Major funding increases for Francophone communities in the western Canadian territories of Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut have been announced. For more than three decades, the Government of Canada has supported the implementation of territorial legislation for services in French. In late 2016–17, agreements were signed with each of the territorial partners that significantly expand federal financial support for French-language services delivered by the territories. This will allow the territories to more fully meet their official-language obligations.
“Our official languages, French and English, are at the heart of who we are as a country. Our government is committed to enhancing the vitality of official-language minority communities throughout Canada, including the vibrant Francophone communities in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. These agreements offer a much-anticipated boost to the work being done by territorial governments to improve access to services in French,” commented Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
“Language plays a critical role in identity, and with the new agreements in place, we will be able to further support and enhance the excellent work already underway for French-language services and communications,” added Alfred Moses, minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Government of the Northwest Territories.
Under the new agreement, annual federal funding for French in the territories will increase to CAN$15 million by 2019-2020. This will enable members of the Franco-Yukonais, Franco-Ténois, and Franco-Nunavois communities to benefit from improved access to territorial services in French.