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

6.0 Management structure of the new fund

The five year, $20-million federal training investment should have the proper administrative oversight. This section of the report deals with two specific elements: the role of a training advisory committee, and the process of fund allocation.

6.1 The training advisory committee

The management strategy for the new training investment must reflect the undeniable observation that justice is an especially technical field. Methodological and pedagogical considerations must guide the action of stakeholders in this sector, which is constantly evolving owing in particular to the integration of new information and communication technologies.

Not only is training a complex field, but its stakeholders often work within vast organizational structures. Some of the solutions proposed in this report require these institutions to work together. It is therefore necessary to recognize the scope of the challenge of implementing these strategic solutions.

In this context, it would seem desirable for the Department to establish a training advisory committee with the principal mandate of validating and guiding the Department's training initiatives. The role of the advisory committee would therefore be to assist the committees already in place in managing the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund.

The advisory committee should be composed of a few individuals with recognized training expertise and applied knowledge of the institutional network in this area. The members of the committee should be selected in light of its mandate, which is to validate and guide the Department's actions. To this end, it would seem desirable to identify individuals with a good knowledge of colleges (asked to play an important role in training for court support functions), university curricula in the area of justice (especially law, criminology and translation) and the pedagogical application of new information and communication technologies.

The other committees already in place to support management of the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund could also be asked to play a role in the implementation of the training initiative. The federal/provincial/territorial task force would also be asked to play a critical role in the effective use of the federal training investment. As each province and territory has its own structure, and the distribution of roles and responsibilities varies within the various stakeholder groups, the direct involvement of the provinces and territories is essential to ensure that federal investment adapts to these realities.

6.2 The process of fund allocation

Obviously, it is the responsibility of the Department of Justice to determine the process for allocating the new training funds. It seems appropriate, however, to point out two aspects in particular.

First, initiatives submitted by stakeholders should take into account the needs identified in this study. While other needs may emerge, those described in this study were identified during a Canada-wide consultation. For some occupations, such as clerks and court interpreters, these needs could be described as urgent from the perspective of the institutionally bilingual court.

Moreover, the fund allocation criteria should favour partnerships between various stakeholder groups and between groups working in minority language communities and those working in majority language communities. In many ways, bilingualism is the issue, and it is therefore important for all stakeholders to work closely with one another to exchange practices, share expertise and, above all, avoid duplication of effort.