Thematic Series on Ethnicity, Language and Immigration
Portrait of French-language workers in Western Canada’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.

Western Canada’s agriculture industry and the French-language minority

In 2011, most French-languageNote  agricultural workersNote  were found in Manitoba and Alberta (1,065 workers in Manitoba and 1,100 in Alberta). By comparison, Saskatchewan was home to 875 French-language agricultural workers and British Columbia to 390 workers in 2011. The relative share of French-language agricultural workers was highest in Manitoba (3.9%). In the other western provinces, the relative share of French-language workers bordered on 1.0% in 2011.Note 

As illustrated in Tables 1 to 3, French-language agricultural workers in Western Canada were found in only a few agricultural regions, and their proportion was never more than 10% in 2011. Furthermore, Map 2 illustrates that approximately half of the agricultural regions in the West had less than 1.0% of French-language workers (25 out of a total of 48). Map 2 also shows that eight agricultural regions in Western Canada had a concentration of French-language workers above 5%: four in Manitoba, three in Saskatchewan, and one in Alberta. Lastly, Map 1 illustrates that within census agricultural regions, French-language agricultural workers are concentrated in a few specific census subdivisions.Note 

Western Canada’s agri-food industry and the French-language minority

In 2011, Alberta and British Columbia had the most French-language workers in the agri-food sector.Note  Specifically, there were 3,515 workers in Alberta and 3,400 workers in British Columbia, compared with 1,945 in Manitoba and 345 in Saskatchewan. The relative weight of French-language workers ranged from 0.5% in Saskatchewan to 2.6% in Manitoba. Their relative weights in the provinces with the highest numbers of French-language workers were 1.6% in Alberta and 1.1% in British Columbia.

Map 4 shows that only one of the 48 agricultural regions in Western Canada—Manitoba’s Agricultural Region 7—had a concentration of French-language workers above 5%. Similarly, Map 3 illustrates that not a single census subdivision had a strong concentration of both French-language populations and agri-food workers, and only 39 out of 2,424 had an average concentration.Note 

While Map 4 shows that Manitoba’s Agricultural Region 7 is the only one whose concentration of French-language workers is above 5%, Tables 4 to 6 illustrate that there were four agricultural regions in Western Canada with more than 1,000 French-language agri-food workers in 2011: Agricultural Region 9 in Manitoba, Agricultural Regions 3 and 5 in Alberta, and the Lower Mainland–Southwest Region in British Columbia.

Part 1: Portrait of Western Canada’s agricultural sector and its French-language workers

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

Chart 1 Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agricultural sector, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 1
Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agricultural sector, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan, Agricultural region 7 Alberta, French-language workers† and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 8 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan Agricultural region 7 Alberta
French-language workersGroupe d'âge Note  Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workersGroupe d'âge Note  Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
15 to 29 years 0.0 18.5 17.2 25.4 22.5 28.6 0.0 13.7 16.9 14.5
30 to 49 years 0.0 27.8 43.1 30.6 25.4 39.7 0.0 23.8 33.8 30.6
50 to 64 years 0.0 35.8 27.6 29.3 39.4 23.6 0.0 41.7 32.5 33.1
65 years and over 0.0 17.7 12.1 14.5 11.3 8.1 0.0 20.8 16.9 21.7

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

Chart 2 Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 years and over, five agricultural regions in Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 2
Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 years and over, five agricultural regions in Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan, Agricultural region 7 Alberta, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 8 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan Agricultural region 7 Alberta
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 0.0 95.8 0.0 96.5 0.0 93.0 0.0 98.0 0.0 97.1
French 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Other languages 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
English and French 100.0 4.2 98.3 2.4 98.6 5.6 97.5 2.2 97.4 2.9

Chart 3 Language(s) spoken at home by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 years and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 3
Language spoken at homeChart 3 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 years and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan, Agricultural region 7 Alberta, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 8 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan Agricultural region 7 Alberta
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 15.6 93.1 19.0 83.8 23.9 80.0 27.5 96.8 28.6 90.2
French 24.4 0.0 15.5 0.0 9.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.8 0.0
Other languages 0.0 4.6 0.0 15.5 0.0 18.9 0.0 2.0 0.0 9.2
English and French 60.0 2.4 65.5 0.0 64.8 0.8 70.0 1.3 62.3 0.6

Chart 4 Language(s) used at work by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 years and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 4
Language used at workChart 4 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agricultural sector aged 15 years and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 4 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan, Agricultural region 7 Alberta, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 8 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 8B Saskatchewan Agricultural region 7 Alberta
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 40.0 97.1 34.5 89.7 46.5 93.2 47.5 98.6 37.7 94.7
French 15.6 0.0 10.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Other languages 0.0 2.4 0.0 9.6 0.0 5.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.9
English and French 37.8 0.0 53.4 0.0 49.3 1.0 52.5 0.9 54.5 0.4

Agricultural portrait of five regions in Western Canada

Unlike the previous sections, this agricultural portrait focuses on the characteristics of farms and farm operators in Manitoba’s Agricultural Regions 7, 8, and 9, Saskatchewan’s Agricultural Region 8B, and Alberta’s Agricultural Region 7.Note 

Part 2: Socioeconomic and linguistic portraits of workers in Western Canada’s agri-food sector

The following portraits examine French-language agri-food workers in the regions with the highest concentrations in 2011:Note  Manitoba’s Agricultural Regions 7 and 9, Alberta’s Agricultural Regions 3 and 5, and British Columbia’s Lower Mainland–Southwest Region.

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

Chart 5 Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agri-food sector, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 5
Age group by First Official Language Spoken (FOLS) of workers in the agri-food sector, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 5 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 3 Alberta, Agricultural region 5 Alberta, Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 3 Alberta Agricultural region 5 Alberta Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
15 to 29 years 34.3 51.0 49.3 52.4 47.0 47.5 47.0 50.2 44.4 44.5
30 to 49 years 28.6 29.9 22.8 30.0 31.9 34.6 31.5 31.6 31.3 34.7
50 to 64 years 37.1 18.2 24.5 15.7 19.4 15.9 19.9 16.0 19.5 18.8
65 years and over 0.0 0.9 3.4 1.8 0.0 2.0 0.0 2.1 4.4 2.0

Linguistic portrait of French-language workers in Western Canada’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, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 6
Knowledge of official languages by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 6 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 3 Alberta, Agricultural region 5 Alberta, Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 3 Alberta Agricultural region 5 Alberta Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 0.0 94.1 0.0 90.4 0.0 91.9 0.0 93.0 0.0 87.8
French 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.2 0.0 4.8 0.0 1.4 0.0
Neither 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 0.0 2.5 0.0 1.6 0.0 6.6
English and French 100.0 5.7 98.6 7.9 97.8 5.6 94.8 5.4 97.7 5.6

Languages spoken at home

Chart 7 Language(s) spoken at home by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 7
Language spoken at homeChart 7 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 7 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 3 Alberta, Agricultural region 5 Alberta, Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 3 Alberta Agricultural region 5 Alberta Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 40.0 94.5 28.9 79.9 34.8 76.1 28.3 81.0 30.8 66.0
French 0.0 0.0 16.0 0.0 14.3 0.1 11.6 0.0 13.8 0.0
Other languages 0.0 3.4 6.1 19.1 16.5 23.6 16.3 18.4 18.2 33.6
English and French 51.4 2.0 48.6 1.0 34.4 0.3 43.8 0.5 37.2 0.4

Languages used at work

Chart 8 Language(s) used at work1 by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011

Data table for Chart 8
Language used at workChart 8 Note 1 by FOLS of workers in the agri-food sector aged 15 and over, five agricultural regions of Western Canada, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 8 Agricultural region 7 Manitoba, Agricultural region 9 Manitoba, Agricultural region 3 Alberta, Agricultural region 5 Alberta, Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia, French-language workers and Other workers, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Agricultural region 7 Manitoba Agricultural region 9 Manitoba Agricultural region 3 Alberta Agricultural region 5 Alberta Lower Mainland - Southwest British Columbia
French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers French-language workers Other workers
percent
English 37.1 98.6 58.5 94.7 65.9 94.5 81.7 95.7 72.0 87.3
French 0.0 0.0 4.4 0.1 2.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Other languages 0.0 0.0 2.7 4.2 2.5 5.2 2.0 4.0 5.3 12.2
English and French 54.3 0.0 34.0 1.0 29.0 0.3 15.5 0.3 21.6 0.4

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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