Departmental Action Plan for Official Languages 2017-2022

Appendix A: Departmental Policies

The Department of Justice Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages is a continuation of departmental policies that have been in effect since 2011.

Part III

In order to implement Part III of the OLA, the Department has adopted the Practice Directive 4.0 Litigation Branch. This internal directive addresses (1) coordination and development of the AGC’s position by OLAD in all language rights cases, in collaboration with litigation counsel and LSU; and (2) the official languages obligations of the Attorney General of Canada as a litigant. Best practices in the field of civil litigation adopted by the Department complement this internal Practice Directive 4.0.

Parts IV, V, VI and XI

Linguistic duality remains central to departmental values. The Department will continue to apply the Official Languages PolicyFootnote 1 and is determined to do the following:

  • Provide a workplace where employees can freely exercise their language-of-work rights and are encouraged to use the official language of their choice (pursuant to Parts IV and V and section 91 of Part XI).
  • Ensure that official languages are an integral part of the development and application of its programs and policies as well as service delivery and human resources management (pursuant to Parts IV, V and VII).
  • Invest in the acquisition and retention of employees’ second-language skills, specifically by providing employees who have a disability (including learning disabilities) with the resources and services they need to acquire second-language skills in accordance with the Language Training Directive.

Part VII

In connection with section 41 implementation, the 2017–2022 Action Plan for Official Languages draws on the following policy statements:

  • The implementation of Part VII, section 41, is mandatory because it arises out of statutory provisions contained in a quasi-constitutional act. In addition, under subsection 77(1) of the OLA, Part VII can be the object of a court remedy. The adoption of departmental policies and a departmental action plan on official languages also falls within this legislative framework and aims to strengthen application of the OLA within the Department.
  • With respect to programs, including transfer-payment programs, the Department will identify the initiatives affecting official language communities, particularly English- and French-speaking minorities, as they are being developed or at the time of their renewal.
  • Once the Department has determined that a policy or program has an impact on English-language or French-language minority communities, the needs of these communities will be considered with a view to integrating them into the Department’s policies and programs when appropriate.
  • The Department will analyze the context and document the process it uses to factor in and integrate these needs.
  • Also, pursuant to section 41, the Department will focus on collaborating and forming productive partnerships with various stakeholders, including OLMCs, other federal authorities, other levels of government, non-profit organizations, and representatives from academia, communities and civil society.

Official Languages Act, Part VII, Departmental Policy Statement (2011)

Official Languages Act, Part VII, Departmental Policy Statement (2011) - Text version

The policy statement adopted in 2011 by the Department of Justice Canada pertaining to the implementation of Part VII of the Official Languages Act is based on the following principles:

  • To identify the policies and programs that have an impact on English and French minority communities at the initial elaboration stage or upon their renewal.
  • To consider the needs of these communities with a view to integrate them in the policies and programs.
  • To document the process followed to consider and integrate the needs.
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