Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

February 27, 2009 13:00 ET

Minister Moore Announces Extension of French-Language Education Agreement With British Columbia

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced today at a meeting with students from Simon Fraser University that the Canada-British Columbia Auxiliary Agreement for the Development of Postsecondary Education in French at Simon Fraser University will be extended for an additional year.

This agreement allowed for the establishment of the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA) at Simon Fraser University. With this extension, the Government of Canada is committing to contribute up to an additional $1.215 million to British Columbia's official-languages expenditures for 2008-2009.

"This extension, which devotes additional resources to students wanting to attend university programs and courses in French, enables our Government to contribute to the objectives outlined in our Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality. In this way, we are encouraging British Columbians and certainly all Canadians to take part in our country's linguistic duality and providing support to official-language minority communities," said Minister Moore, who went on to state that 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the coming into force of the Official Languages Act.

"The OFFA's mission is to develop, coordinate, and promote French-language programs and courses to meet British Columbia's post-secondary education needs," said Claire Trepanier, Acting Director of the OFFA. "Since 2004, Simon Fraser University has offered a range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs to the province's Francophones and Francophiles. Ottawa is right to invest in this innovative project, which contributes to educating the next generation of public service and education employees, among others, and promotes linguistic duality, the Francophonie, and Canadian identity on the West Coast."

"Our Government is committed to providing better choices and better access to post-secondary education so students can get the education they need to succeed," said the Honourable Murray Coell, Minister for Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. "Simon Fraser University is a valued contributor to the promotion and support of French studies in British Columbia."

Like the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future, announced on June 19, 2008, the Government of Canada's support for this project reaffirms its commitment to linguistic duality and the vitality of official-language minority communities. The Roadmap is an unprecedented government-wide investment of $1.1 billion over five years.

(This news release is also available online at http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/ under Media Room.)

BACKGROUNDER

The parties agree to amend the 2003-2004 to 2007-2008 Canada-British Columbia Auxiliary Agreement for the Development of Postsecondary Education in French at Simon Fraser University established on February 27, 2004.

The Government of Canada provided this funding under the Minority Language Education component of the Development of Official-Language Communities Program. This program of the Department of Canadian Heritage seeks to foster the vitality of Canada's English- and French-speaking minorities and help them take full part in all aspects of Canadian life.

Funding was also provided under the Second-Language Learning component of the Enhancement of Official Languages Program. The aim of this other program of the Department of Canadian Heritage is to foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

The Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future is an unprecedented government-wide investment of $1.1 billion over five years that focuses on the participation of all Canadians in linguistic duality and support for official-language minority communities in five priority sectors: health, justice, immigration, economic development, and arts and culture.

The Roadmap will meet government priorities by targeting the following five areas for government action: emphasizing the value of linguistic duality among all Canadians; building the future by investing in youth; improving access to services for official-language minority communities; capitalizing on economic benefits; and ensuring efficient governance to better serve Canadians.

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