Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

November 10, 2010 18:15 ET

Government of Canada Provides $3.6 Million to Support Official Languages in the Canadian Justice System

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2010) - Today, Shelly Glover, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced $3.6 million in funding to strengthen and promote the use of both official languages within the justice system.

"In order to ensure that our justice system is both fair and effective, it is important that officials can perform their duties in both official languages," said MP. Glover. "This funding will help ensure that Canadians have access to the justice system in the official language of their choice."

In 2009, the Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice revealed that, although a significant number of justice officials had the ability to communicate in French and English, many needed advanced training to improve their legal vocabulary. The $3.6 million in funding will help address this need by supporting the Centre canadien de français juridique. This Centre, established in March 2010, with the assistance of the Fédération des associations de juristes d'expression française de common law, offers training specifically designed for provincial officials in the legal system, particularly court clerks, probation officers, and Crown attorneys.

To date, the Centre has provided training in Iqaluit, St. John's, Yellowknife, Edmonton, Halifax, and Moncton. Further sessions are currently being planned for Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Whitehorse and Winnipeg. As the project moves forward, the Centre may expand to provide similar professional development opportunities to judges, lawyers, and police officers.

"In order to be a truly bilingual nation, our institutions must be accessible in both official languages," said MP. Glover. "The Government is committed to preserving Canada's proud tradition of bilingualism, and projects like these play a key role in delivering on that commitment."

This funding is part of the $41-million Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund, which supports official languages capacity building across Canada. This is an integral part of the Government's Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, 2008-2013: Acting for the Future.

More information about the fund can be found at: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pb-dgp/prog/olsf-fajlo.html

Backgrounder:

Official Languages Funding

Centre Canadien de Français Juridique

A Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice was conducted in 2009. The analysis found that while a significant number of justice stakeholders had a basic ability to communicate in both official languages, there was a need for advanced training to improve their legal vocabulary and make the justice system truly institutionally
bilingual. The analysis also concluded that the current supply of training activities did not meet the demand for language training needs.

The Centre canadien de français juridique was created to specifically address the training needs that were identified in the Canada-Wide Analysis. Created in the spring of 2010, it offers training designed for various provincial stakeholders in the legal system, mainly court clerks, probation officers, and Crown prosecutors. The Centre may eventually train additional groups such as judges, lawyers and police officers.

The Government has provided the Fédération des associations de juristes d'expression française de common law with $1.2M for the period of March 2010 until March 2013 specifically to establish the Centre and create the learning tools and resources that are required. An additional $2.4M has been granted to the Centre for the same period (March 2010 until March 2013) to recruit and train staff and develop the learning session for various groups. To date, the Centre has provided sessions to Crown prosecutors, probation officers, and court clerks in Iqaluit, St. John's,Yellowknife, Edmonton, Halifax, and Moncton. Further sessions are currently being planned for Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Whitehorse and Winnipeg.

Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund

The Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund was created in 2003 to increase the capacity of justice system professionals to develop their skills in both official languages. The fund also provides solutions on official languages issues, and heightens awareness of the importance of official language rights in the legal community. The fund is part of the
Government's investment under the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, 2008-2013: Acting for the Future.

The Support Fund currently benefits from a $41-million investment until March 31, 2013. This amount includes new funding of $20 million to: increase linguistic training efforts for people already working in the justice system; and, train and recruit young bilingual Canadians who show an interest in justice-related careers.

Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, 2008-2013: Acting for the Future

In June 2008, the Government of Canada released the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future. This Roadmap demonstrates the government's commitment to linguistic duality and to the vitality of official-language minority communities. This 2 unprecedented, government-wide investment of $1.1 billion over five years, divided among 13 departments and federal agencies, will encourage linguistic duality among Canadians, and offer support to official-language minority communities with increased government support in five priority areas: health, justice, immigration, economic development, and arts and culture.

More information about the Roadmap can be found at: http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/slo-ols/strateng.

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Pamela Stephens
    Press Secretary
    613-992-4621
    or
    Department of Justice
    Media Relations
    613-957-4207
    www.canada.justice.gc.ca