Canada Looking For French-Speaking Immigrants From Africa, Europe, Middle East And Americas

Canada Looking For French-Speaking Immigrants From Africa, Europe, Middle East And Americas
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Canada plans to increase immigration by French-speaking foreign nationals from Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas with investment of $137.2 million over five years.

“Today, (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau and I unveiled the new Official Languages Action Plan,” tweeted Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor in French on Wednesday.

“This is our roadmap for the next five years that will allow us to curb the decline of French, improve the rate of bilingualism and support our communities.”

Ottawa claims francophone minority communities in Canada face significant economic and demographic challenges.

In its latest five-year Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028: Protection-Promotion-Collaboration, the Canadian government maintains the percentage of francophones in Canada is dropping despite increases in the overall number of francophones in the country.

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“In general, Statistics Canada data show the number of Canadians whose first official language spoken is French has increased since 2016, reaching 7.8 million in 2021 (an increase of 1.6 per cent). However, that growth has been outpaced by the growth in the Canadian population as a whole (5.2 per cent), signalling a decline in the overall demographic weight of francophones in Canada.

“This gap is of particular consequence to francophone minority communities, who are more reliant on immigration to offset their demographic decline.”

Under the government’s latest plan to boost the number of francophones in Canada, Ottawa will spend $13.4 million over five years for a new policy and operational framework for francophone Immigration.

This will entail revisiting its francophone immigration strategy, which was launched in 2019, with an eye towards boosting francophone immigration and providing more settlement and integration services for French-speaking and bilingual immigrants.

Another $18.5 million is to be invested over the coming five years to recruit more francophone immigrants from Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas to support the efforts of employers in official language minority communities.

Canada To Invest $16.3m To Recruit Francophone Teachers Abroad

The Canadian government is also pledging $16.3 million over that period to recruit more internationally-trained French-speaking and French teachers for elementary, middle and secondary schools to address a perceived shortage of such teachers in francophone minority communities.

Under an initiative to further consolidate the francophone integration pathway and improve settlement and integration services to these newcomers, Canada is planning to spend another $50 million over the coming five years.

“This will be achieved through existing initiatives, such as Welcoming Francophone Communities, and new measures, such as a strategy to better support French-speaking women immigrants,” notes the plan.

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The cost of establishing a new Centre for Innovation in Francophone Immigration is being pegged at $25 million over the next five years.

It is to provide francophone communities an opportunity to participate in activities to promote their communities and identify, support and recruit French-speaking and bilingual candidates. The centre will also seek to address the labour needs of Canada’s various economic sectors.

Newcomers who want to learn English or French will benefit from an additional $10.5 million in language training over the coming five years.

And Ottawa has earmarked $3.5 million over the coming five years to develop new capacity to analyze its own efforts to boost the selection of francophone and bilingual immigrants under existing programs in order to make those programs more effective and increase the levels of francophone immigration.

Francophone immigration to Canada, excluding Quebec, was almost five times higher last year than during the 2006 census year due to Ottawa’s on-going efforts to ensure the vibrancy of French-language communities across the country.

Francophone Immigration Outside Of Quebec Is Growing Rapidly

During those 16 years, the number of francophone immigrants coming to live in Canadian communities outside Quebec jumped from about 2,800 in 2006 to hit more than 16,300 new francophone permanent residents in 2022.

“Francophone immigration plays a key role in restoring the demographic weight of francophone minority communities in addition to contributing closely to the economic development of our country,” said Petitpas Taylor earlier this year.

In the past five years, the number of francophone immigrants in Canada has increased by 42,470 permanent residents.

“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,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

“We will continue to welcome French-speaking immigrants to ensure the viability of these key communities that are helping to shape the future of our country.”

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