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New French-language services report released

The report highlights feedback on how to improve French language services in the territory
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Energy, Mines and Resources Minister John Streicker speaks to reporters in the Yukon government’s cabinet office on Nov. 23, 2022. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

The Yukon government has released a new report, titled “What We Heard.” The report highlights feedback from Yukoners and stakeholders regarding areas of success, potential improvements and future actions to enhance access to French-language services and information, according to a statement from cabinet communications and the territory’s French language services directorate.

“The report presents feedback gathered through targeted meetings on topics ranging from a discussion on the recruitment of bilingual youth with high-school students to actions that can foster a vibrant Francophonie with the Francophone community stakeholders,” the statement read.

Marie-Claude Desroches-Maheux, of the French language services directorate, said that as part of public engagement on French-language services and communications, the directorate engaged with bilingual high-school students from CSSC Mercier and F.H. Collins.

The purpose of this meeting, she said, was to explore and discuss strategies for recruiting and retaining bilingual youth.

According to the report, the vast majority of youth surveyed expressed a desire to leave the Yukon when they finished high school and were not particularly interested in building a career in the territory.

The report says isolation and a lack of opportunities seemed to be the main reasons for this.

“Youth think that the Yukon government should focus on the territory’s natural attractions, good wages, quality of life, population growth and the vitality of the Francophone community in order to recruit bilingual staff,” a part of the report read.

Solutions presented in the report to increase access to services include leveraging technologies, recruiting and retaining bilingual employees, especially in the health sector, and better promotion of services and programs readily available in French.

“The comments gathered will help shape the next strategic framework for French-language services and communications and prioritize actions over the next two years,” the statement read. “This new roadmap will build on the successes of the previous frameworks and guide investments to keep serving the growing Yukon Francophone community.”

John Streicker, the Minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate, said the Yukon Francophone community is growing and “we want to ensure that our services align with the evolving priorities of the community.”

“Building on our commitment to increasing access to services and information in French, the feedback received will help shape our new strategic framework for French-language services and communications,” he said.

According to Census of Population 2021, the Yukon ranks as the third most bilingual jurisdiction in Canada after Quebec and New Brunswick. More than 14 per cent of the population in the territory speak French, an increase from 13 per cent in 2011.

Contact Patrick Egwu at patrick.egwu@yukon-news.com



Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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