VICTORIA – Today, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier Norm Letnick and Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond celebrated the 12th annual B.C. Francophonie Day with francophone and francophile representatives at the B.C. Parliament Buildings. In honour of this special occasion, the provincial government has launched a new online mapping tool that will help French speaking citizens pinpoint services in their communities.
Francophones will now be able to search for French immersion schools and daycare centres, francophone health care professionals, businesses and tourism listings.
The web-based mapping tool was developed in partnership by B.C. Francophone Affairs Program, the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services and DataBC, with input from various francophone organizations. It is now available on the B.C. Francophone Affairs Program website.
Also at the event, on behalf of the B.C. government, Bond awarded a commemorative plaque to Donald Cyr, executive director of Société de Développement Économique de la Colombie Britannique (SDECB), for his important role in the economic development of the francophone community. Since its establishment in 2008, SDEBC has provided valuable advice and assistance to francophone entrepreneurs for their businesses or projects.
For example, thanks to the leadership of Donald Cyr and SDECB, B.C. was the first western province to join the ÉCONOMUSÉE(r) network. ÉCONOMUSÉE(r) is a bilingual trademark that showcases artisans by opening their places of production to the public. There are now two workshops on Vancouver Island and three more are expected to open over the next year.
For the 12th consecutive year, the province has proclaimed March 20th as B.C. Francophonie Day, in recognition of the contribution that the francophone community and francophiles have made to British Columbia.
Norm Letnick, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier –
“French Canadians have made very important contribution to the economic and cultural development of our province for more than two hundred years.
The government is committed to promoting Canada’s official languages in British Columbia as part of its contribution to national unity and continues to look for ways to improve its services in French. I am excited to launch this new online service finder for French speakers especially on B.C. Francophonie Day.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“B.C. Francophonie Day is a day to celebrate both the cultural and vital economic contributions the French community has made in our province. A great example of this is the work done by Donald Cyr to support francophone entrepreneurs in our province.
We want small businesses to thrive in B.C. and by connecting and supporting entrepreneurs from a variety of diverse backgrounds, we’ll ultimately create more jobs and a stronger economy for everyone.”
Dr. Réal Roy, president of Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique –
“The result of this collaboration between the Francophone community and the provincial government for this web-based mapping tool is a step forward from the Annual BC Francophone Services Repertory (annuaire). Thank to this online tool more people will be able to connect with our community and with British Columbia. We hope to extend this fruitful collaboration to other services.”
Donald Cyr, executive director of Société de Développement Économique de la Colombie Britannique –
“I am proud to contribute to the diversity and economic growth of British Columbia.”
- There are more than 290,000 French speakers in B.C., with more than 40 francophone associations and organizations that actively represent the francophone language and culture in the province.
- An ECONOMUSEUM(r) is a craft or agri-foods business whose products are the fruit of an authentic technique or know-how.
- There are two ÉCONOMUSÉE(r) workshops on Vancouver Island: Merridale Ciderworks, and Hazelwood Herb Farm.
- Fifty-six countries around the world, including Canada, formally recognize March 20 as the International Day of La Francophonie.
Francophone Affairs Program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/francophones/fr/index.page
Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique: http://www.ffcb.ca/
Société de Développement Économique de la Colombie Britannique: http://www.sdecb.com/
British Columbia ÉCONOMUSÉE(r) Network http://economusee.tourisme-cb.com/apropos.html
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat