Federal budget: Francophonie forecasts better for 2023 | Federal budget 2022

A day after unveiling a memorable budget for Francophone minority communities, the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities (FCFA) of Canada is already planning for next year.

In 2023, the budget should include investments for the Official Languages ​​Action Plan 2023-2028 and for the implementation of the updated Official Languages ​​Act.

Consultations on the next action plan for the official languages ​​will begin in the coming months, and this plan will be crucial for our communities. At the end of the pandemic, and in the event of an unprecedented labor shortage, the 2023 budget will have to really provide a revival plan for the Francophonie. chief reply Federation of Francophone and Acadian CommunitiesLian Rui, in a press release.

Smiling woman wearing glasses.

President of the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities in Canada, Lianne Roy (archive)

Photo: Radio Canada / Contribution

A spokesperson for the French-speaking community in the minority setting made no recommendation for this 2022 budget.

A professor at the University of French Ontario who specializes in Canadian Francophonie, Linda Cardinal, remembers several federal announcements for francophones in recent months, particularly this week for La Cité College in Ottawa.

However, this should not prevent the government from mentioning Francophonie, she said.

With all that has been said about the official languages, I find it a bit frustrating. No money, okay, but sensitivity, it costs nothingshe believes. Everything for Research, Global Affairs, Small Business, Tourism, Rural Communities, Immigration, Workforce, International Aid, Support for Black Communities, Support for Local and Diversity Press, Seniors, Arts and Culture… […] If there is a short sentence in the budget about official languages, we can say to ourselves: “It is interesting, there are directives to be sent to various ministers so that they take official languages ​​into account in their budget.

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Promising elements but not mentioned

According to Ms. Cardinal, the federal government has leeway for the announced investments to also affect la Francophonie.

We know there is leeway, and that funding for official languages ​​is unquestioned somewhere, but we didn’t feel it was important to budget it because we had to tell ourselves we were going to catch up with the action plan [pour langues officielles]decompose. But we would have liked the official languages ​​to be mentioned in the budget so we could see that the declared billions wouldn’t get away with Francophone.

The Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities He notes, moreover, some promising items in his budget Chrystia FreelandStarting with the announced investments in immigration.

The French-speaking organization hopes that the $2.1 billion announced over five years to speed up processing of permanent residence applications could have a positive impact on the processing of files from French-speaking countries, particularly in Africa.

The Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities He also hopes that announcing in the budget an amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that should give more powers to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada to amend immigration, promote the creation of community-based immigration programs, Tailored to their reality.

Disappointment in Ontario

Last February, the Association of Francophonies of Ontario (AFO) expressed three wishes for the 2022 budget.

The Franco-Ontarians spokesperson wanted the federal government to fund Sudbury University’s request to Canadian Heritage through the Post-Secondary Education Program Supplementary Funds, to sustain and improve supplemental funds via minority language post-secondary education to $80 million annually, as promised during the campaign It is awarding $37.8 million for a project to renovate and expand the Movement of Francophone d’Orleans (MIFO) complexity.

While none of its recommendations were reflected in the budget document,Francophone Society of Ontario He expressed his surprise at not mentioning the Francophonie.

The federal government made a special commitment during the election campaign to perpetuating and doubling the Supplementary Post-Secondary Education Fund, which was not mentioned in the 2022 budget. The situation in northern Ontario is an emergency for Franco-Ontarians. Next year, we will be very interested in this fund and also in the work plan for official languages the organization’s president, Carol Jolin, in a press release.

I think all energies are now focused on passing the law. [sur les langues officielles] And maybe less on budget. »

Quote from Linda Cardinal, Professor at the University of Ontario, France

Together with the Société Économique de l’Ontario (SÉO), we welcome the budget with reservejudging the proposed measures in terms of employability and entrepreneurship TimidDespite the initiatives of small and medium-sized enterprises Interesting.

We would have liked the government to announce stricter measures regarding Francophone economic immigrationrefers to the organization’s president, Denis Laframboise, in a press release. Although we welcome the fact that the government wants to increase the number of immigrants accepted into the country each year, for years the federal government has not reached its target for the number of these French-speaking people. Unfortunately, an exact modification target for this has not been announced.

The priority of the law?

According to Professor Cardinal, the lack of mention of Francophone and official languages ​​can be explained by the efforts currently being made to modernize the Official Languages ​​Act.

But if official languages ​​matter, we should not wait for the act or plan of action to refer to the official languages, especially in the federal budget. The federal budget is a structure, and this is what gives us directions for the next year until the next budget, and the government is the one who sets its promises and announces the programs and sectors in which it will invest.

More details to come…

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