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Monsieur le President, I am proud to celebrate the Francophone community of the Northwest Territories during the 23rd Annual Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. This nation-wide initiative, held every March, is an opportunity for Canada’s 10 million French-speakers and all Canadians to celebrate and promote French language and culture.
Through this year’s Rendez-vous de la Francophonie theme, Acadia, at the heart of my country, celebrations will highlight the fact that Acadia is the birthplace of Canada’s Francophonie, while acknowledging the presence and contribution of Indigenous peoples in North America for thousands of years.
Monsieur le President, as we celebrate Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Francophone Affairs Secretariat. In response to COVID-19, they quickly adapted to provide prompt translations 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Their dedication has allowed our francophone residents to access important health information in French throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you.
Monsieur le President, this month the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada finalized a funding agreement to support French Language Services. This agreement provides a multi-year collaborative framework between Canada and the Northwest Territories to support the planning and delivery of quality French language communications and services. The agreement also ensures stability and continuity in the delivery of services to the French residents of the NWT.
Monsieur le President, our diverse French population adds a cultural richness to our communities. I am proud of our ongoing efforts to support our Francophone residents and to strengthen the diversity of our territory.
Merci, Monsieur le President.