November 10, 2017

Co-Operation Agreement Signed by Saskatchewan and Québec to Benefit Francophone Community

Today marks a significant step forward in co-operation between the Governments of Saskatchewan and Québec.  The two governments have entered into an agreement for Co-operation and Exchanges in Matters of the Canadian Francophonie.

The agreement will support the Francophone community in Saskatchewan and strengthen ties with Quebec through sharing best practices and expertise in improving programs and services delivered throughout government.

Under the agreement, a co-operation committee will be developed, with representation from the Secretariat du Quebec aux Relations canadiennes and the Saskatchewan Francophone Affairs Brancn.  The committee will meet annually and help establish priorities for the next five years that consider the needs of Francophone communities in Saskatchewan and Quebec.

“By promoting and strengthening our Francophone communities, we all benefit,” Provincial Secretary Nadine Wilson said.  “There are always opportunities to do things better, and I am pleased that we can continue to build off of each other’s strengths.”

The agreement will facilitate Francophone co-operation projects between community organizations in the two provinces.  Each government has committed up to $110,000 in funding by 2022 to support these efforts, depending on the number and quality of projects received from community organizations.

“Strengthening the quality of French programming and French language instruction in Saskatchewan schools and is a priority for our government,” Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said.  “This agreement allows us the opportunity to partner on innovative projects that will help improve our education system and benefit our students.”

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Quebec also signed a declaration recognizing the contribution of the Canadian Francophonie to Canada.  The two provinces will exercise shared leadership roles and their work will serve in promotion, preservation, sustainability and the vitality of the French language in Canada.

“Canada has a comparative advantage vis-à-vis the rest of the world because of the presence and the dynamism of its Francophone and Acadian communities,” Quebec Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie Jean-Marc Fournier said.  “Today, our governments are coming together to redefine our co-operation in order to foster the development of the Francophone community here in Saskatchewan.  Together, we move from a specific agreement in education to a broader and more ambitious agreement aiming to increase our investments in ten different subject areas.  Quebec will also continue to fund specific projects via a distinct program which supported, last year only in Saskatchewan, six projects for a total of more than $35,000.  This not only shows the relevance of co-operation between our two governments, but also the co-operation between our government and the Saskatchewanian civil society.”

“I am delighted that this agreement is reached at an opportune time, as this was the first file I raised as ACF president during a memorable tour of Quebec during the Year of the Fransaskois,” Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise (ACF) President Françoise Sigur-Cloutier said.  “I am confident that this agreement will be beneficial for the Fransaskois community and salute the goodwill of our partners.”