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Ontario Helping More Francophone Immigrants Succeed

News Release

Ontario Helping More Francophone Immigrants Succeed

French-Speaking Newcomers Now Eligible for Tuition-Free ESL Classes

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Ontario is expanding its English as a Second Language (ESL) program in communities across the province to provide francophone immigrants with more opportunities to succeed and find work.

By expanding its ESL program to newcomers whose first language is French, Ontario will add approximately 1,000 additional learners to the current enrollment of 120,000 immigrants who access tuition-free language training each year. These programs are currently available through 37 local English and French school boards, at over 300 locations across the province

Offering language training for French-speaking newcomers is part of the government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Based on current data, immigrants who speak both official languages earn an average of $15,000 more than immigrants who speak only French.
  • More than 600,000 Francophones live in Ontario and over the last decade about 8,600 newcomers whose first language is French have immigrated to Ontario.
  • More newcomers immigrate to Ontario than any other province — nearly 40 per cent of Canada’s immigrants land in the province.
  • Ontario recently invested $16.5 million to help universities and colleges expand their French-language programs and services, including expansions that are already underway at York University's Glendon College, Collège Boréal and La Cité collégiale in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • Ontario recently launched its first francophone Municipal Immigration Information Online (MIIO) program to help attract more French-speaking immigrants.
  • Ontario’s Immigration Strategy sets a goal that five per cent of newcomers be francophone.

Additional Resources


Michael Coteau

“Newcomers with the ability to speak both official languages can live and work anywhere in Ontario. Our language training programs, like ESL, help newcomers build a better future for themselves and their families.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

“Our government recognizes the importance of integrating the Franco-Ontarian community’s needs in our Immigration Strategy. By expanding access to the ESL program, we are investing in Francophone newcomers’ success, a flourishing Franco-Ontarian community and a prosperous province.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs

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