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August 7, 2010
For immediate release

Government of Canada Announces its Support for Official Languages in Prince Edward Island

Education and Early Childhood Development

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During a tour of the Atlantic provinces, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced the signing of agreements on official languages with the Government of Prince Edward Island and the province's Acadian and Francophone community. Minister Moore made the announcement with the Honourable Doug Currie, Prince Edward Island's Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and Attorney General, who appeared on behalf of Premier Robert Ghiz.

"Our Government is a leader in Canada on official languages," said Minister Moore. "The important agreements we are announcing today are crucial to the development of Prince Edward Island's Acadian and Francophone community and the promotion of our two official languages."

"The Government of Prince Edward Island is pleased to be partnering with the Government of Canada and the Acadian and Francophone community," said Premier Robert Ghiz. "The new Official Languages in Education Agreement provides additional support for various projects related to French first language and French as a second official language. This will allow us to enhance programs and services available to the Acadian and Francophone community and Island students enrolled in immersion programs."

Under an agreement on minority-language education and second-language instruction covering the period from 2009 to 2013, the Government of Canada announced a contribution of $10,489,336. This investment supports the provision of French-language teaching for Prince Edward Island's Acadian and Francophone community, as well as French second-language instruction.

Accompanying the education agreement are a series of projects intended to support teaching at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary level. The Government of Canada is providing support to Collège Acadie Île-du-Prince-Édouard ($75,000 in 2009-2010), the Bachelor of Education program in French at the University of Prince Edward Island ($600,000 for 2009-2013), and construction of community facilities at École Saint-Augustin in Rustico ($987,817 in 2009-2011).

In addition, the Government of Canada announced ratification of the cooperation agreement between the Department of Canadian Heritage and Prince Edward Island's Acadian and Francophone community. This type of agreement promotes dialogue between the community and the Department, allows for a more strategic approach to cooperation, and stresses the follow up steps required to achieve the planned objectives. The Government of Canada is providing yearly funding of $847,000 to organizations representing the Acadian and Francophone community of Prince Edward Island. On July 21, the Government of Canada announced funding for a group of projects resulting from this support for community organizations.

This announcement includes funding totalling $12,152,153 to support our two official languages in Prince Edward Island. Added to that amount is the $847,000 in yearly support for community organizations. Part of the funding announced today is provided under the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future, an unprecedented government-wide investment of $1.1 billion over five years.

The education agreement is an outcome of the renewal of the Protocol for Agreements announced on September 4, 2009, and signed by the Government of Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, a key partner for federal action in the field of education. The Protocol provides a framework for all bilateral education agreements.

The Government of Canada is proceeding with the ratification of agreements with official-language minority communities under Cooperation with the Community Sector, part of the Community Life component of the Development of Official-Language Communities Program. This program of the Department of Canadian Heritage is designed to foster the vitality of Canada's French and English-speaking minority communities and enable them to participate fully in all aspects of Canadian life.

The agreements between the Government of Canada and the communities, provinces and territories under the Official Languages Support Programs are available at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca

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Media Contact: Maureen Flanagan-LeClair
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