Statement on Canadian Francophonie
On the eve of the celebrations marking 400 years of French presence in Ontario in 2015 and of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, we, the Premiers of Québec and Ontario, recognize:
- the key role played by Francophones in the founding and building of Canada and their importance to Canada's future;
- that Francophonie is a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian identity.
We are committed to working, in collaboration with the other governments in Canada, towards the promotion, protection, longevity, and vitality of the French fact.
Ontario and Québec share 400 years of common Francophone history since the founding of the City of Québec, in 1608, and of Champlain's trips in Ontario, in 1615.
Since the creation of the Confederation in 1867, Ontario and Québec have developed strong ties and play an important leadership role in the Canadian federation.
Ontario and Québec have a common vision rooted in history and looking to the future because they believe that the reach of the French language across Canada and on the continent is essential to the political, economic, social, and cultural prosperity of the country.
In witness whereof, in a spirit of solidarity and openness, we are committed to working closely together on the Canadian Francophonie, notably by:
- seizing the opportunity of the celebrations of 400 years of French presence in Ontario and the various events leading up to the 150th anniversary of the Confederation to highlight the vital contribution of the Canadian Francophonie to the enrichment of Canada and the opportunities it offers to Canada's future;
- asking the Federal Government to act quickly in regards to Francophone immigration so that the demographic weight of Francophones is maintained all across Canada;
- urging the Federal Government to support Radio-Canada in fulfilling its mandate to provide radio and television services in French across Canada, in order to reflect the specific needs of Francophones;
- promoting exchanges between young Ontarian Francophones and those attending French immersion classes and young Québécois;
- encouraging the active offer of services in French in order to enlarge the espace francophone in the country.