Wed, 25 May 2022

April 25, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Justice Canada

Divorce is a reality for many Canadians, and ensuring that Canada's family justice system can effectively respond to the needs of families in these situations is critical. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba are taking steps to make Canada's family justice system more efficient and accessible.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Minister of Families, Accessibility and Francophone Affairs of Manitoba announced over $1.6 million in funding to support the Province of Manitoba towards the implementation of the official language rights provision of the Divorce Act that came into force in Manitoba on March 1, 2021.

This will ensure that families experiencing divorce have access to court proceedings in the official language of their choice. Funds will be used to enhance the availability of family justice services in both official languages to assist parties in coming to agreements where possible, and support hearings by increasing the French-language capacity of the courts. They will also contribute to Manitoba's new Family Law Modernization French Language Service Plan.

Changes to the Divorce Act that came into force on March 1, 2021,promote children's best interests, encourage out-of-court methods of dispute resolution, address family violence, reduce child poverty and make Canada's family justice system more affordable. They also provide a framework for using either English or French, or both, in divorce proceedings, and allow the parties to submit their legal documents in either official language, be heard by a judge who speaks their official language, request interpretation, and have access to forms in both official languages. The funding announced today will help Manitoba implement the new requirements that result from these important reforms to the Divorce Act.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with provincial and territorial partners to make Canada's family justice system fairer, more accessible, and more efficient.

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