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The number of predominantly French-speaking people at home in Ottawa is declining, according to census data

"As far as I understand, it's not the most French-speaking city in Ontario...but still a concern for the French-speaking community."

File photo: The Franco-Ontarian flag flies alongside the Canadian flag.
File photos: Franco Ontalia's flag is Canada's Flying alongside the flag. Photo by Ashley Taylor

New Statistics Canada Census data released Wednesday showed showed a decrease in the use of French in

The proportion of Canadians who primarily speak French at home has declined from 22.2% in 2016 to 21.4% in 2021. Statistics Canada.

However, Ottawa has experienced a sharp recession over the past five years. In 2016, 10% of his census respondents said he primarily speaks French at home. In 2021, that number has dropped to 8.4% she.

Overall, the total number of people who speak French at home has actually increased, but has not kept up with population growth, while in Ottawa the number has decreased.

34} In 2016, there were 85,910 predominantly French-speaking households in the city. In 2021, 82,795 people say they will primarily speak French at home, despite Ottawa's population growth.

 His Louis-Alexandre Pen, executive director of Ottawa's Association of French-speaking Communities (AFCO), greeted Statistics Canada's data with gloom.

"It's always a little sad to see these kinds of statistics," he said, but said the data weren't surprising. It seemed even worse in other cities.

"Every survey shows that French is in decline," he said. “As far as I understand it, we are not the most French-speaking city in Ontario…but it remains a concern for the French-speaking community.”

"Health, leisure, work and the private sector." And so on, French services are really lacking in Ottawa, and I think that's what drives Francophones to other cities," he said.

"We have to give people a desire to speak French and get French-speaking people to come and work in Ottawa."

Ottawa's population In the five years since the census, it has grown by more than 83,000, with most of that population growth coming from immigration, said Gilles Grenier, a professor at the University of Ottawa. Economic links between language and immigration. In an email, Mr. Grenier said the influx of new Canadians was the main cause of the decline in the proportion of French speakers. 9 people will eventually assimilate to English (and 1 in 10 will assimilate to French), resulting in a lower French-to-English ratio. said. "Federal mass immigration policies will contribute to the decline of the French. By the end of the century, less than 15% of the population may be French-speaking."

Statistics Canada His own analysis is consistent with Grenier's assessment that Statistics Canada has reported that since 1971, the first year the Census collected information on the topic, the number and percentage of Canadians who speak English as their mother tongue We have noticed that there is an increase in

"Immigration contributed to this trend, given that, as in the past, most immigrants begin using English after arriving in Canada."

  1. Ottawa-Gatineau is now the fourth most populous metro area in Canada, behind Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. 

    Ottawa Gatineau regained its position as the fourth largest metropolitan area in the 2021 Census

  2. Statistics Canada during last year's census counted nearly 238,000 capital region residents born between 1946 and 1964, down more than 26,000 from the previous census in 2016.

    Baby Boomer Population Declining, Census Confirms

  3. Marie Clémence Brou, communications and marketing manager for Alliance Française Ottawa, said she appreciates the move by the the Ontario government to allow French accents on the IDs. 'Our identity will be more complete,' Brou said.

    A small change to allow accents for Ontario government IDs makes a big difference in French speaking countries

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