French Policy

On June 14, 2017, the Government of Alberta unveiled a French policy that aims to enhance services in French to support the vitality of the Francophonie.

On this page

  • Overview
  • French Policy FAQ
  • Additional background information

Overview

The Francophonie is part of Alberta’s past, present and future. French is one of Canada’s two official languages and a vibrant component of its diversity. French is the most widely spoken language in Alberta after English and is projected to continue to grow in the years to come. This will result in more requests for services in French in Alberta. Alberta has an opportunity to better serve a significant portion of Albertans, while also enhancing Alberta’s competitive advantage and strengthening the province’s relationship with the Francophonie across Canada and the world.

The French Policy enables the Government of Alberta to acknowledge the past, present and continued social, cultural and economic contributions of the province’s significant and diverse French-speaking population. Through meaningful engagement, dialogue, and collaboration, the government is committed to enhancing services in French to support the vitality of the Francophonie in Alberta in a targeted and sustainable manner as resources allow.

The Government of Alberta’s French Policy

French Policy FAQ

Who was consulted?

From October to November 2016, the Government of Alberta used a two-pronged approach to consultation through a series of targeted and facilitated discussions: first with internal stakeholders, including all ministries and select agencies followed by consultations with community stakeholders. This included a bilingual online public survey.

What were the questions?

Participants were presented with broad concepts of what could form a policy’s guiding principles. Throughout the discussions, key considerations include the notions that change may take time and that a phased approach may be required to move forward, particularly given the current fiscal situation.

What does a policy mean to Albertans?

The overall goal of a policy is to help government be more aware of and responsive to the needs of French-speaking Albertans when delivering services to the community. The policy also has the potential to enhance Alberta’s attractiveness as a destination for interprovincial migration, immigration, tourism and investment.

What will it cost?

A number of services in French are already being provided by the Government of Alberta in areas like education, access to justice, arts and heritage.

There is a common understanding between the Government of Alberta and francophone community stakeholders of working towards long-term incremental change. To start, government will focus its attention on cost neutral or no cost initiatives - things that can be done differently, more efficiently and more effectively.

The policy’s implementation must be achieved within existing resources. The Government of Alberta obtains annual funding from the federal government that it will allocate to enhance and increase in French-language services.

In 2017-2018, the federal funding amount is $728,500. Negotiations to renew the Canada-Alberta Agreement on French-Language Services are scheduled to begin later this fall. A French Policy positions Alberta to negotiate additional federal funding.

Do other provinces have a French policy?

Most other jurisdictions in Canada have a policy and/or legislative framework governing their approach to services for their French speaking communities.

Additional background information:

Last reviewed/revised: August 8, 2017
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