(OTTAWA) The new Action Plan for Official Languages unveiled Wednesday provides $1.4 billion in additional funding over five years, for a total of $4.1 billion. It aims, among other things, to stimulate immigration to restore the demographic weight of Francophones.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement at La Cité collégiale, a major French-language post-secondary institution in Ontario.
“Unlike Conservative politicians, our Liberal government is always going to be there to defend the official languages,” he said, referring to the cuts made by Doug Ford’s government in Ontario to French-language services during his first term and the attacks by the government of Blaine Higgs in New Brunswick against francophones.
He did not answer any questions from the media, leaving that to Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
The Trudeau government is therefore allocating a slightly higher sum than what was announced in the last federal budget, which provided for a total of $3.8 billion until 2028.
This amount does not include the implementation of Bill C-13 on the modernization of the Official Languages Act, whose third reading debate is scheduled to begin this Wednesday.
The federal government’s annual target for Francophone immigration outside Quebec is 4.4%. It was reached for the first time in 2022. In all, 137.2 million more are allocated to it.
The other pillars of the Action Plan on Official Languages are education and early childhood, the vitality of communities and the promotion of French and English.
The Action Plan provides money for the English-speaking community of Quebec, which will receive an additional $137.5 million for education and culture.
More details to come.