Francophone advisory committee calls for improved guidelines on French-language services

Herald File Photo. Prince Albert's French community celebrates Tintamarre in 2018.

Saskatchewan’s Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs is urging the provincial government to develop guidelines for how ministries, agencies and Crown Corporations deliver French-language services.

The committee met in November 2017 to discuss the issue, and on Friday they officially released their recommendations to the provincial government.

Advisory committee chair Michel Dubé of Prince Albert wrote that the development of guidelines would strengthen the province’s French Language Service Policy, while making it easier for staff to implement.

Dubé was unavailable for comment on Friday, but in a media release he said was proud of the work done by the government, but looked forward to more progress in the future.

“It is important that we learn from one another’s successes when supporting the development and vitality of the Fransaskois community,” he said.

The committee’s major recommendation was to see ministries include French-language services as part of their annual planning. Currently, only the Ministries of Education and Justice are required to do so.

The report also recommended greater promotion of which programs and services are available in French, along with better signage telling the public French services are available.

Provincial Secretary Nadine Wilson received the report on behalf of the government, and thanked the committee for their work.

“Keeping the French language and culture vibrant is important,” she said in a media release. “I am pleased that the Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs has submitted additional recommendations to make this possible.”