On November 7, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia launched its latest francophone immigration action plan to guide the province’s French-speaking population growth. In collaboration with the Nova Scotia Ministry of Labour, Skills, and Immigration (LSI) and Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, the plan was developed by the Federation Acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, the Council of Economic Development of the Nouvelle-Écosse, the Université Sainte-Anne, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.
The plan aims to target francophone newcomers from various countries and provinces and include efforts on:
- Augmented community and partner engagement
- Promotion and attraction
- Population growth programs
- Retention and inclusion through settlement services
- Research and evaluate programs
In March 2019, the first Nova Scotia Francophone Immigration Action Plan was launched. This updated plan builds on that plan. As part of its efforts to increase the overall French-speaking population of Nova Scotia, the plan has been the driving force in the province’s efforts to support existing francophone and Acadian communities.
It heavily depends upon the international promotion of Nova Scotia as an ultimate destination for francophones. The report emphasizes the importance of creating awareness about the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) and the Atlantic Immigration Program for French speakers. Furthermore, it aims to educate newcomers about the support and resources available to francophones in the province.
French-Speaking Population in Nova Scotia
According to Census 2021 data, more than 30,000 people speak French in Nova Scotia. There has been a well-established community of French speakers in Nova Scotia since the Acadians settled in the 1600s (they were later forced out by the British and sent to the southern U.S.).
Growth in Nova Scotia Population
Based on the latest Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, Canada is planning to welcome 500,000 new permanent residents by 2025. Nova Scotia is expecting a share of the growth. For the first time in its history, the population of the province will exceed one million in 2021, and it is hoped that it will double by 2060. The rise in the population is due to increased immigration both from abroad and on an inter-provincial level.
Nova Scotia recently held a draw through its Labour Market Priorities stream to attract more French speakers. Among the 150 candidates invited, 150 spoke French as their first official language or had Canadian Language Benchmark scores of 10 in all language abilities.
French-Speaking Immigration in Canada
Nova Scotia announced during Francophone Immigration week. The annual event occurs every November and acts as an awareness campaign for francophone immigrants. The whole federal target for French-Speaking immigrants outside of Quebec is 4.4% by the end of 2023.
The 2018-23 Federal Action Plan for Official Languages plays a major role in attracting French immigrants. It has led to significant changes in Canada’s economic immigration policies, including adding CRS points for French-speaking as part of the Express Entry system and implementing the Mobilité Francophone program, which assists employers outside of Québec in hiring temporary French-speaking workers. Marketing and recruitment activities targeted at French-speaking immigrants are a major part of the federal plan.