From the Vancouver Sun (BC) article “Metro Vancouver losing competitiveness due to lack of language immersion programs” by Chuck Chiang (here) comparing language program in Vancouver and Edmonton:
Since 1984, the Alberta capital has offered one of the largest Mandarin Chinese programs in Canada, with 2,009 students enrolled in 13 schools. It is the school district’s second-most-popular bilingual-immersion program, behind French with 3,703 student. What’s more, Edmonton also has 1,335 students in its Arabic program, in addition to having comparable programs for German, Hebrew, Spanish, Ukrainian and American Sign Language.
By comparison, Metro school, serving a much larger population, have about 500 students in total in immersion Mandarin programs.
As the school year starts, some parents are again demanding that B.C. — Canada’s gateway to the Pacific — should be doing more to increase foreign-language competency among students. The alternative, they say, is an increasingly uncompetitive workforce, especially when compared to graduates of programs like Edmonton’s.