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October 17, 2001
For immediate release

Increased Intergovernmental Collaboration to Support Acadian and Francophone Communities

Executive Council

The Canadian Ministers' Responsible for Francophone Affairs are committed to increasing intergovernmental collaboration to support Acadian and Francophone communities. This commitment arises from the 5th Ministerial Conference on Francophone Affairs held in Edmonton, Alberta on September 27 and 28, 2001.

Minister Mitch Murphy, the longest standing member of the Ministerial Conference on Francophone Affairs, was pleased that all provincial governments participated for the first time since the inception of the Ministerial Conference in 1994. "The participation of Minister Facal of the government of Quebec completes the ministerial table. The future of provincial/territorial cooperation on issues of interest to the Acadian and Francophone communities has never been brighter," stated Minister Murphy.

The federal, provincial and territorial discussions focussed on French language health and economic development issues. Ministers Responsible for Francophone Affairs plan to work more closely with their health colleagues toward the mutual objective of provision of essential services in the client's language of choice. It was in this spirit that Minister Murphy stated, "The government of PEI has worked in a concerted fashion to increase access to services in French. The implementation of the French Language Services Act is one such example. While I realize that much remains to be done, I am pleased that our experiences have become useful models for other jurisdictions."

In 2004, Canadians will mark the 400th anniversary of the French presence in North America. Planning is well underway in the Island's Acadian and Francophone communities. The government of PEI is eager to partner with the federal government and our sister provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to support activities designed to highlight the significant historical and present day contribution of the Acadian people. Numerous economic development and tourism opportunities related to this anniversary have been identified.

PEI is seen as a national leader with respect to the provision of government services in French as well as in supporting the development and enhancement of the Acadian and Francophone communities.

Media Contact: Donald DesRoches
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