The Coopérative d’intégration francophone (CIF) has the pleasure of announcing that Prince Edward Island’s Évangéline Region has been selected to participate in Communautés accueillantes francophones, a pilot project for Francophone welcome communities. This project, initiated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), aims to improve conditions for Francophone newcomers to Canada by giving them the possibility of settling and flourishing in French, and providing them the means to make a positive contribution to Canadian society and the vitality of Francophone communities.
The Évangéline Region met all the criteria for participation in this national initiative. The selection committee gathered for the first time in Halifax, at the IRCC Summit on Francophone Settlement in September. Subsequently the commitee’s seven members selected the region by unanimously earlier this month. The local authorities and Francophone community representatives will work together to create a welcoming, inclusive community, as well as facilitating connections between newcomers and residents of the Évangeline Region. “We are thrilled that Évangéline was selected for this pilot project,” said Diane McInnis, president of Évangéline’s school-community council. “The Évangéline Region has no choice but to redefine itself if it wants to ensure the long-term sustainability of its Francophone and Acadian population. We are at a turning point. This type of initiative, along with parallel community projects, will help us develop a vision and an action plan for retaining, repatriating and recruiting more Francophones and Acadians to our beautiful corner of the province”.
Diane Arsenault, who has spent most of her career in the federal and provincial public services, has been hired as project coordinator. Her first mission will be to set up an advisory council specifically for the Évangeline region. In the course of her mandate, she will also develop and implement an action plan for the next several years. Given that she has been highly involved in Francophonie and community matters for any years now and sees collaboration as a strength, we are sure that Diane Arsenault will carry out this project with flying colours. Diane says that she is “excited to work together with the Évangéline region’s decision-makers in this innovative project, which will have positive impacts for newcomers and the community as a whole.”
Photo: Diane Arsenault
If you would like more information about the project, contact Diane Arsenault.