The snowstorm that hit the region Wednesday did not stop a federal funding announcement from taking place at Le Chenail Cultural Centre at Maison de l’île in Hawkesbury.

Tourism, Official Languages, and La Francophonie Minister Mélanie Joly announced $864,000 in support for eight francophone community and cultural organizations in Prescott-Russell, Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, and Orleans.

Joly said the announcement was made in Hawkesbury because of its significance as a French-speaking community in Eastern Ontario.

She said Hawkesbury is a place where people have chosen to maintain a Francophone identity.

The minister said the funding comes from the federal government’s $2.7 billion Action Plan for Official Languages Plan 2018-2023 and noted that 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act.

The $864,000 is the total funds being distributed over the entire period. Some of the funding amounts listed are for the 2017-2018 period. (See table below from Newswire)

The list shows federal support for Le Chenail Cultural Centre, l’Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO) Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, and l’Union des cultivateurs franco-ontariens (UCFO) for 2017-2018 and includes those amounts in the $864,000 total.

In 2017-2018, Le Chenail Cultural Centre received $27,000, ACFO Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry got $26,000, and the UCFO received $25,000, making a total of $78,000.

When the 2017-2018 amounts are subtracted, the total amount of new funding is really $786,000.

However, the federal government is trying to highlight the new funding as part of its plan to provide 20 per cent of the core funding to official language minority communities.

Under the new funding, Le Chenail Cultural Centre is receiving $32,400 in both 2018-2019, and 2019-2020.

Hawkesbury-based ACFO-Prescott-Russell is getting $30,000 each in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

ACFO Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, which is based in Cornwall is receiving $31,200 each for 2018-2019 until 2020-2021.

Headquartered in Alfred, the UCFO, which represents Franco-Ontarian farmers, will receive $30,000 each in 2018-2019 until 2021-2022.

In Alexandria, Le Centre culturel les trois p’tits points is receiving $33,600 for 2018-2019 and again for each period to 2020-2021.

The $33,600 amount is also going to La Maison des arts de Russell in Embrun for 2018-2019 each until 2020-2021.

Le regroupement des parents et amis des sourds et malentendants franco-ontariens (RESO) of Clarence Creek, which assists francophone deaf children, is receiving $30,000 each for 2018-2019 through 2021-2022.

The Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO), a community arts organization, will receive $42,000 each year until 2021.

Minister Joly also toured Le Chenail Cultural Centre while in Hawkesbury and was accompanied by Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin, and MPP Amanda Simard.

Mélanie Joly, federal Minister of Tourism, Official Languages, and La Francophonie. Photo: James Morgan