Green Party of Canada statement on International Francophonie Day

OTTAWA  – Today, on the 50th anniversary of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, the Green Party of Canada celebrates the Francophonie in all its aspects and diversity.

Green MP Jenica Atwin (Fredericton), is responsible for the party’s official languages portfolio. She stated: “The French language connects more than ten million people across Canada. In every province and territory people speak, love and dream in French. It is therefore crucial not only to protect the language, but also to implement the appropriate measures to enable it to flourish and thrive.”

French is a language that unites 1.2 billion people in 88 countries around the world. Some of these countries are already experiencing serious impacts of the climate crisis.   

“The next few years will be critical for increasing the capacity of governments and citizens to engage in environmental issues and respond effectively to climate adaptation,” said Paul Manly (MP, Nanaimo-Ladysmith). “As a member of the International Organisation of the Francophonie, Canada must take a lead role in empowering and supporting its partner countries in the ecological transition needed to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals, outlined by the Francophone Institute for Sustainable Development (IFDD).

Daniel Green, Deputy Leader of the Green Party underscores the many obstacles that francophone communities face in order to access healthcare services and education in their language. 

“The French presence in Canada should never be taken for granted,” said Mr. Green. “Just this past year, we’ve witnessed francophone communities in Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia constantly having to fight to receive or protect their French language institutions and services. To ensure that services to francophone populations are maintained across Canada, the Green Party calls on the federal government to provide concrete, long-term funding to the provinces, territories and organisations that act to defend the French language.

Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) notes that Greens continue to advocate for a modernization and strengthening of the Official Languages Act.

“Organisations across the country are actively campaigning to reaffirm the importance of bilingualism as a core value of our country. It should be noted that there has not been a revision of the Official Languages Act since 1988.”

“To ensure the revised Act can be enforced, it is imperative to consolidate responsibility for its implementation within the Treasury Board,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts. “It is the Treasury Board that holds the authority to compel all government departments to respect the provisions of the Law.”

On this International Day of La Francophonie, it is important to keep in mind that  l’union fait la force (united we are strong), and it is by working together that we will succeed in ensuring that the Francophonie transcends borders and can contribute in its own way to building a more equitable and greener world. 

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Rosie Emery

Press Secretary