CANADIAN ETHNIC MEDIA ASSOCIATION

Voices of Canada

Charter of Rights in 5 Languages — but South Asia Not Represented… Yet!

January 26, 2015

By Zuhair Kashmeri

CEMAWebmaster and Editor

SailorJones Media has launched an interactive website inthe German, Italian and Chinese languages for The Fundamental Freedoms Project athttp://www.charterofrights.ca/ and http://www.chartesdesdroits.ca/.

It launched the English and French sites in June 2006. The six additional languages planned for production include: Spanish, Inukitut, Cree, Polish, Portuguese and Punjabi.

Although Punjabi is a South Asian language, missing in the list are Hindi and Urdu, the two predominant languages from South Asia, which is now the No. 1 source of immigrants to Canada. One would have thought that these two languages would have taken priority over the two European languages in the current launch, given that immigration from the European Union countries to Canada has virtually dried up!

This mix-up in priorities is important given the goal of the website as described by SailorJones:

The Charter can be a complicated document to understand, especially for new Canadians with English as a second language, said Executive Producer, Barbara Jones. “Making our Website available in multiple languages is important for various ethno cultural communities across Canada…its about bringing the Charter to as many language groups and cultures as possible.

The German, Italian and Chinese sites feature:

Close to one hour of streaming video interviews, with more than40 minutes of compelling audio voiced in five languages.

Zoomable images of the Charter in over 20 languages.

Designed for the visually and hearing impaired.

Extensive links to other human rights resources.

Extensive explanations of Canadian rights related legal cases.

SailorJones Media is a Toronto-based television and new media production and consulting firm, specializingin program development and content design for the interactive television marketplace.

Development and production of The Fundamental Freedoms Project is supported by the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation and Telefilm. Broadcaster support for the Web sites has been received from Access Alberta, APTN, BookTV, Canadian Learning Television, channel m, CHEX, CKWS.

The documentary FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS can be seen on OMNI, Access Alberta, APTN, BookTV, Canadian Learning Television, channel m, CHEX, CKWS, Knowledge Network, and SCN.