Census Enter your project! report on language
OnOctober 24, Statistics Canada released its 2011 Census report on language. Across the country, reactions to the numbers varied.
Major national media outlets, such as the CBC, reported heavily on the rise of bilingualism in Canada. However, these days “bilingualism” seems to refer less to the population’s ability to speak the two official languages, and more to the rise of linguistic diversity in the country.
Particularly in Western Canada, where languages like Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog (the native language of Filipinos) are becoming far more prevalent than French.
Since the mid-1980s, says Stats Canada, an increase in immigration has led to a steady linguistic flowering in the country. The 2011 census noted that more than 200 languages are spoken here—the most languages ever recorded by a national census, anywhere in the world.
In Quebec, the trend has been the same, with a steady growth in the allophone population (those whose mother tongue is neither English nor French). Greater Montreal has seen the highest growth of allophones in the province. In Laval alone, the proportion of the population whose mother tongue is neither French nor English rose from 19% to 29.8% in the last decade.
This has raised alarm bells among Frenchlanguage activists since at least 2006, when the proportion of mother-tongue francophones on the Island of Montreal first dipped below 50%. That trend has continued to 2011, with mother-tongue francophones now sitting at 48.5% of the Island’s population.
And in Greater Montreal the proportion of mothertongue francophones fell from 65.7% in 2006 to 64.5% in 2011.
However, experts caution that while mother-tongue francophones are representing a smaller chunk of Montreal’s population these days, this does not necessarily indicate the French language itself is in decline,
LastFriday, Memphremagog CLD launched its de Memphré project, an initiative that aims to get entrepreneurs to present their business projects or start-up projects in order to get financing and help in realizing them.
“We hope, by this initiative, to let all entrepreneurs know that the CLD is the resource to contact for their business needs,” commented Jacques Marcoux, the president of the organization. “We offer a “guichet unique” formula for projects to make things easier for entrepreneurs who often have to take several steps to get financing and access to resources. We hope also hope to attract more business projects.”
Yvan Lanthier, the general director of the CLD, continued: “Start-up projects as well as projects from existing businesses are welcome. After a prequalification step to prepare their file, the entrepreneurs can present their project to a panel of representatives from financial institutions, government ministries and different organizations. After this encounter, the entrepreneurs will know if they respond to the criteria and qualify for financial assistance, be it a loan or a grant. They will also be directed towards pertinent resources for their project.” To further encourage projects, the CLD will make the first six loan payments for entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneur in the region, Eric Graveson supports this project. “We all have, as entrepreneurs, projects in our heads that take time to realize, either because of a lack of time or because we don’t know where to find the right resources. The CLD, with its expertise, can be a precious help and is the “porte d’entrée” towards the solidification of a project.”
Until November 23rd, 2012, 4:30 pm, entrepreneurs can submit their projects to the CLD by completing the registration form at www. OeildeMemphre.com and submitting it to the CLD either by email, the mail or by bringing it in person, to the attention of Alain Gamache, the director of business development.
Waiting to hear about your business project are (l. to r.) CLD president Jacques Marcoux; Christine Gagné of Desjardins financial centre; CLD Director general Yvan Lanthier; CAE Memphremagog Director general Louise Paradis; economic development counsellor David Malo; Paul Berthold of Investment Quebec; and Alain Gamache, Director of business development at the CLD Memphremagog.