Historic Overview of the RIF-SK
In 1999, la Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (FCFA) initiated an in-depth reflection process on the future of the Francophone and Acadian communities. The initiative, called Dialogue, was a two-year process, ending in 2001. The Dialogue project, whose fundamental facet was immigration, revealed the significance of the potential of immigration in the growth of Francophone minority communities. In its report entitled Let’s Talk!, the task force made a number of recommendations, including the creation of a national committee to see to the development of an action plan on immigration.
In 2001 and 2002, two studies were published:
- Immigration and the Vitality of Canada’s Official Language Communities: Policy, Demography and Identity
- Official Languages and Immigration: Obstacles and Opportunities for Immigrants and Communities
In March 2002, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Denis Coderre) announced the establishment of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada – Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee (Steering Committee), consisting of community representatives, management employees from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and other federal and provincial government representatives. The Commissioner of Official Languages also contributed to advancing the issue of immigration to official-language minority communities.
In 2002 and 2003, the Steering Committee developed a strategic framework to foster immigration to Francophone communities across Canada. Released in March 2003, the framework identified the long-term objectives, medium-term results and short-term measures to be considered, as well as the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to be implemented.
The federal government’s Action Plan for Official Languages, launched in March 2003, committed $9 million over five years to help community and government partners develop pilot projects to foster immigration to Francophone minority communities.
After the strategic framework was published, CIC established the necessary partnerships to implement it. CIC initiated partnerships with other national, provincial and territorial stakeholders from the government and Francophone community sectors to develop action plans fostering immigration to Francophone minority communities.
In November 2003, the Steering Committee released its Strategic Framework to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities. This report suggested a move toward greater openness to a broader Francophonie and recognition of the importance of diversity within communities.
In December 2003, a reference framework for a project was submitted to Immigration Canada and Western Economic Development (WD).
ACF initiated a round table Saskatchewan with CIC, Canadian Heritage, Service Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development and Social Development Canada (which became Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) in 2006 then Employment and Social Development Canada (SDC) today), the St-Jean-Baptiste parish in Regina, the Institut français (now the Cité universitaire francophone), in addition to other participants.
Funding was granted in the last quarter of the 2003-04 fiscal year to implement a network infrastructure, and a five-part project was submitted in March 2004 with the establishment of the provincial network called the Regroupement provincial en immigration (RPI).
From 2004 to 2009, the RPI network, whose members were key stakeholders in the area of immigration, adopted a collaborative framework to ensure the availability of services and resources fostering immigration to Fransaskois communities.
In October 2009, the RPI network shared its strategic plan with the community: French-language immigration in Saskatchewan 2010-2030 / Immigration d’expression française en Saskatchewan 2010-2030.
Since 2009, the Saskatchewan Francophone Immigration Network has expanded. It has operational plans, terms of reference and a mandate to facilitate the development of services and resources fostering immigration and the retention of newcomers and immigrants in the Fransaskois community.
Mandate of the RIF-SK
The Réseau en Immigration Francophone (RIF-SK) is the Francophone Immigration Network. It is a platform for its members, partners and service providers aiming at offering efficient services in French to the francophone newcomers.
One of the RIF-SK’s duties is to facilitate the development of services and resources fostering immigration and the retention of newcomers and immigrants in the Fransaskois community.
RIF-SK should enable a greater coordination of the activities in order to reinforce the impact of each member’s actions.
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