by Morinville News Staff
The Government of Alberta is holding consultations with the Francophone community to help develop a French-language services policy.
Culture and Tourism, through the Francophone Secretariat, will hold nine targeted sessions in French for a broad cross-section of the francophone community starting later this month. The government says the overall objective is to help government be more responsive to the needs of French-speaking Albertans when delivering services.
The government says Alberta’s francophone population has increased more than 40 per cent since 1996, according to the 2011 Census. Additionally, enrollment in francophone schools has increased by almost 200 per cent in Alberta.
“Alberta’s rich and vibrant French-speaking community is an integral part of our cultural fabric and is one of the fastest-growing francophone communities in Canada,” said Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda in a release Monday. “For the first time, this government is moving forward to improve access to government services in French. This will enhance Alberta’s competitive advantage, strengthen our relationship with the francophone community, and leverage Alberta’s fair share of francophone funding from the federal government.”
The Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA) is pleased with the news. ACFA President Jean Johnson said the association is pleased with the progress made and with the attention given by the provincial government on the matter.
“The next steps are very promising for French-speaking Albertans and I am delighted that community consultations will be held soon, allowing our community to contribute to the development of this long-awaited French language services policy,” Johnson said.
The government says the consultation process will include other government ministries and representatives from select agencies.
Albertans who do not participate in the consultations can fill out an online survey, available on the Francophone Secretariat website at http://culture.alberta.ca/francophone-secretariat/.