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The University of Ottawa to manage the new Language Rights Support Program

OTTAWA, September 9, 2009  —  The University of Ottawa has been named the managing institution for the new Language Rights Support Program (LRSP). The Minister of Canadian Heritage, James Moore, made the announcement this morning.

“The University of Ottawa is thrilled to be the institution chosen to implement the Language Rights Support Program,” says uOttawa President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Rock. “Thanks to the tremendous collaboration between the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute and the Faculty of Law, this initiative fits squarely within our University’s mission of linguistic duality and strengthens even more our University’s leadership role by integrating a key program that supports linguistic rights for Canadian official-language minority communities. Furthermore, the national mandate of this program is a testament of our place as Canada’s university.”

The University of Ottawa offers a number of advantages in fulfilling this national mandate it has been entrusted with: its Faculty of Law is the only one in Canada to offer dual legal training in civil law and common law in both French and English; the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), created in 2007, specializes in training, research and policies related to official languages. In addition, the University has internationally recognized expertise in the area of Canadian official-language minority communities. The arrival of the program on campus will create new synergies that will generate a wide variety of teaching and research activities and contribute to the advancement and understanding of linguistic rights.

By late fall 2009, the University of Ottawa will begin implementing the Program. With an annual budget of $1.5 million, the program will have three components: Information and Promotion, Alternative Dispute Resolution—two components that did not exist in the previous Court Challenges Program—as well as Legal Remedies.

With the addition of these two new components, the program offers ways to actually prevent conflicts and not only resolve them. It offers access to a dispute resolution process to settle disputes out of court. Specific activities are such as annual conferences and roundtable forums will be organized to promote awareness of language rights through public education.

Although the University is responsible for the logistics of the programs, it will follow internal procedures ensuring its independence in decision making.

For more information on this new independent program, visit the OLBI and Faculty of Law website.

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