How are French-Second-Language (FSL) programs funded?

Second-language education receives federal funding through the Official Languages in Education Program (OLEP) of the federal Department of Canadian Heritage.

Why do FSL programs require this funding?

These funds compensate provincial/territorial education departments for supplementary costs associated with these programs, including program infrastructure, enrichment and expansion, teacher training, and student support.

When did this funding begin?

The Official Languages in Education Program (OLEP) was created two years after the Official Languages Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada in 1968.

The first federal-provincial agreements on minority-language education and second-language instruction were also signed in 1970.

How are the funds governed?

The federal-provincial bilateral agreements were supplemented in 1983 by the first Protocol on teaching official languages. The Protocol governs the bilateral agreements by defining terms, outlining objectives, and budgeting.

The latest Protocol was signed in April 2005 by provincial/territorial governments in conjunction with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

What does the Protocol say about FSL?

The Protocol’s objectives with reference to FSL are to provide Canadian residents the opportunity to learn French or English as a second language.

The English-language community is to be provided opportunities for cultural enrichment through knowledge of the language and culture of the French-language community. The expansion of French immersion programs and of second-language core programs is a strategic priority, as is the expansion of teacher education.

How are the funds allocated?

Funding is calculated according to Action Plans presented by the provinces and agreed upon by the Government of Canada.

Are there other funds for education?

Collaboration in Promotion, which aims to support the ongoing commitment and actions of organizations involved primarily in promoting linguistic duality and the provision of services in both official languages, with a focus on long-term outcomes.

Support for Innovation, which aims to encourage innovative projects that promote linguistic duality and the provision of services in both official languages.

For information about FSL language- learning bursaries and programs please see The CPF Guide for Bilingual Youth. (LINK)