Official languages: from PEI organizations. ask for more funds from Ottawa

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Official languages: organizations in theÎ.-P.-É. ask for more funding from Ottawa

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A bilingual sign in front of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa

Acadian and Francophone community organizations in Prince Edward Island have asked the federal government for more funding for their sector.

They made this request in person to the Minister responsible for Official Languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, during her visit to Summerside on Thursday.

The Minister makes her cross-Canada tour on the Languages ​​Act action plan to learn about the realities, challenges and priorities of the population between 2023 and 2028.

Minister of Official Languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, tabled her plan to modernize the Official Languages ​​Act, in March 2022 (archives).

Representatives of the Francophone community sector met with the minister responsible for official languages, including the interim president of Collège de l'Île, Colleen Soltermann.

She explains that better funding for community activities in minority language communities as well as a more equitable distribution of these funds are necessary to ensure the vitality of the sector.

According to her, these funds would facilitate the recruitment of personnel, that the island is struggling with a shortage of professionals.

“There is a lack of manpower in our organizations, and also our salaries on the island are not competitive. So people are used to leaving the island after a few years. »

— Colleen Soltermann, interim president of Collège de l'Île

According to Colleen Soltermann, salaries in the association and community sector should be increased in order to facilitate employee retention.

Government funds often do not take into account that things are getting more and more expensive. We compete with other provinces that are larger, adds the president of the college.

Colleen Soltermann, interim president of Collège de l'Île, wants to defend more funding for post-secondary institutions (archives).

In an interview with Réveil Île-du-Prince-Édouard, the minister responsible for official languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, pointed out that education in French is part of the needs everywhere in Canada.

“Certainly the continuum in education, from early childhood to post-secondary, is something that we consider to be [the] key.

— Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister Responsible for Official Languages

She hopes that the new Official Languages ​​Act will be passed by the end of the year.< /p>

We want to ensure that people will have the chance to be educated in French, adds Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

The interim president of Collège de l'Île, Colleen Soltermann, recalled the demands of the national network of French-language post-secondary institutions with regard to their funding.

These institutions want the funds that allocated to them would be doubled, which would raise the investment to $80 million per year.

The Island College of P.E.I. is one of 22 French-speaking colleges and universities outside Quebec.

Colleen Soltermann also points out that post-secondary institutions, like hers, are the gateway to many x27;immigrants to Canada.

There are a good number of our students who come from abroad. Eventually, when they are trained, they could come and work in our services and provide labour, she explains.

According to her, a simplified process for obtaining permanent residence would be essential.

One ​​of the priorities on the island is to ensure that there is a mechanism to issue immigration applications for these students, says Colleen Soltermann.

Charles Duguay, vice-president of the Société acadienne et francophone de l'Île, emphasizes the need for increased oversight of funding for Francophonie projects (archives).

During the meeting with the Minister, the Société acadienne et francophone de l'Île, the SAF'Île, relied heavily, in turn, on the legal mechanisms to ensure that federal funds reach Francophone organizations, explains the vice-president of the organization, Charles Duguay.

It emphasizes the need for increased oversight by Treasury Board to ensure that federally funded projects comply with the Official Languages ​​Act.

“There needs to be accountability in all areas of development. Often, we do not know if the federal money is going where it should go, that is to say in the francophone community. »

— Charles Duguay, Vice-President SAF'Île

This gesture would make it possible to impose sanctions when it is not respected, according to him.

The Minister responsible for Official Languages, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, is scheduled to visit the Francophone community of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on August 9.

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