Thematic Series on Ethnicity, Language and Immigration
Portrait of French-language workers in Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industries, 2011

by Émilie Lavoie

Release date: July 12, 2017

Acknowledgments

This project was carried out as part of a collaboration between Statistics Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The author wishes to thank Jacinthe Robichaud and her team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for their helpful suggestions and comments.

This project was made possible thanks to the contribution of Jean-Pierre Corbeil, Chief for the Centre for Ethnocultural, Language and Immigration Statistics at Statistics Canada. Thanks also go to Jean-François Lepage for his advice. The author would like to thank them warmly for their involvement and their availability throughout this project.

Finally, the author thanks Deniz Do, Alejandro Paez Silva and Julie Bertrand for their collaboration in finalizing the report.

Ontario’s agriculture industry and the French-language minority

In 2011, there were 100,665 people aged 15 years and older working in Ontario’s agricultural sector.Note 1 Of these workers, 3.4% belonged to the French-language minorityNote 2 (3,455 workers). Although the agricultural sector was concentrated mainly in Southern and Western Ontario,Note 3 French-language workers in this sector were primarily located in the eastern and northern parts of the province. For example, while Eastern Ontario was home to 11.2% of the province’s agricultural workers (11,305 workers), 1,980 workers belonged to the French-language minority, representing 57.3% of all French-language agricultural workers in the province. Similarly, in 2011, Northern Ontario was home to 3.2% of the province’s agricultural workers (3,240 workers), 19.4% of whom were French-language minorities (630 workers). These 630 workers accounted for 18.2% of all French-language workers in Ontario. In short, the geographic distribution of Ontario’s French-language population of agricultural workers differs from the province’s entire population of workers in this sector. As can be seen in Map 1, the agriculture sector and the French-language minority population overlap only in a few municipalities,Note 4 particularly in two specific clusters (one in Northern Ontario and the other in Eastern Ontario).

Ontario’s agri-food industry and the French-language minority

In 2011, close to 765,000 people aged 15 and older worked in Ontario’s agri-food sector,Note 5 3.0% of whom were francophone (22,595 workers). While the agri-food sector was concentrated mainly in Central Ontario, as well as in Southern and Western OntarioNote 6, French-language workers in this sector were primarily found in the other two regions, Eastern and Northern Ontario. Therefore, while Eastern Ontario was home to 10.8% (82,310) of the province’s agri-food workers aged 15 and older in 2011, it accounted for 39.3% of Ontario’s French-language workers (8,880). Similarly, in 2011, Northern Ontario was home to 5.0% of the province’s agri-food workers (38,275), 24.7% of whom were francophone (5,570). In short, as with the agricultural sector, the geographic distribution of Ontario’s population of French-language agri-food workers differs from the province’s entire population of workers in this sector.

Again, as is the case with the agricultural sector, the French-language population and the population of agri-food workers are not evenly distributed across the regions, as can be seen in Map 2.Note 7 While there were more municipalities where these two populations of interest overlapped in 2011, 48 of these municipalities were mostly concentrated in two of Ontario’s agricultural regions.

The preceding tables and maps clearly illustrate that French-language minority workers in the agricultural and agri-food sectors were concentrated in Eastern and Northern Ontario. The portraits below will therefore focus on these two regions.

Part 1: Portrait of Ontario’s agricultural industry and its French-language workers

Socioeconomic portrait of French-language workers in Ontario’s agriculture industry

Chart 1 Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 1
Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
15 to 29 years 25.5 25.4 26.2 28.2
30 to 49 years 32.3 25.4 28.6 27.3
50 to 64 years 28.3 29.3 23.0 30.1
65 years and over 13.6 19.9 23.0 14.7

Linguistic portrait of French-language workers in Ontario’s agriculture industry

Knowledge of official languages

Chart 2 Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 2
Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English only 0.0 72.2 0.0 73.6
French only 14.9 2.6 5.6 1.1
English and French 85.4 24.9 94.4 25.2
Neither 0.0 0.4 0.0 0.0

Languages spoken at home

Chart 3 Language(s) spoken most often at home by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 3
Language(s) spoken most often at homeChart 3 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Language(s) spoken at home by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 7.6 78.4 0.0 73.0
French 58.6 10.3 53.2 10.3
Other languages 2.8 4.3 0.0 6.5
English and French 30.8 7.1 44.4 10.2

Languages used at work

Chart 4 Language(s) used most often at work by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 4
Language(s) used most often at workChart 4 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Language(s) used at work by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 12.6 80.2 27.0 81.0
French 38.6 6.8 23.0 4.5
Other languages 5.1 3.1 0.0 4.8
English and French 43.7 9.9 46.8 9.7

Agricultural portrait of two agricultural regions in Ontario

Unlike the previous sections, this agricultural portrait focuses on the characteristics of farms and farm operators in the agricultural regions of Northern and Eastern Ontario.Note 16

Part 2: Socioeconomic and linguistic portraits of workers in Ontario’s agri-food industry

The following portraits examine the agri-food workers belonging to the French-language minority in the regions with the highest concentrations of French-language workers in 2011Note 19: Northern and Eastern Ontario.

Socioeconomic portrait of French-language workers in Ontario’s agri-food industry

Chart 5 Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 5
Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
15 to 29 years 51.4 55.7 42.4 52.6
30 to 49 years 26.2 27.4 27.7 27.0
50 to 64 years 19.5 14.9 26.0 18.1
65 years and over 2.8 2.0 3.9 2.3

Linguistic portrait of French-language workers in Ontario’s agri-food industry

Knowledge of official languages

Chart 6 Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 6
Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English only 0.0 71.3 0.0 73.4
French only 5.0 0.5 1.7 0.2
English and French 95.0 27.2 98.4 26.0
Neither 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.3

Languages spoken at home and used at work

Chart 7 Language(s) spoken most often at home by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 7
Language(s) spoken most often at homeChart 7 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Language(s) spoken at home by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 14.2 77.8 18.5 82.2
French 33.0 3.6 25.8 3.8
Other languages 6.4 11.0 0.0 3.0
English and French 46.3 7.6 55.5 11.1

Chart 8 Language(s) used most often at work by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011

Data table for Chart 8
Language(s) used most often at workChart 8 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, two agricultural regions of Ontario, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Language(s) used at work by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over Eastern Ontario, Northern Ontario, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Eastern Ontario Northern Ontario
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 29.7 82.9 32.4 84.7
French 9.6 1.2 4.6 0.9
Other languages 7.8 3.7 6.2 2.3
English and French 52.9 12.2 56.9 12.1

Appendices

Appendix 1 – Industries of the agricultural sector
Appendix 2 – Agricultural sector and official language minorities in the census subdivisions
Appendix 3 – Industries in the agri-food sector
Appendix 4 – Agri-food sector and official language minorities in the census subdivisions

Notes


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