18th Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie: Progress in Several Sectors Important for the Canadian Francophonie

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Sept. 5, 2013) - The ministers responsible for the Canadian Francophonie gathered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on September 4 and 5, 2013, for the 18th Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie.

The ministers discussed early childhood development as a key factor for the vitality of culture, language and identity in the Canadian Francophonie, hence the importance of governments continuing their efforts in this area.

"The discussions on early childhood development were extremely productive and opened the door for the future," said Greg Selinger, Manitoba Premier and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs. "We will continue to work together to identify sectors for action that will enable our communities to move forward in areas that are important to them."

The ministers discussed the key transformations made to the Canadian immigration system since 2006 and their effects on and opportunities for the development of the Canadian Francophonie.

In terms of economic development, the ministers reflected upon the Pan-Canadian Forum on Economic Development in the Canadian Francophonie held last fall in Gatineau, Quebec. At the Forum's conclusion, an action plan was tabled and an independent follow-up committee will coordinate its implementation. The ministers look forward to following the committee's work.

Other important topics were also discussed by the ministers, including the Government of Canada's new strategy for official languages.

"The Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018 reaffirms our Government's leadership and firm commitment in support of our two official languages," said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "It is important to work with our partners and to build on the achievements of recent years in order to strengthen the vitality of minority Francophone communities and celebrate French-Canadian language and culture across the country."

Lastly, the ministers used their meeting as an opportunity to discuss upcoming major events that present opportunities for promoting the Francophonie's contribution to Canadian society, including:

  • the World Acadian Congress in 2014 to be held in Acadia of the Lands and Forests, which includes Madawaska (New Brunswick), and Témiscouata (Québec), as well as the northern part of the State of Maine (United States);
  • the 150th anniversary of the Historic Charlottetown Conference in 2014 in Prince Edward Island;
  • the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Toronto (Ontario) in 2015, a year that also coincides with the commemoration of 400 years of French presence in Ontario;
  • the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017.

The next Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie will take place on June 26 and 27, 2014, in Prince Edward Island.

The Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, created in 1994, is the only intergovernmental forum that brings together the ministers responsible for the Canadian Francophonie. The Conference works for an opened, dynamic and diverse Francophonie that contributes to and participates fully in the growth of Canadian society. Visit the website of the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie at www.cmfc-mccf.ca.

Contact Information:

Chantal Alarie
National Coordinator
Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie

Sally Housser
Press Secretary to Cabinet
Government of Manitoba

Marisa Monnin
Press Officer
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage