Acadian and francophone Nova Scotians will have a say in determining the priority French-language services to be provided by the provincial government. Consultations that will lead to the development of regulations for the French-language Services Act are now underway. Those regulations will outline how provincial government services are to be provided to French-speaking Nova Scotians. The Office of Acadian Affairs has been working with members of the Fédération Acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse (FANE) — a cross-section of Nova Scotia’s Francophone and Acadian organizations — to develop a process for obtaining community input. The first step in this process is a day-long consultation session, to be held Thursday, May 25, with FANE members. “Government offers a large number of services and programs and we want to make sure that the ones provided in French are the ones the community most wants to see,” said Chris d’Entremont, Minister of Acadian Affairs. “Our discussion with FANE and its members will provide us with the insights we need to prepare draft regulations that reflect their priorities.” A discussion paper, which poses a number of questions about government service delivery was distributed to representatives of various Acadian and francophone groups on Tuesday, May 9. The discussion paper is also available on the Acadian Affairs website at www.gov.ns.ca/acadian/e/act.asp for broader public comment. The Acadian and francophone community will be invited to provide more feedback before the regulations are finalized. Nova Scotia will make the first regulations under the French-language Services Act by December 2006. It is expected the regulations will evolve over time as government’s French-language services are expanded.
“The situation on the islands is difficult and needs to be relieved,” deputy minister for European affairs Nikos Xydakis told the Guardian. “Accommodation on the mainland will be more suitable. We will start with transfers of those who are most vulnerable, always in the sphere of implementing and protecting the EU-Turkey agreement.” (Colombo Gazette) Greece is poised to transfer thousands of refugees from overcrowded camps on its Aegean islands to the mainland amid escalating tensions in the facilities and protests from irate locals. Greece has deported 65 refugees including one Sri Lankan, media reports said.The refugees have been deported to Turkey as part of an EU deal with Turkey. The leftist-led government said unaccompanied minors, the elderly and infirm would be among the first to be moved as concerns mounted over the future of a landmark EU-Turkey deal to stem migrant flows.