News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

March 19, 2010


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A Positive Report Card

Taking advantage of the March 20 celebration of the 2010 International Day of the Francophonie to mark the 20th anniversary of Manitoba’s policy on French language services, the Manitoba government has made a positive assessment of its accomplishments in the area of Francophone affairs.
“We have taken a very dynamic and concrete approach in the continuing improvement of French-language services, especially in the designated areas,” said Premier Greg Selinger, minister responsible for francophone affairs.  “Our Bilingual Service Centre model is the best example of this and we are proud to say that five such centres have been established, with another on the way.  Other provinces and territories are currently drawing their inspiration from this model.”
Adopted in 1989, the French Language Service Policy acknowledges the fact the francophone population of Manitoba is a constituent of one of Canada’s fundamental characteristics.  Accordingly, the policy enables Manitobans to benefit from comparable government services in the language of the laws of Manitoba.
In order to further promote the policy and the active offer concept, the province launched its Bonjour-Hello campaign and acquired a variety of contemporary promotional tools that have been well-received by the public, the premier said.  The government created two full-time French language service co-ordinator positions, each assigned to a cluster of three of four departments, so as to better support the departments in the provision of quality French-language services.
On the national and international scene, Manitoba continues to play its leadership role in the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie (MCCF).  Selinger is the MCCF’s longest-serving minister of francophone affairs. In September 2009, the MCCF agreed that Francophone immigration would be one of its priorities by acting as a partner in the National Metropolis Pre-Conference on Francophone Immigration in Canada which was held yesterday in Montreal.  The province recognizes the importance of Francophone immigration in Manitoba by supporting the services for Francophone newcomers provided by Accueil francophone through the aegis of the Société franco-manitobaine.
In terms of economic development, the province has invested more than $700,000 in Centrallia 2010, an international forum for small and medium-sized businesses organized by the Agence nationale et internationale du Manitoba (ANIM) to be held in Winnipeg on Oct. 20 to 22.  Centrallia 2010 will provide an opportunity for business professionals to meet, form alliances and discuss investment and trade.  Centrallia is the main business event scheduled as part of Manitoba Homecoming 2010. Manitoba Homecoming 2010 is a year-long experience to bring former and current Manitobans together for events and celebrations.  This initiative will include French-language activities put on by francophone organizations and their partners, with support from the Société franco-manitobaine. 
“Thanks to the assistance of our partners, we are continuing to improve the delivery of French-language services.  Of course, we still have a long way to go and it is precisely in continuing to work together that we will succeed in building a better future for the francophone community of Manitoba. We are taking advantage of this International Day of the Francophonie 2010 to highlight some of these accomplishments,” said Selinger.
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