The federal budget: promising signs and missing details

Ottawa, February 27, 2018 The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) sees the federal government’s support of official languages in its budget Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class as a promising sign. However, certain elements of the budget regarding investment need to be clarified.

The AFO has met with ministers and federal deputies many times to advocate for reinvestment in official languages, and these efforts have started to pay off. On February 1, Carol Jolin, the President of the AFO, sent Minister of Finance Bill Morneau an official list of recommendations from the Franco-Ontarian community regarding reinvestment in official languages and other key issues. The AFO would like to acknowledge the active involvement and support of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA) and its members during the drafting of this important document.

“The budget seems to support official languages overall. However, the AFO’s 200 member organizations and institutions are still waiting for concrete answers from the government to assess the budget’s impact. These investments are important, since several of our member organizations are in dire financial straits. The vitality and survival of our communities is at stake,” said Jolin.

The AFO will soon be asking the government to clarify how funding will be divided among the provinces, and how much funding will be allocated to francophone communities. The AFO also expects an announcement about the new Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023. It hopes that this action plan will be by and for the francophone community.

The AFO is also happy with other elements of the budget – immigration, cultural diversity and summer employment – that affect the Francophonie in Ontario and in Canada.