Legislation and policies
The following legislation, policies and resources guide the delivery of French first-language (francophone) education and French second-language instruction (includes French as a Second Language courses and French immersion programs) in Alberta:
- Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Alberta’s French Policy
- Education Act
- Guide to Education
Learn more about French language education in Alberta.
The federal government funds official languages in education in 2 ways.
The first way is through regular annual funding negotiated by provincial and federal governments. These negotiations create the following agreements that set funding details:
- The Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction (currently being ratified)
- The Canada-Alberta Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction (currently in negotiation)
The second way the federal government gives money to provinces for official language education is through a separate application process to fund specific projects or goals.
How Alberta gets regular annual funding for official languages in education
Step 1. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments negotiate a single base agreement, called a protocol
The Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction sets out how the governments work together and shows how the federal government gives money to all provinces and territories.
Governments renegotiate the protocol every 4 or 5 years to reflect changing priorities.
It takes an average of 2 years to negotiate each new protocol.
Step 2. The federal government negotiates with each province and territory individually to create unique agreements
The Alberta government and the federal government are currently negotiating the Canada-Alberta Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction to:
- expand on important objectives in the Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction
- identify strategies and initiatives specific to Alberta
- create a detailed action plan to show how Alberta will distribute federal funding
It takes an average of 6 to 12 months to negotiate these agreements.
Step 3. Provinces and territories get federal funding
Each province and territory gets federal funding to give to funding recipients according to their action plan. The federal government usually gives this funding in 2 parts each year.
Step 4. Funding recipients report back to government
The Alberta government collects reports during the protocol term from each funding recipient, creates a combined report, and submits it to the federal government.
We repeat this process at the end of the protocol term to create a more detailed report showing how funding helped recipients achieve their goals.
How Alberta can apply for additional funding
In addition to regular annual funding, provinces can apply for additional federal funding each year for specific projects or goals.
|Application category||Current status|
|Capital projects for minority-language education||2019 - 2020 application submitted|
|Francophone and French-language teacher recruitment and retention||2019 - 2020 application submitted|
|Complementary projects||2019 - 2020 application submitted|
Step 1. Call for proposals
The federal government issues an annual call for proposals for each of the above funding categories.
Step 2. Application
The Alberta government works with community partners to create and submit a federal application. Community partners may include:
- school authorities
- post-secondary institutions
- educational associations
Step 3. Negotiation
After submitting the application, Alberta works with the federal government to answer its questions and clarify parts of the application as needed.
Step 4. Federal government decision
The federal government decides which projects to approve and informs the Alberta government.
The Alberta government communicates the federal government’s decision to stakeholders and helps set up next steps for each approved project.
Step 5. Reporting
Alberta works closely with funding recipients to create a report for the federal government. This report shows how funding recipients spend the money and if the project meets pre-identified success goals.
Learn more about these and other targeted federal funding options in the Government of Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages - 2018-23: Investing in Our Future.
Programs and bursaries
- Pan-Canadian official languages programs (Odyssey, Explore and Destination Clic) help students improve their language skills in English and French.
- The Individual Teacher Bursary Program helps eligible teachers get funding for French language education training and professional development.
- Student and educator exchange programs pair high school students from Alberta with students in Quebec to attend school together for 12 weeks in Alberta and 12 weeks in Quebec.
The Language Teacher Bursary Program helps eligible French and international language teachers get provincial funding to complete a language, culture or teaching development course or program. The federal government does not fund this bursary.
Connect with the Alberta Official Languages in Education Programs (OLEP) office: