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News Release - Manitoba

March 20, 2024

On International Day Of The Francophonie, Manitoba Government Takes Action To Support French-Language Services

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The Manitoba Government is pleased to recognize the francophone community by proclaiming March 20 as the International Day of the Francophonie, while also making investments to improve French-language justice and municipal services, announced Sport, Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Glen Simard, minister responsible for francophone affairs. 

“Francophones in Manitoba have a right to access government services in their language,” said Simard. “Our government is taking real action to strengthen French-language services in Manitoba so more people are able to navigate municipal services and attend court services in French.”  

As part of the province’s improvements to services in French, the Court of King’s Bench and the Provincial Court of Manitoba have been working with the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba (AJEFM) to enhance access to justice for French-speaking Manitobans, noted Simard. 

“Access to justice services in French in Manitoba is of paramount importance,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Matt Wiebe. “Our government recognizes the founding role of the francophone community in our province and we are committed to protecting their rights and to improving access to justice services in French.” 

The Manitoba government is making the following improvements to French legal services:

  • the provincial Family Resolution Service will be creating a new bilingual service hub in St. Boniface to meet the needs of families and survivors of intimate partner and family violence;
  • the Court of King’s Bench is making available a roster of bilingual King’s Bench judges and will be enhancing the availability of French-language services for small claims matters;
  • the provincial court is expanding French-language training to support the French competency of provincial court judges;
  • a new French working group with bilingual judges and judicial justices of the peace will ensure matters across the province requiring French-language services are dealt with in a timely manner; and
  • a standalone French Highway Traffic Act docket and a new French-language system for payment of fines under the Provincial Offences Act will be available at the provincial courthouse in St. Boniface. 

The provincial government is also taking important steps to enhance services for bilingual municipalities, noted Simard, with legislative changes that will support the development and capacity of bilingual service delivery. The association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (AMBM) has unanimously voted to adopt the Municipal Maturity Model (3M) to enhance support for the delivery of municipal service in both official languages, English and French. 

“This announcement marks the beginning of a new era for the AMBM,” said Ivan Normandeau, president of AMBM and reeve of the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie. “The concerted renewal of our members' commitment to our francophone and bilingual communities gives new impetus to the delivery of municipal services in both official languages in Manitoba. On behalf of Manitoba’s bilingual municipalities, I sincerely thank the Manitoba government for approving the Municipal Maturity Model (3M).” 

The province has provided $80,000 to AMBM to hire an officer to support the implementation and capacity of the model and to ensure accountability by participating municipalities. This will be in addition to enhanced funding for municipal initiatives under the 2023-2028 Canada-Manitoba Agreement on French-Language Services. 

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