French for the Future joins numerous Francophone and Francophile organizations in welcoming the passage of Bill C-13 by the Senate on June 15. The bill is the result of a long-term effort in which the organization has participated through many consultations, hearings, and memoranda since 2017. Emeline Leurent, Executive Director of French for the Future, attests to these efforts:
“The adoption of Bill C-13 is the result of exceptional consultation and concerted action on the part of the many players in the Canadian Francophonie and the government. Thanks to this Act, we hope that more and more young people across the country will have access to learning French as a first or second official language. Official languages are at the heart of Canadian identity, fostering dialogue and mutual appreciation. They are the foundation of social cohesion and diversity in Canada.”
This modernized Official Languages Act will increase opportunities for learning in the second official language across the education continuum, but just as importantly, it will increase opportunities for learning French outside the classroom. The Act will help bring the two official language communities closer together, and French for the Future is optimistic that it will help increase the rate of bilingualism in Canada.
Once Royal Assent has been granted, the implementation of regulations and positive measures will be of the utmost importance to ensure the Act’s implementation. A great deal of cooperation will be required between the various players involved in French as a second language to provide better access to learning French. French for the Future is ready to work with stakeholders to strengthen its presence among teenagers and continue to offer opportunities in French for teenagers aged 12 to 18.
Ania Kolodziej, President of French for the Future applauds the new opportunities that the new bill brings: “We are delighted to see the passage of Bill C-13, which would result in helping French for the Future to further encourage the learning of French across the country, and strengthen national bilingualism.”
French for the Future would like to acknowledge the tremendous work of the Minister of Official Languages, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, as well as Senator René Cornier, the bill’s sponsor in the Senate.