Ottawa adds $1.4 billion for official languages

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Ottawa adds 1.4 billion for official languages

Patrick Doyle The Canadian Press Official Languages ​​Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor

About “20%” of the $1.4 billion over five years Ottawa is adding for its action plan on official languages ​​will support English in Quebec, indicated the federal government on the same day as the third reading debate on Bill C-13 to modernize the Official Languages ​​Act begins.

Ottawa does not currently know how much money will go specifically to English-speakers in Quebec. The 20% proportion is therefore “an approximation” of what historically represents the distribution of the English-speaking community, explained a senior official from the Department of Canadian Heritage who spoke on condition of anonymity during a session on Wednesday. technical information.

Of this sum, Ottawa indicates that $137.5 million over five years will support initiatives that specifically target the English-speaking community of Quebec, it was explained on the sidelines of the unveiling. of the 2023-2028 action plan for official languages. Other initiatives will receive funding based on applications received.

The federal government also provides funds to support French in Quebec. Specifically, $6.5 million will support the Council of Ministers on the Canadian Francophonie, which includes working to promote French across the country, including in Quebec, and $5 million will go for arts and culture internships.

Funds will also be allocated to the production and distribution of scientific content and others will be paid to Quebec for the learning of French as a second language.

The 1.4 billion additional dollars is added to the “historic funding base” of 2.7 billion dedicated to official languages, which it is “on a continuous and permanent basis”, for a total of 4.1 billion.

Ottawa's plan aims to support 32 measures around four “areas of intervention”, namely Francophone immigration, official language learning, community development and government action.