Archived - Notes for an address at a reception organized by the Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique
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Vancouver, February 13, 2010
Graham Fraser - Commissioner of Official Languages
Check against delivery
Beginning of dialog
Mr. Minister, Mr. President, dear friends,
I would like to thank you for inviting me to celebrate here with you. I have always been impressed by the vitality, diversity and entrepreneurial spirit of British Columbia’s Francophone community. And the Olympic Games are an opportunity for the province to showcase its Francophone culture, as well as Canadian bilingualism.
I was pleased to witness the cooperation that has taken place between governments and the Francophone community over the last couple of years. The work being done between Tourism B.C. and the Société de développement économique is the type of partnership I would like to see flourish. In my 2007–2008 annual report, I mentioned the initiative between Tourism B.C. and the Association des francophones de Nanaimo aimed at developing better services for French-speaking tourists. Industry Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission also put the expertise of Francophone entrepreneurs in the region to good use.
More than ever, tourism and economic development agencies consider official language communities as partners that can assist them in expanding niche markets. This is a winning situation for you. Tourism and economic development agencies have access to a wealth of expertise that can help them reach their goals. And official language communities increase their visibility and become key players in the province’s economy.
In order for such collaborations to produce expected results, government organizations must work closely with community groups and adapt their services to Francophone reality.
Thank you. Enjoy the Olympic Games!