Annual Report 2017-2018

Looking ahead, getting ready

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Francophone Immigration in Ontario

Ontario is the major immigration hub in Canada. According to Statistic Canada’s 2016 Census, more than half of the country’s immigrants16 live in Ontario and make up close to a third of the province’s population. In the context of provincial “competition” to attract and retain immigrants, excluding Quebec, Ontario is the province that is doing the best, with 70% of Francophone immigrants choosing to live there.17

Very early in his mandate, the Commissioner made immigration one of his priorities. Many of his annual reports contain numerous recommendations related to immigration. And for good reason, since the data always indicate significant scenarios and challenges.

By 2028, the proportion of immigrants making up the Francophone community will grow significantly to reach between 22% and 26%. Furthermore, according to the 2018-2028 projections, the regional gaps in terms of the number of Francophone immigrants hosted will remain. Francophone communities outside of the main centres, especially those in Northern Ontario, will not benefit from the impact of immigration on the vitality of their communities in the same way that urban areas in the Centre and the East will. This will only increase their demographic decline in the years to come. By comparing these data to those of the 2011 and 2016 censuses, we can see that this gap is already getting wider.

Ontario has progressed a lot over the last few years to set up measures to encourage Francophone immigration, but many challenges remain. In addition to key interventions from the main institutional players, the Franco-Ontarian community has strongly mobilized around this issue. The Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada considers this issue to be one of the most important for Francophone minority communities.18 The various stakeholders are collaborating, particularly within the Francophone immigration networks set up in 2006.

  1. The data used come from Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census, based on the inclusive definition of Francophone (IDF).
  2. French Language Services Commissioner, Annual Report 2016-2017, Taking a Stand, Toronto, 2017, p. 44.
  3. Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, Compte-rendu, 11e journée de réflexion sur l’immigration francophone, Moncton, 2017, p. 1.

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