The Francophone Secretariat aims to:
- acknowledge and increase awareness of the long-standing and continuing contribution of Alberta's Francophonie to the social, cultural and economic development of Alberta
- support organizations, communities and individuals in the development of their capacity to participate in, and contribute to, government-sponsored initiatives promoting French language and cultures
- coordinate a cohesive approach to the ongoing development and improvement of government services in French
- support ministries in promoting Government of Alberta initiatives to provide services to the French-speaking Albertans
The Francophone Secretariat:
- serves as the liaison between the provincial government and the Alberta Francophonie
- clarifies and represents the needs of the French-speaking Albertans within government, with various ministries and agencies
- coordinates and implements Alberta’s French Policy
- represents Alberta and Alberta’s Francophonie in organizations such as the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie
- participates in the negotiation and implementation of federal-provincial agreements as it relates to government engagement with the Francophonie in Alberta and the provision of government services in French
On June 14, 2017, following a period of consultations with both internal and community stakeholders, the Government of Alberta unveiled a French policy that guides government ministries in enhancing services in French and supports the vitality of the Francophonie in Alberta.
French is one of Canada’s two official languages and a vibrant component of its diversity. French is also the most widely spoken language in Alberta after English and its use is projected to continue to grow in the years to come. This will result in more requests for services in French in Alberta.
The provincial government has an opportunity to better serve a significant portion of Albertans, while also enhancing Alberta’s competitive advantage and strengthening the province’s relationship with the Francophonie across Canada and the world.
The Government of Alberta provides services and supports to French-speaking Albertans.
As required by the policy, government ministries are responsible for developing and publishing a multi-year action plan that identifies specific stakeholders with whom to engage, and goals, objectives and measures aimed at implementing the French Policy and therefore improving services in French.
The action plan provides details on the tangible and incremental ways government will enhance services in French. The three-year plan is meant to be updated annually.
As part of the implementation of the French Policy and with the input from the Government of Alberta ministries, the Francophone Secretariat also coordinates the publication of an annual report on government progress towards improving its services in French to Albertans. The report outlines the efforts made and the results achieved by the Government of Alberta and its agency, boards and commissions.
The 2019 Annual Report provides details on completed initiatives by the Government of Alberta since the adoption of the French Policy in June 2017.
What the policy means to Albertans
The overall goal of the policy is to help government be more aware of and responsive to the needs of French-speaking Albertans when delivering services to the community. The policy also serves as a tool to enhance Alberta’s attractiveness as a destination for interprovincial migrants, immigrants, tourists and investors.
There is a common understanding between the Government of Alberta and Francophone community stakeholders of working towards long-term incremental change.
The policy’s ongoing implementation is achieved within existing resources. In addition to provincial funding, the Government of Alberta also obtains annual funding from the federal government that it allocates to enhance and increase French-language services. This financing is implemented through the Canada-Alberta Agreement on French-Language Services, amongst others.
In November 2019, the Canada-Alerta Agreement was extended until March 2020. Negotiations to renew the agreement for the period starting in April 2020 will begin shortly.
Other provinces with French policies
Most other jurisdictions in Canada have a policy and/or legislative framework governing their approach to services for their French speaking communities.
- Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie
- Official languages in the provinces and territories
Alberta Advisory Council on the Francophonie
Established in 2018 under Section 7 of the Government Organization Act, the Alberta Advisory Council on the Francophonie advises the Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, responsible for the Francophone Secretariat, on the ongoing implementation and evaluation of the French Policy.
It also helps ensure that the Albertan French-speaking community, in all its geographical, cultural and demographic diversity, is represented.
Key responsibilities of the Council include:
- identifying priorities for strengthening the community’s vitality through the development and enhancement of services in French within available resources
- improving the development and delivery of government services in French within available resources
- optimizing the use of existing provincial funding for services in French and federal funding administered by Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women
- evaluating the effectiveness of the policy in achieving its intended outcomes
Connect with the Francophone Secretariat:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-415-3348 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Other contact options
Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women
9th floor, Standard Life Centre
10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4R7
Follow us on Twitter for information in French on services, resources and events.