Culture Official Languages

Reinstate the Court Challenges Program of Canada.

Liberal Platform Page 58 October 5, 2015
Feb 2019

Court Challenges Program

Government News Release February 05, 2019

The Department of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, has reinstated and modernized the Court Challenges Program. The objective of the Program is to provide individuals and groups in Canada with financial support to bring cases of national significance related to constitutional and quasi-constitutional official language rights and human rights before the courts.

The new Program is implemented and administered by the University of Ottawa, an organization independent of the Government. Funding decisions are made by two independent expert panels.

Here is a link to the website of the reinstated Court Challenges Program of Canada.

Sep 2017

Government of Canada Takes Next Steps Toward Implementing the Reinstated and Modernized Court Challenges Program

Government News Release September 01, 2017

The Government is committed to safeguarding Canada's official languages and human rights. As part of her commitment to implement a modernized Court Challenges Program (CCP), the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced today the composition of the Expert Panel Selection Committee and the institution that will administer the Program.

The new CCP, announced in February 2017, will work to advance the rights and freedoms of all Canadians by providing financial support for the litigation of test cases of national significance in the realm of official language rights and human rights in Canada.

Minister Joly unveiled the five-member Selection Committee that will recommend a pool of qualified candidates for the CCP’s two Expert Panels on human rights and official language rights. [...] An announcement of the opening of the application process for the two Expert Panels will follow.

Feb 2017

Liberals restore, expand court challenges program to include more rights

Toronto Star February 07, 2017

The Liberal government is restoring and modernizing a program that gives financial support to those mounting expensive legal battles to clarify and protect their language and equality rights in court.

The program was established in 1978 and has played an instrumental role in many major constitutional challenges, including the fight for same-sex marriage, before it was abolished by the previous Conservative government shortly after coming to power.

The new program is slated to be up and running by the fall.

Sep 2016

Report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights

Report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights September 19, 2016

The Committee recommends enshrining the Court Challenges Program in legislation in order to enhance its sustainability and to ensure that any government seeking its cancellation would require the approval of Parliament.

Recognizing that the government is currently conducting consultations on the restoration of the Court Challenges Program and considering the time needed to enact legislation, the Committee recommends that the government immediately restore the Court Challenges Program through policy until such legislation can be brought into force.