French for the Future is pleased with the unveiling of the new Action Plan for Official Languages 2023-2028: Protection-Promotion-Collaboration and the measures implemented to ensure the real equality of English and French in Canada. The additional $1.4 billion over five years is excellent news for organizations that work to enhance the vitality of official languages.
French for the Future recognizes the government’s commitment to support a continuum of French-language education and to provide all Canadian residents with opportunities to learn and value their second official language. It is essential to provide young people with opportunities to experience their second language outside of the classroom or formal learning environment and to enrich educational environments with authentic cultural components.
In particular, the new investments of $242.8 million to support French second language learning from 2024-2025, in addition to the $65.8 million for the 2023-2024 period, are to be applauded. There is great hope that these investments will facilitate access to second language programs for as many people as possible, and in particular reduce waiting lists for immersion programs in some provinces.
French for the Future would also like to highlight the following initiatives :
An investment of $10.5 million over 5 years for English and/or French language training for newcomers.
Support for teacher recruitment and retention with up to $15.2 million over 5 years, an additional $3.8 million for 2023-2024, which addresses the critical need for teachers of and in French.
The implementation of youth strategies aimed at bringing linguistic communities together, with the New Youth Initiatives Fund. This $5 million over five years will support youth projects that strengthen the sense of belonging to the Francophone language and culture through linguistic and cultural exchanges.
French for the Future would like to acknowledge the tremendous work done by the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages, and her team on this new Action Plan for Official Languages. French for the Future hopes that this new action plan will help bring Canada’s two major linguistic communities closer together by enabling more and more people to become bilingual. French for the Future will continue to work with those involved in the implementation of the action plan to provide opportunities for young people to develop in French outside of school.