Immigration Minister gives update on new Francophone immigration policies and targets.
Minister Marc Miller provides an update on Francophone immigration to Canada – January 16, 2024
A new program to assist Francophone immigration, the implementation of the Action Plan for Official Languages, the revitalization and extension of the Welcoming Francophone Communities projects, and a new immigration policy are among the measures.
- New Francophone immigration strategy supports expansion and significance of Francophone minority populations.
- Program addresses labour shortages through recruitment help and promotion initiatives.
- Fourteen Canadian towns receive funds for integrating French-speaking immigrants; expansion to ten more communities planned.
- Francophone Immigration Support Program funds projects removing obstacles to Francophone immigration.
- In December 2023, French-speaking citizens’ admissions outside Quebec exceeded the target at almost 4.7%, with goals set for 6% in 2024, 7% in 2025, and 8% in 2026.
- Minister emphasizes the importance of Francophone immigration for national identity and cultural/economic development.
- Initiatives aim to attract skilled Francophone labourers for the growth of Francophone minority populations.
- Commitment to restoring and increasing demographic weight of Francophone communities while ensuring smooth integration of French-speaking newcomers.
Initiatives aimed at attracting Francophone Immigration
In 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) implemented new selection standards for Canada’s Express Entry system, encompassing programs such as CEC, FSWP, and FSTP. A significant addition was the introduction of French language proficiency as a crucial criterion, highlighting candidates’ expertise in high-demand Canadian occupations. To qualify for this category, individuals must demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in French equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 or higher.
This distinctive immigration category originated from IRCC’s 2019 Strategy for Francophone Immigration, which aimed to raise the percentage of Francophone immigrants outside Quebec to 4.4% by 2023. The overarching plan focuses on bolstering Francophone communities nationwide and ensuring the seamless integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers. The Government of Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2023–2028 further supports these initiatives with a commitment of over $80 million CAD, encompassing measures to streamline frameworks, employ French-speaking teachers, and enhance existing immigration structures for Francophones.
Why Is Immigration to France Francophone?
- Canada’s federal government, mandated by the Official Languages Act, aims to promote, and protect English and French.
- Objectives include ensuring equality of status for both languages in official institutions, society, and supporting minority linguistic communities.
- IRCC is tasked with welcoming and retaining Francophone newcomers, aligning with the government’s commitment to French-speaking communities.
- Initiatives by IRCC aim to fulfil this responsibility by fostering the integration and development of French-speaking individuals and communities in Canada.
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