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Canada announces key initiatives to promote Francophone immigration from pre-arrival to citizenship


Promoting Francophone immigration is a priority for the Government of Canada. As part of National Francophone Immigration Week, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced a number of key initiatives to improve and grow services for francophone immigrants.

Reinforcing Francophone settlement services from pre-arrival to citizenship will ensure the successful integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers to Canada. To achieve this, IRCC is creating an $11 million 5-year collaborative partnership with la Cité that will provide pre-arrival services to French-speaking newcomers. La Cité will act as the primary point of contact for French-speaking newcomers, while 4 regional partners will provide province-specific and other tailored information.

Immigrants proficient in one of Canada’s official languages are more likely to successfully establish economically in Canada. Demonstrating those skills are required to become an economic immigrant. Today, Minister Hussen announced that the Centre international d’études pédagogiques has been designated as a second French-language tester for economic immigrants, starting in December 2018. Having a second French-language tester should help make the tests more accessible and affordable.

Pearson airport is the number one port of entry for some 2,500 French-speaking newcomers who enter Canada each year, outside Quebec. Having a quality Francophone service provider for these new arrivals and connecting them with Francophone communities as early as possible in their settlement and integration process is key. Minister Hussen revealed that as of March 2019, the Centre francophone de Toronto, which has vast experience in providing services and partnerships with key players within the Francophone communities in the Greater Toronto Area, will provide these services.

As announced in Budget 2018, and included in the Official Languages Action Plan, the Government will invest almost $36.6 million over the next 5 years on a Francophone Integration Pathway, creating lasting ties between French-speaking newcomers and Francophone minority communities.

On November 19, IRCC will launch 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. And in the coming weeks, as many as 14 communities across Canada will be selected as part of a Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative to create a space where French-speaking newcomers will feel welcome.

“The Government of Canada is proud to recognize the contributions of French-speaking newcomers to the vitality and dynamism of Francophone communities outside Quebec.

From pre-arrival to citizenship, ensuring the successful integration and retention of French-speaking immigrants will help them thrive economically, culturally and socially and will help to grow both our economy and our country.”

– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Diversity is a fundamental Canadian value, and our two official languages are at the heart of our identity. Thanks to its two official languages, Canada stands out in the world, and Francophone immigration will allow us to strengthen this advantage. Today’s announcement will make it easier for us to welcome French-speaking immigrants and to ensure the development of Francophone communities, for the benefit of all Canadians.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“As we celebrate National Francophone Immigration Week, the Government of Canada believes that all newcomers to Canada, including French-speakers, contribute to the vitality of Canadian communities throughout this country.”

– Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts
  • 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.
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