Government will strengthen and enhance the role of Acadian Affairs to better serve the Acadian and francophone community.
Acadian Affairs Minister Michel Samson said the Office of Acadian Affairs will focus on outreach and engagement and put a greater emphasis on dialogue with Acadians and francophones.
“We recognize the importance of connecting with our communities,” said Mr. Samson. “We need an ongoing dialogue and more meaningful engagement so that Acadians and francophones feel connected with their government and see steps being taken to support the sustainability of their communities.”
Earlier this year, Mr. Samson asked eight members of the Acadian and francophone community to form a committee to make recommendations to enhance the role of the Office of Acadian Affairs.
The Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse also submitted recommendations to the premier in the spring. The committee’s report and government’s response are available at http://acadien.novascotia.ca/en/reports.
To better serve the Acadian and francophone communities, the province is moving forward on a number of initiatives, including:
–- assignment of authority to the Minister of Acadian Affairs for all matters pertaining to the Office of Acadian Affairs
–- establishing a committee of deputy ministers to examine how to address gaps in front line French-language services
–- changing the existing title to the Office of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, to strengthen the reach of the office
–- better inform the public about the existing complaint process related to French-language services and look at ways for improving this process
–- enhance capacity within Acadian Affairs related to stakeholder outreach and information sharing
The advisory committee identified issues with changes that took place in 2011 related to the Office of Acadian Affairs.
“I am pleased that government has positioned the responsibilities to the Minister of Acadian Affairs and assigned his full authority over this government instrument,” said Yvon Samson, co-chair of the committee examining the role of Acadian Affairs. “Minister Samson is now in a better position to lead this important instrument for the Acadian community.”
Minister Samson’s response to the recommendations submitted by the Fédération acadienne for the French Language Services Act is a first step in a process that should lead to increased quality services in French for the entire Acadian community,” said Ghislain Boudreau, président de la Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse. “We will continue to work closely with Acadian Affairs and the Committee of Deputy Ministers toward this goal.”
“The Office of Acadian Affairs has a new approach,” said Mr. Samson. “Outreach and engagement will take priority for the office to build stronger connections with our partners in the Acadian and francophone community.”
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