Evidence of meeting #33 for Official Languages in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was portal.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Donna Achimov  Chief Executive Officer, Translation Bureau, Department of Public Works and Government Services
  • Marc Olivier  Manager, Translation Bureau, Linguistic Services Division, Department of Public Works and Government Services
  • Jeff Moore  Vice-President, Policy, Partnerships and Performance Management, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Lisa Marie Perkins  President, National Office, Canadian Parents for French
  • Justin Morrow  Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French
  • Robert Rothon  Executive Director, National Office, Canadian Parents for French
  • Susan Anzolin  Director General, Innovation and Economic Development, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Well, certainly our kids are learning Mandarin too, and I think because they learn French, they have more confidence, for sure.

10:10 a.m.

Executive Director, National Office, Canadian Parents for French

Robert Rothon

That should be the case. They should be complementary processes. I think these have to be viewed as investments and that the economic arguments made are long-term arguments for these sorts of programs. But in the long term, they'll pay off.

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Michael Chong

Thank you very much, Mr. Weston and Mr. Rothon.

Madame Michaud.

March 27th, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

First, thank you all for your presentations. You have given us some quite interesting insight about the importance of bilingualism all across Canada, and it is refreshing to hear.

Welcome, Mr. Morrow. Given our age, for one thing, I feel that we have some concerns in common. I did all my studies at Laval too. But I was not a football fan and, to be perfectly honest, I never followed the Rouge et Or. But congratulations anyway.

My questions go to Ms. Perkins to start with. You mentioned that Canadian Parents for French had participated in the midterm review of the roadmap. Could you tell me exactly what form the consultations took and which aspects of the roadmap you were consulted on?

10:10 a.m.

President, National Office, Canadian Parents for French

Lisa Marie Perkins

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

My thanks to the members of the committee.

We were able to take part in a teleconference with members of the FSL Partner Network and with Heritage Canada representatives in order to evaluate the midterm successes of the roadmap.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

That was mostly a question of evaluating various successes. Were other aspects considered? Were any problems or improvements mentioned during the evaluation too?

10:10 a.m.

President, National Office, Canadian Parents for French

Lisa Marie Perkins

Mostly, they were the same kinds of comments as the ones we have just made. Canadian Parents for French received

two hundred thousand dollars from the road map directly. With that we produced,

with the Commission nationale des parents francophones,

a board game called Amuse-toi bien! that was distributed across the country. So we were also giving them an update on the status of that project.

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

You also rightly mentioned how important it is for everyone to have access to programs that teach French as a second language. You mentioned that for allophone and immigrant populations, as an example. Could you talk to us a little about the access that immigrant populations might have to those programs? Do you think that it is as easy for other anglophone populations in Canada?

10:10 a.m.

President, National Office, Canadian Parents for French

Lisa Marie Perkins

I will start the answer, Mr. Chair, but Mr. Rothon has all the statistical details about that.

For Canadian Parents for French, two years ago the main focus of our research, as part of our state of French second language, was on allophones, and to what degree allophones—or people who come to Canada and English or French is not their first language—would want to use and be enrolled in French second language programming.

You can correct me if I'm wrong, Monsieur Rothon, but I believe it was 80% of the parents we spoke to who were allophones said that if they had been given the opportunity, they would have also enrolled their students in French immersion. The primary issues were, number one, they were not informed that there was French second language education offerings in the education system for their children, and number two, from the perspective of school administrators, they think of ESL first and foremost, whereas we would say, and what our research proves, is that they succeed just as well as anglophone students in terms of being successful in the French immersion programming.

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

There is a lack of promotion of the program as such at the time immigrants are getting their orientation.

10:15 a.m.

Executive Director, National Office, Canadian Parents for French

Robert Rothon

It must also be said that some provincial policies prevent a child who is taking courses or training in English as a second language from signing up for a program of French as a second language. So the two priorities are being set up in competition, which is a real shame, in our opinion. Studies actually show that a young allophone can take courses in both French and English at the same time and succeed very well. So there is some awareness to be provided to, and some lobbying to be done with, ministries of education.

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Let me turn quickly to Mr. Morrow.

You told us that the roadmap had only invested in two projects with Canadian Youth for French in the past. Is that correct? Could you briefly explain what those investments were?

10:15 a.m.

Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French

Justin Morrow

The first one was for $45,000, which we used to hold two youth conferences with a goal of getting a better understanding of their reality.

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Did you say $45,000 or $145,000?

10:15 a.m.

Founder and Executive Director, Canadian Youth for French

Justin Morrow

It was $45,000.