Thank you very much.
As you said, when we held consultations on official languages in 22 cities across the country, we really heard the heartfelt pleas from community media, including community radio. We saw the extent to which hearing one's own particular voice on the radio helps to build local and regional pride. It generates their feeling of being a proud francophone or a proud anglophone, even though they live every day in the language of the minority.
I was really touched by the issue and I wanted to work with my colleagues to make sure that it was recognized. To support community media, we have developed a strategy with funding of $14.5 million that includes two programs.
First, $4.5 million goes to Young Canada Works, so that young Canadians can work in community media and become the next generation of journalists, which is so important for our democracy and our communities.
Then, we wanted community media to operate “by and for communities”, and independently, of course. So we worked with the Association de la presse francophone, the Association des radiodiffuseurs communautaires du Québec and the English-language Arts Network, ELAN, the anglophone organization that has created a consortium of community media in Quebec. Working with those organizations, we are going to allocate $10 million to special projects that will really respond to community media requests. That is how we are going to support them.
This official languages initiative is added to those that I announced as Minister of Canadian Heritage, including $50 million to support local media all across the country. In his mandate letter, my colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, received a strong mandate to support the country’s media.