April 3, 2012 - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie), today announced on his own behalf and on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), that Canada will contribute $950,000 to support the French Language World Forum, which will be held in Quebec City from July 2 to 6, 2012.
“Canada is proud to contribute to this first forum, which will take place in Quebec City, providing an opportunity to promote our francophone culture in the Americas,” announced Minister of State Valcourt. “This event will offer an opportunity for civil society and young people to help promote and ensure the continued existence of La Francophonie in Canada and on the world stage.”
Canada’s financial contribution will make it possible for young francophones from language minority communities to take part in the Forum. They represent close to a quarter of the one million francophones living outside Quebec. This Canadian contribution will also fund various Forum program activities, such as workshops.
“Our government is proud to promote the country’s two official languages,” said Minister Moore. “This forum affords us the opportunity to welcome the international francophone community, as well as to introduce to the world Canada’s French-speaking community, its many accents and its rich diversity from sea to sea.”
“In today’s world, communication of every kind—economic, social and cultural—is produced in digital online environments,” said Minister Paradis. “I am pleased to see that the Forum will examine the role of Canada’s French-speaking community in the global digital economy.”
Michel Audet, the Forum’s Commissioner General, who attended the press conference, added that the Forum will further the development of a modern, dynamic and forward-looking Canadian Francophonie.
The French Language World Forum in Quebec City is intended mainly for civil society and will bring together close to 1,500 francophones from North America, Africa, Europe and Asia, half of whom will be young people between the ages of 18 and 30.
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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages