Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

September 04, 2009 11:30 ET

Government of Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, Sign Official Languages in Education Protocol

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Sept. 4, 2009) - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Diane McGifford, Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy for Manitoba and Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), today announced the renewal of the Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction. The protocol paves the way for bilateral agreements on official-languages education. Under the protocol, the federal government will invest more than $1 billion over a four-year period in the provinces' and territories' delivery of minority-language education and second-language instruction (English in Quebec and French in the other provinces and territories).

The Government of Canada's investment in official-languages education comes, in part, from the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future. The Roadmap is an unprecedented, government-wide investment and reaffirms the Government's commitment to linguistic duality and to the vitality of minority official-language communities.

"This agreement marks another important step in our Government's plan to ensure that both our country's official languages are promoted and respected," said Minister Moore. "Having studied in an immersion program from elementary through high school, I can personally attest to the value of having the opportunity to learn in one's second language. I'm proud that our Government is standing up for second-language and minority-language education by making such an important investment."

"Official-languages education in Canada is a key priority for the ministers of education in all 13 educational jurisdictions, as put forward in our joint declaration, Learn Canada 2020 (http://www.cmec.ca/Publications/Lists/Publications/Attachments/187/CMEC-2020-DECLARATION.en.pdf). The renewed protocol demonstrates not only our continued collaborative efforts to ensure that all students in Canada benefit from the strength of our education systems, but also the importance that provinces and territories attach to learning both official languages. The federal government's contribution to the costs that the provinces and territories incur in the delivery of official-languages education will help to ensure the future of Canada's linguistic duality," said Minister McGifford.

Approximately $938 million will be invested over four years in provincial and territorial bilateral agreements, complementing the provincial and territorial investments in minority-language education and second-language instruction. The protocol also provides for federal investments, totalling approximately $96 million over four years, in the implementation of the Explore and Destination Clic bursary programs and the Odyssey language-assistant program, which are administered by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. The Explore, Destination Clic, and Odyssey programs complement classroom language instruction by providing young people with opportunities to learn Canada's official languages or work as language assistants in other parts of Canada.

The protocol, which extends from 2009-2010 to 2012-2013, reiterates the objectives pursued in past protocols and includes, for the first time, an outcomes framework that will serve as a basis for the development of performance targets and indicators in provincial and territorial action plans. This framework will enable governments to provide relevant and timely public information on the outcomes of this intergovernmental collaboration.

An electronic copy of the protocol is available at www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/lo-ol/entente-agreement/education/cmec/protocol-cmec/2009-2013/09-13Entente-CMEC-eng.cfm and http://www.cmec.ca/Publications/Lists/Publications/Attachments/202/protocol-for-agreements-2009-2013.pdf

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary, secondary, and advanced education in the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    deirdra.mccracken@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    or
    Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)
    Tamara Davis
    Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
    416-962-8100, ext. 241
    Cell: 416-804-6548
    t.davis@cmec.ca