Celebrate Yukon Francophonie Day on May 15

Elaine Taylor, MLA for Whitehorse West

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, May 15th, 2015
by Elaine Taylor, Minister responsible for French Language Services Directorate

As Minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate, I was pleased to pay tribute in the legislative assembly yesterday to the 9th annual Yukon Francophonie Day and to celebrate Yukon Francophones and their many contributions, which enrich the lives of all Yukoners.

Newcomers and visitors to Yukon are sometimes surprised by the strong presence of French in the territory, be it in the private sector, on the cultural scene, or at the governmental level. French can be heard and seen across Yukon.

Since the adoption of its Languages Act in 1988, the Government of Yukon has made great strides in delivering programs and services in French. The French-speaking community has been growing steadily throughout this time, becoming an ever more vibrant sector of Yukon society.

In recent years, the Government of Yukon has worked toward increasing communication with the Francophone community, while creating a more strategic approach to delivering French-language services.
We value our collaboration with the Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY), which has contributed to the success of many initiatives. The Active Offer campaign with the new Bonjour Yukon logo is one strong example of our partnership with the francophone community.

Recently, Yukon MP Ryan Leef (on behalf of Shelley Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages), AFY president Angélique Bernard and I were pleased to announce $268,550 over two years in support of Francophone artists and culture in Yukon.

This agreement with the Government of Canada reflects our shared commitment to strengthen the Yukon Francophonie and to support their artistic and cultural expressions through local initiatives and strategic partnerships.

Yesterday I was also pleased to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the Yukon Francophone Women’s Group, Les EssentiElles.

This group has grown tremendously over the last two decades and so has its capacity to deliver programming, provide leadership in the non-profit community, advise on policy development and support its members.

As the representative organization for French-speaking women, the group has spearheaded numerous awareness campaigns in French on different themes affecting Yukon women’s equality. It has worked toward promoting social justice and the awareness and prevention of violence against women. This work has enhanced francophone women’s involvement in community development and has helped inform other initiatives in the health care sector.

Our government is proud to support Les EssentiElles in their valuable efforts to advance Yukon women’s equality in the social, economic and legal spheres. Congratulations on 20 years of leadership in representing French-speaking women in Yukon. Your dedication makes our territory a better place to live.

Francophones are an intrinsic part of Yukon’s social fabric. They are members of a dynamic community which continues to greatly contribute to the development of Yukon, its quality of life and its uniqueness. Our government is proud to work in partnership with the Francophone community and we look forward to an exciting and prosperous shared future.