Justice in Official Languages - Newsletter
(No04 | February 2012)
Coordination of the implementation of Section 41
Coordinating the implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act – and of the Action Plan – requires effort on the part of many people within the Department of Justice Canada. In the first issue of the Newsletter, we introduced the JOL Team and its members. However, this team alone cannot be responsible for all the initiatives that are needed. This is why the Departmental Network of Coordinators for the Implementation of Section 41, known as Network 41, was formed.
What is the role of Network 41?
Network 41 works to ensure that the commitment under Section 41 is implemented Department-wide. The Network brings together the Coordinators 41, who are responsible for coordinating the implementation of Section 41 within their program, sector or region.
Who are the Coordinators 41?
The Coordinators 41 are Justice employees who work within policy sectors, programs and regions. Program coordinators are program analysts who work within one of the programs targeted by the Department as having a special impact on the development of official language minority communities. Policy coordinators are policy analysts or lawyers who work within given policy sectors. Regional coordinators are lawyers who work in the Department’s regional offices. Their Section 41 responsibilities represent between five and ten percent of their workload.
What kind of support do they receive?
The JOL Team ensures that Network 41 operates smoothly by providing support to coordinators in every aspect of their work. Leadership is also provided by the Department’s Official Languages Champions, Associate Deputy Minister Yves Côté and Chief Legislative Counsel John Mark Keyes, who support all the Department’s official language efforts.
What are the responsibilities of the Coordinators 41?
All coordinators are responsible for ensuring that their colleagues are aware of the government’s commitment for the implementation of Section 41. They also have distinct responsibilities depending on their area of work.
Program Coordinators and Policy Coordinators
As part of their responsibilities, program coordinators and policy coordinators make sure that the needs of official language minority communities are taken into account in the development or renewal of programs or policies and that representatives of these communities are consulted. In other words, they must ensure that the specific circumstances of Anglophone and Francophone minorities are not overlooked.
Coordinators 41 who work in regional offices are mainly responsible for building ties with non-government stakeholders within official language minority communities, working with various federal and territorial stakeholders, and promoting the Department’s programs and initiatives.
In effect, they serve as Network 41’s antennae in the field. They attend activities organized by associations of French speaking jurists and provincial organizations that represent official language minority communities, as well as interdepartmental meetings held in the regions.
The coordinator’s role – as explained by a coordinator
According to Julien Bédard, Coordinator 41 in Manitoba, the role of the regional coordinator is constantly evolving. “Briefly stated, a large part of our role is to facilitate communication between communities and the Department via the Justice in Official Languages Team.” To achieve this, he regularly attends the activities of organizations involved in the field of law in Manitoba.
The JOL Team is proud to introduce the coordinators who are responsible for the implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act in the regions. Do not hesitate to contact them; they will be happy to connect you with the appropriate resource.
Upcoming issues of the Newsletter will contain capsules on the coordinators 41.
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