Toronto, October 20, 2014 – The Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie, Jean-Marc Fournier, and the Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs of Ontario, Madeleine Meilleur, met today to discuss issues of common interest. They mainly discussed the waves of cuts occurring at Radio-Canada and their impact on Francophone communities.
The two Ministers will continue their hard work on this file. They intend to meet with certain stakeholders, such as the leaders of Radio-Canada and the group “Amis de Radio-Canada,” as well as the Commissioner of Official Languages, to better determine the effects of these recent cuts. They will then report on the outcome to the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie.
Radio-Canada plays an important role in the development and vitality of Francophone and Acadian communities. Radio-Canada ensures an essential French presence in all provinces and territories, and in many parts of the country with an Anglophone majority, it is one of the only media outlets to provide television and radio presence in French. The cuts in French-language services at Radio-Canada have raised concerns across Canada.
In fact, at the last Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, last June, Minister Fournier discussed the cuts with his colleagues and, at the same time, filed a preliminary impact study on the effects that these cuts will have on the Francophone and Acadian communities in Canada.
“Under the Broadcasting Act, Radio-Canada has obligations to fulfill in order to reflect the situation and specific needs of Francophone and Anglophone communities, particularly for the 2.5 million Francophones living outside Quebec for whom Radio-Canada is often the only thread of communication in French. By restricting access to programs and local news in French, these cuts have a detrimental effect on the development and vitality of Francophone communities across the country,” said Minister Fournier.
“Radio-Canada contributes significantly to the strengthening of the Canadian Francophonie and plays a key role in the future of our country and our national identity. It is essential that it be given the necessary resources and support to reach its full potential and to fully reflect the reality of French-speaking minority communities in Ontario, Acadia and across Canada,” stated Minister Meilleur.