History of the CSF

French-Canadians and Francophones have been in British Columbia for many years. All along they demanded that their children receive a French-language education. Even though some Francophone students were able to attend French classes early on, it is only in 1982 – when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom was adopted – that it became a constitutional right for Francophone parents to have their children educated in French anywhere in Canada.

Date Event
1793 Alexander McKenzie’s expedition: six of his ten crew members were French-Canadian.
1807 A group of French-Canadians Voyageurs founded Fort George, today Prince George.
1848–1849 The French religious schools served Aboriginal, Métis and French-Canadian children.
1860–1890 The French clergy, nuns (Soeurs Sainte-Anne de Québec) and priests established schools around the province (Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Mission, Williams Lake, Kamloops and Cranbrook).
1871 The public school system is created in British Columbia.
1910 French-Canadians from Eastern Canada arrive. The first French catholic school, the école Notre-Dame de Lourdes, opens its doors in Maillardville and serves the Francophone community.
1951 The two French catholic schools of Maillardville went on strike to demand free transportation, school books and financing.
1964 The Fédération canadienne-française de la Colombie-Britannique (FCFCB) concentrates its efforts on the establishment of French public schools to be managed by Francophone administrators.
1968 Launch of a pilot projet in Coquitlam to offer a French-langue program at the kindergarten level at the Alderson Elementary School.
1977 More than 100 years after the creation of a public school system, the government recognized the right of Francophones to be educated in French.
1979 The Francophone program (then known as “Programme cadre”) was established in B.C.: 232 students were registered in nine school districts.
1982 Adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which recognizes the right of Canadians to be educated in one of the country’s official language (their mother tongue) wherever they reside in Canada.
1983 Opening of the école Anne-Hébert in Vancouver: the first French public stand-alone school in B.C.
1986 Creation of a new BCTF PSA: Association provinciale des professeurs d’immersion et du programme cadre (APPIPC).
1986 The Greater Victoria School Board assumes control of école Victor-Brodeur located on the military base in Esquimalt, making it the second French public stand-alone school.
1987 The third French public stand-alone school, l’école André Piolat, opened in North Vancouver.
1995 The Ministry of Education announced the creation of a Francophone School District, the Conseil scolaire francophone (Francophone Education Authority/FEA).
The Board has responsibility for French as a first language education throughout BC.
1998 The FEA assumed responsibility for hiring its own teachers–the BCTF created a new local (93).
2006 The Conseil scolaire francophone offers Francophone education and services in 39 schools around the province of which 20 are stand-alone.
It now offers a francophone program in Nelson (kindergarten to grade 2) and at Penticton Secondary (grade 9).
Current CSF enrolment is above 3,800 students, up from 1,800 in 1996, an increase of 112 %.
2009 The CSF counts 3,500 students, 38 schools of which 23 are stand-alone and provides education from kindergarten to grade 12, école Virtuelle, International Baccalaureate and just signed a five years Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement to cover all jurisdiction.
The number of subscriptions increases by more than 3% every years and its schools are overflowing.
2010 The CSF and the Fédération des parents francophones launch a legal action to force the Province to recognize its constitutional rights and to give the appropriate means to meet its obligation.