Justice in Official Languages Newsletter No. 19, Summer 2023

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Words of welcome

A wind of change is blowing on official languages in Canada. In the space of a few weeks this spring, the government unveiled a new Federal Action Plan with historic investments for the benefit of official language minority communities, and Parliament passed legislation representing the most significant amendments to the Official Languages Act since 1988.

The sector of justice in official languages is also blooming and the people who devote themselves to it deserve our full consideration. We hope that this 19th edition of the Newsletter will allow you to discover them and provide a better understanding of the considerations that motivate them. Indeed, this issue begins with an interview with one of these exceptional people, Senator René Cormier, who generously agreed to speak to us, just before he successfully piloted the adoption of the new Official Languages Act before the Senate.

You will also find an article on the recipient of the Boreal Prize Rapprochement for 2022: the French Common Law Certification Program, which is offered in several law faculties across Canada.

The shortage of professionals in all fields is making headlines and legal translators are no exception. McGill University is helping to meet these needs by training a new generation of legal translators through an innovative university program that you will also learn about in this Newsletter.

This will be followed by an article describing a case recently heard by the Supreme Court of Canada concerning language rights and education in the Northwest Territories.

These days, issues of equity, diversity and inclusion are on everyone’s lips. Socio-legal support is one of the tools at our disposal to improve access to justice in both official languages for the most vulnerable people in our communities. These issues are highlighted in the departmental priorities of the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund, unveiled at the 2023 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Access to Justice in Both Official Languages.

Finally, do not miss the announcements section and the LOL - Let’s Play section, which is always appreciated by our readers.

Happy reading!