Minister Mulroney Shares her Vision for a Stronger Francophone Economy
Cross-government efforts will leverage workforce, promotion and entrepreneurship
TORONTO — During a special event organized jointly by the Club canadien de Toronto and the Fédération des gens d’affaires francophones de l’Ontario, Francophone Affairs Minister Caroline Mulroney shared her vision of promoting Ontario’s Francophonie as a significant economic asset to grow the province’s economy.
“Ontario’s Francophonie and its bilingual workforce represent a competitive advantage that we need to leverage to support the province during the pandemic and to ensure this community’s and Ontario’s long-term economic prosperity. I wish to acknowledge the concerted efforts of our partner ministries and key Francophone stakeholders who are helping us achieve this goal,” said Minister Mulroney. “Additional investments announced in the 2021 Ontario budget will build on these efforts and ensure that Francophones are supported as they contribute to our province’s economic growth.”
Ontario has led concrete initiatives to stimulate the francophone economy. Under the leadership of Minister Mulroney, the Ministry of Francophone Affairs funded the creation of the first province-wide Franco-Ontarian Business Network. Launched in January 2021, the new Fédération des gens d’affaires francophones de l’Ontario has already brought together 14 corporate and 13 association members.
On May 20, Ontario and Québec also announced the creation of the Ontario-Québec Francophonie Trade Award that will highlight Francophone businesses from both provinces that contribute to increasing and encouraging trade between Québec and Ontario.
“Through our targeted investments into Francophone economic development in the 2021 Budget, and the new Ontario-Québec Francophonie Trade Award, our government continues to look for new ways to ensure francophones are able to lead and participate in Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario’s vibrant Francophone business community is an important part of our province’s cultural fabric and our economy, and we are committed to supporting the Francophone community with investments that will help to ensure their success for years to come.”
Since 2018, the Ministry of Francophone Affairs has been carrying out Minister Mulroney’s goal of uniting key players from the business sector and driving greater cross-ministry collaboration in order to promote francophone economic development in three priority areas: Francophone entrepreneurship and innovation; a skilled bilingual workforce developed through education, training and employability; and promoting Ontario’s Francophonie as an economic asset.
- Ontario’s $500,000 investment in 2020-21 supported the creation of The Fédération des gens d’affaires francophones de l’Ontario, an initiative led by the Club canadien de Toronto, as well as Quartier d’affaires, an online platform dedicated to promoting Franco-Ontarian products and services, created by the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale.
- As highlighted in the spring 2021 Ontario budget, the Province is doubling funding for the Francophone Community Grants Program by investing $6 million over three years in community organizations, social enterprises and small businesses that provide French language products and services. On May 27, the 2021-22 edition was launched. Eligible organizations and businesses can apply here until July 15, 2021.
- Building on its initial investment of $2 million in the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Francophone Non-Profit Organizations, the Province is also providing an additional $1 million to support the sector’s continued vitality.
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