INITIATIVES TO PROMOTE FRANCOPHONE IMMIGRATION
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
In a press statement release by the Government of Canada on November 7th, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) stated that the will promote Francophone immigration and make it a priority in the coming months. The Minister of IRCC, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, addressed a number of key initiatives and strategies he will implement to improve and grow services for francophone immigrants.
FRANCOPHONE SETTLEMENT SERVICES
Hussen states that IRCC will reinforce francophone settlement services from pre-arrival to citizenship to ensure the successful integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers to Canada. To achieve this, IRCC is establishing a 5-year partnership with la Cité that will offer pre-arrival services to French-speaking immigrants. La Cité will act as the first point of contact for Francophone immigrants.
FRENCH LANGUAGE TEST SITES
Further, in order to qualify as an economic immigrant, newcomers must be proficient in one of Canada’s official languages. Minister Hussen announced that the Centre international d’études pédagogiques will serve as a second French-language tester for economic immigrants starting December 2018. The addition of a second French-language tester will make the tests more affordable and more accessible.
FRANCOPHONE SERVICE PROVIDER
Pearson airport is the number one port of entry for French-speaking newcomers who enter Canada outside of Quebec. As such, it is important for newcomers to have access to French service providers. Minister Hussen announced that in Spring of 2019, the Centre francophone de Toronto will provide these services.
The 2018 budget, which included the Official Languages Action Plan stated that the Canadian Government would invest almost $36.6 million over the next five years on a Francophone Integration Pathway. The objective of this investment is to create lasting ties between French-speaking newcomers and Francophone minority communities.
IRCC recently launched an expression of interest process seeking an organization to deliver official language training for French-speaking immigrants and allophone newcomers who have declared French as their official language of preference, in Francophone minority communities. As such, as many as 14 communities across Canada will be selected as part of a Welcoming Francophone Communities Initiative to create a welcoming, inclusive space for French-speaking newcomers.
La Cité is the largest French-language college in Ontario.
The 4 regional partners that will provide pre-arrival services to French-speaking newcomers are: Actions interculturelles de développement et d’éducation; Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse; Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique; and Société de la francophonie manitobaine.
IRCC has designated 4 language testers, two in English and two in French, for prospective economic immigrants: Paragon Testing Enterprises; Cambridge Assessment English, le Centre international d’études pédagogiques, and la Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de région Paris Île-de-France.
IRCC has been funding the delivery of reception services at Pearson Airport for over 20 years.
National Francophone Immigration Week is an annual celebration organized by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada and the Réseaux en immigration francophone.