Ensuring Canadians have access to quality healthcare in both official languages
March 27, 2015 – Winnipeg – Health Canada
Today, the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced a new investment of $2.3 million to expand and improve access to quality health services in both English and French across Canada. This includes $100,000 to the Féderation des parents du Manitoba to support the vitality of French linguistic minority communities in the province.
The new funding of $2.3 million will support six community-based health initiatives that will be carried out in partnership with local and regional health authorities to increase access to health services in English and French across Canada. It will also expand the supply of bilingual health service providers and increase the availability and points of services for patients to receive care in the official language of their choice. Removing language barriers will ensure safer, higher quality care for people living in official language minority communities.
The Féderation des parents du Manitoba project will increase access to health programs and services in French for francophone children aged 0 to 6 years and their families. The project will contribute to healthy early-childhood development among Francophone children in the province, and enhance the vitality of French linguistic minority communities of Manitoba.
Today’s investment follows the $112.9 million for 14 initiatives across the country previously announced by the federal government to improve patient access to essential health services in French and English minority communities. Investing in official languages is part of the Government of Canada’s $1.1 billion Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities aimed at enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities.
Through Health Canada’s Official Languages Health Contribution Program, the Government of Canada funds innovative approaches to improving access to health services for official language minority communities and increasing the use of both official languages when providing health services across Canada.
Since 2008, Health Canada’s investments through the Roadmap have created over 100 educational programs in universities and colleges across the country, and led to the addition of over 9,000 bilingual health professionals practicing in communities of greatest need.
There are over one million English-speaking residents of Quebec, and over a million French-speaking Canadians outside of Quebec, which represents 6% of the Canadian population combined.
New Brunswick has the highest concentration of official language minorities in Canada (31.9%), followed by Quebec (13.5%) and Ontario (4.3%).
“Our Government has a vision and an ambitious plan to ensure that all Canadians benefit from our two official languages, especially through the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages. English and French are an integral part of our history and our identity, and official-language minority communities contribute to the vitality of Canadian society. Our Government is adopting the means to take concrete action in areas that Canadians consider important, as we are doing today when it comes to the subject of access to health services.”
The Honourable Shelly Glover
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
“Access to necessary health services is a concern for every Canadian. That is why our Government is acting to remove the barriers certain communities may face to accessing quality care in the official language of their choice. Today’s investment further strengthens Canada’s healthcare system by increasing the number of bilingual providers and giving patients easier and better access to the care they need, in their local communities. Together with key partners and stakeholders, we are working so that Canadians, no matter where they live, can use our two official languages when accessing health services across the country.”
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
“The Fédération des parents du Manitoba is happy to sponsor the project of the Coalition francophone de la petite enfance du Manitoba. This project will improve the active offer of French-language health services, contributing to healthy early childhood development for French speakers in Manitoba. Thanks to the funds granted by Health Canada, we are collaborating with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Southern Health-Santé Sud to identify and implement durable strategies for ensuring active offer. Family doctors, midwives, public health nurses and nurse practitioners play an important role by identifying French speakers during pregnancy and childbirth and directing them toward the programs and services available in French – particularly those offered through the Centres de la petite enfance et de la famille.”
Josée Chabot, Executive Director
Fédération des parents du Manitoba
– 30 –
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health