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Using Languages at Work in Canada, 2006 Census: Provinces and territories

Slight increase in the use of French among Francophone workers outside Quebec

According to the 2006 Census, 69% of the 577,000 Francophone workers outside Quebec reported using French in the workplace. French was used most often by 40% of them in both 2006 and 2001, while 29% used it regularly, a rise from 2001 (27%). Thus, there was a slight overall increase compared to 2001 (67%) (see Table A2.1).

The proportion of use of French at work was highest among Francophone workers in New Brunswick, at 93%, practically the same as in 2001. In 2006, 75.0% of the 138,000 Francophone workers in this province spoke French most often (75.8% in 2001) and 18.3% used it regularly (16.5% in 2001).

In 2006, 71% of Francophones in Ontario reported using French at work. Their use of French most often at work remained the same as in 2001, at 35%. In contrast, a higher proportion of them reported using it regularly (37%) than in the last census (34%). As for Francophones from Manitoba, their use of French most often at work in 2006 (24%) was slightly up from 2001 (22%). Taking into account those who used French regularly at work, this means that more than one out of two Franco-Manitobans reported using the language.

The use of French at work was much lower in the provinces to the west of Manitoba: less than 35% reported using it. Among the Francophones of British Columbia, the use of French rose after 2001, reaching 34% in 2006 compared to 30% five years earlier.

Outside Quebec, the use of French at work is often linked to its use at home. In 2006, of the 57% of Francophone workers who reported using French most often at home, 87% used it at work (61% most often, 26% regularly), the same as in 2001. In addition, of the 19% of Francophones for whom French was not their main language at home but who nonetheless reported speaking it regularly, 65% used it at work (19% most often, 46% regularly).

The link between the use of French at home and at work is complex. Of the 25% of Francophone workers who did not report speaking French, at least regularly, at home, 31% indicated that they used it at work (8% most often, 23% regularly). This was up slightly from 2001 (29%).

Finally, the use of French at work by Francophones depended on the industry in which they worked. It was mainly in teaching (67% most often, 13% regularly) and health care (46% most often, 27% regularly) that there were proportionally more of them using their mother tongue at work. As for those working in the public sector, 33% used French most often, while 49% of those for whom French was not the language used most often at work nonetheless reported using it regularly.

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