Government of Yukon

May 26, 2017

Federal government announces significant increase in support for French language services in the territories

Member of Parliament for Yukon Larry Bagnell today announced major funding for Francophone communities in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Mr. Bagnell made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly.

For more than three decades, the Government of Canada has supported the implementation of territorial legislation for services in French. In late 2016–17, the Government of Canada signed agreements with each of the territorial partners that significantly expand federal financial support for French language services delivered by the territories. This will allow the territories to more fully meet their official-language obligations.

These agreements will enable members of the Franco-Yukonnais, Franco-Ténois, and Franco-Nunavois communities to benefit from improved access to territorial services in French.


“Our official languages, French and English, are at the heart of who we are as a country. Our government is committed to enhancing the vitality of official language minority communities throughout Canada, including the vibrant Francophone communities in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. These agreements offer a much-anticipated boost to the work being done by territorial governments to improve access to services in French.”

–Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, Government of Canada

“We are very pleased that this agreement has been signed, as it is an important step in the provision of services in French in Yukon. The enhancement of government services in French, particularly in the health and social services sector, will greatly benefit Yukon’s Francophone community.”

–Minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate John Streicker, Government of Yukon

“In the Northwest Territories, there are many partners working together to focus our efforts to build on the tremendous work to date to integrate the French language into the territorial government’s service and program delivery. We have committed to ensuring the needs of the Francophone community are supported and promoted in the context of our multicultural region. Language plays a critical role in identity, and with the new agreements in place, we will be able to further support and enhance the excellent work already underway for French language services and communications.”

–Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Alfred Moses, Government of the Northwest Territories

“We are delighted with this new multi-year agreement. This is a positive step in creating a new partnership with the Government of Canada for the protection and promotion of official languages in Nunavut. This agreement will allow us to better meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act while strengthening our collaborative ties with Canada.”

–Minister of Languages George Kuksuk, Government of Nunavut

“I welcome this collaboration between our governments. These agreements are significant and allow us to devote resources that meet the communities’ needs. In the end, the Francophone communities in the territories will be better served.”

–Member of Parliament for Yukon Larry Bagnell

Quick facts 

  • The Government of Canada has been supporting services in French in the North since 1984 after striking an agreement with the Northwest Territories; similar agreements were reached with Yukon in 1988 and Nunavut in 1999.

Financial support by territory:

Baseline            $1.75 million
2017–18            $3,996,288
2018–19            $4,756,211
2019–20            $5,246,746
TOTAL             $13,999,245

Northwest Territories:
Baseline              $1.9 million
2016–17            $5,702,000
2017–18            $5,800,000
2018–19            $5,500,000
2019–20            $5,500,000
TOTAL             $22,502,000

Baseline            $1.45 million
2016–17            $1,910,824
2017–18            $3,672,758
2018–19            $4,185,236
2019–20            $4,483,044
TOTAL             $14,251,862

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101 or 1-866-569-6155 
Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications
Government of Yukon
Patrice Tremblay
French Language Services Directorate
Government of Yukon

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator, Executive and Indigenous Affairs
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9140, ext. 11092

Jacqueline McKinnon
Communications and Public Affairs, Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9352, ext. 71073

Dan Pimentel
Communications Manager, Culture and Heritage
Government of Nunavut

News Release #17-114