Court Challenges Program Official Language Rights Expert Panel – Appointment opportunity

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Positions are to be filled within the Official Language Rights Expert Panel of the Court Challenges Program (CCP) for mandates of two to four years.

A pool of qualified candidates will be established and may be used for future appointment opportunities.

Court Challenges Program

On February 7, 2017, the modernized CCP was reinstated and on January 14, 2019, it became operational and a call for funding applications was issued.

The objective of the CCP is to provide individuals and groups in Canada with financial support to bring cases of national significance related to constitutional and quasi-constitutional official language rights and human rights before the courts. The Government of Canada has allocated an annual investment of $5 million for the CCP. Each year, a minimum of $1.5 million will be dedicated to the clarification of official language rights. The remainder will be dedicated to the clarification of human rights guaranteed under the Constitution, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as official language rights.

Previous iterations of the CCP played a significant role in major court challenges and were instrumental in helping groups and individuals to clarify and assert official language and equality rights guaranteed under Canada’s Constitution.

With the modernized Program, the government expands the scope of eligible rights to sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms relating to fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, life, liberty and security of the person and most of the language rights guaranteed under the Official Languages Act.

The CCP is implemented and administered by the University of Ottawa. This program is operated independently from the federal government. With the support of the University of Ottawa, funding decisions are made by two independent expert panels – The Official Language Rights Expert Panel and the Human Rights Expert Panel. These panels are composed of seven members and are tasked with assessing funding applications for court cases of national importance and allocating resources accordingly.

For more details on the CCP, including details on eligibility criteria and the terms of funding, please visit the CCP web site.


Expert panel members do not receive a salary. However, they are entitled to reimbursement of reasonable travel and accommodation expenses in accordance with the Treasury Board Directive. They are also entitled to an attendance allowance of a maximum of $300 per day during the period in which the panel meets.

In accordance with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s advice to avoid all non-essential travel, it is not expected that travel will resume until it is safe to do so.

Official languages and diversity

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that its appointments take into consideration the desire to achieve gender parity and reflect Canada’s diversity, in terms of linguistic, regional and employment equity representation.

The Government will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing candidates. You are therefore required to include in your application your ability to speak, write and understand your second official language.

Preference may be given to candidates who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, people with diverse sexual orientations and/or gender identities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of racialized communities, and members of official language minority communities.

You can voluntarily indicate, in your cover letter, if you are a member of one or more of the groups identified above. It is not mandatory to provide this information.

Language requirements

Proficiency in both official languages is required.

It is mandatory to provide this information in your cover letter.

Selection criteria

To be considered, your cover letter must clearly demonstrate, with concrete examples, how you meet the following criteria:

Education and Experience

  • A degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study or an acceptable combination of education, job-related training and/or experience;
  • A high level of expertise in the areas of official language rights, both constitutional and pursuant to the Official Languages Act;
  • Experience working or volunteering with organizations working in areas affecting official language minority communities.

If you are selected for an interview, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • A high degree of knowledge in the areas of official language rights in Canada, both constitutional and pursuant to the Official Languages Act;
  • Knowledge of the systemic barriers and issues affecting official language minority communities, including knowledge of the groups seeking to advance rights under the Official Languages Act.
  • Knowledge of the structure and workings of the justice/court system in Canada;
  • Ability to examine, rank and select potential cases for funding that are significant and have the potential to clarify constitutional rights;
  • Ability to engage in strategic discussions and facilitate consensus among Expert Panel members and between panels;
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following personal attributes:

Personal Attributes

  • Strategic thinking and sound judgment;
  • High ethical standards and integrity;
  • Superior leadership and interpersonal skills.

Eligibility factors and conditions of appointment

In your application, it will be important that you demonstrate that you meet the following requirements:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • be available to serve a minimum of two years and until a replacement has been designated;
  • commit to meet in person an average of 4 times per year (conditions permitting); and
  • commit to attend additional meetings by teleconference, if needed.

Before being appointed, you must demonstrate that you have no conflict of interest related to the position and you must complete a declaration of interests to that effect.

How to submit your application

Review of applications will begin on April 16th, 2021. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. Applications must include the following information:

  • a cover letter (3000 words maximum) where you explain how you meet the selection criteria in terms of your education and experience;
  • your resume; and
  • the names of two references and their contact information.

All documents can be submitted in English or French.

Send your application by email to:

Address your cover letter to:

Danielle Labbé
Human Rights Program
Department of Canadian Heritage


Information sent by email is not protected. Avoid including sensitive personal information such as your social insurance number and date of birth in your application.

Privacy Notice Statement

The personal information you provide is collected for ministerial appointment purposes. This information may also be used to establish a pool of qualified candidates and for statistical reporting on diversity and employment equity. The information is collected under the authority of paragraph 4(2)(d) of the Department of Canadian Heritage Act and uses of this personal information is described in Standard Personal Information Bank PSU – Members of Boards, Committees and Councils.

Your personal information is protected under the provisions of the federal Privacy Act. Under this Act, you have the right to access your personal information and request changes to incorrect information. If you wish to avail yourself of this right or require clarification about this Privacy Notice Statement, contact the Director of Access to Information and Privacy, Canadian Heritage by email at:

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