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Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta Minority Official Language Rights Legislation and Government Publications.

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Presentation on theme: "Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta Minority Official Language Rights Legislation and Government Publications."— Presentation transcript:

1 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta Minority Official Language Rights Legislation and Government Publications

2 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 2 Presentation Outline  Legal Structure: Overview  Source: Charter  Questions and answers  Case studies

3 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 3 Minority Official Language Rights Constitutional documents - Charter - Manitoba Act - Constitution Act Federal, provincial & municipal policies Federal, provincial & municipal language laws Official Languages Act, French Language Services Act

4 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 4 Federal Powers (s. 91) postal service criminal law military banking, money marriage/divorce some taxes railway etc... Provincial Powers (s. 92) ceremony of marriage property and civil rights in the province hospitals education municipal institutions some prisons etc… Constitution Act, 1867 Sections 91 and 92

5 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 5 Legal Structure Constitutional Legislation most permanent; enshrined; harder to change most permanent; enshrined; harder to change applies to four categories across Canada: 3 in federal domain, one in the provincial domain applies to four categories across Canada: 3 in federal domain, one in the provincial domain Federal Legislation topics listed in s.91 of CA 1867 topics listed in s.91 of CA 1867 Provincial Legislation only to topics listed in s.92 of CA 1867; contain some language rights; varies; s.93 only to topics listed in s.92 of CA 1867; contain some language rights; varies; s.93 Municipal Legislation varies varies

6 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 6 Legislation and Government Publications

7 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 7 Accessing Your Rights The issues: you need to read the law, access information about a law, get involved in the debate around a law Is it possible to do this in French? Is it possible to do this in French? If so, how? If so, how? If not, why not? Should it be? Is there something you can do about it? If not, why not? Should it be? Is there something you can do about it?

8 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 8 What was your past experience? What was your past experience?  Examples?  Which?  How did you go about it?  Any challenges?  The result?  Left with any questions?

9 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 9 Source - the Charter Stem from section 18: (1) The statutes, records and journals of Parliament shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative. (2) The statutes, records and journals of the legislature of New Brunswick shall be printed and published in English and French and both language versions are equally authoritative.

10 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 10 What does that mean? (cont’d) In the House of Commons and the Senate, and in New Brunswick, all journal, order papers, notices and minutes including Hansard are in both languages. In the House of Commons and the Senate, and in New Brunswick, all journal, order papers, notices and minutes including Hansard are in both languages. Both language versions are of equal authority/validity. Both language versions are of equal authority/validity.

11 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 11 House of Commons (example)

12 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 12 Senate (example)

13 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 13 What does that mean? All federal laws and regulations exist in both languages All federal laws and regulations exist in both languages Accessible in either language at: Accessible in either language at: In all original versions, both languages appear side by side. In all original versions, both languages appear side by side. In addition, in New Brunswick, all provincial laws and regulations also exist in both languages. In addition, in New Brunswick, all provincial laws and regulations also exist in both languages.

14 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 14 Hansard (example - French)

15 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 15 Hansard (example)

16 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 16 New Brunswick (examples)

17 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 17

18 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 18 What does that mean? (cont’d) Some provinces, although not listed as bilingual in the Charter, Have bilingual requirements stemming from earlier constitutional documents, such as the document that brought them into the Canadian federation (eg. Manitoba) OR Have bilingual requirements stemming from earlier constitutional documents, such as the document that brought them into the Canadian federation (eg. Manitoba) OR Might interpret their earlier constitutional documents as requiring bilingualism (NWT ) or not (AB) Might interpret their earlier constitutional documents as requiring bilingualism (NWT ) or not (AB)  All laws/regulations in both languages:  Manitoba;  Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.  Some laws in both languages:  Newfoundland and Nova Scotia  Alberta has one: Loi Linguistique

19 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 19 NWT

20 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 20 Ontario

21 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 21 What does that mean? (cont’d) Municipalities get their powers because provinces delegated powers to them under s.92. Municipalities:  in New Brunswick have in both languages;  in other provinces may not have in both languages;  cities that have Francophone or Acadian roots, such as Winnipeg and Ottawa, may have in both languages.

22 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 22 Winnipeg

23 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 23 How do you find out? governmental websites – “laws” section governmental websites – “laws” section local law libraries, e.g. courthouses, law schools local law libraries, e.g. courthouses, law schools online law libraries, e.g. CanLII online law libraries, e.g. CanLII public libraries public libraries

24 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 24 What does that mean? (cont’d) Written decisions in court cases not all have to provide in both languages not all have to provide in both languages Supreme Court of Canada and federal courts = yes Supreme Court of Canada and federal courts = yes New Brunswick courts = yes New Brunswick courts = yes courts in other jurisdictions = not necessarily courts in other jurisdictions = not necessarily if not in both languages = can be in either language if not in both languages = can be in either language

25 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 25 How do you find out? local law libraries, e.g. courthouses, law schools local law libraries, e.g. courthouses, law schools online law libraries, e.g. CanLII online law libraries, e.g. CanLII online courthouse databases online courthouse databases public libraries public libraries

26 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 26 SCC & Federal Courts (example)

27 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 27 New Brunswick (example)

28 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 28 Manitoba (example)

29 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 29 What does that mean? (cont’d) Information pertaining to law(s) Both Federal Federal New Brunswick New Brunswick Provides information in both languages. Other provinces, amount of information varies. Other provinces, amount of information varies. NWT and Nunavut have a lot of information. NWT and Nunavut have a lot of information.

30 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 30 Federal Government (examples)

31 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 31 What does that mean? (cont’d) Information pertaining to law(s) Non-governmental organizations public legal education organizations public legal education organizations Éducaloi, Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, CLEO, PLEIS- NB/SPEIJ-NB Éducaloi, Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, CLEO, PLEIS- NB/SPEIJ-NB

32 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 32 Questions?

33 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 33 Case Studies Chance to test what you have learned. Chance to test what you have learned. Divide into groups. Divide into groups. Examine fact patterns. Refer to handouts. Examine fact patterns. Refer to handouts. Discuss. Discuss. Do you think there is a constitutionally-protected right to legislation and/or government publications in the minority official language? Do you think there is a constitutionally-protected right to legislation and/or government publications in the minority official language? If so, how would you have it fulfilled? What is reasonable? What would you argue? If so, how would you have it fulfilled? What is reasonable? What would you argue? Report back in 10 minutes. Report back in 10 minutes.

34 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 34 Questions?

35 Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta 35 Thank you! For further information or training, contact us:


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