Government of Canada is making investments in British Columbia to enrich our communities and foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth

VANCOUVER, BC, March 2, 2023 /CNW/ – British Columbia is home to the fifth-largest Francophone community in Canada, with over 300,000 French-speaking residents across the province. As March marks Francophonie Month, the Government of Canada is celebrating the vitality of British Columbia’s official language minority community and investing in organizations that boost Francophone businesses and community groups.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced an investment of over $3.9 million for four projects to support B.C.’s Francophone and Francophile communities.

This investment includes over $2.7 million in operational funding over five years for La Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDÉ). For over 20 years, SDÉ has been a champion for the French-speaking business community in British Columbia. With this funding, the organization will continue offering resources to grow strong Francophone and Francophile businesses across British Columbia. Since 2017, SDÉ has served almost 5,000 clients and supported over 150 community economic development projects to create and maintain thousands of jobs and businesses.

SDÉ will also receive $221,500 through the Tourism Relief Fund to help bilingual, Francophone and Francophile tourism operators in British Columbia expand their offerings and attract more visitors, both Canadian and international.

Today’s funding also includes $965,000 for two projects through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund. These investments will help L’Alliance Française de Vancouver and La Société francophone de Victoria enhance cultural hubs for the Francophone and Francophile communities in Vancouver and Victoria.

For additional project details, please see the backgrounder below.

Together, these organizations foster the educational, social and economic needs of British Columbia’s official language minority community and help ensure the vitality of Francophone culture across the province.

Quotes

“Investing in the cultural and economic sustainability of French-speaking British Columbians is essential. Today’s investments will ensure that bilingual, Francophone and Francophile Canadians can continue accessing services in the official language of their choice and create community spaces that foster the richness of Canada’s unique linguistic history.”

–  The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“The vibrancy of British Columbia’s Francophone communities boosts our culture and economy to the benefit of all. PacifiCan’s investment allows the organizations funded today to offer support and services that help create jobs, attract visitors, share culture, and enrich linguistic duality across our province.”

–   The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and the growth of the sector, we continue to provide targeted support to tourism businesses so they can keep delivering unforgettable experiences. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”

–  The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“Today’s announcements demonstrates the federal government’s continued support to the Francophone community in B.C. and its recognition of the importance of the economy and business community in ensuring the vitality of British Columbia’s Francophone community. For nearly 25 years, PacifiCan has relied on the expertise and work of SDECB. Thanks to PacifiCan funding, our organization is able to act as a lever for economic development and has been able to support thousands of businesses, women, youth and immigrants to create prosperity for British Columbia.”

–  Céline Sauvage, President, La Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique

Quick Facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout our province.
  • The Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique joined the Western Canada Business Service Network and began serving the business needs of French-speaking British Columbians in April 2001.
  • The Western Canada Business Service Network supports independent organizations that provide business services to help British Columbians start, grow, and expand their businesses. The Network focuses particularly on rural areas and underrepresented groups with lower economic participation rates.
  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund provides $500 million over two years to help communities build and improve infrastructure, making public spaces safer, greener and more accessible.  
  • The Tourism Relief Fund provides $500 million over two years to help tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, and invest in products and services to facilitate future growth.

Associated Links:

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Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-9378
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 
1-877-303-3388

Backgrounder: Community organizations receive over $3.9 million to support Francophone and Francophile communities in British Columbians

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced an investment of over $3.9 million for four projects to support B.C.’s Francophone community.

The projects announced today include:

Operational Funding

La Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique  
$2,725,000
Funding over five years will support SDÉ to continue offering the support, resources, and solutions needed to incubate and grow an ecosystem of Francophone and Francophile businesses across this province.

Tourism Relief Fund

La Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique  
$221,500
Funding will help SDÉ provide business advice, guidance on digital tools, and strategic business information to bilingual, Francophone, and Francophile tourism operators in British Columbia.

Canada Community Revitalization Fund

L’Alliance Française de Vancouver
$750,000
Funding will go towards a new library, community spaces and washrooms in the new Alliance Française de Vancouver Community Centre.

La Société francophone de Victoria
$215,000
Funding will support the construction of a new elevator and entryway to increase accessibility to the Francophone community hall in downtown Victoria. 

SOURCE Pacific Economic Development Canada

For further information: Contacts: Haley Hodgson, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development, [email protected]; Jillian Glover, Communications Manager,Pacific Economic Development Canada, [email protected]


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