The Government of Canada Invests $121.3 Million over Three Years to Support Post-Secondary Minority-Language Education
The Government of Canada has a responsibility to ensure that all Canadians can learn in the official language of their choice. To achieve this, the education continuum, from preschool to post-secondary, plays an essential role. Supporting and encouraging official-language minority education and second official-language instruction is a government priority, as this learning fosters bilingualism and brings us together.
That is why today the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, demonstrated the importance of supporting projects that promote post-secondary education by announcing $121.3 million in funding over three years, starting in 2021–2022, to support projects that will boost institutional capacity to provide high-quality post-secondary minority-language education, maintain access to available programs, promote collaboration among institutions, and address urgent needs to help stabilize the post-secondary minority-language sector.
In addition to this investment, the Government of Canada has provided more than $80 million to the provinces and territories in the past year to support initiatives across the country, including at Simon Fraser University, Collège Mathieu, Collège nordique francophone, Université de Moncton and Collège de l’Île. These institutions have received funding to support minority-language education, immersion programs and initiatives to encourage second-official-language teachers to pursue their professional development, including at the post-secondary level.
Today’s announcement follows the introduction of a bill to modernize and strengthen the Official Languages Act and its related instruments. The bill recognizes the importance of Canadians having access to learn their second official language and reaffirms the Government of Canada’s commitment to improving minority-language learning opportunities for Canadians throughout their lives, from early childhood to post-secondary education.
All of these measures are important, because post-secondary institutions are essential to ensure the vitality of official-language minority communities in Canada, and to allow students to grow and develop in a country that promotes both official languages. The federal government will continue to support official-language minority communities and all those who seek to have their language rights respected.