Report on Results 2009-2010 Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act
Summary of Major Achievements in 2009-2010
The Department’s Official Languages Champion provided concrete support for the regional coordinators responsible for implementing Section 41, by communicating with the regional directors to ensure that they had the support and tools they needed to perform their jobs.
The Office of La Francophonie, Justice in Official Languages and Legal Dualism, in conjunction with the Official Languages Law Group, organized a departmental conference on June 4, 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages Act (OLA). The Department's regional offices and senior management also contributed to this conference. Distinguished guests addressed the conference, including the first Commissioner of Official Languages, Keith Spicer, the current Commissioner, Graham Fraser, as well as the Honourable Michel Bastarache and Professor Pierre Foucher.
The Department’s Senior Management Board approved the Department’s policy on Public Legal Education and Information on November 5, 2009. The policy includes a section on the Department’s commitment to taking positive measures to promote access to justice in a way that enhances the vitality of official language minority communities and promotes the full recognition and use of French and English.
The new engagement strategy regarding grants and contributions also reflects the Department’s commitment under Section 41 of the OLA.
In 2009-2010, the Department published the Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice. As part of this study, 67 people were interviewed, including stakeholders in the justice system and Community representatives. The Department has begun implementing the recommendations of the Canada-Wide Analysis.
Meetings, information fairs, seminars, regional events and field visits were used to transmit information to the Communities. As part of the Olympic Games, the Vancouver regional office attended the October 2009 forum on official languages which was organized by the Pacific Federal Council.
On October 26, 2009, the Justice and Security Network, chaired by Justice Canada, organized the Security and Justice Network Forum on Vulnerable Young Francophones at risk of becoming involved in the justice system in order to establish a dialogue with francophone organizations that work in the field with these young people. The forum brought together 25 national and regional representatives from federal institutions and 23 national and regional representatives from field organizations that work with the target clientele.
Justice Canada has allocated significant funds to improve the Communities’ access to justice. In 2009-2010, the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund allocated $1,805,700 to fund 33 projects.
The Department’s five-year action plan (2005-2010) ended March 31, 2010. The Department’s new five-year action plan (2010-2015) will be ready in the fall of 2010. From December 2009 to March 2010, about 100 representatives of community organizations were consulted for the purpose of preparing the new plan.
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