REGINA (GNB) – New Brunswick was represented at the annual meeting of the Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie, June 22-23, in Regina. The theme of this year’s meeting was Spreading Our Roots and Standing Tall.

Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain participated for Glen Savoie, minister responsible for La Francophonie, and presented the government’s priorities for New Brunswick’s francophone and Acadian community.

“As the only officially bilingual province in the country, with a vibrant francophone and Acadian community and many francophiles, this meeting was an opportunity for our government to showcase its role as a key partner in the Canadian Francophonie," said Allain. "We had good discussions on francophone issues that affect all provinces and territories.”

The ability to deal with labour shortages affecting francophone communities is an ongoing concern for the ministers, who are working on developing a better sense of unmet needs outside Quebec through a partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada, Statistics Canada and the Labour Market Information Council.

“Discussions over the last two days once again highlighted the importance of intergovernmental co-operation on issues that impact the Canadian Francophonie. We continue to work towards positive outcomes for communities, to promote the Canadian Francophonie and its culture, and further develop French-language services,” said council co-chair and Saskatchewan’s Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross. “Our actions to develop French-language services and promote the Canadian Francophonie are delivering positive outcomes for communities.”

The federal government's upcoming 2023-28 action plan for official languages was also discussed.

“We are currently holding cross-Canada consultations where I am listening to the realities, challenges and priorities expressed by Canadians in terms of official languages. Our exchanges will definitely feed my reflection for the development of the next action plan," said council co-chair and federal Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. “Intergovernmental collaboration is essential if we are to maximize our collective impact for the Canadian Francophonie.”

British Columbia will co-chair next year’s annual council meeting.

Created in 1994, the Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie is the only intergovernmental collaborative forum focused on promoting the Canadian Francophonie and increasing French-language services. More information is available on the council’s website.