June 23, 2017 – Gatineau (Quebec) – 22nd Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie
The federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for the Canadian Francophonie have wrapped up two days of work during which they discussed important issues for the Francophone and Acadian communities, including access to justice services in French and the enhancement of government services in French.
For the first time since it was established in 1994, this annual meeting was hosted by the Government of Canada. The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable John Streicker, the minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate for the Yukon government.
"Our two official languages are central to who we are," said the Honourable Mélanie Joly. "Celebrating Canada 150 gives us an excellent opportunity to show that the Canadian Francophonie is more dynamic than ever. That is why the Canadian government is proud to be hosting the 2017 Conference right here in the National Capital Region. Also, this conference makes it possible for the different levels of government to get together to highlight the strength of our Francophone communities throughout the country and take steps to ensure their vitality for the next 150 years and beyond."
"I am very pleased with the progress we have made together again this year on major issues," said the Honourable John Streicker. "We have worked enthusiastically on identifying actions we can take to make sure our Francophone and Acadian communities remain dynamic and continue, as they always have done, to contribute to the prosperity of each province and territory."
In this spirit, the ministers in attendance agreed to incrementally offering more government services in French to the general public, a determining factor in the vitality of our Francophone and Acadian communities. The ministers will present their cumulative accomplishments at their 2021 annual meeting.
With respect to access to justice, the ministers agreed to review, with the ministers responsible for justice in their jurisdictions, measures to be taken to allow and facilitate the use of French in family law matters. They wish to share the results of this review at their next annual meeting to develop potential solutions.
The ministers agreed to continue the dialogue and collaboration established with their colleagues responsible for immigration during the Forum on Francophone Immigration in Moncton in March 2017 to ensure the implementation of the recommendations from that Forum, including holding a second intergovernmental forum and a symposium with the community sector.
The ministers also continued their discussions on another initiative that is well under way, the Francophone Heritage, Culture and Tourism Corridor, a legacy of the 150th anniversary that will contribute to the promotion of Francophone and Acadian communities across the country.
This year, the Conference also welcomed author Kim Thúy, who shared her experience as a refugee who adopted French when she came to Canada and then became known internationally through her novels written in her adoptive language.
The Government of Nunavut will host the next Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie on June 20 and 21, 2018, in Iqaluit.
The Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, created in 1994, is the only intergovernmental forum that brings together the ministers responsible for the Canadian Francophonie.The Conference works for an open, dynamic, and diverse Francophonie that contributes to, and participates fully in, the growth of Canadian society. For more information, consult the website of the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie at www.cmfc-mccf.ca.
Acting National Coordinator
Ministerial Conference on the
Communications and Policy Manager
French Language Services Directorate
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage