Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Francophone community grows

French-speaking immigrants choose Winnipeg

  • Print

OTTAWA -- Immigration is helping change the face of Manitoba's francophone community.

Of the French-speaking immigrants in Winnipeg, half are Caucasian, just over one-tenth are Asian and more than 25 per cent are black.

Winnipeg has the highest proportion of black francophone immigrants of any city in the country outside Quebec. Manitoba and Saskatchewan have a higher proportion of blacks among French immigrants than any other region, other than Quebec.

The numbers are growing too, mainly due to a federal strategy to bolster immigration to French-speaking communities outside of Quebec and promote Canada's bilingual heritage.

In 2006, Ottawa launched the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities. Two years later, it was followed with the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, a $1.1-billion investment across 13 government departments. Immigration from francophone-speaking countries and improved settlement services for those immigrants are among the priorities.

"The roadmap is a plan to really encourage the vitality of francophone communities," said St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover.

While the strategy isn't focusing on any one region or country, it is driving up the number of French-speaking immigrants arriving from Africa.

Out of 28 countries in the world where French is the official language, 21 are in Africa. There are another 26 nations where French is present as a language and 11 of those are in Africa.

In 2006, 11,955 immigrants arrived in Canada from French-speaking African countries. In 2008 that jumped to 13,777, and in 2010 jumped again to 15,608.

Since 2006, a total of 1,500 immigrants from primarily French-speaking African nations have settled in Manitoba. With 600 arrivals since 2006, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the No. 1 source country, followed by Egypt (330), Burundi (135), Cameroon (65), Cote d'Ivoire (35) and Mali (25).

Robinson Joseph, his wife and their four children arrived in Winnipeg last July as refugees from Niger. Joseph was from Sudan and had been trying to leave Africa for nearly two decades. Civil wars, extreme violence and uncertain futures had the family seeking a new life.

"We wanted the best for our kids," he said. "We wanted them to have a different life than we had."

Joseph settled in Transcona, directed to Winnipeg by the federal government. He had no idea what to expect.

"Everything is good," he said. "It's more than I was expecting."

Although Joseph speaks English quite well, his wife and their children, ages 10, seven, five and two, are all francophones who had little or no English when they arrived. The children are able to attend school in French, which is a bonus, said Joseph. His wife and he are both taking courses to improve their English. He is also looking at training to get a job at Manitoba Hydro.

To support the francophone immigration push, the federal government has added 13 community networks in francophone minority communities to help welcome and integrate immigrants. There have also been promotional tours in western Europe, northwest Africa, Africa and Mauritius promoting provincial nominee programs and encouraging students and other potential immigrants to consider settling in places outside Quebec.

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Speaking in French

Immigrants from predominantly French-speaking African nations to Manitoba:

2006: 200

2010: 240

-- Citizenship and Immigration Canada

 

African countries with French as the official language (21)

Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, People's Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo.

 

African countries with French language present (11)

Algeria, Cape Verde, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Mauritania, Morocco, Sao Tome and Principe, Tunisia, Western Sahara.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2012 0

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets defencemen ready to face adversity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

With the Canadian junior team off to such a great start, will you be watching the World junior hockey championship?

View Results

Ads by Google