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Francophone cooperation is being prepared between Ontario and New Brunswick

Photo: Chris Young Archives La Presse canadienne La ministre ontarienne des Affaires francophones, Caroline Mulroney

Recognizing the “vitality” and “potential” of their Francophone communities, Ontario and New Brunswick want to “strengthen their cooperation” in several areas of the Francophonie.

The Ontario Minister of Francophone Affairs, Caroline Mulroney, and her New Brunswick counterpart, Glen Savoie, minister responsible for La Francophonie, ratified a joint declaration to this effect this week. The document highlights “the vitality and potential of the Francophone communities of Ontario and New Brunswick,” the “common values” of the two provinces, and the “significant social, cultural and economic asset” that the Francophonie constitutes. .

This declaration is a first step towards a formal agreement. It also signifies the “common commitment” of the two provinces “to build stronger and more prosperous Francophone communities,” rejoiced Ms. Mulroney on the social network X.

The objective is “to promote the creation of a corridor of economic, political and cultural exchanges within the Francophonie across the country”, explains Duty the director of communications for the New Brunswick ministries of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie, Johanne LeBlanc. The text thus provides for the sharing of “best practices” and targets several areas that will “support the vitality of the Acadian and Francophone communities”, such as higher education, research, the arts, tourism and even language education. French.

The mobility of French-speaking researchers and post-secondary students will therefore be encouraged, the Ontario ministry gave as an example in an email exchange with Le Devoir. The two provinces will also focus on “business networking” events, commercial exchanges and “joint digital initiatives to […] expand access to educational and cultural content in French”.

No deadline has been set for the next steps, however, the two ministries clarified.

French-speaking associations not consulted

Underlining the initiative, the president of the Assembly of the Francophonie of Ontario, Fabien Hébert, hopes that his organization will be involved in the upcoming discussions. “We can only benefit from it, but we hope to be consulted to influence certain projects,” he wrote to Devoir.

Same story in the Maritimes, where the interim president of the Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, Nicole Arseneau Sluyter, welcomes a “laudable” initiative, but believes “that it would have been beneficial for the two provinces to consult the communities concerned”, as well as the French-speaking school boards.

“This is the first step in a process that must take a turn around the table,” summarizes Mr. Hébert.

This report is supported by the Local Journalism Initiative, funded by the Government of Canada.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116