FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Robert Gauvin, who is also minister responsible for La Francophonie, on the occasion of International Francophonie Day (website in French only):

I encourage all New Brunswickers to proudly celebrate this day, whose theme this year is En français... s’il vous plaît (In French… please).

It is an honour to represent the only officially bilingual province in Canada within the International Organization of La Francophonie, which brings together 88 states and governments and 300 million francophones on five continents.

As a full member of the organization, New Brunswick receives incomparable international visibility. This special position helps to advance our priorities and promote our success in the fields of education, technology, culture, sport and the economy.

The Francophonie paves the way for unique business opportunities, partnerships, exchanges of expertise, and recruitment for our post-secondary institutions, organizations, and small and medium-sized enterprises. It stimulates francophone immigration and facilitates the acquisition of international experience for many New Brunswickers.

It enables us to share our great Acadian and francophone culture and raise the profile of our artists around the world. It is also through New Brunswick’s presence at big international events and in various authorities of the organization that we can promote our province as a top tourist destination. In addition, our notoriety and credibility acquired within the international Francophonie have contributed to New Brunswick’s recent designation as the top tourist destination in 2019 by the French newspaper Le Monde.

This year, New Brunswick will have a chance to shine on the national and international scene thanks to the World Acadian Congress, which will be held Aug. 10-24 in southeastern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. On this International Francophonie Day, I encourage all New Brunswickers to participate in the success of this event in August and to proudly show that we are part of La Francophonie.

Let us continue to work together to expand the influence of the French language and the richness of our Acadian and francophone culture.

Happy International Francophonie Day 2019.