Pro­duc­tive part­ner­ships

City of Sum­mer­side and La Cen­tre Belle-Al­liance col­lab­o­rat­ing

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE IS­LAND - BY MIL­LI­CENT MCKAY

With statis­tics Canada not­ing that a third of Sum­mer­side’s pop­u­la­tion is Aca­dian or of French Heritage, city coun­cil­lors thought it im­por­tant to col­lab­o­rate with La Cen­tre Belle-Al­liance.

On Mon­day, city coun­cil passed a res­o­lu­tion form­ing an agree­ment with the lo­cal French and Aca­dian group.

It’s a five-year agree­ment show­ing the will­ing­ness for Sum­mer­side to work with its French and Aca­dian com­mu­ni­ties to bet­ter the city and the com­mu­nity, said Coun. Brent Gal­lant.

“We’ve been look­ing to for­mal­ize a part­ner­ship with the cen­tre for a num­ber of years. In re­cent months, the op­por­tu­nity came to us to do so.”

In the agree­ment, it states that both par­ties will work to­gether from April 1, 2017, un­til March 31, 2022.

The hope is that it will en­cour­age Aca­di­ans and fran­co­phones in the com­mu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties or­ga­nized by the city, as well as vol­un­teer on com­mit­tees, boards and other working groups, at­tend coun­cil meet­ings and inform coun­cil of im­por­tant events, ac­tiv­i­ties, plans, milestones, ini­tia­tives or poli­cies that may im­pact the city.

“We’ve been look­ing to for­mal­ize a part­ner­ship with the cen­tre for a num­ber of years. In re­cent months, the op­por­tu­nity came to us to do so.” Coun. Brent Gal­lant

The part­ner­ship will also help or­ga­nize re­cre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties in French us­ing fa­cil­i­ties lo­cated in the city or op­er­ated by the city.

Gal­lant says there are no con­crete goals as of yet, but it will al­low for many op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fu­ture.

“It’s made us more aware. Now we’re mak­ing what we al­ready do for­mal­ized.”

The col­lab­o­ra­tion will pro­mote Sum­mer­side as a host of cul­tural and tourism events in French such as the 2018 Aca­dian Se­niors Games, 2019 Aca­dian World Congress, 300th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of the foun­da­tion of Isle-Saint-Jean tak­ing place in 2020 and sup­port­ing Sum­mer­side’s Sport and Event Tourism Strat­egy (SETS) by pro­vid­ing, where avail­able, fran­co­phone re­sources for the stag­ing of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional events and SETS ef­forts in be­com­ing bilin­gual.

Three main ini­tia­tives will come from the agree­ment: de­vel­op­ing a vi­sion and strat­egy to trans­late the city’s web­site and its con­tent, as well as other city doc­u­ments for pub­lic con­sump­tion; adding bilin­gual­ism as a pre­ferred skill when hir­ing front-line staff at City Hall and Credit Union Place and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sup­port staff and in­vent­ing meth­ods to in­crease pub­lic vis­i­bil­ity of French­s­peak­ing staff al­ready em­ployed by the city.

The groups will meet once a year to review the pre­vi­ous year’s col­lab­o­ra­tion ef­forts and progress achieved, to out­line the up­com­ing year’s ef­forts and to iden­tify im­prove­ments to the ef­fec­tive and mu­tual part­ner­ship.

Bill Martin, the city’s mayor, and Giselle Babineau-Jor­dan, the chair­woman of La Cen­tre Belle-Al­liance will sign the agree­ment in Au­gust.

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