Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 09, 2009 08:30 ET

Minister Moore Announces that University of Ottawa Will Administer New Language Rights Support Program

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2009) - In his opening address to the symposium entitled "40 Years of Official Languages in Canada: Our History and the Path Ahead," the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced that the University of Ottawa has been chosen by the Government of Canada to administer the new Language Rights Support Program (LRSP).

In June 2008, when the Government of Canada launched the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future, it announced the establishment of this program. The LRSP seeks to promote awareness of language rights through public education, to offer access to alternative dispute settlement methods so as to reach agreement out of court, and to support litigation that helps advance and clarify linguistic rights when test cases are involved and mediation has failed.

"We have made a commitment to put in place the new Language Rights Support Program before the end of the year 2009," said Minister Moore, "and today we are on our way to meeting this commitment."

"The University of Ottawa is thrilled to be the institution chosen to implement the Language Rights Support Program," said Allan Rock, University of Ottawa President and Vice-Chancellor. "Thanks to the tremendous collaboration between the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute and the Faculty of Law, this initiative fits squarely within our university's mission of linguistic duality and strengthens even more our university's leadership role by integrating a key program that supports linguistic rights for Canadian minority official-language communities. Furthermore, the national mandate of this program is a testament to our place as Canada's university."

The University of Ottawa will be the independent institution responsible for ensuring delivery of the program and managing a yearly budget of $1.5 million in accordance with the guidelines set out in the contribution agreement. It will submit activity status reports to Canadian Heritage and will decide on and put in place communications and cooperation mechanisms to provide ongoing links with communities.

The year 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the passing of Canada's first Official Languages Act. This morning, Minister Moore delivered remarks at the symposium highlighting the Government's accomplishments in promoting and supporting both of Canada's official languages and the vitality of minority official-language communities. The event was organized by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Association for Canadian Studies, the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

For more information, consult the attached backgrounder.

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)


BACKGROUNDER

Language Rights Support Program

The Language Rights Support Program is a new program created by the Government of Canada to advance and clarify constitutional rights relating to official languages.

The Program focuses on awareness and alternative dispute resolution, yet allows support for litigation. It was made public in June 2008, at the same time that the Government announced the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future.

The Language Rights Support Program will raise awareness among Canadians of language rights through public education, allow access to alternative methods of conflict resolution to resolve disputes outside the courts, and support court cases that help advance and clarify language rights.

The University of Ottawa will administer the Program and rely on the knowledge of a panel of experts who will be responsible for evaluating and selecting the files to be supported by the Program. The nine-member panel will be appointed by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The new program will have an annual budget of $1.5 million. This funding will come directly from the Development of Official-Language Communities Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program aims to foster the development of Canada's minority Anglophone and Francophone communities and enable them to participate fully in all aspects of Canadian life.

For more information, visit www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pgm/lo-ol/pgm/pubs/padl-lrsp/101-eng.cfm.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken, Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    stephanie.rea@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca