Coopérative d’Itégration Francophone de Île-du-Prince-Édouard launches new initiatives
SUMMERSIDE – The organization charged with attracting and integrating Francophones to Prince Edward Island has finally found its footing, says its president.
Edmond Richard, chairman of the board for the Coopérative d’Itégration Francophone de Île-du-Prince-Édouard (CIF), said Thursday that the organization is ready to take off its training wheels and play a more active role in the community.
Their board, human resources and partner organizations have all stabilized after a few years of fluidity, and now have a strong team working today, said Richard
“There’s a new situation at CIF which really gives us the tools now to go on the ground and prepare all these activities,” said Richard.
Those “activities” are a slew of new initiatives announced by CIF Thursday.
They include a new website and logo for the organization, two new partnership agreements with other Island organizations and three new efforts to attract European Francophones to P.E.I.
It’s all very exciting, said CIF Provincial Coordinator Jacinthe Lemire.
Lemire explained these initiatives during a press conference in Summerside.
One of the projects includes a greater focus on attracting people who are participating in the Working Holiday Program.
Every year, Canada grants nearly 6,750 work permits to the this initiative, which gives young people from France and Belgium a one-year Canadian work permit. During this year, they have total freedom to find work, move around as they see fit and are generally encouraged to explore the nation.
However, as far as CIF is aware, none (or close to it) of these people have chosen to work in P.E.I.
“Many employers have trouble filling certain positions between April and October, especially in tourism, the hotel industry and agriculture. We hope to welcome several PVTists (a term used to describe participants) to help these employers fill their jobs. Our ultimate goal, of course, is to have these young people stay longer and eventually integrate them permanently into our communities,” said Lemire.
CIF will also be participating in the Destination Canada Job Fair, being held Nov. 19, 20 and 21 in Paris and Nov. 23, in Brussels.
These fairs are held at the Canadian embassies and see thousands of visitors every year.
CIF will also be celebrating National Francophone Immigration Week this year, from Nov. 3 to 9.
This initiative was launched last year in Atlantic Canada and was successful. CIF is also working with local partners to plan local activities to take place to during this period.
Some of those partners include the Francophone Economic Development Council of P.E.I. (RDÉE) and Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É, both of which have signed agreements to work more closely with CIF.
Anyone who would like more information regarding these initiatives or other CIF projects can check out their new website at www.cifipe.ca.