Statement on Le Concours d’art oratoire

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ms. Chartier: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure last week of attending the divisional championships in Saskatoon for le Concours d’art oratoire, an annual public speaking event for students who are studying French as a second language.

This is the third year I’ve had the opportunity to attend these divisional championships, and I’m always so impressed with the French these young students speak, the topics they choose to write about, and their ability to stand before a crowd with the utmost confidence and deliver amazing speeches in their second language.

Mr. Speaker, the goal of Concours d’art oratoire organized by Canadian Parents for French is to further motivate the interest of English-speaking students in learning French. Schools around the province host their own public speaking competitions with winners progressing to competitions held by local school divisions. Students in grade 6 to 12 who place first or second at their divisional event are given the opportunity to participate at the provincial level. At the Saskatoon event held at Cardinal Leger last week, there were 48 students from grade 5 to 8 representing schools across the city.

Mr. Speaker, Saskatoon Riversdale is home to l’École française de Saskatoon, or as we Anglos call it, the Saskatoon French School. The school fielded eight participants in their regionals. Of special note from the Saskatoon French School, Yiwen Li finished third in the grade 7 group. Also in grade 7, Hennessey Chartier-Ford finished second and is excited to be heading to provincials at Saskatoon’s Holy Cross High School on May 7th.

Mr. Speaker, I ask all members to join me in offering our congratulations to all the students who participated in the regionals and wishing good luck to those who are progressing to the provincials next month. Félicitations et bonne chance, et merci. [Translation: Congratulations, good luck, and thank you.]

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