Cloverdale Langley-City MP John Aldag (right) and MP Darrell Samson from Nova Scotia spoke about the ‘Action Plan for Official Languages’ at an event in Fort Langley on May 14. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

VIDEO: Aldag highlights ‘Action Plan for Official Languages’ in Langley

Cloverdale-Langley City MP discussed measures to increase French speakers in B.C.

Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag is reiterating the federal government’s quest to increase the number of French speaking Canadians, and strengthen the two official languages across the country.

At a media event held at the Fort Langley National Historic Site on May 14, Aldag, along with Darrell Samson, Member of Parliament for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook in Nova Scotia, discussed some of the highlights of the “Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future.”

The plan includes an additional investment of $500 million over five years to help strengthen French speaking communities outside of Quebec, and English speaking communities inside Quebec.

Aldag, who sits on the official languages committee, noted that Langley has a long history with Francophones. When the Hudson’s Bay Company first established its trading post in Fort Langley in the early 1800s, half the original workforce was French, he said.

“French had a very strong start because the fort was the first settlement in the Lower Mainland,” Aldag said. “And we’ve seen our numbers dwindle … over the years, and part of what we’re trying to do with the federal government and the investments we’re making, is to increase the ratio of Francophones in B.C. and the supports that are available to the communities.”

The action plan is broken down into three pillars — strengthening our communities, strengthening access to services and promoting a bilingual Canada. One of its goals is to increase the number of Francophones living outside of Quebec to four per cent of the general population by 2036; currently, it is projected to drop to three per cent.

“In 1971, people don’t recognize that … 6.1 per cent of the population in Canada outside of Quebec were Francophones or French first language,” said Samson. “Back in 2016, we were down to 3.8 (per cent), so we lost almost half over 50 years.”

According to 2016 data from Stats Canada, in Langley, 30 out of 116,315 residents spoke French only, and 6,090 residents spoke both English and French.

Compared to the entire province, in 2016, 1,810 out of 4.1 million residents in B.C. spoke French only, and 314,925 residents spoke both English and French.

Accordingly, in B.C., the action plan includes hiring and training more French speaking teachers — some even from Europe.

“(We are) looking at what infusion in funds we can give to Simon Fraser University through the new federal funds to train more teachers from home,” Aldag said.

“Those who have gone through the French immersion streams, those who have French as their first language, and I think that there’s huge opportunities there.”



miranda@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Koch’s OT winner sends Giants to sixth straight victory

Three games, three cities, three victories for the Langley-based hockey G-Men.

VIDEO: New homes for old dogs

Langley event has high number of senior dogs up for adoption

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read