By Valérie Charbonneau
The University of Ottawa is proud to award the Canadian Francophonie Research Chair in Language Rights to Professor François Larocque of the Faculty of law, Common Law Section.
“For the very first time nationwide, a faculty of law has received a research chair in the Canadian francophonie,” says Larocque. “Until now, there has not been any chair on research into language rights and legal protection for cultural communities.”
Protecting French and Indigenous languages
Larocque and his team wish to make advances in research and influence thinking on legal protection of minority language communities and their institutions. Protecting French outside Quebec is of particular interest to them, as is preserving Indigenous languages.
“Ontario’s passing of a bill on official bilingualism at the City of Ottawa is a major victory for minorities. As well, there is a genuine concern on the part of the federal government to protect and ensure the vitality of Indigenous languages. Our research chair is particularly interested in the development and interpretation of constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential standards pertaining to the status and rights of French, English and Indigenous languages as well,” he says.
Larocque’s research deals with current language issues affecting the lives of Canadians. It helps to further knowledge in the area and guide the application of the law in the Canadian justice system.
“This new research chair is rooted in action and experience,” says Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, research. “The spin-offs of this chair and the cross-Canada collaboration it will benefit from will contribute to public debate on the protection of official languages and Indigenous languages before the courts and Senate committees. This will also further knowledge in this strategic research area for the University of Ottawa.”