Canadian Parents for French is Founded
Keith Spicer, the first Commissioner of Official Languages, hosted a conference for 28 parents from all 10 provinces who were working within their communities to improve French-second-language learning. The result was the founding of CPF.1977
FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE
Founding President Pat Webster announced the formation of CPF and urged the federal government to immediately adopt a charter that would ensure all Canadian children have access to second [official] language instruction.1977
FIRST MEETING WITH A CABINET MINISTER
Representatives of the fledgling organization met with the Secretary of State for Canada to seek funding for its earliest initiatives. (In 1996 many of the responsibilities of the Secretary of State were transferred to the new cabinet position of Minister of Canadian Heritage.)1977
First issue of CPF’s National Newsletter1977
First National Conference
Held in October 1977, the conference was attended by more than 60 parents from across the country. Speakers addressed topics including national unity, FSL research results, and FSL program materials. The first Board of Directors was established, the goals of the organization confirmed, and ambitious resolutions passed.1977
FIRST BRANCHES AND CHAPTERS ESTABLISHED
The delegates to the first national conference returned to their communities to begin the work of establishing provincial branches and local chapters.
FIRST DIRECTORY OF SUMMER PROGRAMS
National newsletter #3 featured the first Canadian directory of exchange programs, summer camps, and summer language classes.1978
FIRST GUIDE TO FUNDING FOR FSL
National newsletter #4 featured the first comprehensive overview for parents of federal and provincial funding for FSL education.
CAMPAIGN TO INFLUENCE FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL FSL FUNDING NEGOTIATIONS
A national newsletter article alerted CPF members to a stalemate in negotiations for a new “bilingualism in education funding” agreement, and urged branches and chapters to add their voices to the efforts being made nationally to ensure continued and improved funding. A new agreement was finally signed in December 1983. As each subsequent multi-year agreement expired, CPF put pressure on the federal government and the Council of Ministers of Education for Canada not to delay a renewal to the point that local school board planning was adversely affected.1979
FIRST CANADIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FSL RESEARCH
CPF published the annotated Bibliography of Articles and Books on Bilingualism in Education. Since then, CPF has kept members and others informed of research into FSL learning and bilingualism through its newsletters, books, pamphlets, and, later, the website.1979
FIRST ARTICLE ON CORE FRENCH
National newsletter #7 discussed the reasons for disappointing results from core French and suggested solutions.1979
MEMBERSHIP FEE INITIATED
A modest $5.00/year was charged for a family membership.1979
FIRST RESEARCH STUDY
CPF undertook an investigation on why parents want their children to learn French, their expectations of FSL programs, and related questions.1979
First Book published
So You Want Your Child to Learn French! was the first book to offer information to parents across Canada who wanted their children to learn French.1979
FIRST ARTICLE ON THE SUITABILITY OF IMMERSION FOR ALL STUDENTS
One of the articles in CPF’s first book reviewed the research to date on the suitability of French immersion for students experiencing a variety of learning challenges.
FIRST PAMPHLET PUBLISHED
“How to be an Immersion Parent” was adapted from a pamphlet prepared by the British Columbia Branch.1980
First Wordmark Established1980
FIRST DIRECTORY OF IMMERSION PROGRAMS
With information gathered by CPF volunteers throughout the country, CPF prepared the first Canadian directory of French immersion programs. From 1982 to 1996 it was published annually as The CPF Immersion Registry. Beginning in 2001 CPF provided a searchable directory of immersion and extended core French programs on its website.1980
QUEBEC REFERENDUM ON SOVEREIGNTY-ASSOCIATION1980
CALL FOR A NATIONAL CLEARINGHOUSE OF INFORMATION ON SECOND-LANGUAGE TEACHING
An article in the national newsletter highlighted efforts to have a central repository of information on second-language teaching established. CPF collaborated in this campaign with a number of other national organizations. In 1985 the Department of the Secretary of State for Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada launched the Canadian Language Information Network.
Articles in the national newsletter signaled the beginning of a multi-year campaign to improve FSL teacher training and postsecondary opportunities for immersion graduates to continue to improve their French. A series of regional conferences culminated in a national colloquium in March 1986. Subsequent efforts included a brief to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada in 1991.1981
FIRST MEETING WITH THE CMEC
CPF representatives met with the Liaison Committee of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.1981
FIRST SPEECH BY A FEDERAL CABINET MINISTER AT A CPF CONFERENCE
The Secretary of State for Canada addressed delegates at the national conference banquet.
CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
Established the right for official language minorities to be educated in their mother tongue, but did not grant any right for children to learn their second official language.1982
FIRST SCHOOL BOARD MAILOUT
An information package of CPF materials was sent to all school boards offering immersion, provincial education departments, and faculty of education libraries.1982
LAUNCH OF THE CPF BOOK CLUB
French-language books for children were advertised in the CPF newsletter for parents to order through the national office. Over the years CPF has provided a variety of opportunities, either through the office or directly from publishers, for parents to order resources suitable for FSL learners.
BOOKLET FOR IMMERSION STUDENTS IS PUBLISHED
Co-sponsored and widely promoted by CPF, French Immersion: The Trial Balloon That Flew was published by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education to encourage FI students in grades 6-9 to continue learning French.
FIRST NATIONAL PUBLIC OPINION POLL
Conducted for CPF by Gallup, the poll asked about attitudes toward children learning French. Further surveys were done for CPF in 1989 and 1992 by Environics and in 1995 and 2000 by COMPAS.1984
FIRST JOINT POLICY STATEMENT
CPF and the Fédération des Francophones hors Québec signed a statement regarding mutual cooperation in achieving their objectives and calling on governments and others to improve minority language education and FSL instruction.
FIRST VICE-REGAL PATRONS
CPF received the patronage of Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Governor General of Canada, and the Honourable Maurice Sauvé.1985
FIRST CPF FESTIVAL D’ART ORATOIRE
In the spring of 1985 CPF took on responsibility for hosting this national non-competitive oratorical Festival for French first- and second-language students, while the CPF chapters and branches organized Concours d’art oratoire “speak-offs.” The Festival was held each year until 1995.1985
DIRECTORY OF CORE FRENCH PROGRAMS
“Core French in Canada, Volume 1: A Survey of Programs” was a directory of school districts meeting or attempting to meet the new criteria for a successful program. This was followed by “Volume 2: A Guide to Resources,” a collection of articles about efforts by education departments and school districts to improve their programs.1985
SECOND BOOK PUBLISHED
More French, s’il vous plaît! focused on information for parents whose children were enrolled in FSL programs.1985
FIRST “FRIENDS OF CPF” NAMED
Former Commissioners of Official Languages Keith Spicer and Max Yalden as well as Ottawa educator W. Russ McGillivray were named the first Friends of Canadian Parents for French.
FIRST MULTI-MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Launch of the “Making Choices Makes a World of Difference” campaign. It included public service print ads, television spots, and radio announcements; bus cards; an information pamphlet; a speaking tour by the CPF President; and events organized by branches and local chapters.1986
FIRST INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATION
The CPF President was invited to San Diego, California, to speak to an association of parents interested in English-Spanish bilingualism. The 1998 President went to Wales to present a paper at the Fourth European Conference on Immersion Programmes, and the 2002 President addressed the Education and Life Long Learning Committee of the National Assembly of Wales. CPF has also been visited by international delegations seeking information on parental support for language learning.1986
FIRST BRIEF TO A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
CPF leaders made a presentation to the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages, urging that federal funding support of FSL programs be continued. CPF has since appeared many times before parliamentary committees on official languages.
CPF CONSULTED RE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
At the invitation of the Secretary of State, CPF was consulted re the drafting of a new Official Languages Act. Then, in the spring of 1988, Canadian Parents for French presented a brief to the Legislative Committee of the House of Commons regarding Bill C-72 – the proposed new Official Languages Act.1987
CPF’s 10th anniversary
There were 16,000 members across the country.