Yukon becomes Canada's 3rd most bilingual region
2011 census finds 13 per cent of Yukoners speak both French and English
Yukon is now the third most bilingual jurisdiction in Canada, with more than 13 per cent of Yukoners identifying themselves as speaking both French and English in the last census.
Only Quebec and New Brunswick have a higher percentage of bilingual French/English speakers than Yukon.
Gary Brown of the Yukon Bureau of Statistics says there are reasons for the territory's upswing in bilingualism.
"One is the increase in the francophone population," he said. "The French mother tongue section of the population, that's increased in the last 10 years by about 63 per cent."
Angelique Bernard, president of the Association Franco-Yukonnaise, says francophones are comfortable speaking French in the territory and as her community grows, the Yukon becomes a bigger draw for French-speakers.
"I've been told by a few newcomers that the fact that there was a French school and a French daycare and French services kind of swayed their decision towards the Yukon," she said.
Bernard says the popularity of French immersion education is also making a difference. She says it's not unusual for young people working in Whitehorse businesses to switch to French when they realize she's francophone.