Review on Official Languages 2012-2013
Questions from Canadian Heritage
7. Development of official language minority communities and promotion of English and French in the Canadian society (Part VII of the OLA)
(consultations / discussions / formal or informal exchanges)
1. How does your institution ensure that it is aware of the priorities and needs of French-speaking communities outside Quebec and English-speaking communities in Quebec? Please specify the methods used, the organizations involved and the tangible results of initiatives taken by your institution on/in the communities.
The Department of Justice Canada (the Department) has a consultative structure to support it in the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act (OLA) and to find out the priorities and needs of French-speaking communities outside Quebec and English-speaking communities in Quebec.
This structure is comprised of 1) the Advisory Committee – Justice in Official Languages, and 2) the Departmental Network of Coordinators Responsible for the Implementation of Section 41 of the OLA (Network 41). In addition, the Department maintains close ties with official language minority communities (Communities) through regular exchanges, including during negotiations regarding funding agreements for the various projects supported by such programs as the Supporting Families Experiencing Separation and Divorce Fund, the Youth Justice Fund and the Family Violence Initiative.
The Advisory Committee – Justice in Official Languages
The mandate of this Committee is to act as liaison between legal and official language minority community stakeholders and the Department. The members of the Committee meet approximately once a year. The next meeting is scheduled for early 2014. The last meeting took place on March 16, 2012 and was attended by representatives from the Department, the Fédération des associations de juristes d’expression française de Common law inc. (FAJEF), the various regional associations of French-speaking jurists (AJEF), jurilinguistic centres, the Centre canadien de français juridique inc. (CCFJ), the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA), and the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).
At the meeting on March 16, as part of the renewal of the Advisory Committee – Justice in Official Languages, the Department worked on defining the main directions it wished to give to this committee following consultations with its members. These main directions, which were organized around the importance of training for justice stakeholders and access to legal information services for Canadians, have since been incorporated in the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities (2013-2018 Roadmap).
Participants took advantage of this event to discuss the funding application process and related best practices. The discussions also provided an update on some of the projects funded by the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund (Support Fund) in the last few years. Participants also got a chance to explore the concept of service delivery as it applies to the area of justice, and to discuss the activities pertaining to training initiatives and justice-related careers.
The Department also took into consideration other consultations, such as those held by Canadian Heritage. These indicated that Canadians have often raised concerns over the barriers to access to justice, including: 1) additional delays in getting services in the minority language; 2) additional costs; and 3) poor quality of the information available in their official language. Other works and studies also guided the Department’s reflection, including the management solutions articulated in the case studies on the Support Fund carried out in 2011, the 2011-2016 Action Plan on the Implementation of Section 41 of the OLA, and the priories identified by the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, which is comprised of several key justice stakeholders.
Justice Canada adopted a new strategy which seeks to provide justice services to Canadians in English and French. This strategy is based upon two pillars: Information and Training for justice stakeholders.
The objective of the Information pillar is to ensure that Canadians have access to legal information through services, activities, tools and resources in the official language of their choice.
The objective of the Training pillar is to ensure that Canadians can benefit concretely from access to justice in official languages by providing training activities, tools and resources to help people who work in the area of justice to serve Canadians in the official language of their choice, where this right applies.
Legal information services are a starting point for making Canadians more knowledgeable about their rights and obligations. These services already exist for the majority. The goal is to create ties with Canadian citizens, including members of the Communities.
Access to justice is part of the Department’s mission. To ensure access to justice, Canadians must be properly informed about their rights and obligations and the fact that they can access justice services in either official language, and the justice system must be able to provide these services where language rights and obligations apply.
The members of this network meet anually in Ottawa. In addition, teleconferences or videoconferences are held every six weeks in order to discuss activities related to the implementation of section 41 of the OLA in every sector and portfolio of the Department as well as in all the regions where the Department is present. The purpose of work of the Network 41 is to foster awareness amongst its members about the needs and priorities of Communities, and to allow for the sharing of information and liaison on departmental efforts aimed at the promotion and development of these Communities.
The members of the Network 41 and the members of the Team 41 of the Office of the Francophonie, Justice in Official Languages and Legal Dualism continue to build lasting ties with Communities by attending their annual general meetings and other meetings. The members of the Network 41 also stay on the lookout for on the needs of Communities through the meetings of the various regional interdepartmental networks 41.
Better knowledge of the needs and priorities of official language minority community members in the area of justice.
Here are some of the meetings and consultations with Communities in which Coordinators 41 took part:
- Attendance at the meeting of the members of the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba (AJEFM) on March 2, 2013. Various scenarios for the future of the AJEFM were presented and discussed. The mandate of the AJEFM can basically be divided into three categories: member/jurist services, community services and claims/access to justice.
- Attendance at the Annual Justice Sector Francophone Stakeholders’ Meeting of Ontario in Toronto on February 21-22, 2013. This forum allowed managers in the justice sector and French-speaking stakeholders to continue the work begun in Phase 2 of Ontario’s Community Strategic Plan entitled Evolution of French Language Services in Ontario’s Justice Sector. This consultation process was key in gaining a better understanding of the needs of Ontario’s French-speaking community and reinforcing collaboration between the partners.
Finally, the Department’s Office of the Francophonie, Justice in Official Languages and Legal Dualism keeps abreast of the needs of the various Communities by reading the strategic plans, general development plans and annual reports of the many organizations that represent these Communities.
(coordination and liaison)
2. Did your institution collaborate with other federal institutions as part of a program, project or other initiative aimed at the development of official-language minority communities (OLMCs) or the promotion of English and French in Canadian society? Describe this collaboration or partnership. Who were your partners and what are the tangible results for OLMC development or the recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society ?
The Department maintains ties with certain federal institutions and works with many partners, and as a result is able to participate in activities that promote access to justice in both official languages. The Department takes part in interdepartmental forums such as the Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on Official Languages, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Steering Committee, and the Federal Councils’ Official Languages Committee, to name but a few.
For example, two collaboration activities worthy of mention have an impact on official language minority communities (Communities): the Department’s participation in the Network of Stakeholders Working in the Field of Justice and Security (Justice and Security Network), and in the renewal of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities.
Justice and Security Network
The Department takes part in the meetings and activities of the Justice and Security Network, a group of federal institutions working in the area of justice and security. For example, the Department’s Research and Statistics Division has worked closely with Canada’s Department of Public Safety on research in the area of official languages.
The Network benefits from the collaboration and dialogue between federal institutions working in the area of justice and security. The Department supports the members of the Network in the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act.
The Department affirms its leadership in the implementation of section 41 of the OLA by encouraging the sharing of the knowledge, networks and resources between the members of the Network.
Renewal of the 2013-2018 Roadmap
The Department played an active part in the renewal of the 2013-2018 Roadmap by working with the Department of Canadian Heritage. By developing a vision for the 2013-2018 Roadmap that is centered on justice services for Canadians in both official languages, the Department of Justice aligns its efforts with its strategic outcome of “providing a fair, relevant and accessible justice system that reflects Canadian values”.
3. Did your institution collaborate with other stakeholders (municipalities, provinces, territories, private sector) as part of a program, project or other initiative aimed at the development of OLMCs or the promotion of English and French in Canadian society? Describe this collaboration or partnership. Who were your partners and what are the results for OLMC development or the recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society?
Through consultation mechanisms such as the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Access to Justice in Both Official Languages, and through the Support Fund, the Department collaborates with the provinces and territories to implement development projects and initiatives for official language minority communities (Communities) and promote English and French in Canadian society.
In the last year, the Department has maintained partnerships and collaborations with officials in charge of the judicial system and those responsible for Francophone affairs in the provinces and territories. These collaborations permit, for example, the exchange of best practices on ways to obtain more training for stakeholders in the legal system and to secure financial support.
Through networking activities and collaborations, the Department was able to advance certain files, participate in discussions, and develop region-specific projects. Here are three examples of these collaborations:
Conseil de la magistrature du Québec
In order to offer litigants equal access to the courts in both official languages, the Department and the Ministère de la Justice du Québec, in collaboration with the Conseil de la magistrature du Québec, entered into a $90,000 funding agreement for the year 2012-2013 to increase the quality of services available to English-speaking litigants in Quebec.
The Conseil implemented a training program for judges centered on the pedagogical and professional aspects of the judicial function. The Conseil makes sure that there are judges in every region of Quebec who are able to preside over a trial in English, so that English-speaking litigants may exercise their right to a trial before a judge who speaks English where this right applies, especially in criminal cases.
The project supported by the Department offers courses in legal English to Québec judges, justices, magistrates and municipal court judges who preside over criminal cases and have an intermediate knowledge of English. The project helps increase the availability in every Quebec region of judges able to preside over a trial in English, so that litigants may exercise their right to a trial before a judge who speaks their official language where required by law. This project promotes the fair administration of justice, which consequently is beneficial for the entire population.
Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario
The Department works closely with the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. This relationship leads to a better understanding of the workings of Ontario’s justice system and the priorities of the provincial government, notably as related to the needs and issues of the judiciary and of justice administration stakeholders with regards to the language provisions of the Criminal Code and to access to justice in both official languages.
Through a multi-year contribution agreement totalling more than $1,023,500 between the Department and Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, the Department maintains its support for the activities of the French Language Institute for Professional Development (FLIPD). This four-year project, which began in 2009-2010, provides a one-week training session each year on French legal terminology to jurists who speak French but do not yet have the confidence and the vocabulary needed to provide services in French at an advanced level to their clients. The target audience includes Crown prosecutors, support staff, justices of the peace, duty counsel, the police as well as certain social agencies that deal with victims and family law issues. A majority of participants must come from Ontario; however, a number of prosecutors from other provinces are also accepted into the program. In addition, the project must help educate participants about language rights issues and current jurisprudence in this area. This project helps provinces meet the language provisions of the Criminal Code and to increase access to justice in both official languages.
This training session is offered three times a year and engages participants in mock trials. The trials are organized around themes such as abuse, family violence, sexual assault or harassment. These exercises expose participants to issues relating to victims and family violence. Participants are also called upon to play a variety of roles: judge, prosecutor, juror, witness, secretary, stenographer, interpreter, and attorney.
It is important to highlight the scope of this project, if only by mentioning its wide array of partners. This is a collaboration between several stakeholders, in particular organizations that work with French-speaking communities in the areas of family violence, victims, elder abuse, etc. Also included are organizations mandated to promote access to justice in both official languages, provincial departments, experienced moderators, as well as Francophone school boards.
The sessions are given in several regions of the province, including North (Sudbury), South/Central (Toronto or Windsor), and East (Ottawa).
The Working Group on the Enhancement of French Language Services in Manitoba’s Justice System
The Department is taking an active part in the meetings organized by the Working Group on the Enhancement of French Language Services in Manitoba. The Working Group was created to advise the Government of Manitoba on ways to improve access to French language services in Manitoba’s justice system. The Working Group has existed since the mid-1990s. It is made up of representatives from the Manitoba Department of Justice, the French-speaking community of Manitoba, the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba, the Department, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The Working Group allows us to contribute to the discussions aimed at improving access to the province’s justice services for Canadians. The close collaboration between the different stakeholders is a precedent worthy of mention.
4. Within your institution, are there programs or initiatives of particular interest to OLMCs? Describe these programs or initiatives and explain their impacts on OLMC development and the promotion of official languages in Canadian society.
Created in 2003, the purpose of the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund (Support Fund) was to increase the capacity of stakeholders working in the justice sector to develop solutions and raise awareness of official language rights among both the legal community and the public at large; a “Training” component for justice stakeholders was added in 2008. Ten years later, the Department, via the Support Fund, continues to support its partners in increasing the capacity of the justice system to offer services to litigants in their own official language.
Today, the Support Fund benefits from an investment of $40 million until March 31, 2018. This envelope includes the renewal of the Training component, which helps intensify the training efforts aimed at improving the linguistic capacity of those already working in the justice system, as well as helps justice professionals offer better services to Canadian in their first official language.
Over the course of the next five years, from 2013 to 2018, the Department plans on pursuing its efforts by using the resources developed since 2003 to offer direct services to Canadians in the official language of their choice, and by developing innovative approaches such as justice-related information services, the increased use of new technologies, and training tools developed in collaboration with users to make sure they suit the needs of the justice system.
In order to improve the delivery of justice services directly to Canadians and to make a positive and concrete contribution to the improvement of access to justice in both official languages, the Department has developed a strategy based on two pillars: Information and Training.
The objective of the Information pillar is to make sure that Canadians have access to legal information through services, activities, tools and resources in the official language of their choice.
The objective of the Training pillar is to ensure that Canadians can concretely benefit from access to justice in official languages by providing training activities, tools and resources to help individuals working in the area of justice serve Canadians in the official language of their choice.
During the 2013-2018 period, the Support Fund will make a financial contribution to the projects and activities that are consistent with the federal strategy and specifically target the Training and Information pillars.
An important aspect of access to justice is to enable Canadians to obtain the information and assistance they need to help them prevent legal issues from arising, and to help them resolve such issues efficiently, affordably and fairly, either through informal resolution mechanisms or through the formal justice system. Access to justice is no longer an area reserved for lawyers and judges: it is first and foremost an issue of services to the population. More and more Canadians want to be informed about their rights and their interests when faced with a legal problem; this puts additional pressure on the justice system for legal information services that are simplified and easily available in both official languages.
Access to justice is an important issue for all Canadians. The hallmarks of a better access to justice is a system that can handle request for justice services in both official languages and the emergence of a legally-enabled citizenry that is aware of its rights and responsibilities’ as a potential legal problem arises. In order to improve, be more relevant and efficient, new service models in the area of justice have to be developed and implemented.
5. Did your institution provide funding for projects or activities organized by OLMC organizations or organizations dedicated to the promotion of English and/or French in Canadian society? Describe the most significant projects or activities and explain their impacts on OLMC development and the promotion of official languages in Canadian society.
The Department continues to provide financial support to the projects and activities of official language minority community (Communities) organizations as well as organizations devoted to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society. Here are some examples of supported projects:
Canada’s legal and jurilinguistic resource portal
The granting of funding to the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario (AJEFO) has enabled the development and implementation of a portal called Jurisource.ca. This project involved the creation of a web portal of legal and jurilinguistic resources for justice professionals working in Canada’s French-speaking minority communities. Jurisource.ca is presented in the form of a virtual library with a search engine, which contains thousands of resources, such as statutes, court decisions, studies, research, document templates, glossaries, etc. In addition, the portal offers a platform for collaboration and exchanges for distance learning. The portal offers a direct service to 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 therefore to consolidate these resources by improving access to information and tools, and thereby facilitate the administration of justice in both official languages. French-speaking jurists in various areas of law practice and study will have better access to resources to help them carry out their profession in French across Canada.
Jurisource.ca is mainly targeted towards Canada’s justice stakeholders, including jurists, language specialists, court officers, support staff and law students.
What sets this tool apart is that it is the first of its kind in French in Canada The tool was created and is directly fuelled by the legal community.
Resources are submitted by collaborators, including government departments, research centres, jurists and universities, who can manage their account via a secure access. The portal also helps collaborators disseminate their resources to a wider public.
This project is helping educate the legal community and Communities about their rights and about access to justice in both official languages issues. It helps to increase the capacity of the justice system and its stakeholders to offer justice-related services in both official languages.
Community Justice Centre
Funding has been provided to the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario to conduct a feasibility study on the implementation of a French-language Community Justice Centre.
The study investigates the feasibility of creating a Community Justice Centre in Ottawa to better meet the needs of the city’s French-speaking population as pertaining to justice-related issues.
This project is innovative because no other such centre currently exists in Ontario. A centre of this type would give Ottawa’s French-speaking minority community a place where it can have access to legal information and would increase the justice system’s capacity to offer direct services to the French-speaking minority and further educate citizens about their legal rights and obligations.
Above all, Ottawa’s French-speaking minority would be able to access legal information and better understand and face legal issues with more ease.
Ontario Justice Education Network
The Department has provided financial support to the Ontario Justice Education Network for education sessions on justice for French-speaking youth from at-risk communities, as well as for newcomers. This organizations, which serves a mostly English-speaking clientele, will offer sessions on the acquisition of skills, knowledge and attitude changes, and will include information on the right to a trial in French and on careers in justice that could be of interest to young people. The sessions help youth have a positive experience with the justice system and confront their misconceptions about the justice system.
The purpose of the project is to educate marginalized French-speaking youth about Canada’s justice system and to broaden the French-speaking professional networks that could collaborate with organizations serving youth.
The impact of the project is measured by an increased awareness within the legal community, and official language minority and majority communities of the rights and issues relating to access to justice in both official languages. The project is also aimed at developing an interest in its target clientele for careers in justice, and at improving social inclusion and legal ability to manage minor conflicts.
6. Does your institution provide forms of support other than funding to OLMC organizations or organizations dedicated to the promotion of English and/or French in Canadian society? Describe these types of support and explain the impacts for OLMC development and the promotion of official languages in Canadian society.
The Department maintains close ties with several partners and stakeholders in the judicial system. Here are some examples:
The Department maintains an ongoing collaboration with the Centre canadien de français juridique inc. and with chief provincial court judges. The Department works closely with these partners to develop training activities for stakeholders in order to make a positive and concrete contribution to the improvement of their ability to provide justice services in both official languages. The Department supports and encourages organizations in their efforts to incorporate components such as language acquisition, the development of tools and resources to maintain acquired knowledge, and broader use of new information technologies.
Role of Coordinators 41
The coordination of the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languagues Act (OLA) requires the efforts of many people within the Department. This has led to the creation of the Departmental Network of Coordinators for the Implementation of Section 41, or Network 41.
The Network is comprised of Coordinators 41 from regional offices and from the Department’s sectors and portfolios. Their mandate is to coordinate the implementation of section 41 within their program, sector or region. They also regularly take part in the activities organized by the associations of French-speaking jurists, i.e. the provincial organizations representing official language minority communities (Communities), and interdepartmental meetings in the regions.
The Department bolsters its commitment in the regions by recognizing the dynamic presence of Communities, especially through active participation in community events by Departmental Coordinators 41, and through the support it provides to these activities in the regions. The Department is thus better informed about the issues particular to French-speaking communities outside of Quebec and English-speaking communities inside of Quebec, and continues to support regional organizations by participating in various local activities.
The Justice in Official Languages newsletter
The Department publishes an electronic newsletter on the activities and initiatives originating both from the Department and from its partners working to improve justice services in both official languages. It is understood that this field is no longer reserved for lawyers and judges: justice is also an essential service sector for the Communities. Published three times a year and distributed to approximately 660 subscribers, the newsletter features various access to justice issues and highlights the inspiring practices that are pushing this issue forward in every province and territory.
Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Access to Justice in Official Languages
In addition to consulting representatives in the provinces and territories via the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Access to Justice in Official Languages, the Department acts as facilitator in order to bring together stakeholders and promote the development of new initiatives. Networking and ongoing dialogue with various government and non-government organizations facilitates the discussion on various issues and challenges.
Through its directions and its actions, this Working Group, which reports directly to the Committee of Deputy Ministers responsible for justice in the provinces and territories, helps promote better access to justice, especially in criminal matters. The Department of Justice and the other members of the Working Group share information on best practices and on the initiatives implemented in each jurisdiction, and bring issues regarding access to justice in both official languages to the attention of the Deputy Ministers. The Working Group is a key forum for discussion and consultation in this area.
7. If your institution had to highlight only one key initiative in relation to the development of OLMCs, which one would it be? What are the tangible impacts of this initiative on/in the communities? What do you think is the determining success factor for this initiative?
Provincial Court of New Brunswick
In cooperation with and with the financial support of the Department, the Provincial Court of New Brunswick has developed a national training program on legal French geared to the needs and realities of provincially-appointed judges. A multi-year funding totalling $588,104 has been allocated to help improve the ability of judges to preside over cases in French.
This project is divided into five components: an environmental scan of training programs available and of the needs of judges; a communication and coordination strategy; the development of a structure to ensure program continuity and the coordination and supervision of pilot projects; and the keeping of a registry of participants and what they have learned.
The pedagogical content of the training sessions is one of the main success factors of the project, because the Provincial Court of New Brunswick works with various stakeholders, including the University of Moncton and the CCFJ as well as French-speaking jurists and judges in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Quebec.
Training sessions are composed of two parts. The first part deals with the daily activities of provincially-appointed judges such as court appearances, pleas, sentencing, etc. The second part is centered on practice and is aimed at providing participants with as many opportunities as possible to “practice” in an environment that is as close as possible to a courtroom (mock trial).
In concrete terms, this project helps increase the capacity of the justice system and its stakeholders to offer justice services in both official languages. French-speaking people outside of Quebec will receive more legal services in their language and will therefore enjoy greater access to justice in both official languages.
8. If your institution had to highlight only one key initiative in relation to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society (do not confuse with obligations related to service to the public or language of work, e.g. bilingual Web site, language training for staff), which one would it be? What are the tangible results of this initiative in Canadian society? What do you think is the determining success factor for these initiatives?
Just a Click Away
Funding of $58,400 for fiscal year 2012-2013 has been granted to the BC Courthouse Library Society to support the expansion of its project Just a Click Away.
The purpose of this project is to provide information, support and training to organizations working in public legal education in both official languages. The project includes activities such as creating ties with French-speaking public legal education organizations, the development of French sections for the sharing of best practices online, and networking activities between language groups. In addition, the project leads to the development of additional resources to inform the target audience about the challenges of delivering public legal information to official language minority communities. The resources will promote the development of successful practices for both official language communities.
One of the factors for the project’s success is the use of technology to communicate and collaborate with official language minority communities (Communities). Through the use of technology, the Communities are better positioned to get involved in the learning and sharing of information, including public legal information in the official language of their choice, without regard to geographical boundaries. The project will also foster better collaboration between official language majority and minority organizations.
In concrete terms, the Just a Click Away project supports Communities because it helps to break isolation and it offers new opportunities to share, discuss and connect with other groups. Among other things, the project helps to make the justice system fairer and more accessible. It promotes a better understanding of the rights of linguistic minorities in Canada.
9. What key achievement with a regional impact (success stories or results on/in the community or on the promotion of English and French in Canadian society) does your institution want to highlight?
Multi-year funding (2011-2013) given to the community organization La Passerelle — Intégration et développement économique de Toronto (La Passerelle) for a project to raise awareness amongst young French-speaking immigrants and their mothers about the justice system and justice-related career opportunities has enabled the implementation of a project with a multiplier effect.
The impact of this project is already being felt in the regions. In 2012-2013, La Passerelle presented four of the eight scheduled workshops on topics related to criminal law, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and language rights. The workshops, which were held in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Winnipeg. The workshops attracted a lot of interest from the population and received major media coverage. Another workshop will soon be held in Fort McMurray.
One of the innovative aspects of the La Passerelle project consists of a training session on cultural skills to give justice system stakeholders the tools they need to serve immigrant clienteles. Other components of the project relate to the development of promotional activities, as well as a job fair on justice-related careers.
The job fair was held in Toronto around the theme “la Justice en français aussi pour s’intégrer ici”
Close to 200 French-speaking youth, most of them immigrants, attended this first job fair on justice-related careers, where they had an opportunity to exchange with some fifteen high-calibre exhibitors from the fields of education, public institutions and law enforcement agencies from Ontario and Canada. Young people thus had an opportunity to learn about future career opportunities available to them in the field of justice, and to consider an education path that would help the entire justice system benefit from an influx of individuals working in the area of justice, thus ensuring that citizens can be served in their official language of choice.
This project is characterized by a partnership that is more than profitable for the community, since it uses the synergy between the expertise in the legal field and the expertise of organizations specializing in immigrant integration. Indeed, the project was made possible by a close collaboration between three organizations: the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario (AJEFO), the Fédération des associations de juristes d’expression française de common law inc. (FAJEF) and the Réseau de femmes afro-canadiennes francophones (REFFAC).
Among the exhibitors taking part in this job fair were the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services of Ontario, Collège Boréal, la Cité collégiale, Reflet Salvéo, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the RCMP, Glendon College, Legal Aid Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police and OASIS Centre des femmes, as well as the four project partners mentioned above.
Ties were created between various community organizations and their Communities working towards a common goal around a shared vision, including that of educating young immigrants about the various career opportunities that exist in the field of justice in French in Ontario and across Canada.
The promotion of careers in justice with French-speaking immigrant youth required that the approach, the tools commonly available in French, and the communication approaches be adapted in order to reach the target population in an optimal manner. Thanks to the cultural skills training for partners, including the Association des jurists d’expression française (AJEF) and the FAJEF, the justice stakeholders concerned are now trained and better equipped to consider and include the Francophone cultural diversity efficiently in their strategies to improve access to justice in French for Francophone minority communities Communities.
Young participants received key information to help them make choices that could translate into an increased number of immigrants among French-speaking justice professionals in future. Thanks to this project, Ontario now has a young French-speaking immigrant community that is better equipped in terms of access to justice and careers in justice.
The job fair also enabled these young participants to understand the importance of bilingualism in Canada, which is an asset for them.
Many articles were published about the job fair in Ontario’s French community media. For instance in the April 8, 2013 issue of l’Express, a greater Toronto French weekly, a page was devoted to the success of the job fair.
Clearly bounded and delineated, this project is guided by the vision of a French-speaking immigrant population in French-speaking minority communities for which access to justice and access to careers in justice become areas that are incorporated into their efforts to integrate and participate fully in their new society. This project is but a modest piece of a long-term vision, one that can be followed by other contributions in the future.
- Date modified: