Professor Pierre Foucher has been awarded the prestigious Ordre des Francophones d'Amérique by the Conseil supérieur de la langue française for his contributions to the preservation of the French language in North America. He has been selected as the 2017 representative for Ontario.
Few individuals have contributed as much to the advancement of language rights for Francophones living in minority communities in Ontario, and Canada, as Professor Foucher. His research portfolio is diverse and characterized by innovation. He has authored more than fifty articles and book chapters, and has authored, co-authored or edited nine books on language rights. He was the first researcher to study the scope and application of section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees Francophone minority communities the right to education in their language; and he wrote the first major text on Article 20 of the Charter, exploring the right to receive government services in French or in English in Canada. His works are routinely cited by trial courts, and even served as inspiration to the framers of the Official Languages Act of Canada. There is little doubt that Professor Foucher’s research and public interventions will continue to have an impact on our developing understanding of language rights, their inclusion in our constitutional dynamics and their relationship to culture.
The Ordre des Francophones d'Amérique is given out annually to recognize the merits of individuals who have devoted themselves to preserving and developing both the French language and French life on the American continent. As many as seven new members may be inducted into the Order in any given year, including two for Quebec and five for the Atlantic provinces, Ontario, Western Canada, the Americas and other continents.
Congratulations to Professor Foucher on this wonderful recognition!