Results at a glance: Evaluation of the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Initiative

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The Access to Justice in both Official Languages Initiative (the Initiative) helps to provide Canadians from official language minority communities (OLMCs) with access to legal information regarding their rights and responsibilities in the official language of their choice, and to access a justice system that meets their needs in that language. The Initiative includes two main pillars:

The Initiative provides support to the Advisory Committee on Access to Justice in Both Official Languages, which brings together representatives from Justice, community organizations, jurilinguistic centres and law faculties from OLMCs. It also supports the Working Group on Access to Justice in Both Official Languages, which includes representatives from Justice, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and representatives from provincial and territorial governments. The Initiative provides operational and core funding to strengthen the internal capacity and financial stability of eligible organizations working in the field of access to justice in both official languages.

What was found

Recommendations

Recommendation 1: To ensure the broadest reach possible of individuals and communities who may benefit from the activities funded by the Initiative, including those who are more isolated or marginalized, the Programs Branch, in collaboration with the Official Languages Directorate, should facilitate the engagement of a broader range of organizations as part of its information pillar.

Recommendation 2: To maximize the contributions of the Advisory Committee and the FPT Working Group, the Official Languages Directorate should consider having each hold two meetings per year, including one in-person (when feasible), and to find opportunities for both entities to collaborate directly when appropriate.
Recommendation 3: To further include EDI considerations in the ongoing management of the Initiative, the Programs Branch, in collaboration with the Official Languages Directorate, should explore new data sources that can support its ongoing GBA+ efforts.

About the evaluation: The evaluation of the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Initiative was conducted by the Department of Justice Evaluation Branch and covered fiscal years 2017-18 to 2020-21. Its main objectives were to examine the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the Initiative, in accordance with the Treasury Board’s Policy on Results (2016).