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Hawkesbury, Friday, June 28, 2019 –The Corporation of the Town Hawkesbury is proud to announce that it has received the status of Communauté francophone accueillante (CFA). This is a three-year pilot project totaling $ 1.3 million. Mr. Francis Drouin, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, made the announcement today at Le Chenail Cultural Center, in Hawkesbury.

It was during the sommet régional en établissement francophone held in Ottawa in October 2018 by the Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone de l’Est de l’Ontario (RSIFEO) that Cornwall and Hawkesbury were first nominated to obtain the status of CFA. The advisory groups worked tirelessly to make Hawkesbury stand out and meet the five following criteria:

1-      Presence of Francophone immigrants

2-      French services available;

3-      Need attraction and retention of French-speaking newcomers; 

4-      Willingness of the community to engage itself in the project;

5-      Selection of a community at the local level.

"I am proud of this designation, it is an honor for our city.It must also be emphasizedthe hard work of Caroline Arcand, Director of the Employment Services Center, for her support and efforts during consultations to achieve our goals, "said Hawkesbury Mayor Paula Assaly.

Please note that the lack of skilled labor is an ever-increasing problem for employers. A striking statistic: 40% of employees in the region will be eligible for retirement within three years. The Town of Hawkesbury plans to implement various action plans to enhance the participation of Francophone immigrants in community, cultural, civic and political life. A sustained effort for Francophone immigration is still needed to fill these jobs, to rejuvenate the aging population and to foster the vitality of the Francophone community.

All levels of health services are provided in the region. At Hawkesbury & District General Hospital, they are usually in French first. The Francophone community of Hawkesbury also benefits from a high quality school program with the two school boards present.

The integration part is important to the success of this pilot project. Cornwall’s Mayor, Ms. Bernadette Clément, will also be involved with Hawkesbury and other local Francophone leaders, to create a welcoming community that will benefit the expertise of newcomers.

The project financing part shall start on April 1st 2020.