Ottawa investing $5M in French language supports in Alberta

The Government of Canada says it is investing nearly $5 million to support French in Alberta.

Roughly $2.5 million will be invested in 2024 to improve access to services, infrastructure, and education in French.

The Government of Alberta will be receiving $1.5 million, which will be allocated to four projects, including renovating and refurbishing the premises of the Campus Saint‑Jean, the francophone campus of the University of Alberta.

“As a proud Franco-Albertan and former student at Campus Saint‑Jean, I have made the promotion and support of the French language in Alberta a priority for me. The organizations receiving funding today are making considerable efforts to strengthen the French fact and foster a greater sense of belonging in their communities. This announcement is an important step in promoting the social and cultural vitality of Francophone communities in Alberta,” Randy Boissonnault, the minister of employment, workforce development, and official languages, said in a news release.

Campus Saint‑Jean will also get an additional $427,000 to create a professional experience program aimed at getting work experience to Francophones and newcomers.

An additional $290,000 will be given to the province to build services in each of the 15 schools of the Conseil scolaire FrancoSud.

“This is a significant investment that will enable FrancoSud to implement new projects and activities that contribute to the development of our students’ Francophone identity and culture. In real terms, this will result in the addition of three to four cultural identity facilitators to our staff, who will work directly with our students and community partners,” said Monique Baker, the superintendent of Conseil scolaire FrancoSud.

Finally, an investment of $110,000 will go to two promotional campaigns and a summit on French‑language postsecondary education in Alberta.

CityNews reached out to the Canadian Parents for French (CPF), who said while French immersion or French second language (FSL) education, they welcome the announcement as it will benefit many of immersion and FSL graduates.

“Currently, approximately 60 pre cent of the students attending CSJ come from a French immersion background. Improvements to and support of programming and infrastructure at CSJ will improve the post-secondary experience of this group of students as well,” said Michael Tryon, the executive director of CPF in Alberta and Northwest Territories.

“It will also help draw more French immersion graduates to the programs offered at Faculté Saint-Jean.”

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