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One year after the creation of Francisation Québec, half of the files have still not been processed

Photo: Adil Boukind Le Devoir In April, 49.1% of applicants were still waiting to take their first French course.

Almost a year after its launch, Francisation Québec is struggling. In the middle of April, half of the people who had registered were still waiting for their files to be processed.

The organization, launched by the government caquiste in June 2023, had received nearly 99,000 requests to open files on April 15, reports the French language commissioner, Benoît Dubreuil, in his 2023-2024 annual report, filed Wednesday at the Salon bleu. A total of 48,500 (49.1%) of these applicants were still waiting to take their first class.

“Since June 1, 2023, the mechanisms implemented have not, however, made it possible to respond to the large volume of requests submitted,” writes the commissioner, in his first annual report in this capacity. “Bottlenecks thus appeared in the group formation process, which created waiting times for applicants and caused various problems for service providers and students. »

According to the statistics collected by the commissioner, the time taken to obtain a full-time course was, according to the latest news, 45 working days, on average. For part-time work, this number rose to 86 working days.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Dubreuil noted that the leaders of Francisation Québec did not seem to have anticipated an important factor in the registration requests made over the past year: non-permanent residents. “There is a close link between the increase in the number of temporary foreign workers in Quebec and the increase in the number of applications for registration in French courses,” he indicates in his report of some 120 pages.

In February, in another report, Commissioner Dubreuil named temporary immigrants as one of the main reasons for the erosion of French. At the same time, he invited asylum seekers who only speak English to be redirected to the rest of Canada. Another of its recommendations aimed to Frenchify immigrants, including temporary ones, before their entry into Quebec.

“At the moment, the number of people who do not know “French is increasing much more quickly than the number of people being Frenchized”, summarized Mr. Dubreuil, Wednesday.

“No the panacea »

The commissioner's findings are not all bad. Since the start of 2024, he has noted “an increase in the number of students whose registration is confirmed or who have started a course compared to the number of students waiting”. But francization is “not a panacea”, he recalled on Wednesday.

In fact, he wrote in his report, “the total number of “hours of training offered in 2023-2024 corresponds to approximately 2% of that which would have been necessary for all people domiciled in Quebec who did not know French to complete the beginner and intermediate levels.”

Approached Wednesday at the end of a meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Immigration, Christine Fréchette, reiterated her desire to hire more francization teachers. There were 750 of them at last count. “We are also going to Frenchize more upstream,” she added. “That is to say, even before people arrive in Quebec, they will have access […] to French courses. »

Francisation Québec has experienced difficulties since its founding in processing its files, opened almost entirely by immigrants (96%). In January, six months after the launch of the organization supposed to bring together francization operations in Quebec, Le Devoir reported that 60% of files were still pending.

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