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September 23, 2008
For immediate release

Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for the Francophonie Hold Annual Meeting

Executive Council

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The Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie (MCCF) held its annual meeting recently in the city of Québec. Ministers discussed ways to continue enhancing intergovernmental cooperation and the vitality of Acadian and Francophone communities across the country.

During the past year, Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Minister responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs, led the work of the MCCF in developing a negotiation framework for intergovernmental French language services agreements. These agreements enable provincial and territorial governments to offer services in French and support the development of their Acadian and Francophone communities. “I am pleased that our group was able to reach a consensus on the negotiation guidelines,” said Minister Bertram. “All provinces and territories will benefit from this important work as these guidelines will both facilitate and streamline negotiations.”

At the meeting, provincial and territorial ministers also had the opportunity to hear from Mr. Graham Fraser, Canada’s Official Languages Commissioner, and from young Francophone leaders who reported on the Youth Action Strategy that was initiated in 2007.

“We, as Ministers responsible for the Francophonie, recognize the significant contribution youth make in shaping the Canadian Francophonie today and in the future,” said Minister Bertram. “Youth have the best interest of their communities at heart and can offer their unique perspective on the challenges faced, both on an individual and collective basis.”

Ministers were invited to take an active role in the Youth Dialogues that will be held in the fall. This series of events will take place throughout Canada and is meant to be a call to action for young Francophones to share their needs and aspirations, the goal being to foster greater citizen engagement.

A brochure containing a snapshot of government-led Francophonie initiatives was also released during the meeting. This brochure is available by contacting the Acadian and Francophone Affairs Division of the provincial government. The MCCF aims to build a stronger relationship between the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments in order to enhance French language services for citizens and to strengthen the Canadian Francophonie. The next MCCF meeting will be held in Vancouver, in September 2009.

Media Contact: Donald DesRoches
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