Of this, $40.8 million was earmarked for Francophone immigration initiatives.
“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction,” noted Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the minister of Official Languages, “and will give us the momentum we need to adopt a robust new Francophone immigration policy,” which is presented in Bill C-13, which outlines “objectives, targets and specific indicators that will ensure the sustainability of the French language.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.