Constitutionnalite De Dispositions Conferant Un Statut, Des Privileges et Des Droits a Une Langue Minoritaire: Le Cas Singulier Du Nunavut et De Sa Loi Sur la Protection De la Langue Inuit

By Robinson, Julie; Power, Mark C. | McGill Law Journal, March 2013 | Go to article overview

Constitutionnalite De Dispositions Conferant Un Statut, Des Privileges et Des Droits a Une Langue Minoritaire: Le Cas Singulier Du Nunavut et De Sa Loi Sur la Protection De la Langue Inuit


Robinson, Julie, Power, Mark C., McGill Law Journal


The Inuit Language Protection Act (ILPA) is a recent Nunavut statute. The only one of its kind in Canada, it is even more ambitions than Quebec's Charter of the French Language. A controversial statute, some question whether the legislator has exceeded its competence in adopting certain of its provisions. Indeed, section 3 of the ILPA aims to require federal departments, agencies, or institutions operating in Nunavut to provide public services and to display signs in the Inuit language, even when these organizations are acting within an area of federal legislative competence. Sections 29, 30, and 34 of the ILPA provide for the mandatory preparation of an Inuit Language Plan, detailing how an organization will comply with the legislation. The languages commissioner, who possesses broad powers of investigation in order to ensure compliance with the legislation. must approve this plan. At first glance, these sections seem to contradict the established rule that a government can legislate with respect to language provided that this legislation is ancillary to its own areas of competence. This rule derives from certain particularities of the Constitution Act, 1867. However, further analysis leads to the conclusion that this conceptual framework does not apply to Nunavut. The latter holds the power to require, on its territory, the use of the Inuit language by federal departments, agencies, and institutions.

La Loi sur la protection de la langue inuit (LPLI) est une loi recente du Nunavut. Unique en son genre au Canada, elle est plus ambitieuse encore que la Charte de la langue francaise du Quebec. Loi controversee, certains se demandent si le legislateur n'aurait pas outrepasse ses pouvoirs en adoptant certaines de ses dispositions. En effet, l'article 3 de la LPLI pretend obliger les ministeres, organismes ou institutions du gouvernement federal operant au Nunavut a fournir leurs services destines au public et a afficher leurs panneaux en langue inuit, alors meme que ces organisations agissent a l'interieur d'un champ de competence federale. Les articles 29, 30 et 34 de la LPLI rendent obligatoire la preparation d'un plan d'action pour la langue inuit precisant la maniere dont une organisation entend respecter la loi. Ce plan doit etre approuve par le commissaire aux langues, qui dispose d'un important pouvoir d'enquete relativement au respect de la loi. Au premier abord, ces dispositions semblent contredire la regle aujourd'hui acceptee selon laquelle un ordre de gouvernement peut legiferer en matiere de langue dans la mesure oU il le fait de maniere accessoire a un champ de competence qui lui est propre. Cette norme tire sa force de certaines particularites de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1867. Toutefois, apres analyse, il appert que ce cadre conceptuel ne s'applique pas au Nunavut. Ce dernier detient bel et bien le pouvoir d'imposer sur son territoire l'utilisation de la langue inuit aux ministeres, organismes et institutions du gouvernement federal.

Introduction

I.    Mise en contexte

      A. Bref historique des lois linguistiques au Nunavut
      B. Survol de 1,7 LPLI
      C. L'article 3 de la LPLI et les obligations des
      <>

II.   Le pouvoir de legiferer par rapport a la langue
      A. La concepatualisation traditionnelle du pouvoir
      de legiferer par rappozt a la langue
         1. Le partage des competences en vertu de la
         Loi constitutionnelle de 1867
         2. Le cas des municipalites
     B. Le cas du Nunavut : pourquoi le cadre conceptuel
        traditionnel (hz pouvoir de legiferer en matiere de
        langue comme etant accessoire a un champ de
        competence ne s'y applique pas

III  Interpretation des dispositions pertinentes de la LPLI
     A. Principes d'interpretation
     B. Anlyse de la LPLI a l'aide des principes
     d'interpretation legislative
     C. Analyse des textes conferant certains pouvoirs au
     Nunavut
         1. La Loi sur le Nunavut
         2. … 

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Constitutionnalite De Dispositions Conferant Un Statut, Des Privileges et Des Droits a Une Langue Minoritaire: Le Cas Singulier Du Nunavut et De Sa Loi Sur la Protection De la Langue Inuit
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