Ontario Improving Access to Justice in French at Sudbury Courthouses
Province Taking Action to Ensure Francophones Have Access to High-Quality Government Services in French in Northern Ontario
SUDBURY — Today, Attorney General and Minister of Francophone Affairs Caroline Mulroney announced a new initiative that advances Ontario's commitment to improving front-line services in French and enhancing access to justice in French.
Ontario's government is partnering with the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice at Sudbury's courthouses to identify more opportunities to deliver enhancements to Franco-Ontarians accessing court services and court proceedings heard in French. The initiative works to make tangible and positive changes that will benefit the 1.5 million people who speak French in Ontario.
The collaboration with the judiciary, justice partners, stakeholders and the Attorney General's Access to Justice in French Advisory Committee will enhance access to justice by offering more French-language justice services and supports.
"Our government is committed to working with Ontario's Francophonie and its partners to advance the delivery of French-language services across our province," said Mulroney. "To support the growth and development of Fancophone communities, this initiative aligns with our ongoing commitment to protect and build on gains and progress that have been achieved by Franco-Ontarians."
"This plan builds on the important and successful work that was piloted and eventually implemented in Ottawa," said the Honourable Heather J. Smith, Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. "The Superior Court is pleased to partner with the Ontario government to ensure accessible and appropriate justice services for the Francophone community in Sudbury and the North."
"This project is another important step in implementing the Access to Justice in French report by providing timely and seamless French-language services in Sudbury," said the Honourable Lise Maisonneuve, Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice. "The Ontario Court of Justice is committed to continue to work collaboratively with the ministry and all courts to improve access to justice in French across the province by building on what was learned in Ottawa and now Sudbury."
"AJEFO looks forward to the launch of this plan at the Sudbury courthouse. As reflected in the results of the project in Ottawa, we hope this initiative will boost the active offer of French services and advance access to justice in French. We will continue to support this project through the services delivered by the Ontario Legal Information Centre," said Nadia Effendi, president of l'Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario (AJEFO).
Improving the delivery of French-language justice services province-wide helps to build a more inclusive, responsive and accessible justice system for all Ontarians.
- More than of 620,000 Francophones live in Ontario
- Sudbury is a designated area under both the French Language Services Act and the Courts of Justice Act. A designated area is where Francophones make up at least 10 per cent of the population.
- Between 2015 and 2017 the ministry carried out a pilot project at the Ottawa courthouse to provide timely and seamless access to justice in French. The majority of the pilot project initiatives were made permanent.