Federal bureaucracy: a burden for Francophone organizations

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Organizations, school boards and post-secondary institutions are paying for delays and complicated federal bureaucracy, the Commissioner of Official Languages ​​said in a report. The latter points out that, under certain agreements with the departments, Francophone organizations were the latter to receive money. He recommends changes.

This is what Raymond Théberge said in his report on the Action Plan on Official Languages. This five-year plan will expire in 2023. Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor must announce within a few days the start of consultations for this plan, which will take effect on April 1, 2023. This plan establishes major government lines in half a decade on matters of official languages ​​and minority language communities.

Mr. Théberge makes 17 initiatives and 14 recommendations to the government for its next plan.

Minister of Official Languages ​​Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Credits: Dominique Demers

Just six months before the end of a fiscal cycle, Raymond Théberge said the education sector has been hit by delays by various federal departments. The commissioner explained that school boards are often in the dark about how much they can get.

“These delays cause difficulties in human resources management and affect the ability of organizations to implement their initiatives,” he wrote in his document.

He also noted the difficulty of smaller Francophone organizations in what he called the administrative burden.

“Although the procedures for applying for funding and reporting are clear, they are also complex and require a lot of time that could instead be devoted to developing programs and services”, we read.

“It is very important for the implementation of their programming that the funds are provided in due course” – Raymond Theberge

He recommended that the government streamline the process. “Going forward, we need to find better ways for organizations to use their non-administrative resources. Often, they don’t have the necessary resources to respond to administrative requests,” he said in an interview.

He mentioned the establishment of multi-year funding for Francophone communities. According to the latter, the steps to obtain funding are “heavy and require a lot of time preferably devoted to developing programs and services”.

He said the announced programs are often not ready to deploy. “It is important to always make sure we deploy the resources proposed in the program as soon as possible. Any delay is detrimental to organizations. However, it was noted that there were efforts during the additional pandemic to ensure funding for the organizations. »

The Commissioner of Official Languages, Raymond Théberge. ONFR+ archives

Mr. Théberge referred primarily to the federal government, which announced a $ 121 million envelope for post-secondary institutions, but some institutions were late or delayed in receiving the money.

“If we do not send the funds before the end of the financial year, it is a delay that has an impact on organizations and educational institutions. It is very important for the implementation of their programs that the funds are provided in a timely manner. »

However, the commissioner highlighted the initiatives set out in the 2018 to 2023 action plan. »

Daycares: the “worried” commissioner

The former rector of the Université de Moncton welcomed the latest initiatives contained in the agreements between the federal government and the provinces in early childhood. However, he expressed concern that Francophones had no guaranteed place in the agreements.

“I think, when we have this kind of agreement between the federal government and the provinces and it affects the communities, we should specify in the agreements what is intended for the communities. If this is not in agreement, we can always wonder if we will really take care of the needs of the communities. »

Exactly, he recommended to Mrs. Petitpas Taylor to increase collaboration with different communities. “We need to consult with as many stakeholders as possible to better understand their needs.»

This report is the result of one hundred consultations over the past three years with Francophone and Anglophone organizations across the country.

Other recommendations

  • Expand the range of special reception services in French where it already exists;
  • Increase the number of communities offering services such as those set out through the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative;
  • Consult the media and community radio stations in a minority situation to find ways to compensate for the loss of income caused.

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