Review on Official Languages 2014-2015
Developing and enhancing the vitality of official language minority communities and promoting the use of English and French in Canadian society (Part VII of the Official Languages Act)
2. If your institution had to highlight three key initiatives or more in relation to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society, what would those be?
Legal Information Portals
The Department supports organizations who develop official language minority communities via resources and tools that maintain acquired knowledge and make greater use of new information technologies. Initiatives of this kind are funded by the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund.
Three legal information portals have resulted from the concerted efforts of various stakeholders in the legal community. The Department of Justice sees these portals as innovations in communicating and collaborating with official language minority communities. Through the use of information technology, official language minority communities can receive updated legal information in their own language, without having to consider geographical boundaries.
From this perspective, the Department continues to support the three portals: CliquezJustice, Jurisource and Éducaloi.
The Department provided AJEFO with $230,000 in funding for 2014-2015 to continue managing and maintaining a Web portal of legal and jurilinguistic resources for justice professionals working in Canada's French-speaking minority communities. Jurisource.ca is presented as a virtual library with a search engine capable of identifying thousands of documents, such as statutes, court decisions, studies, research, procedural templates, glossaries, etc. The portal also offers a platform for collaboration and exchanges for distance learning. It offers a direct service to legal professionals who work in official language minority communities.
There currently exists a multitude of legal and jurilinguistic resources, but they are scattered and often difficult to find. The aim of this project is to consolidate these resources while improving access to them. French speaking jurists who practice or teach law will have better access to the resources they need to practice their profession in French across Canada.
The Department provided $554,000 in financial support for 2014-2015 to Éducaloi, an organization whose mission is to inform Quebecers of their rights and obligations by providing them with quality legal information, made available in simple and accessible language.
The organization's objective is to improve access to justice in Quebec through public legal education and information. The Department has provided support to this organization for a few years to develop a Web site that brings together legal information for Quebec's Anglophone community. Project managers do more than provide translations of existing resources and tools; they adapt their content so it reflects cultural references of the Anglophone community. The project also involves the development of new information materials. Éducaloi therefore reaches not only Quebec's Anglophone community but also the Allophone community whose first official language spoken is English.
The Department of Justice provided AJEFO with $507,000 in funding for the maintenance and development of the CliquezJustice legal information portal.
CliquezJustice is a portal that provides legal information in French for the general public. It addresses the needs of the French-speaking population of Ontario, but also the needs of Francophones elsewhere in the country, by sharing information with various stakeholders from other provinces.
One component of the Web site is aimed specifically for elementary (ages 8 to 11) and secondary (Grades 7 to 12) students as well as their teachers and advisors. Students will find educational resources and games, while their teachers have access to a variety of legal resources and a search engine designed for them.
Linguistic Duality Day
On September 11, 2014, the Department marked Linguistic Duality Day by organizing several activities, both in the National Capital Region and at its regional offices.
In Ottawa, Department employees listened with interest to presentations by Elisabeth Eid, Official Languages Co-Champion, and Hubert Lussier, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage. Three short videos by Department employees were presented to mark the 45th anniversary of the first Official Languages Act. The videos were followed by a game featuring various idiomatic expressions, which was very popular with the audience.
Regional offices also helped promote linguistic duality by organizing various cultural and educational activities and games. For example, employees in the Yellowknife office welcomed Jean de Dieu Tuyishime, executive director of the Fédération franco-ténoise, who gave a speech entitled "Bilinguisme - Témoignage de tolérance et de respect envers les minorité."
The success of Linguistic Duality Day 2014 is largely due to the considerable and enthusiastic support of the regions: some three-quarters of the employees and community guests who participated in the celebrations were from the regions. In addition to being emblematic of the commitment of Department employees across Canada, this also shows that linguistic duality is at the heart of our departmental values.
The Department of Justice has been providing financial support to four jurilinguistic centres for several years now. The funding is used, among other things, for the production of lexicons, including the standardization of common law terminology in French, and the production of language and legal tools designed specifically for Anglophone jurists in Quebec.
Cumulative funding totalling $765,514 for 2014-2015 was provided to the four centres, namely the Centre de traduction et de terminologie juridiques in Moncton, the Centre for legal translation and documentation in Ottawa, Université de Saint-Boniface (Division de l'éducation permanente et service de perfectionnement linguistique) and the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law of McGill University.
The jurilinguistic tools developed by the centres are used by law professors, lawyers and legislative drafters at various government levels, who have access to terminology in both official languages and from both legal traditions of Canada for the purposes of their research work, their pleadings or the laws and regulations they draft. The four centres collaborate with one another within the Network of Jurilinguistic Centres.
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