Agreement Reached on Funding of Official-Language Programs


Toronto, April 13, 2005 -- The ministers of education and the Minister of Canadian Heritage today announced that a framework agreement had been reached on the distribution of federal funding for official languages in education.  The agreement provides funding for minority-language education and second-language instruction (English in Quebec and French in the other provinces and territories).   Under the agreement, the federal government will pay close to $1 billion to the provinces and territories over a four-year period.

In order to ensure stability in funding, the agreement will cover the period from 2005-06 to 2008-09.  A renewed protocol to give effect to this framework agreement is being developed.

“We have reached an important stage with this framework and it represents a step in the right direction,” said the Honourable Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec's Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, who currently chairs the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).  “The federal funding is a welcome contribution to the provinces and territories, who all offer minority-language and second-language programs,” he added.

Today's announcement covers existing funds as well as new funding to be provided under Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages.

The ministers stated that they will begin a second and final round of discussions immediately with a view to concluding a renewed protocol within ninety days.  The protocol will include such specific matters as funding arrangements and ways to inform the public about the use of the funds.

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories.  Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

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Hanca Chang
Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 233
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