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Press Releases

National Francophone Immigration Week launches at the CECCE with the Minister of Immigration and the FCFA

October 31, 2017, OTTAWA – The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) had the opportunity to launch the 5th annual National Francophone Immigration Week in a very special way. To kick off the week, which is of particular importance to the whole CECCE community, Collège catholique Samuel-Genest was fortunate enough to be able to host the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Serge Cormier, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; and Audrey LaBrie, Vice-President of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (FCFA).

National Francophone Immigration Week is the premiere event for highlighting the contributions of immigrants to the advancement of francophone​ and Acadian communities, as well as for building and strengthening ties with francophone newcomers to help them integrate into Canadian society. The theme “One language, a thousand accents” will guide a wide range of activities taking place in every part of the country through to Saturday, November 4.

“Increasing francophone immigration outside Quebec is a priority for the government. Although there is a lot of work left to do to reach our goal, our promotion efforts, and the changes made to the Express Entry application process and the Mobilité francophone component of the International Mobility Program prove that we are taking steps to get there. Immigration helps us breathe new dynamism into our francophone communities and maintain our rich heritage of bilingualism,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

At the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, this unifying event led to touching testimonials from CECCE students about their experience of diversity and their integration into the school community. Through their attendance, the Minister of Immigration and the Vice-President of the FCFA were able to learn more about the Programme d'accueil des nouveaux arrivants (PANA) and several other CECCE initiatives relating to inclusion and diversity.

“The CECCE works actively to foster the integration and inclusion of francophone immigrants in the Franco-Ontarian community, and has done so for a number of years,” said CECCE Chair Johanne Lacombe “The challenges that immigrant families experience when they come to this country can sometimes be difficult. That’s why the CECCE works with various organizations in the region and has set up a variety of programs in its schools, such as the allies program Franc succès, homework assistance, settlement workers in schools, PANA, ANNA and JONA.”

Although these families come from different cultures and nationalities, they share many common values, including French and catholicity. As a French-Catholic school board, the CECCE considers it a duty to welcome them and help them integrate in order to promote diversity within the community. “Because each and every resident deserves support to learn, pursue their dreams, and build a better world, the CECCE makes it a point of pride to welcome all francophone newcomers with a sincere, humane approach,” said Réjean Sirois, Director of Education.

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