News from Sudbury: French consultation underway in the North

It was a packed house in Sudbury this week when the city’s Francophone community came out to air their issues.

They were invited to attend a consultation organized by the Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, Marc Serré, as the federal government continues its pan-Canadian tour to update the Action Plan on Official Languages.

“Individuals had the opportunity to tell the federal government where do you think the federal government should go over the next five years to support the French language, support communities, support individuals and organizations,” Serré said. .

Franco-Ontarians make up about one-tenth of the province’s population, but here in Sudbury, nearly 39% of the city is bilingual.

People like Jean-Gilles Pelletier, who not only attended the consultation, but who runs the new Place des Arts.

“It’s an important consultation – I feel like it’s not the final word on this,” Pelletier said.

He said a lot has been done in Sudbury to promote French culture, but more could be done.

Collège Boréal also had a seat at the table.

“Well, that’s extremely important — the action plan is sort of the funding framework for a number of different programs that then expand to a number of different ones,” said Marc Despatie, communications director.

“We can’t do this alone, we need municipalities, we need provinces to work together to make sure we can do this,” Serré said.

Ottawa’s current action plan expires next year.

Next week, consultations will continue in the Arctic before moving to Atlantic Canada.

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