Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice

1.0 Introduction

This document is the report of the Canada-wide analysis of official language training needs in the area of justice undertaken by the Department of Justice in September 2008.

The needs analysis follows directly from the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013, tabled in June 2008 by the federal government. This federal initiative, covering health, immigration, economic development, arts and culture, and justice, examines specifically the issue of justice training:

In the area of justice, the Roadmap aims to intensify training efforts to improve language skills of those working in the justice system, be they court clerks, court reporters, justices of the peace or mediators. Justice Canada will implement a new justice training initiative to encourage young bilingual Canadians to pursue careers in these areas.[1]

The Roadmap provides for an investment in training of $20 million over five years, covering the period 2008-2009 to 2012-2013. This study will enable the Department of Justice Canada to effectively direct this new investment to meet the needs of justice stakeholders. To this end, the Department of Justice Canada identified four areas of focus for the study:

  • development of those already working in the justice system.
  • collaborative development with colleges and universities of a course program for young bilingual Canadians who want to work in the system;
  • development of training and development support tools for justice stakeholders;
  • a promotional and recruitment strategy targeting young bilingual Canadians.

While the findings apply to several areas of law, it should be pointed out that this study concerns primarily criminal law. This approach is consistent with the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments.

The report is divided into seven sections, including this Introduction. Section 2.0 presents the purpose of the study, including a description of the key players and the obligations relating to the delivery of justice services in both official languages. Section 3.0 describes the methodology, including the research issues and the methods used to investigate them. Section 4.0 concerns the various needs identified in the course of collecting the data, according to the nature of the work done by the stakeholders and their contacts with the public. Based on these findings, section 5.0 describes the most promising strategies for achieving the objectives of this new federal investment. Section 6.0 deals specifically with the management of the new Support Fund, particularly the coordination model for the effective application of this training investment. Finally, section 7.0 is the conclusion.

The research team would like to thank all those who participated in the study consultations. The issues vestigated by this needs analysis are, at best, only partially documented. The information provided and views expressed during the consultations by stakeholders in every province and territory therefore proved indispensable.


[1] Government of Canada. (2008). Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future. Ottawa, p. 11.


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