Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

March 20, 2007 09:13 ET

Canada's Francophonie: A Source of Pride for all Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 20, 2007) - Today, on the occasion of the International Day of La Francophonie, the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, is encouraging all Canadians to join 175 million Francophones from 55 countries all over the world in celebrating the French language.

"Canada's Francophonie, just like our two official languages, belongs to all Canadians," the Commissioner said. "The celebrations of La Francophonie are an opportunity to recognize the valuable contributions that the Canadian Francophonie makes to our collective culture and diversity."

With more than nine million French-speaking Canadians across the country, opportunities abound to take in and celebrate La Francophonie. This can mean participating in activities organized by a local Francophone organization, watching French-Canadian films, taking a French course, talking to friends in French, or simply taking an interest in French history and culture in Canada.

A recent survey by Decima Research suggests that, for 7 out of 10 Canadians, the federal government's official languages policy is an important part of Canada's social fabric. For youth aged 18 to 34, support for Canadian bilingualism has risen to 80%. Parents are also increasingly demanding second language learning opportunities for their children, with surveys showing 83% of parents feel that it is important for their children to speak a second language.

"Canada's Francophonie is a source of pride regionally, nationally and internationally," Mr. Fraser said. "Our two official languages allow us to communicate with people in over 75 countries throughout the world. This gives us a world of advantages on the economic, political and cultural stages."

A number of upcoming events will provide excellent opportunities for Canada to showcase its French history and culture to the world, including the 400th anniversary of Quebec, to be celebrated in 2008; the XIIth Summit of La Francophonie, which will also be taking place in Quebec in 2008; and the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. It will be important to ensure that these celebrations are in keeping with the Government of Canada's mandate, thereby truly reflecting our linguistic duality and promoting the vitality of French and English communities.

This press release, along with some Quick Facts on Canada's Francophonie, are available on our Web site at:

Contact Information