Funding Restored for Court Challenges Language Rights Programs

In 2 previous posts (see here and here) I discussed the application of Gilles Caron for an interim costs order to fund his language rights claim against the Alberta government. This application was required in large part because of the cancellation of the Court Challenges Program (CCP) by the Harper government in 2006. In a recent development described in an excellent post by Shelagh Day on the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) has settled its claim against the federal government for the cancellation of the CCP. Part of the settlement agreement includes the reinstatement of funding for minority language rights litigation. However, in spite of the fact that the FCFA’s claim was to restore funding for both the language rights and equality rights components of the CCP, the government only restored funding to the former. The FCFA’s victory is welcome, and may permit claims like that of Caron to proceed in the future without interim costs applications. However, there is a huge gap left by the continued inability of equality rights claimants to seek funding for their litigation. Will it take a costly lawsuit on the equality rights side to see funding restored?


About Jennifer Koshan

B.Sc., LL.B (Calgary), LL.M. (British Columbia). Professor. Member of the Alberta Bar. Please click here for more information.
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