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Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act (S.C. 2023, c. 15, s. 54)

Act current to 2024-05-14

Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act

S.C. 2023, c. 15, s. 54

Assented to 2023-06-20

An Act respecting the use of French in federally regulated private businesses in Quebec and in regions with a strong francophone presence

[Enacted by section 54 of chapter 15 of the Statutes of Canada, 2023, not in force.]
Preamble

Whereas nothing in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms limits the authority of Parliament to advance the equality of status or use of English and French;

Whereas the Government of Canada is committed to protecting and promoting the French language, recognizing that French is in a minority situation in Canada and North America due to the predominant use of English;

Whereas the Government of Canada recognizes the diversity of the provincial and territorial language regimes that contribute to the advancement of the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society;

Whereas consumers in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence should have the right to communicate in French with and obtain available services in French from federally regulated private businesses that carry on business in Quebec or the region;

And whereas employees of federally regulated private businesses who work in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence should have the right to work in French;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

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Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act.

Interpretation

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Marginal note:Definitions

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     (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.

    Board

    Board means the Canada Industrial Relations Board established by section 9 of the Canada Labour Code. (Conseil)

    Commissioner

    Commissioner means the Commissioner of Official Languages for Canada appointed under section 49 of the Official Languages Act. (commissaire)

    federally regulated private business

    federally regulated private business means a person that employs employees on or in connection with a federal work, undertaking or business as defined in section 2 of the Canada Labour Code but does not include

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      (a) a person that employs fewer employees than the number of employees specified in the regulations;

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      (b) a corporation that is incorporated to perform functions on behalf of the Government of Canada;

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      (c) a corporation that is subject to the Official Languages Act under another Act of Parliament; or

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      (d) a council, government, corporation or other entity that is authorized to act on behalf of an Indigenous group, community or people that holds rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. (entreprise privée de compétence fédérale)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of Canadian Heritage. (ministre)

    parties

    parties, in relation to a complaint made to the Commissioner, means the complainant, the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint and any other person added as a party to the complaint. (parties)

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    Marginal note:Board

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, the Board is considered to be composed only of the members described in paragraphs 9(2)(a), (b), (e) and (f) of the Canada Labour Code.

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Marginal note:Language rights

 For the purposes of this Act, language rights

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    (a) are to be given a large, liberal and purposive interpretation; and

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    (b) are to be interpreted in light of their remedial character.

Purpose

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Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to foster and protect the use of French in federally regulated private businesses in Quebec.

Non-application

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Marginal note:Broadcasting

 This Act does not apply in relation to a federally regulated private business in respect of activities or workplaces related to the broadcasting sector.

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Marginal note:Charter of the French language

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     (1) In relation to communications with or services provided to consumers in Quebec or in relation to workplaces in Quebec, Quebec’s Charter of the French language applies instead of this Act to a federally regulated private business if the federally regulated private business chooses to be subject to Quebec’s Charter of the French language.

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    Marginal note:Notice

    (2) A federally regulated private business must, in accordance with the regulations, give notice of the day on which it will become or cease to be subject to Quebec’s Charter of the French language.

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    Marginal note:Agreement with Quebec

    (3) The Minister may, on behalf of the Government of Canada and with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with the Government of Quebec for the purpose of giving effect to subsection (1).

Rights and Duties

Communications with and Services to Consumers

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Marginal note:Communications and services in French

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     (1) Consumers in Quebec have the right to communicate in French with and obtain available services in French from a federally regulated private business that carries on business in Quebec.

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    Marginal note:Duty

    (2) The federally regulated private business has the duty to ensure that consumers are able to exercise the rights set out in subsection (1).

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    Marginal note:For greater certainty

    (3) For greater certainty, the rights set out in subsection (1) do not preclude consumers from communicating with or obtaining services from the federally regulated private business in English or a language other than French if they wish to do so and the federally regulated private business is able to communicate or provide services in that language.

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Marginal note:Scope of duty

 The duty in respect of communications and services in French under section 7 applies in respect of oral and written communications and in respect of any documents or activities that relate to those communications or services.

Language of Work

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Marginal note:Language rights at work

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     (1) Employees of a federally regulated private business who occupy or are assigned to positions in a workplace in Quebec have the right to

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      (a) carry out their work and be supervised in French;

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      (b) receive all communications and documents from the federally regulated private business, including employment application forms, offers of employment, transfer or promotion, individual employment contracts, documents related to the conditions of employment, training documents produced for employees, notices of termination of employment, collective agreements and their schedules and grievances, in French; and

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      (c) use regularly and widely used work instruments and computer systems in French.

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    Marginal note:Continuation of right — former employees

    (1.1) An employee’s right set out in paragraph (1)(b) to receive communications and documents from a federally regulated private business in French continues after the employee ceases to be employed by the business.

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    Marginal note:Duty

    (2) The federally regulated private business has the duty to ensure that employees are able to exercise the rights set out in subsection (1) and that persons who were employees are able to exercise the right continued under subsection (1.1).

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    Marginal note:Duty — offer to fill a position

    (2.1) When a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec publishes in a language other than French an advertisement to fill a position — including through recruitment, hiring, transfer or promotion — that is assigned to one of those workplaces, the business must also publish the advertisement in French and ensure the simultaneous publication of both linguistic versions by means that are of the same nature and that reach a target public of a proportionally comparable size.

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    Marginal note:Communication in a language other than French

    (3) For greater certainty, the right set out in paragraph (1)(b) does not preclude communications and documents from also being in English or another language other than French but, in the case of widely distributed communications and any documents, the use of French must be at least equivalent to the use of the language other than French.

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    Marginal note:Individual employment contracts — contracts of adhesion

    (4) The right set out in paragraph (1)(b) does not preclude the federally regulated private business from entering into an individual employment contract that is a contract of adhesion with an employee exclusively in English or another language other than French, if the business and employee so agree and the business has already provided the contract to the employee in French.

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    Marginal note:Individual employment contracts — other

    (5) The right set out in paragraph (1)(b) does not preclude the federally regulated private business from entering into an individual employment contract — other than a contract of adhesion — with an employee exclusively in English or another language other than French, if the business and employee so agree.

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    Marginal note:Communications and documents

    (6) The right set out in paragraph (1)(b) does not preclude the federally regulated private business from providing to an employee communications and documents exclusively in English or another language other than French, if the business and employee so agree, even after the employee ceases to be employed by the business.

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Marginal note:Duty — arbitral awards

 A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec has the duty to ensure that an arbitral award that results from the arbitration of a grievance or dispute regarding the negotiation, renewal or review of a collective agreement respecting employees of the business who occupy or are assigned to positions in one of those workplaces

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    (a) is issued in French or, if it is issued in English or another language other than French, is translated into French without delay at the expense of the business and provided to the parties to the arbitration in both linguistic versions at the same time; and

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    (b) is translated into English or another language other than French as soon as feasible and at the expense of the business, if it was issued exclusively in French and a party to the arbitration requests a translation into the language other than French.

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Marginal note:Rights of trade unions

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     (1) A trade union that represents employees of a federally regulated private business who occupy or are assigned to positions in a workplace in Quebec has the right to receive communications and documents from the federally regulated private business in French.

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    Marginal note:Duty

    (2) The federally regulated private business has the duty to ensure that a trade union is able to exercise the right set out in subsection (1).

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    Marginal note:Communication in a language other than French

    (3) For greater certainty, the right set out in subsection (1) does not preclude communications and documents from also being in English or another language other than French but, in the case of widely distributed communications and any documents, the use of French must be at least equivalent to the use of the language other than French.

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Marginal note:Fostering use of French

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     (1) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must take measures to foster the use of French in those workplaces. Those measures must include

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      (a) informing employees that it is subject to this Act;

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      (b) informing employees who occupy or are assigned to positions in those workplaces of their language of work rights and available remedies; and

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      (c) establishing a committee to support the management group that is responsible for the general direction of the federally regulated private business in the fostering of French and its use within the federally regulated private business.

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    Marginal note:Generalizing use of French

    (1.1) A committee established under paragraph (1)(c) by a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must develop programs intended to generalize the use of French at all levels of the business in those workplaces, through the following:

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      (a) all members of the management group and employees having a good knowledge of French;

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      (b) an increase, if necessary, in the number of persons who have a good knowledge of French in order to ensure that it is used generally;

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      (c) the use of French as the language of work and of internal communications;

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      (d) the use of French in the working documents, work instruments and computer systems used in the business;

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      (e) the use of French terminology;

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      (f) the use of French in information technologies; and

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      (g) any other means that the committee considers appropriate.

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    Marginal note:Employee needs

    (2) In developing the measures referred to in subsection (1), the federally regulated private business must consider the needs of employees who are close to retirement, have many years of service or have conditions that could impede the learning of French.

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    Marginal note:Communication in a language other than French

    (3) For greater certainty, programs referred to in subsection (1.1) do not preclude communications and documents from also being in English or another language other than French but, in the case of widely distributed communications and any documents, the use of French must be at least equivalent to the use of the language other than French.

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Marginal note:Adverse treatment

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     (1) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces for any of the following reasons:

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      (a) the employee speaks only French;

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      (b) the employee does not have a sufficient knowledge of a language other than French;

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      (c) the employee claims the possibility of expressing themselves in French;

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      (d) the employee has exercised a right under this Act or made a complaint to the Commissioner;

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      (e) the business is seeking to deter the employee from exercising such a right or making such a complaint;

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      (f) the employee has taken part in meetings of, or carried out tasks for, a committee established under paragraph 10(1)(c) or a subcommittee created by such a committee;

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      (g) the employee has, in good faith, communicated information to the Commissioner in relation to a complaint made under section 18 or participated in an investigation conducted as a result of such a communication; or

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      (h) the business is seeking to induce the employee to endorse a document prepared by a committee established under paragraph 10(1)(c) or to dissuade the employee from doing so.

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    Marginal note:Acquired rights in Quebec

    (2) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces on or before the day on which this subsection comes into force for the sole reason that the employee does not have a sufficient knowledge of French.

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    Marginal note:Language other than French

    (3) Requiring an employee to have a knowledge of a language other than French does not constitute adverse treatment for the purposes of subsection (1) if the federally regulated private business is able to demonstrate that a knowledge of that language is objectively required by reason of the nature of the work to be performed by the employee and the business sets out the reasons that justify the requirement in any advertisement to fill a position that requires such knowledge.

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    Marginal note:Language other than French — minimum conditions

    (4) For the purposes of subsection (3), in order to demonstrate that a knowledge of a language other than French is objectively required by reason of the nature of the work to be performed by the employee, a federally regulated private business must, before requiring such knowledge, at a minimum,

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      (a) assess the actual language needs associated with the work to be performed;

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      (b) verify that the language knowledge already required of other employees is not sufficient for the performance of that work; and

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      (c) restrict the number of positions involving work whose performance requires knowledge of a language other than French.

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    Marginal note:Interpretation

    (5) Subsection (4) is not to be interpreted as imposing an unreasonable reorganization of a federally regulated private business’s affairs.

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    Marginal note:Prevention of adverse treatment

    (6) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must take all reasonable measures to prevent, in the work environment, the adverse treatment of an employee referred to in subsection (1) for any of the reasons referred to in that subsection or of an employee referred to in subsection (2) for the reason referred to in that subsection.

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    Marginal note:Cessation of adverse treatment

    (7) If a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec is made aware of the adverse treatment, in the work environment, of an employee referred to in subsection (1) for any of the reasons referred to in that subsection or of an employee referred to in subsection (2) for the reason referred to in that subsection, it must take all reasonable measures to make the adverse treatment cease.

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    Marginal note:Definition of adverse treatment

    (8) For the purposes of this section, adverse treatment includes dismissing, laying off, demoting, transferring or suspending an employee, harassing them or taking reprisals against them or disciplining or imposing any other penalty on them.

Minister’s Role

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Marginal note:Role

 The Minister is responsible for the administration of this Act.

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Marginal note:Promotion of rights

 The Minister is responsible for promoting the rights set out in subsections 7(1) and 9(1) and for providing assistance, education and information to federally regulated private businesses in relation to those rights.

Commissioner’s Duty

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Marginal note:Duty

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     (1) It is the Commissioner’s duty to take all actions and measures within the Commissioner’s authority with a view to ensuring recognition of the rights and respect for the duties under this Act concerning the use of French in communications with and services to consumers and as a language of work in relation to federally regulated private businesses, and the fostering by those businesses of the use of French in their workplaces as required by this Act.

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    Marginal note:Investigations

    (2) It is Commissioner’s duty, for the purpose set out in subsection (1), to

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      (a) conduct and carry out investigations either as a result of a complaint made to the Commissioner or, in the case of a right or duty under section 7, on the Commissioner’s own initiative; and

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      (b) report and make recommendations with respect to those investigations in accordance with this Act.

Remedies — Communications with and Services to Consumers

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Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner

 Any individual or group of individuals may make a complaint to the Commissioner, regardless of the official language spoken by the individual or individuals in the group, if they believe that a federally regulated private business has failed to comply with section 7.

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Marginal note:Part IX of Official Languages Act

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     (1) Subject to this section and subsections 41(1) and (3), Part IX of the Official Languages Act applies in respect of rights and duties under section 7.

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    Marginal note:References

    (2) For the purpose of applying Part IX of the Official Languages Act,

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      (a) a reference in that Part to a federal institution is to be read as a reference to a federally regulated private business;

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      (b) a reference in that Part to the deputy head or other administrative head is to be read as a reference to the chief executive officer or the person designated by the chief executive officer;

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      (c) a reference in subsection 64.5(1) of that Part to Part IV or V is to be read as a reference to section 7; and

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      (d) a reference in that Part to “this Act” is to be read as a reference to this Act.

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    Marginal note:Report

    (3) For the purposes of subsections 62(2) and 63(1) of the Official Languages Act, the Commissioner must make a report only to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.

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    Marginal note:Non-application

    (4) Section 56 and subsections 65(3) and (4) of the Official Languages Act do not apply in respect of complaints or investigations relating to a right or duty under section 7.

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Marginal note:Part X of Official Languages Act

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     (1) Part X of the Official Languages Act applies in respect of complaints made in respect of a right or duty under section 7.

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    Marginal note:References

    (2) For the purpose of applying Part X of the Official Languages Act,

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      (a) a reference in that Part to a federal institution is to be read as a reference to a federally regulated private business;

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      (b) a reference in that Part to the deputy head or other administrative head is to be read as a reference to the chief executive officer or the person designated by the chief executive officer; and

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      (c) a reference in that Part to “this Act” is to be read as a reference to this Act.

Remedies — Language of Work

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Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner

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     (1) An employee referred to in any of sections 9 to 11 may make a complaint to the Commissioner if the employee believes that the federally regulated private business that employs them has failed to comply with any of those sections.

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    Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner — former employees

    (1.1) A person who was an employee referred to in section 9 may make a complaint to the Commissioner if the person believes that the federally regulated private business that employed them has failed to comply with subsection 9(2) in relation to the right continued under subsection 9(1.1).

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    Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner — potential employees

    (1.2) A person who has a demonstrable interest in a position referred to in subsection 9(2.1) may make a complaint to the Commissioner if the person believes that a federally regulated private business has failed to comply with that subsection in respect of the position.

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    Marginal note:Limitation or prescription period

    (2) The complaint must be made no later than the 90th day after the earlier of

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      (a) the day on which the complainant became aware of the act or omission giving rise to the alleged failure to comply, and

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      (b) the day on which the complainant ought, in the Commissioner’s opinion, to have become aware of that act or omission.

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    Marginal note:Extension

    (3) The Commissioner may extend the 90-day period

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      (a) if the Commissioner is satisfied that a complaint was made in that period to a government official who had no authority to deal with the complaint but that the complainant believed the official had that authority; or

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      (b) in any other circumstance that is prescribed by regulation of the Governor in Council.

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Marginal note:Part IX of Official Languages Act

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     (1) Subject to this section, sections 18 and 21 and subsections 26(2) and 41(2) and (4), Part IX of the Official Languages Act applies with respect to a complaint made under subsection 18(1), (1.1) or (1.2) as if the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint were a federal institution.

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    Marginal note:No investigation

    (2) The Commissioner is not permitted to conduct or carry out any investigation on the Commissioner’s own initiative in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 9 to 11.

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    Marginal note:Reference to deputy head

    (3) A reference in Part IX of the Official Languages Act to a deputy head or other administrative head of a federal institution is to be read as a reference to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.

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    Marginal note:Report

    (4) For the purposes of subsections 62(2) and 63(1) of the Official Languages Act, the Commissioner is to make a report only to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.

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    Marginal note:Reference to certain Parts

    (5) A reference in subsection 64.5(1) of the Official Languages Act to Part IV or V is to be read as a reference to sections 9 to 11.

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    Marginal note:Non-application

    (6) Section 56 and subsections 65(3) and (4) of the Official Languages Act do not apply in respect of the complaint.

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    Marginal note:Special report

    (7) The Commissioner may make a special report under subsection 67(1) of the Official Languages Act with respect to a complaint referred to the Board under section 21 only after the Board has decided whether the complaint is well-founded.

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    Marginal note:Reference to “this Act”

    (8) A reference in Part IX of the Official Languages Act to “this Act” is to be read as a reference to this Act.

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Marginal note:Part X of Official Languages Act

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     (1) Subject to subsection 21(5), Part X of the Official Languages Act applies in respect of complaints made in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 9 to 11.

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    Marginal note:References

    (2) For the purpose of applying Part X of the Official Languages Act,

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      (a) a reference in that Part to a federal institution is to be read as a reference to a federally regulated private business;

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      (b) a reference in that Part to the deputy head or other administrative head is to be read as a reference to the chief executive officer or the person designated by the chief executive officer; and

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      (c) a reference in that Part to “this Act” is to be read as a reference to this Act.

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Marginal note:Referral to Board

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     (1) The Commissioner may, with the consent of the complainant, refer a complaint made under subsection 18(1) to the Board if the Commissioner has attempted to resolve the complaint but is of the opinion that

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      (a) the Commissioner will not be able to resolve the complaint within what the Commissioner considers to be a reasonable period; and

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      (b) the Board is better placed to deal with the complaint, in light of

      • (i) the nature and complexity of the complaint, or

      • (ii) the seriousness of the alleged failure to comply.

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    Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) However, the Commissioner is not permitted to refer a complaint to the Board if the Commissioner has, in respect of the complaint,

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      (a) entered into a compliance agreement under subsection 64.1(1) of the Official Languages Act with the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint; or

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      (b) made an order with respect to that federally regulated private business under subsection 64.5(1) of that Act.

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    Marginal note:Notice to parties

    (3) Before referring the complaint to the Board, the Commissioner must provide the parties with reasonable notice of the Commissioner’s intention to do so and provide the parties with an opportunity to make representations.

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    Marginal note:Document or evidence

    (4) Once the complaint is referred to the Board, the Commissioner must provide the Board with any document or evidence in respect of the complaint that the Commissioner considers relevant.

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    Marginal note:Non-application

    (5) Part X of the Official Languages Act no longer applies with respect to the complaint after it has been referred to the Board.

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Marginal note:Board’s decision

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     (1) The Board must decide whether a complaint referred to it by the Commissioner is well-founded.

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    Marginal note:Assignment or appointment

    (2) The Chairperson of the Board may assign a panel of members of the Board or a member of the Board, or may appoint an external adjudicator, to deal with the complaint.

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    Marginal note:Member presiding over panel

    (3) If the Chairperson assigns a panel of members to deal with the complaint, the Chairperson must designate a member of the panel to preside over it.

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    Marginal note:Powers, duties and functions

    (4) A panel of members of the Board, a member of the Board and an external adjudicator have all the powers, duties and functions that are conferred on the Board under this Act with respect to any complaint that has been assigned to them or in respect of which they have been appointed, as the case may be, other than the power under section 26.

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    Marginal note:Deemed decision of Board

    (5) A decision made by a panel of members of the Board, a member of the Board or an external adjudicator is deemed to be a decision made by the Board.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Decision of panel

    (6) A decision made by a majority of the members of a panel or, if there is no majority, by the member presiding over the panel is a decision of the panel.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Death or incapacity

    (7) In the event of the death or incapacity of a member of a panel, the member presiding over the panel may determine any matter that was before the panel and that member’s decision is deemed to be the decision of the panel.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Limitation of liability

    (8) Members of the Board and external adjudicators are not personally liable, either civilly or criminally, for anything done or omitted to be done by them in good faith in the exercise or purported exercise of any power, or in the performance or purported performance of any duty or function, conferred on them under this Act.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:External adjudicator — remuneration and expenses

    (9) An external adjudicator must be paid the remuneration and the fees that may be fixed by the Chairperson and is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by them in the course of their duties while absent from their ordinary place of residence.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Dealing with complaint

 In dealing with any complaint under this Act, the Board

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (a) is to proceed as informally and expeditiously as the circumstances and considerations of fairness permit; and

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (b) is not bound by legal or technical rules of evidence.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Powers of Board

 The Board has, in relation to a complaint referred to it by the Commissioner, the power

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (a) to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents and things that the Board considers necessary, in the same manner and to the same extent as a superior court of record;

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (b) to administer oaths;

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    (c) to receive, and base a decision on, any evidence adduced that the Board believes to be credible;

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (d) to compel any person to provide information or produce documents and things that may be relevant to a matter before the Board, after providing the parties with the opportunity to make representations;

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (e) subject to any limitations prescribed by regulation of the Governor in Council, to enter any premises of a federally regulated private business that is the subject of a complaint and to inspect and view anything found in the premises that may be relevant to the complaint and require any person to answer any question that may be relevant to the complaint;

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (f) to abridge or extend the time for doing any act, filing any document or presenting any evidence;

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    (g) if the parties agree, to assist the parties in resolving any issues in dispute by any means that the Board considers appropriate, without prejudice to the Board’s power to determine issues that have not been settled;

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    (h) to authorize any person to do anything that the Board may do under paragraphs (a) to (g) and to report to the Board on it;

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    (i) to adjourn or postpone any proceeding from time to time;

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    (j) to defer deciding any matter, if the Board considers that the matter could be resolved by an alternate method of resolution;

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    (k) to amend or permit the amendment of any document filed in connection with the complaint;

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    (l) to add a party at any stage;

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    (m) to permit an interested person to intervene at any stage;

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    (n) to merge complaints that relate to the same situation or subject matter;

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    (o) to decide any matter that may arise in connection with the complaint;

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    (p) to take notice of facts that may be judicially noticed;

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    (q) to take notice of other generally recognized facts and any information that is within the Board’s specialized knowledge, after notifying the parties and any intervenor of its intention to do so and providing them with an opportunity to make representations; and

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (r) to review, rescind, amend, alter or vary any order or decision made by the Board and to rehear any matter before making a decision with respect to it.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Consultation

 A member of the Board or an external adjudicator may, in respect of any complaint referred to the Board, consult with any member of the Board or with any employee of the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Regulations of Board

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) The Board may make regulations respecting its powers, duties and functions under this Act, including regulations respecting

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (a) rules of procedure for proceedings;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (b) the use of means of telecommunication that permit simultaneous communication;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (c) the forms to be used in connection with a complaint;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (d) the time within which and the circumstances under which the Board may exercise its powers under this Act;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (e) the form in which and the period during which evidence may be presented to the Board;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (f) the time within which and the parties or persons to whom notices and other documents must be sent and the circumstances in which the notices or documents are deemed to have been given or received by the Board or any party or person; and

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (g) the delegation of the Board’s powers under paragraph 24(h).

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Non-application

    (2) Section 57 of the Official Languages Act does not apply with respect to regulations made under subsection (1).

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Rejection of complaint

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) The Board may reject a complaint, in whole or in part, if the Board is satisfied that

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (a) the complaint is not within its jurisdiction;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (b) the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (c) there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (d) the complaint has been settled in writing between the complainant and the federally regulated private business;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (e) there are other means available to the complainant to resolve the subject matter of the complaint that the Board considers should be pursued;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (f) the subject matter of the complaint has been adequately dealt with through recourse obtained before a court, tribunal, arbitrator or adjudicator; or

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (g) if the complainant is subject to a collective agreement, the collective agreement covers the subject matter of the complaint and provides a third party dispute resolution process.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Notice of rejection

    (2) If the Board rejects a complaint, it must notify the parties in writing, with reasons.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Board orders

 If the Board decides that a complaint is well-founded, the Board may, by order, require the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint to comply with the section of this Act at issue and, if applicable, to

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (a) permit the complainant to return to the duties of their employment;

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (b) reinstate the complainant;

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (c) pay to the complainant compensation not exceeding the sum that, in the Board’s opinion, is equivalent to the remuneration that would, but for the failure to comply, have been paid to the complainant;

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (d) pay to the complainant compensation not exceeding the sum that, in the Board’s opinion, is equivalent to any financial or other penalty imposed on the complainant by the federally regulated private business; and

  • The following provision is not in force.

    (e) do any other thing that the Board considers equitable for the federally regulated private business to do to remedy or counteract any consequence of the failure to comply.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Copy of decision

 The Board is to provide all parties, as well as the Commissioner, with a copy of its decision on whether a complaint is well-founded and of any related order made under section 28, with reasons.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Enforcement of orders

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) Any person affected by an order of the Board made under section 28, or the Commissioner on the request of such a person, may file a certified copy of the order, exclusive of reasons, in the Federal Court after the later of 14 days after the day on which the order is made and 14 days after a day that may be provided for in the order.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Registration

    (2) Once filed, the order must be registered in the Federal Court and, when registered, has the same force and effect, and all proceedings may be taken in respect of it, as if the order were a judgment obtained in that Court.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:No civil remedy affected

 No civil remedy of an employee against an employer is suspended or affected by this Act.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of sections 21 to 31.

General

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Regulations

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) Subject to section 32, the Governor in Council may, on the Minister’s recommendation, make regulations for the purposes of this Act, including regulations

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (a) specifying, for the purposes of paragraph (a) of the definition federally regulated private business in section 2(1), a number of employees;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (b) defining “close to retirement”, “conditions that could impede the learning of French”, “consumer”, “employee”, “many years of service”, “treat adversely” and any other term or expression that is used in any of sections 5 to 13 but not defined in section 2;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (c) respecting the notices referred to in subsection 6(2);

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (d) respecting the establishment and operation of a committee referred to in paragraph 10(1)(c);

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (e) prescribing circumstances for the purposes of paragraph 18(3)(b);

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (f) exempting, with or without conditions, federally regulated private businesses from the application of any provision of this Act or its regulations in respect of activities or workplaces that are related to a specified sector of activity; and

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (g) exempting, with or without conditions, federally regulated private businesses from the application of any provision of this Act or its regulations for any reason, including reasons related to intellectual property rights, international standards or the conduct of interprovincial or international business.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Different numbers

    (2) A regulation made under paragraph (1)(a) may specify a different number of employees for federally regulated private businesses that have workplaces in Quebec and for federally regulated private businesses that do not have workplaces in Quebec but carry on business in Quebec.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Factors

    (3) In making a regulation under subsection (1), the Governor in Council may take into account any factor that the Governor in Council considers appropriate, including

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (a) the volume of communications or services provided by federally regulated private businesses;

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (b) the type of services, documents, computer systems or work instruments required by the employees of federally regulated private businesses; and

    • The following provision is not in force.

      (c) the mandates of and the nature of the activities carried out by federally regulated private businesses.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Consultations

 The Minister must, at a time and in a manner appropriate to the circumstances, seek the views of members of the public as an integral part of the two official language communities of Canada and of organizations representative of employees or employers of federally regulated private businesses on proposed regulations to be made under sections 32 or 33.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Tabling of draft of proposed regulation

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) If the Governor in Council proposes to make a regulation under section 33, the Minister must lay a draft of the proposed regulation before the House of Commons at least 30 days before a copy of the regulation is published in the Canada Gazette under section 36.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Calculation of 30-day period

    (2) In calculating the 30-day period referred to in subsection (1), only the days on which the House of Commons sits must be counted.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Publication of proposed regulation

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) A copy of each regulation that the Governor in Council proposes to make under section 33 must be published in the Canada Gazette at least 30 days before its proposed effective date, and a reasonable opportunity must be afforded to interested persons to make representations to the Minister with respect to the proposed regulation.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Exception

    (2) No proposed regulation need be published under subsection (1) if it has previously been published under that subsection, whether or not it has been amended as a result of representations made under that subsection.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Calculation of 30-day period

    (3) In calculating the 30-day period referred to in subsection (1), only the days on which both Houses of Parliament sit must be counted.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Permanent review by parliamentary committee

 The administration of this Act and its regulations, as well as the reports of the Commissioner and the Minister made under this Act, are to be reviewed on a permanent basis by any committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established for that purpose.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Section 126 of Criminal Code

 Section 126 of the Criminal Code does not apply to or in respect of any contravention of any provision of this Act or the regulations.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Parliamentary and judicial powers, privileges and immunities

 Nothing in this Act abrogates or derogates from any powers, privileges or immunities of members of the Senate or the House of Commons in respect of their personal offices and staff or of judges of any Court.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Rights relating to other languages

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) Nothing in this Act abrogates or derogates from any legal or customary right acquired or enjoyed either before or after the coming into force of this Act with respect to any language other than English or French, including any Indigenous language.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Maintenance of linguistic heritage

    (2) Nothing in this Act is to be interpreted in a manner that is inconsistent with the maintenance and enhancement of languages other than English or French, nor with the reclamation, revitalization and strengthening of Indigenous languages.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Compliance agreements — Quebec (communications and services)

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.1(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by a consumer in Quebec in respect of a right or duty under section 7.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Compliance agreements — Quebec (language of work)

    (2) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.1(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in a workplace in Quebec in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 9 to 11.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Orders — Quebec (communications and services)

    (3) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.5(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by a consumer in Quebec in respect of a right or duty under section 7.

  • The following provision is not in force.

    Marginal note:Orders — Quebec (language of work)

    (4) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.5(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in a workplace in Quebec in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 9 to 11.

The following provision is not in force.

Marginal note:Review

  • The following provision is not in force.

     (1) On the 10th anniversary of the day on which this section comes into force and every 10 years after that anniversary, the Minister must undertake a review of the provisions and operation of this Act.

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    Marginal note:Report

    (2) The Minister must cause a report of the review to be tabled in each House of Parliament within the first 30 days on which that House is sitting after the report has been completed.

RELATED PROVISIONS

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 68

    • Minister of Canadian Heritage

      68 The Minister of Canadian Heritage may, until the day on which the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act, as enacted by section 54, comes into force, take any measure or carry out any activity in Canada that the Minister considers necessary for the implementation of sections 12 and 13 of that Act.

AMENDMENTS NOT IN FORCE

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 55

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 56

    • 56 Subsection 7(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

      • Communications and services in French
        • 7 (1) Consumers in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence have the right to communicate in French with and obtain available services in French from a federally regulated private business that carries on business in Quebec or the region.

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 57

      • 57 (1) The portion of subsection 9(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

        • Language rights at work
          • 9 (1) Employees of a federally regulated private business who occupy or are assigned to positions in a workplace in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence have the right to

      • (2) Subsection 9(2.1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

        • Duty — offer to fill a position

          (2.1) When a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence publishes in a language other than French an advertisement to fill a position — including through recruitment, hiring, transfer or promotion — that is assigned to one of those workplaces, the business must also publish the advertisement in French and ensure the simultaneous publication of both linguistic versions by means that are of the same nature and that reach a target public of a proportionally comparable size.

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 57.1

    • 57.1 Subsection 9.2(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

      • Rights of trade unions
        • 9.2 (1) A trade union that represents employees of a federally regulated private business who occupy or are assigned to positions in a workplace in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence has the right to receive communications and documents from the federally regulated private business in French.

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 58

      • 58 (1) The portion of subsection 10(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

        • Fostering use of French
          • 10 (1) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence must take measures to foster the use of French in those workplaces. Those measures must include

      • (2) The portion of subsection 10(1.1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

        • Generalizing use of French

          (1.1) A committee established under paragraph (1)(c) by a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence must develop programs intended to generalize the use of French at all levels of the business in those workplaces, through the following:

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 59

      • 59 (1) The portion of subsection 11(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

        • Adverse treatment
          • 11 (1) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence must not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces for any of the following reasons:

      • (2) Subsection 11(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

        • Acquired rights in region with strong francophone presence

          (2.1) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in a region with a strong francophone presence must not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces on or before the day on which this subsection comes into force for the sole reason that the employee does not have a sufficient knowledge of French.

        • Language other than French

          (3) Requiring an employee to have a knowledge of a language other than French does not constitute adverse treatment for the purposes of subsection (1) if the federally regulated private business is able to demonstrate that a knowledge of that language is objectively required by reason of the nature of the work to be performed by the employee and, in the case of a business that has workplaces in Quebec, the business sets out the reasons that justify the requirement in any advertisement to fill a position assigned to one of those workplaces that requires such knowledge.

      • (3) The portion of subsection 11(4) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

        • Language other than French — minimum conditions

          (4) For the purposes of subsection (3), a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec, before requiring knowledge of a language other than French of an employee who occupies or is assigned to one of those workplaces, must, in order to demonstrate that a knowledge of that language is objectively required by reason of the nature of the work to be performed by the employee, at a minimum,

      • (4) The portion of subsection 11(4) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

        • Language other than French — minimum conditions

          (4) For the purposes of subsection (3), in order to demonstrate that a knowledge of a language other than French is objectively required by reason of the nature of the work to be performed by the employee, a federally regulated private business must, before requiring such knowledge, at a minimum,

      • (5) Subsections 11(6) and (7) of the Act are replaced by the following:

        • Prevention of adverse treatment

          (6) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence must take all reasonable measures to prevent, in the work environment, the adverse treatment of an employee referred to in subsection (1) for any of the reasons referred to in that subsection or of an employee referred to in subsection (2) for the reason referred to in that subsection.

        • Cessation of adverse treatment

          (7) If a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence is made aware of the adverse treatment, in the work environment, of an employee referred to in subsection (1) for any of the reasons referred to in that subsection or of an employee referred to in subsection (2) for the reason referred to in that subsection, it must take all reasonable measures to make the adverse treatment cease.

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 60

    • 60 Subsection 16(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 61

    • 61 Subsection 19(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

      • Part IX of Official Languages Act
        • 19 (1) Subject to this section, sections 18 and 21 and subsections 26(2), 41(2) and (4) and 41.1(2) and (4), Part IX of the Official Languages Act applies with respect to a complaint made under subsection 18(1) as if the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint were a federal institution.

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 62

      • 62 (1) Paragraph 33(1)(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

        • (b) defining “close to retirement”, “conditions that could impede the learning of French”, “consumer”, “employee”, “many years of service”, “region with a strong francophone presence”, “treat adversely” and any other term or expression that is used in any of sections 5 to 13 but not defined in section 2;

      • (2) Subsection 33(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

        • Different numbers

          (2) A regulation made under paragraph (1)(a) may specify a different number of employees for federally regulated private businesses that have workplaces in Quebec, for those that have workplaces in a region with a strong francophone presence and for those that do not have workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence but carry on business in Quebec or such a region.

        • Factors for defining “region with a strong francophone presence”

          (2.1) In making a regulation that defines “region with a strong francophone presence” under paragraph (1)(b), the Governor in Council may take into account any factors that the Governor in Council considers appropriate, including

          • (a) the number of francophones in a region;

          • (b) the number of francophones in a region as a proportion of the region’s total population; and

          • (c) the vitality and specificity of French linguistic minority communities.

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 63

    • 63 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 41:

      • Compliance agreements — regions with a strong francophone presence (communications and services)
        • 41.1 (1) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.1(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by a consumer in a region with a strong francophone presence in respect of a right or duty under section 7.

        • Compliance agreements — regions with a strong francophone presence (language of work)

          (2) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.1(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in a workplace in a region with a strong francophone presence in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 9 to 11.

        • Orders — regions with a strong francophone presence (communications and services)

          (3) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.5(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by a consumer in a region with a strong francophone presence in respect of a right or duty under section 7.

        • Orders — regions with a strong francophone presence (language of work)

          (4) The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day that may be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.5(1) of the Official Languages Act in respect of a complaint made by an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in a workplace in a region with a strong francophone presence in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 9 to 11.

  • — 2023, c. 15, s. 69


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