In the area for action "Improving access to services for official language minority communities", we note five areas.
In health, access to services in French goes beyond mere respect for the language of the individual. This is also a matter of personal safety, for both patient and health provider. The Fransaskois population is aging and renewing itself through immigration and inter-provincial migration, particularly by non-anglophones. In addition, our educational institutions are enabling young Fransaskois to be increasingly dominant in their mother tongue.
In justice, we must continue to increase the number and variety of legal services. Not only is the Fransaskois population getting used to justice in French, but the number of people employed in this sector in Saskatchewan has increased by nearly 40% since 2008.
In immigration, since 2008, the ACF has helped 360 persons and their families with immigration services, and we have supported an average of 85 immigrants a year. In addition to being highly involved in immigrant recruitment internationally and in eastern Canada, we launched the Réseau provincial en immigration in 2004. It allows for better coordination of activities, which enhances the effect of the actions of each of its members.
In early childhood, the current network consists of six educational centres, 12 pre-kindergartens, 10 play groups and three family and childhood support centres. Access to this network is possible mainly as a result of investments in kind and financial investments by our own community network, as Roadmap investments have not managed to meet our needs in this regard. For example, in 2010, 108 children were on the waiting list for child care services. One year later, 227 children are still awaiting services. To meet the specific needs of parents' groups, we recommend that the decision as to who will be responsible for the early childhood file and how that funding is disbursed be reached in consultation with the Commission nationale des parents francophones.
Sufficient funding must also be maintained for the arts, culture and heritage. This year, for example, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Saskatchewan Arts Board established the Portail culturel fransaskois, a fund that provides direct support for Fransaskois artists through an investment of $690,000 over two years. However, it will also be necessary for the Roadmap to encourage national cultural agencies such as the National Film Board, the Canada Council for the Arts and Telefilm Canada to invest in Saskatchewan because it's also their turn to support our cultural institutions in our province.