Access to justice in both official languages must be strengthened

OTTAWA– On the heels of a study by Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages on the bilingualism of Superior Courts, NDP Official Languages critic Yvon Godin (Acadie-Bathurst) criticized the minister of justice for inaction. 

The Commissioner points out that obstacles to justice in both official languages have been known for some time, but despite several interventions on this front, progress appointing bilingual judges has stalled.

“For many Canadians, access to justice continues to be a challenge, and for members of minority-language communities, language remains one of several barriers. The Commissioner’s findings show that work remains to be done to ensure that a sufficient number of bilingual Superior Court judges are appointed. But with a bit of leadership in this area, the government could establish positive and lasting changes to our justice system,” said Godin.

Access to justice in both official languages has been a longstanding priority for the NDP. The party recently tabled a bill requiring Supreme Court judges to be bilingual, set to be debated in Parliament in the coming months.