French has been part of Canada’s history for centuries, from Breton fishermen present in Newfoundland as early as 1504, to the first settlements in Acadia and Quebec a century later, to French settlements in Ontario and the West in the 19th and 20th centuries. Francophones have contributed to building the country and continue to do so. Canada thrives thanks to the thousands of French-speaking immigrants who settle in every region of the country each year.
NOWADAYS, OVER 10 MILLION
CANADIANS SPEAK FRENCH,
FROM HALIFAX IN NOVA SCOTIA
TO WHITEHORSE IN THE YUKON.
Poll after poll shows that an sizeable majority of Canadians are proud to live in a country with two official languages.
“Canada’s official languages are one of our core values and part of what defines us as a country, and the importance of our two official languages must be reaffirmed.”
Source: Abacus Data, September 2019
Over the years, our official languages have contributed to the perception of diversity as a strength and not a weakness. This has fostered a greater openness to other cultures. Canada’s French-speaking and English-speaking populations are both diversified and national in scope.
Nevertheless, the legitimacy of French as one of Canada’s official languages has been challenged in various regions in recent years. It is crucial that the federal government send a strong message by giving Canada’s official languages new momentum and reiterating that they are a fundamental part of the country’s present and future identity.