(Ottawa) The action plan on official languages ​​already provides money for learning French as a second language, included in the additional $138 million allocated to the English-speaking community in Quebec. Minister Jean-François Roberge said he expected Thursday that this amount would be used for francization.

The Minister of Official Languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, was to update Mr. Roberge on Friday.

The Minister for the French Language and responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie lamented that he saw nothing at first glance to protect French in Quebec when the plan was unveiled on Wednesday, when an envelope is reserved for the community. English speaker in the province. He asked that these sums be used for francization.

The 138 million over five years includes sums from several programs and whose allocation will depend on bilateral agreements concluded between Quebec and Ottawa, indicated a source within the cabinet of Ms. Petitpas Taylor who was not authorized to speak publicly. . This is an estimate that will depend on Quebec’s requests.

This amount includes amounts for French as a second language learning as well as for the recruitment and retention of French as a second language teachers, the details of which remain unknown at this time.

It also includes money for education in English schools — a constitutional obligation of the federal government. Other amounts are earmarked for services in the minority language, post-secondary institutions and community educational infrastructure. These three envelopes have been little or not used by Quebec in recent years since these are programs that it must also finance at 50%, we indicate to the office of Minister Petitpas Taylor.

However, the plan details the amounts for each program to be shared by all the provinces and territories. Only a new envelope of 2.5 million over five years for the arts, culture and heritage of the English-speaking community of Quebec is fixed.

Bloc Québécois MP Mario Beaulieu denounced that sums supposed to reverse the decline of French in the country are used for English in Quebec. “Quebecers are wondering if the federal government has figures that prove that English is threatened in Quebec. Otherwise, why are the Liberals funding English in Quebec? he asked during question period on Thursday.

“The funding we announced yesterday does not fund English in Quebec,” replied Minister Petitpas Taylor. On the contrary, we finance the vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec with French courses and by offering them the help they need to find jobs. »

The federal government estimates that the English-speaking community in Quebec will receive 20% of this $4.1 billion through various programs.