April 5, 2018 – Canada is to spend $40.8 million over five years on increasing francophone immigration outside Quebec, the federal government has announced
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are aiming for a 4.4 per cent boost in the number of French-speaking immigrants by 2023.
The announcement was made as part of the federal government’s official languages plan, which will see a total of $500 million spent on services for minority language communities across Canada.
Details of the immigration component are to be announced in due course, with the majority of the rest of the money to be spent promoting English or French where either language is the minority. It will be added to $2.2 billion in spending already allocated to community groups in these areas.
Canada recently announced a new plan for increasing francophone immigration.
A recent meeting chaired by federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and his Ontario counterpart Laura Albanese saw a list of commitments published, agreed by federal, provincial and territorial representatives.
FPT Action Plan for Increasing Francophone Immigration Outside of Quebec
- Promoting awareness of Francophone immigration opportunities, immigration pathways and settlement services to prospective French-speaking applicants;
- Increasing employer engagement in French-speaking immigrant recruitment and employment;
- Increasing the availability, awareness and accessibility of French language services; and
- Supporting diverse and inclusive Francophone communities.
The Action Plan supports the following outcomes:
- an increased number of French-speaking immigrants settling in Canada outside Quebec;
- an increased participation rate of French-speaking immigrants in local labour markets; and
- an increased participation rate of French-speaking immigrants in broader communities and social networks.
Francophone immigration numbers fell far short of the Canadian federal government’s ambitious target in 2016.
Just 4,400 French-speaking immigrants, or 1.8 per cent of total, settled outside Quebec in 2016, despite several policies aimed at increasing the numbers.
As of June 1, 2016, the federal government launched a specific stream for francophone temporary workers under the International Mobility Program.
It means that all French-speaking skilled workers can get a Canada work permit without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA).
The aim is that francophones will be able to get the Canadian experience they need to qualify for permanent residence under one of the economic immigration programs.
As of June 5, 2017, Express Entry changes saw more points for those with a high level of French.
Candidates score 15 additional points for a level 7 in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the Niveu de Competence Liguistique Canadiens (NLC) combined with an English score of 4 or below in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
Those points will rise to 30 if the French level 7 is combined with an English level 5 or above.
The extra points are in addition to the existing language points. Up to 136 points can be awarded for a candidate’s first official language, and 24 points for the second.
At a provincial level, Ontario has set its own francophone target of 5 per cent of all immigrants. In 2016, the province saw 2,400 francophones settle there, more than half the Canada-wide total, but still only 2.2 per cent of all Ontario’s new immigrants.
The province says francophones are a priority in terms of new services, settlement programs, plus bridge training and language classes.
Provincial officials point to progress being made, including francophones making up 3 per cent of new skilled immigrants under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program in 2016, compared to 1 per cent in 2015.
Recent research in Ontario also found that remuneration for advertised jobs requiring French was up to 20 per cent higher.