federal government announced that it was offering a complete transfer of employment assistance
programs to all provinces that had yet to sign a full devolution agreement.
 On April 27, 2007, the FFCB sent an email to HRSDC’s Skills and Employment Branch,
expressing the concerns raised in the province by the start of the federal-provincial negotiations
towards a full devolution of employment assistance programs in favour of B.C. The email
explains the importance of the continued participation of the Francophone organizations in order
to meet the needs of the Francophone community:
Through the federal government’s support for official language
communities, through the support of your Department, a certain
number of Francophone organizations offer a broad . . . range of
employment services—some for years, including at the Collège
Éducacentre and at La Boussole, and others recently negotiated,
including at the Centre d’intégration des immigrants africains.
These support programs are essential for our community, and their
effectiveness no longer needs to be demonstrated. The figures are
available for consultation, as you know.
We believe that the relationship between the Francophone
community and the provincial government is good. The
Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, through the Office of
Francophone Affairs and its minister, has opened up many doors
for us, but there is no doubt that this devolution of power could be
catastrophic and call into question all of this programming. We
know that during negotiations, the federal government can impose
a linguistic clause designed to twist the arm of the provincial
government and the provincial department(s) that will be
responsible for managing these programs. This clause must be
legally enforceable, and the provincial government must not be
able to ignore it. We also know that in British Columbia, unlike in
New Brunswick, our community has no official status; everything
is left to the discretion and good will of the provincial government.
We also know, from experience, that even federal funds destined to
provide services to Francophones are not always allocated to