January 20, 2021 – Vancouver, BC – Following a publicly advertised recruitment process posted November 9 2020, the Board of Directors of la coopérative d’immigration (Le Relais) francophone de la Colombie-Britannique has hired Gilles Verret as its first Executive Director.
Le Relais Francophone achieved its administrative autonomy from La Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique (FFCB) on April 1, 2020 to continue the important work of direct settlement services to French speaking immigrants throughout British Columbia. “The Board of Directors has determined that an Executive Director is an important aspect to help fulfill our role in furthering French speaking immigration in British Columbia,” said Board Chair Jacky Essombé, “and Mr. Verret brings a wealth of work experience, abilities to strategize and plan, manage and motivate staff, build and maintain relationships, manage budgets and operational work, and a commitment to excellence in client service delivery. In addition, he brings a passion for the French language, all valuable qualifications we need to lead this new organization,” added Madame Essombé.
The position of Executive Director is part of a new organizational structure which will ensure the continued success of Le Relais Francophone as an independent organization. “The new organizational structure adheres to the commitments we made in the agreements we have with the Government of Canada and with the Government of British Columbia as well as the availability of funds,” pointed out Madame Essombé, “and Le Relais Francophone is confident Mr. Verret and his team will deliver as per the priorities and direction set by the Board of Directors”, she concluded.
Settlement services for French speaking immigrants, including pre-arrivals, have been very successful for British Columbia since 2014, due to funding by the Government of Canada, through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and by the Government of British Columbia. An average of 1200 clients per year are served by the programme. Services can vary depending on client needs and may include : accommodation, job search, education, community and health services, culture and recreation and many others.
IRCC has established a goal that the number of French speaking immigrants outside Québec reaches 4.4% of total immigration for Canada.