B.C.'s Francophonie Day honours Vancouver's La Boussole for helping francophones during COVID-19 pandemic

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      Ensuring everyone has the correct and up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. is tough enough in English alone but linguistic and cultural differences have posed additional challenges as well.

      Accordingly, B.C.’s 19th annual celebration of its French-speaking population came with a recognition of efforts made by Vancouver-based organization to help francophones during the pandemic.

      During a virtual celebration on March 18, B.C. Health and Francophone Affairs Minister Adrian Dix presented La Boussole Centre Communautaire Francophone in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with a commemorative plaque to recognize its work in reducing linguistic barriers and helping francophones in need.

      "As a francophone social service provider in Greater Vancouver, La Boussole is invaluable in assisting those who need help in accessing vital social services," Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Nicholas Simons explained in a news release.

      During the COVID-19 pandemic, the centre adapted its service to incorporate public health measures and guidelines and launched new projects to help some of B.C.’s most vulnerable populations.

      "While we grappled with a global outbreak, our francophone community was resilient and agile in coming up with innovative solutions to deliver services and programs in French," Dix said.

      Province of British Columbia

      B.C. has proclaimed March 20 of each year as B.C. Francophonie Day since 2002 and the theme of this year’s occasion is  Aller bien au-delà en temps de pandémie (Going beyond in the time of the pandemic).

      B.C. has over 70,000 francophones and more than 300,000 French-speaking people in B.C.

      To mark B.C. Francophonie Day and International Francophonie Day, the province raised the Franco-Columbian flag outside the B.C. Parliament buildings in Victoria.

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