Cen­sus En­ter your project! re­port on lan­guage

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE - Kyl Ch­hat­wall Vic­to­ria Vanier

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,

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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.”

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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.

Photo cour­tesy

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.

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