Bill C-32

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Second Session, Forty-third Parliament,
69-70 Elizabeth II, 2020-2021
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-32
An Act to amend the Official Languages Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
FIRST READING, June 15, 2021
MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
90993


SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Official Languages Act to, among other things,
(a)codify certain interpretative principles regarding language rights;
(b)provide that the Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for exercising leadership within the Government of Canada in relation to the implementation of that Act;
(c)provide that section 16 of that Act applies to the Supreme Court of Canada;
(d)provide for Government of Canada commitments to
(i)protect and promote French,
(ii)contribute to an estimate of the number of children whose parents are rights holders under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
(iii)advance opportunities for members of English and French linguistic minority communities to pursue quality learning in their own language throughout their lives, including from early childhood to post-secondary education, and
(iv)advance the use of English and French in the conduct of Canada’s external affairs;
(e)provide for certain positive measures that federal institutions may take to implement certain Government of Canada commitments, including measures to
(i)promote and support the learning of English and French, and
(ii)support sectors that are essential to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities and protect and promote the presence of strong institutions serving those communities;
(f)provide for certain measures that the Minister of Canadian Heritage may take to advance the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society;
(g)provide that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is required to adopt a policy on francophone immigration;
(h)provide that the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of cooperating with provincial and territorial governments;
(i)provide for rights respecting the use of French as a language of service and a language of work in relation to federally regulated private businesses in Quebec and regions with a strong francophone presence;
(j)provide that the Treasury Board is required to monitor and audit federal institutions for their compliance with policies, directives and regulations relating to the official languages, evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of policies and programs of federal institutions relating to the official languages and provide certain information to the public and to employees of federal institutions;
(k)enable the Commissioner of Official Languages to enter into compliance agreements and, in certain cases, to make orders; and
(l)permit employees of federally regulated private businesses in Quebec and regions with a strong francophone presence to make a complaint to the Commissioner of Official Languages with respect to rights and duties in relation to language of work, and permit that Commissioner to refer the complaint to the Canada Industrial Relations Board in certain circumstances.
It also makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.
Available on the House of Commons website at the following address:
www.ourcommons.ca


TABLE OF PROVISIONS

An Act to amend the Official Languages Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
Alternative Title
1
An Act for the Substantive Equality of French and English and the Strengthening of the Official Languages Act
Official Languages Act
2
Related Amendments
60
Canada Labour Code
64
Department of Canadian Heritage Act
Consequential Amendments
65
Air Canada Public Participation Act
66
CN Commercialization Act
67
Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act
Regulations
68
Power to repeal
Coordinating Amendment
69
Bill C-10
Coming into Force
70
Order in council


2nd Session, 43rd Parliament,
69-70 Elizabeth II, 2020-2021
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-32
An Act to amend the Official Languages Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Alternative Title

Alternative title
1This Act may be cited as An Act for the Substantive Equality of French and English and the Strengthening of the Official Languages Act.
R.‍S.‍, c. 31 (4th Supp.‍)

Official Languages Act

2(1)The fourth paragraph of the preamble to the Official Languages Act is replaced by the following:
AND WHEREAS employees of institutions of the Parliament or government of Canada should have equal opportunities to use the official language of their choice while working together in pursuing the goals of those institutions;
(2)The eighth paragraph of the preamble to the Act is replaced by the following:
AND 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;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada is committed to cooperating with provincial and territorial governments and their institutions to support the development of English and French linguistic minority communities, to provide services in both English and French, to respect the constitutional guarantees of minority language educational rights and to enhance opportunities for all to learn both English and French;
(3)The 10th paragraph of the preamble to the Act is replaced by the following:
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for everyone in Canada to learn a second official language and the contribution of everyone in Canada who speaks both official languages to a mutual appreciation between the two official language communities of Canada;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting sectors that are essential to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities and protecting and promoting the presence of strong institutions serving those communities;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada recognizes that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation contributes through its activities to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities and to the protection and promotion of both official languages;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of the contribution of francophone immigration to enhancing the vitality of French linguistic minority communities;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada recognizes the presence of English or French linguistic minority communities in each province and territory;
AND 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, including that
the Constitution of Canada provides every person with the right to use English or French in the debates of the Houses of the Legislature of Quebec and those of the Legislature of Manitoba and the right to use English or French in any pleading or process in or from the courts of those provinces,
Quebec’s Charter of the French language provides that French is the official language of Quebec,
the Constitution of Canada provides that English and French are the official languages of New Brunswick and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the legislature and government of New Brunswick, and
the Constitution of Canada provides that the English linguistic community and the French linguistic community in New Brunswick have equality of status and equal rights and privileges;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada recognizes that each province and territory has adopted laws, policies or programs guaranteeing service in French or recognizing the contribution of the English or French linguistic minority community to Canadian society;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of maintaining and enhancing the use of languages other than English and French and reclaiming, revitalizing and strengthening Indigenous languages while strengthening the status and use of the official languages;
(4)The preamble to the Act is amended by adding the following after the 17th paragraph:
AND WHEREAS consumers in Quebec 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;
AND WHEREAS employees of federally regulated private businesses who work in Quebec should have the right to work in French;
(5)The 18th and 19th paragraphs of the preamble to the Act are replaced by the following:
AND 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;
3(1)Paragraph 2(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(b)support the development of English and French linguistic minority communities in order to protect them;
(b.‍1)advance the equality of status and use of the English and French languages within Canadian society, taking into account that French is in a minority situation in Canada and North America due to the predominant use of English; and
(2)Section 2 of the Act is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (b.‍1), by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (c) and by adding the following after paragraph (c):
(d)foster the use of French by federally regulated private businesses in Quebec.
(3)Paragraph 2(d) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(d)foster the use of French by federally regulated private businesses in Quebec and regions with a strong francophone presence.
4The Act is amended by adding the following after section 2:
Government-Wide Coordination
Minister of Canadian Heritage
2.‍1(1)The Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for exercising leadership within the Government of Canada in relation to the implementation of this Act.
Coordination
(2)That Minister shall, in consultation with the other ministers of the Crown, promote and encourage coordination in the implementation of this Act, including the implementation of the commitments set out in subsections 41(1) and (1.‍1).
Government-wide strategy on official languages
2.‍2(1)The Minister of Canadian Heritage shall, in cooperation with the other ministers of the Crown, develop and maintain a government-wide strategy that sets out the overall official languages priorities.
Tabling in Parliament
(2)That Minister shall cause the strategy to be tabled in each House of Parliament within the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the strategy has been developed, and periodically after that.
Accessible to public
(3)That Minister shall make the strategy accessible to the public through the Internet or by any other means that that Minister considers appropriate.
5The heading before section 3 of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:
Définitions et interprétation
6(1)The definition commissaire in subsection 3(1) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:
commissaire Le commissaire aux langues officielles du Canada nommé au titre de l’article 49.‍ (Commissioner)
(2)Subsection 3(1) of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
business day means a day other than
(a)a Saturday;
(b)a Sunday or other holiday; and
(c)a day that falls during the Christmas recess, as defined in section 2 of the Federal Courts Rules; (jour ouvrable)
(3)Subsection 3(1) of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
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
(a)a corporation that is incorporated to perform functions on behalf of the Government of Canada,
(b)a corporation that is subject to this Act under another Act of Parliament, or
(c)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)
7The Act is amended by adding the following after section 3:
Language rights
3.‍1For the purposes of this Act,
(a)language rights are to be given a large, liberal and purposive interpretation; and
(b)the norm for the interpretation of language rights is substantive equality.
8(1)Subsection 7(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Legislative instruments
7(1)An instrument shall be made in both official languages and, if printed and published, shall be printed and published in both official languages, if it is made in the execution of a legislative power conferred by or under an Act of Parliament and
(a)is made by, or with the approval of, the Governor in Council or one or more ministers of the Crown;
(b)is required by or under an Act of Parliament to be published in the Canada Gazette; or
(c)is of a public and general nature.
(2)The portion of subsection 7(3) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Exceptions
(3)Subsection (1) does not, by reason only that the ordinance, by-law, law or other instrument is of a public and general nature, apply to
(3)The portion of subsection 7(3) of the English version of the Act after paragraph (b) is repealed.
9(1)Subsection 10(1) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:
Traités
10(1)Le gouvernement fédéral prend toutes les mesures possibles pour veiller à ce que les traités et conventions intervenus entre le Canada et tout autre État soient authentifiés dans les deux langues officielles.
(2)The portion of subsection 10(2) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Federal-provincial-territorial agreements
(2)The Government of Canada has the duty to ensure that the following classes of agreements between Canada and one or more provinces or territories are made in both official languages and that both versions are equally authoritative:
(3)Paragraphs 10(2)‍(b) and (c) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(b)agreements entered into with one or more provinces or territories if English and French are declared to be the official languages of any of those provinces or territories or if any of them requests that the agreement be made in English and French; and
(c)agreements entered into with two or more provinces or territories if their governments do not use the same official language.
(4)The portion of subsection 10(3) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Regulations
(3)The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the circumstances in which any class, specified in the regulations, of agreements that are made between Canada and one or more other states or between Canada and one or more provinces or territories
10Subsection 11(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Notices, advertisements and other published matters
11(1)A notice, advertisement or other matter that is required or authorized by or under an Act of Parliament to be published by or under the authority of a federal institution primarily for the information of members of the public shall,
(a)wherever possible, appear in publications in general circulation within each region where the matter applies, with the English version appearing in at least one publication that is mainly in English and the French version appearing in at least one publication that is mainly in French or those two versions appearing in at least one publication that appears equally in English and French; and
(b)if there is no publication in general circulation within a region where the matter applies that is mainly in English or mainly in French and no publication in general circulation within that region that appears equally in English and French, appear in both official languages in at least one publication in general circulation within that region.
Publications in electronic form
(1.‍1)For greater certainty, a publication referred to in subsection (1) includes a publication in an electronic form.
11(1)The portion of subsection 16(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Duty to ensure understanding without interpreter
16(1)Every federal court has the duty to ensure that
(2)Subsection 16(3) of the Act is repealed.
12(1)Subsection 20(1) of the Act is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (a) and by adding the following after that paragraph:
(a.‍1)the decision, order or judgment has precedential value; or
(2)Subsection 20(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Decisions, orders and judgments available in both official languages at different times
(2)If the court is of the opinion that to make the decision, order or judgment, including any reasons given for it, available simultaneously in both official languages under paragraph (1)‍(a) or (a.‍1) would occasion a delay prejudicial to the public interest or resulting in injustice or hardship to any party to the proceedings, the decision, order or judgment, including any reasons given for it, shall be issued first in one of the official languages and then, at the earliest possible time, in the other official language, each version to be effective from the time the first version is effective.
13Section 33 of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:
Règlements
33Le gouverneur en conseil peut, par règlement, prendre les mesures d’incitation qu’il estime nécessaires pour favoriser activement les communications avec les institutions fédérales — autres que le Sénat, la Chambre des communes, la bibliothèque du Parlement, le bureau du conseiller sénatorial en éthique, le bureau du commissaire aux conflits d’intérêts et à l’éthique, le Service de protection parlementaire ou le bureau du directeur parlementaire du budget — et la prestation par elles de services dans les deux langues officielles, si elles sont tenues de pourvoir ces communications et services dans ces deux langues au titre de la présente partie.
14Section 34 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Rights relating to language of work
34English and French are the languages of work in all federal institutions, and employees of all federal institutions have the right to use either official language in accordance with this Part.
15Paragraph 35(1)‍(a) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(a)within the National Capital Region and in any part or region of Canada, or in any place outside Canada, that is prescribed, work environments of the institution are conducive to the effective use of both official languages and accommodate the use of either official language by its employees; and
16(1)Paragraph 36(1)‍(a) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(a)make available in both official languages to employees of the institution
(i)services that are provided to employees, including services that are provided to them as individuals and services that are centrally provided by the institution to support them in the performance of their duties, and
(ii)regularly and widely used documentation or other work instruments produced by or on behalf of that or any other federal institution;
(2)Paragraph 36(1)‍(b) of the English version of the Act is replaced by the following:
(b)ensure that regularly and widely used computer systems acquired or produced by the institution on or after January 1, 1991 can be used in either official language; and
(3)Subparagraph 36(1)‍(c)‍(i) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(i)if it is appropriate or necessary in order to create a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages, managers and supervisors are able to communicate in both official languages with employees of the institution in carrying out their managerial or supervisory responsibilities, and
(4)Subsection 36(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Additional duties
(2)Every federal institution has the duty to ensure that, within the National Capital Region and in any part or region of Canada, or in any place outside Canada, that is prescribed for the purpose of paragraph 35(1)‍(a), the measures that can reasonably be taken are taken in addition to those required under subsection (1) to establish and maintain work environments of the institution that are conducive to the effective use of both official languages and accommodate the use of either official language by its employees.
17Section 37 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Special duties
37Every federal institution that has authority to direct, or provides services to, other federal institutions has the duty to ensure that it exercises its powers and carries out its duties in relation to those other institutions in a manner that accommodates the use of either official language by employees of those institutions.
18(1)Paragraphs 38(1)‍(a) and (b) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(a)prescribing, in respect of any part or region of Canada or any place outside Canada,
(i)any services, documentation or other work instruments that those institutions are to make available to their employees in both official languages,
(ii)any computer systems that must be available for use in both official languages, and
(iii)any supervisory or managerial responsibilities that are to be carried out by those institutions in both official languages;
(b)prescribing any other measures that are to be taken, within the National Capital Region and in any part or region of Canada, or in any place outside Canada, that is prescribed for the purpose of paragraph 35(1)‍(a), to establish and maintain work environments of those institutions that are conducive to the effective use of both official languages and accommodate the use of either official language by their employees;
(2)Subparagraph 38(2)‍(a)‍(i) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(i)the number and proportion of English-speaking and French-speaking employees who constitute the work force of federal institutions based in the parts, regions or places prescribed,
19Subsection 39(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Employment opportunities
(2)In carrying out the commitment of the Government of Canada under subsection (1), federal institutions shall ensure that employment opportunities are open to both English-speaking Canadians and French-speaking Canadians, taking into account the purposes and provisions of this Act.
20Section 40 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Regulations
40The Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of this Part.
21Subsections 41(2) and (3) of the Act are replaced by the following:
Commitment — protection and promotion of French
(1.‍1)The Government of Canada, recognizing that French is in a minority situation in Canada and North America due to the predominant use of English, is committed to protecting and promoting the French language.
Commitment — section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
(1.‍2)The Government of Canada is committed to contributing to an estimate of the number of children whose parents have, under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right to have their children receive their instruction in the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of a province or territory, including the right to have them receive that instruction in minority language educational facilities.
Commitment — learning in minority language
(1.‍3)The Government of Canada is committed to advancing opportunities for members of English and French linguistic minority communities to pursue quality learning in their own language throughout their lives, including from early childhood to post-secondary education.
Duty of federal institutions — positive measures
(2)Every federal institution has the duty to ensure that positive measures are taken for the implementation of the commitments under subsections (1) and (1.‍1). Those measures may include measures, among others, to
(a)promote and support the learning of English and French in Canada;
(b)foster an acceptance and appreciation of both English and French by members of the public;
(c)induce and assist organizations and institutions to project and promote the bilingual character of Canada in their activities in Canada or elsewhere;
(d)support the creation and dissemination of information in French that contributes to the advancement of scientific knowledge in any discipline; and
(e)support sectors that are essential to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities, including the culture, education — from early childhood to post-secondary education — health, justice and immigration sectors, and protect and promote the presence of strong institutions serving those communities.
Protection and promotion of French
(2.‍1)Positive measures taken under subsection (2) shall respect the necessity of protecting and promoting the French language in each province and territory, taking into account that French is in a minority situation in Canada and North America due to the predominant use of English.
Regulations
(3)The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Treasury Board made after consultation with the Minister of Canadian Heritage, make regulations in respect of federal institutions, other than the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, office of the Senate Ethics Officer, office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Parliamentary Protective Service or office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, prescribing the manner in which any duties of those institutions under this Part are to be carried out.
For greater certainty
(4)For greater certainty, the express powers, duties and functions of certain ministers of the Crown provided for in this Part do not limit the duties of federal institutions under this Part.
22Section 42 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Commitment — bilingualism and promoting French abroad
42(1)The Government of Canada is committed to advancing the use of English and French in the conduct of Canada’s external affairs and to promoting French as part of Canada’s diplomatic relations.
Implementation
(2)The Minister of Foreign Affairs shall take such measures as that Minister considers appropriate for the implementation of the commitment under subsection (1).
Recognition — Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
42.‍1The Government of Canada recognizes that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in carrying out its purposes under the Broadcasting Act in accordance with the licences issued to it under that Act by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and subject to any applicable regulations of that Commission, contributes through its activities to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and to the protection and promotion of both official languages. This recognition is made while respecting the freedom of expression and the journalistic, creative and programming independence enjoyed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
23(1)Paragraphs 43(1)‍(b) to (g) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(b)support the development and promotion of francophone culture in Canada, including through the activities of entities for which that Minister is responsible and by ensuring that the Government of Canada’s cultural policies are consistent with the purpose of this Act;
(c)provide funding to an organization, independent of the Government of Canada, responsible for administering a program whose purpose is to provide funding for test cases of national significance to be brought before the courts to clarify and assert constitutional and quasi-constitutional official language rights;
(d)encourage and assist provincial and territorial governments to support the development of English and French linguistic minority communities generally and, in particular, to offer provincial, territorial and municipal services in both English and French and to provide opportunities for members of English or French linguistic minority communities to be educated in their own language;
(e)encourage and assist provincial and territorial governments and non-profit organizations to provide opportunities for everyone in Canada to learn both English and French and to foster an acceptance and appreciation of both English and French by members of the public;
(f)induce the business community, labour organizations, non-profit organizations and other organizations or institutions to provide services in both English and French and to foster the recognition and use of those languages;
(g)implement programs in support of official languages; and
(2)Paragraph 43(1)‍(f) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(f)induce the business community, including federally regulated private businesses, labour organizations, non-profit organizations and other organizations or institutions to provide services in both English and French and to foster the recognition and use of those languages;
(3)Subsection 43(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Consultation and information to public
(2)The Minister of Canadian Heritage shall take such measures as that Minister considers appropriate to ensure public consultation in the development of policies and review of programs relating to the advancement and the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society and shall provide information to the public relating to those policies and programs.
24The Act is amended by adding the following after section 44:
Policy on francophone immigration
44.‍1The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration shall adopt a policy on francophone immigration to enhance the vitality of French linguistic minority communities in Canada.
25Section 45 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Consultation and negotiation — provinces and territories
45Any minister of the Crown designated by the Governor in Council may consult and may negotiate agreements with the provincial and territorial governments to ensure, to the greatest practical extent but subject to Part IV, that the provision of federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and education services in both official languages is coordinated and that regard is had to the needs of the recipients of those services.
Cooperation — provinces and territories
45.‍1(1)The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of cooperating with provincial and territorial governments in the implementation of this Part, taking into account 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, including that
(a)the Constitution of Canada provides every person with the right to use English or French in the debates of the Houses of the Legislature of Quebec and those of the Legislature of Manitoba and the right to use English or French in any pleading or process in or from the courts of those provinces;
(b)Quebec’s Charter of the French language provides that French is the official language of Quebec;
(c)the Constitution of Canada provides that English and French are the official languages of New Brunswick and have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the legislature and government of New Brunswick; and
(d)the Constitution of Canada provides that the English linguistic community and the French linguistic community in New Brunswick have equality of status and equal rights and privileges.
For greater certainty
(2)For greater certainty, the implementation of this Part shall be carried out while respecting the jurisdiction and powers of the provinces and territories.
26The Act is amended by adding the following before the heading “Part VIII” before section 46:
PART VII.‍1
Federally Regulated Private Businesses in Quebec
Application
Application
45.‍2This Part applies to federally regulated private businesses that have more employees than the number of employees specified in the regulations.
Communications with and Services to Consumers
Communications and services in French
45.‍21(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.
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).
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.
Language of Work
Language rights at work
45.‍22(1)Employees of a federally regulated private business who occupy or are assigned to positions in a workplace in Quebec have the right to
(a)carry out their work and be supervised in French;
(b)receive all communications and documents from the federally regulated private business, including offers of employment or promotion, notices of termination of employment, collective agreements and grievances, in French; and
(c)use regularly and widely used work instruments and computer systems in French.
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).
Communication in both official languages
(3)The right referred to in paragraph (1)‍(b) does not preclude communications and documents from being in both official languages but the use of French shall be at least equivalent to the use of English.
Fostering use of French
45.‍23(1)A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec shall take measures to foster the use of French in those workplaces. Those measures shall include
(a)informing employees that it is subject to this Part;
(b)informing employees who occupy or are assigned to positions in those workplaces of their language of work rights and available remedies; and
(c)establishing a committee to support the management group that is responsible for the general direction of the federally regulated private business as a whole in the fostering of French and its use within the federally regulated private business.
Employee needs
(2)In developing the measures referred to in subsection (1), the federally regulated private business shall 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.
Adverse treatment
45.‍24(1)A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec shall not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces for the sole reason that the employee does not have a sufficient knowledge of a language other than French or that the employee has exercised a right under this Part or made a complaint to the Commissioner.
Acquired rights in Quebec
(2)A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec shall 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.
Exceptions
Broadcasting
45.‍25This Part does not apply in relation to a federally regulated private business in respect of activities or workplaces related to the broadcasting sector.
Charter of the French language
45.‍26(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 Part to a federally regulated private business if the federally regulated private business chooses to be subject to Quebec’s Charter of the French language.
Notice
(2)A federally regulated private business shall, 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.
Agreement with Quebec
(3)The Minister of Canadian Heritage 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).
General
Obligations relating to communications and services
45.‍27Wherever in this Part there is a duty in respect of communications and services in French, the duty applies in respect of oral and written communications and in respect of any documents or activities that relate to those communications or services.
Promotion of rights
45.‍28The Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for promoting the rights referred to in subsections 45.‍21(1) and 45.‍22(1) and for providing assistance, education and information to federally regulated private businesses in relation to those rights.
Regulations
Regulations
45.‍29(1)The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, make regulations for the purposes of this Part, including regulations
(a)specifying, for the purposes of section 45.‍2, a number of employees;
(b)defining, for the purposes of this Part, “close to retirement”, “condition that could impede the learning of French”, “consumer”, “employee”, “many years of service”, “treat adversely” and any term or expression that is used in this Part but not defined in section 3;
(c)respecting the establishment and operation of a committee referred to in paragraph 45.‍23(1)‍(c);
(d)exempting, with or without conditions, federally regulated private businesses from the application of any provision of this Part or its regulations in respect of activities or workplaces that are related to a specified sector of activity;
(e)exempting, with or without conditions, federally regulated private businesses from the application of any provision of this Part or its regulations for any reason, including reasons related to intellectual property rights, international standards or the conduct of interprovincial or international business; and
(f)respecting the notices referred to in subsection 45.‍26(2).
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.
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
(a)the volume of communications or services provided by federally regulated private businesses;
(b)the type of services, documents, computer systems or work instruments required by the employees of federally regulated private businesses; and
(c)the mandates of and the nature of the activities carried out by federally regulated private businesses.
27The heading of Part VII.‍1 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Federally Regulated Private Businesses in Quebec and Regions with a Strong Francophone Presence
28Subsection 45.‍21(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Communications and services in French
45.‍21(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.
29The portion of subsection of 45.‍22(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Language rights at work
45.‍22(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:
30The portion of subsection of 45.‍23(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Fostering use of French
45.‍23(1)A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence shall take measures to foster the use of French in those workplaces. Those measures shall include
31(1)Subsection of 45.‍24(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Adverse treatment
45.‍24(1)A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec or a region with a strong francophone presence shall not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces for the sole reason that the employee does not have a sufficient knowledge of a language other than French or that the employee has exercised a right under this Part or made a complaint to the Commissioner.
(2)Section 45.‍24 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
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 shall 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.
32(1)Paragraph 45.‍29(1)‍(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(b)defining, for the purposes of this Part, “close to retirement”, “condition that could impede the learning of French”, “consumer”, “employee”, “many years of service”, “region with a strong francophone presence”, “treat adversely” and any term or expression that is used in this Part but not defined in section 3;
(2)Subsection 45.‍29(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 federally regulated private businesses that have workplaces in a region with a strong francophone presence, and for federally regulated private businesses 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.
33(1)Subsection 46(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Responsibilities of Treasury Board
46(1)The Treasury Board has responsibility for the general direction and coordination of the policies and programs of the Government of Canada relating to the implementation of Parts IV, V and VI and subsection 41(2) in all federal institutions other than the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, office of the Senate Ethics Officer, office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Parliamentary Protective Service and office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
(2)Subsection 46(2) of the Act is amended by adding the following after paragraph (a):
(a.‍1)in consultation with the Minister of Canadian Heritage, establish policies, or recommend policies to the Governor in Council, to give effect to subsection 41(2);
(3)Paragraphs 46(2)‍(d) to (f) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(d)in consultation with the Minister of Canadian Heritage, issue directives to give effect to subsection 41(2); and
(4)Section 46 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
Duties of Treasury Board
(3)In carrying out its responsibilities under subsection (1), the Treasury Board shall
(a)monitor and audit federal institutions in respect of which it has responsibility for their compliance with policies, directives and regulations of Treasury Board or the Governor in Council relating to the official languages of Canada;
(b)evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of policies and programs of federal institutions relating to the official languages of Canada;
(c)provide information to the public and to employees of federal institutions relating to the policies and programs that give effect to Parts IV, V and VI; and
(d)provide information to employees of federal institutions relating to the policies and programs that give effect to subsection 41(2).
34Sections 47 and 48 of the Act are replaced by the following:
Audit reports to be made available to Commissioner
47The Chief Human Resources Officer appointed under subsection 6(2.‍1) of the Financial Administration Act shall provide the Commissioner with any audit reports that are prepared under paragraph 46(3)‍(a).
Annual report to Parliament
48The President of the Treasury Board shall, within such time as is reasonably practicable after the termination of each financial year, submit an annual report to Parliament on the exercise of the Treasury Board’s powers and the performance of its duties and functions conferred under this Act and the status of programs relating to the official languages of Canada in the various federal institutions in respect of which it has responsibility under section 46.
35Section 51 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Staff
51The employees that are necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the office of the Commissioner shall be appointed in the manner authorized by law.
36Section 53 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Public Service Superannuation Act
53The Commissioner and the employees of the office of the Commissioner appointed under section 51 shall be deemed to be persons employed in the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act.
37Section 56 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Duty of Commissioner under Act
56(1)It is the duty of the Commissioner to take all actions and measures within the authority of the Commissioner with a view to
(a)ensuring recognition of the status of each of the official languages and compliance with the spirit and intent of this Act in the administration of the affairs of federal institutions, including any of their activities relating to the advancement of English and French in Canadian society; and
(b)ensuring recognition of the rights and respect for the duties under Part VII.‍1 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 to which that Part applies, and the fostering by those businesses of the use of French in their workplaces as required by that Part.
Investigations
(2)Subject to subsection 81.‍3(4), it is the duty of the Commissioner, for the purpose set out in subsection (1), to conduct and carry out investigations either on the Commissioner’s own initiative or following any complaint made to the Commissioner and to report and make recommendations as provided in this Act.
38The heading before section 58 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Investigations, Compliance Agreements and Orders
39(1)Subsection 58(2) of the English version of the Act is replaced by the following:
Who may make complaint
(2)A complaint may be made to the Commissioner by any person or group of persons, regardless of the official language that they speak.
(2)Subsection 58(4) of the Act is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (b) and by adding the following after paragraph (c):
(d)the complaint was not made within a reasonable time after the subject-matter of the complaint arose;
(e)the subject-matter of the complaint has already been the subject of a report by the Commissioner under subsection 63(1);
(f)the federal institution concerned has taken corrective measures to resolve the complaint; or
(g)the Commissioner has entered into a compliance agreement under subsection 64.‍1(1) in respect of the subject-matter of the complaint.
40Subsection 61(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Receiving and obtaining information
(2)The Commissioner may direct that information relating to any investigation under this Act be received or obtained, in whole or in part, by any employee of the office of the Commissioner appointed under section 51 and that employee shall, subject to any restrictions or limitations that the Commissioner may specify, have all the powers and duties of the Commissioner under this Act in relation to the receiving or obtaining of that information.
41(1)Section 62 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):
Alternative dispute resolution
(1.‍1)The Commissioner may, at any time in the course of an investigation, attempt to resolve a complaint by means of a process of alternative dispute resolution, other than arbitration.
(2)The portion of subsection 62(2) of the English version of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Report — threats, intimidation, discrimination or obstruction
(2)The Commissioner may provide a report with reasons to the President of the Treasury Board and the deputy head or other administrative head of any federal institution concerned if the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that
(3)Paragraph 62(2)‍(b) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:
b)que son action, ou celle d’une personne agissant en son nom ou sous son autorité dans l’exercice des attributions du commissaire, a été entravée.
(4)The portion of subsection 62(2) of the English version of the Act after paragraph (b) is repealed.
42The Act is amended by adding the following after section 63:
Publication
63.‍1(1)After carrying out an investigation under this Act, the Commissioner may make any of the following information public:
(a)a summary of the investigation;
(b)the findings of the investigation;
(c)any recommendations made by the Commissioner under subsection 63(3).
Identifying information
(2)The Commissioner shall ensure that the information made public under subsection (1) is not in a form that could reasonably be expected to identify the complainant or any individual.
Notice
(3)Before making the information public, the Commissioner shall give to the deputy head or other administrative head of any federal institution concerned at least 30 business days’ notice of the Commissioner’s intention to make it public.
43The Act is amended by adding the following after section 64:
Compliance agreement
64.‍1(1)If, at any time during the course of or after carrying out an investigation, the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that a federal institution has contravened this Act, the Commissioner may enter into a compliance agreement with that federal institution aimed at ensuring compliance with this Act.
Other party
(2)The complainant may, at the invitation of the Commissioner, be made a party to the compliance agreement.
Terms
(3)A compliance agreement may contain any terms that the Commissioner considers necessary to ensure compliance with this Act.
Effect of compliance agreement — Commissioner
64.‍2(1)Once a compliance agreement is entered into, the Commissioner
(a)is not permitted to make an order under subsection 64.‍5(1) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement;
(b)is not permitted to make an application under paragraph 78(1)‍(a) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement; and
(c)shall apply to the Federal Court for the suspension of any pending applications that the Commissioner made under paragraph 78(1)‍(a) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement.
Effect of compliance agreement — complainant
(2)The complainant, if they are a party to the compliance agreement entered into,
(a)is not permitted to make an application under subsection 77(1) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement; and
(b)shall apply to the Federal Court for the suspension of any pending applications that they made under subsection 77(1) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement.
Compliance agreement complied with
64.‍3If the Commissioner is of the opinion that a federal institution has complied with a compliance agreement,
(a)the Commissioner shall provide written notice to that effect to the federal institution and, if the complainant is a party to the agreement, to the complainant;
(b)the Commissioner shall withdraw any applications that the Commissioner made under paragraph 78(1)‍(a) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement; and
(c)the complainant, if they are a party to the agreement, shall withdraw any applications that they made under subsection 77(1) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement.
Compliance agreement not complied with
64.‍4(1)If the Commissioner is of the opinion that a federal institution has not complied with a compliance agreement, the Commissioner shall provide written notice to that effect to the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution and to the complainant, if they are a party to the agreement, and may apply to the Federal Court
(a)for an order requiring the federal institution to comply with the agreement, in addition to any other remedies that the Federal Court may give; or
(b)for a remedy in accordance with paragraph 78(1)‍(a) or for the reinstatement of proceedings that have been suspended as a result of any application made under paragraph 64.‍2(1)‍(c).
Parties to proceedings
(2)A federal institution whose deputy head or other administrative head receives a notice under subsection (1), and a complainant who receives a notice under that subsection, have the right to appear as parties to the proceedings.
Complainant
(3)On receipt of the notice, the complainant may apply to the Federal Court for a remedy in accordance with subsection 77(1) or for the reinstatement of proceedings that have been suspended as a result of an application made under paragraph 64.‍2(2)‍(b).
Time for application
(4)Despite subsection 77(2) and paragraph 78(1)‍(a) but subject to subsection 77(3), the application shall be made within one year after the date of the notice or within any longer period that the Federal Court may, either before or after the expiry of that year, allow.
Commissioner’s order
64.‍5(1)If, after carrying out an investigation of a complaint in respect of a right or duty under Part IV or V, the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that a federal institution has contravened that Part and has made recommendations under subsection 63(3) in respect of that contravention, or in respect of an identical contravention of that Part by the institution, the Commissioner may make an order directing that institution to take any action that the Commissioner considers appropriate to rectify the contravention.
Limitation
(2)However, the Commissioner is not permitted to make an order in respect of the subject-matter of a complaint unless, before making the order, the Commissioner invited the federal institution to enter into a compliance agreement under subsection 64.‍1(1) in respect of that subject-matter.
Preconditions to order
(3)Before making an order under subsection (1), the Commissioner shall provide to the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution concerned a notice that sets out
(a)the order that the Commissioner intends to make; and
(b)a statement that within 20 days after the day on which the deputy head or other administrative head receives the notice, that deputy head or other administrative head shall notify the Commissioner
(i)of the action taken or proposed to be taken by the federal institution to implement the proposed order or the recommendations made under subsection 63(3), or the reasons why no such action has been or is proposed to be taken, or
(ii)whether the federal institution wishes to enter into a compliance agreement under subsection 64.‍1(1).
Condition
(4)The order may include any condition that the Commissioner considers appropriate.
Notice of order
(5)The Commissioner shall provide to the complainant and to the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution a notice that sets out
(a)any order that the Commissioner makes;
(b)a statement that the complainant and the federal institution each have the right to apply for a review under section 78.‍1, within the period specified for exercising that right, and that they must comply with section 78.‍5 if they exercise that right; and
(c)a statement that if neither the complainant nor the federal institution applies for a review within the period specified for doing so, any order set out in the notice takes effect in accordance with subsection (6).
Effect
(6)The order takes effect on the 31st business day after the day on which the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution receives the notice.
Deemed date of receipt
(7)For the purpose of this section, the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution is deemed to have received a notice on the fifth business day after the date of the notice.
Filing of order
64.‍6(1)If the Commissioner is of the opinion that a federal institution has not complied with the terms of an order made under subsection 64.‍5(1), the Commissioner may file in the Federal Court a copy of the order certified by the Commissioner to be a true copy.
Effect of filing
(2)On the certified copy being filed, the decision becomes and may be enforced as an order of the Federal Court.
44Section 66 of the Act is renumbered as subsection 66(1) and is amended by adding the following:
Part of report
(2)The Commissioner shall include, as part of the report, in respect of each federal institution concerned,
(a)the number of times that the Commissioner refused or ceased to investigate a complaint under subsection 58(4) and the paragraph of that subsection that was relied on;
(b)for each process of alternative dispute resolution used, the number of complaints on which that process was used and the number of them that were resolved through that process;
(c)the number of times that the Commissioner published any information under subsection 63.‍1(1);
(d)the number of complaints that were made the object of a compliance agreement under subsection 64.‍1(1), a description of the contravention that resulted in the agreement being entered into and an indication as to whether the federal institution complied with the agreement and, if not, any measures taken by the Commissioner as a result; and
(e)the number of complaints that were made the object of an order under subsection 64.‍5(1), a description of the contravention that resulted in the order being made and an indication as to whether the federal institution complied with the order and, if not, any measures taken by the Commissioner as a result.
45The Act is amended by adding the following after section 75:
Federally Regulated Private Businesses — Communications with and Services to Consumers
References
75.‍1(1)Subject to subsection (3), for the purpose of applying this Part in respect of complaints made in respect of a right or duty under section 45.‍21, or to investigations conducted or carried out on the Commissioner’s own initiative in respect of a right or duty under that section,
(a)a reference in this Part to a federal institution is to be read as a reference to a federally regulated private business to which Part VII.‍1 applies;
(b)a reference in this 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
(c)a reference in subsection 64.‍5(1) to Part IV or V is to be read as a reference to section 45.‍21.
Report
(2)For the purposes of subsections 62(2) and 63(1), the Commissioner shall make a report only to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.
Non-application
(3)Subsections 65(3) and (4) do not apply with respect to a complaint or investigation referred to in subsection (1).
46(1)Subsection 77(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Application for remedy
77(1)Subject to subsection 81.‍5(5), any person who has made a complaint to the Commissioner in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 4 to 7 and 10 to 13, Parts IV, V and VII and sections 45.‍21 to 45.‍24, or in respect of section 91, may apply to the Court for a remedy under this Part.
(2)The portion of subsection 77(2) of the English version of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Time limit
(2)An application may be made under subsection (1) within 60 days — or within any further time that the Court may allow, on request made either before or after the expiry of those 60 days — after
(3)The portion of subsection 77(2) of the English version of the Act after paragraph (c) is repealed.
(4)Section 77 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (4):
Conflict — compliance agreement
(4.‍1)If there is a conflict between a provision of an order made under paragraph 64.‍4(1)‍(a) and a provision of an order made under subsection (4), the order made under subsection (4) prevails to the extent of the conflict.
Conflict — Commissioner’s order
(4.‍2)If there is a conflict between a provision of an order filed under subsection 64.‍6(1) and a provision of an order made under subsection (4), the order made under subsection (4) prevails to the extent of the conflict.
47(1)Section 78 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):
Exception
(1.‍1)Despite paragraph (1)‍(a), if the Commissioner makes an order under subsection 64.‍5(1), the Commissioner
(a)is not permitted to make an application under paragraph (1)‍(a) in respect of any matter that is the subject of the order; and
(b)shall withdraw any applications that were made under paragraph (1)‍(a) in respect of any matter that is the subject of the order.
(2)Subsection 78(3) of the English version of the Act is replaced by the following:
Capacity to intervene
(3)Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from the capacity of the Commissioner to seek leave to intervene in any judicial proceedings relating to the status or use of English or French.
48The Act is amended by adding the following after section 78:
Review by Court — complainant
78.‍1(1)A person who makes a complaint described in subsection 64.‍5(1) and who receives a notice under subsection 64.‍5(5) in respect of the complaint may, within 30 business days after the day on which the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution receives the notice, apply to the Court for a review of any matter that is the subject of the order set out in the notice.
Review by Court — federal institution
(2)A federal institution may, within 30 business days after the day on which its deputy head or other administrative head receives a notice under subsection 64.‍5(5), apply to the Court for a review of any matter that is the subject of the order set out in the notice.
Respondents
(3)A complainant who applies for a review under subsection (1) may name only the federal institution concerned as the respondent to the proceedings. A federal institution that applies for a review under subsection (2) may name only the Commissioner as the respondent to the proceedings.
Deemed date of receipt
(4)For the purposes of this section, the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution is deemed to have received the notice on the fifth business day after the date of the notice.
Order stayed
78.‍2(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the making of an application under section 78.‍1 operates as a stay of the order set out in the notice received under subsection 64.‍5(5) until the proceedings are finally concluded.
Cancellation or suspension of stay by Court
(2)The Court may cancel the stay of the order or may suspend the operation of the stay temporarily subject to any terms that it considers appropriate.
Part of order operative
(3)Any part of the order that relates to a matter that is not the subject of the proceedings becomes operative.
Party to review — federal institution
78.‍3(1)If a complainant who receives a notice under subsection 64.‍5(5) applies to the Court for a review under subsection 78.‍1(1), the federal institution whose deputy head or other administrative head received the notice under subsection 64.‍5(5) has the right to appear as a party to the review.
Party to review — complainant
(2)If the federal institution whose deputy head or other administrative head receives a notice under subsection 64.‍5(5) applies to the Court for a review under subsection 78.‍1(2), the complainant who received the notice under subsection 64.‍5(5) has the right to appear as a party to the review.
Scope of proceeding
(3)If a complainant files notice of their intention to appear as a party to a review with the Court within 10 business days after the expiry of the period referred to in subsection 78.‍1(2), they may raise for determination by the Court any matter in respect of which they may make an application under subsection 78.‍1(1).
Appearance by Commissioner
78.‍4The Commissioner may
(a)appear before the Court on behalf of a complainant; or
(b)appear as a party to any review applied for under section 78.‍1.
Service of originating document
78.‍5(1)If a complainant makes an application for a review under subsection 78.‍1(1), they shall immediately serve a copy of the originating document on the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution whose deputy head or other administrative head received the notice under subsection 64.‍5(5).
Service or notice
(2)If a federal institution makes an application for a review under subsection 78.‍1(2), its deputy head or other administrative head shall immediately serve a copy of the originating document on the Commissioner. However, if the deputy head or other administrative head of a federal institution is served with a copy of an originating document under subsection (1), that deputy head or other administrative head shall, as soon as possible after being served, give written notice of the application to the Commissioner, unless the Commissioner has already been served with a copy of the document.
De novo review
78.‍6For greater certainty, an application under section 78.‍1 is to be heard and determined as a new proceeding.
Order of Court
78.‍7The Court shall, in respect of any matter that is the subject of the proceedings,
(a)make an order declaring that the federal institution concerned is required to comply with the provisions of the Commissioner’s order that relate to that matter;
(b)make an order declaring that the federal institution concerned is not required to comply with the provisions of the Commissioner’s order that relate to that matter; or
(c)make any other order that it considers appropriate.
Incompatible provisions
78.‍8(1)An order of the Court made under section 78.‍7 has the effect of rescinding the provisions of the Commissioner’s order relating to any matter that is the subject of the proceedings that are incompatible with the Court’s order.
Specification of rescinded provisions
(2)The Court must specify in any order that it makes the provisions of the Commissioner’s order that are rescinded under subsection (1).
49Subsection 81(2) of the English version of the Act is replaced by the following:
Costs
(2)If the Court is of the opinion that an application under section 77 or 78.‍1 has raised an important new principle in relation to this Act, the Court shall order that costs be awarded to the applicant even if the applicant has not been successful in the result.
50The Act is amended by adding the following after section 81:
References
81.‍1For the purpose of applying this Part in respect of complaints made in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 45.‍21 to 45.‍24,
(a)a reference in this Part to a federal institution is to be read as a reference to a federally regulated private business to which Part VII.‍1 applies; and
(b)a reference in this 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.
PART X.‍1
Complaints in Relation to Language of Work in the Private Sector
Definitions
81.‍2(1)The following definitions apply in this Part.
Board means the Canada Industrial Relations Board established by section 9 of the Canada Labour Code.‍ (Conseil)
parties, in relation to a complaint, 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)
Board
(2)For the purposes of this Part, 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.
Complaint to Commissioner
81.‍3(1)An employee referred to in any of sections 45.‍22 to 45.‍24 may make a complaint to the Commissioner if the employee believes that the federally regulated private business that employs them, and to which Part VII.‍1 applies, has failed to comply with any of those sections.
Limitation or prescription period
(2)The complaint must be made no later than the 90th day after the earlier of
(a)the day on which the employee became aware of the act or omission giving rise to the alleged failure to comply; and
(b)the day on which the employee ought, in the Commissioner’s opinion, to have become aware of that act or omission.
Extension
(3)The Commissioner may extend the 90-day period
(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
(b)in any other circumstance that is prescribed by regulation of the Governor in Council.
No investigation
(4)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 45.‍22 to 45.‍24.
Application of Part IX
81.‍4(1)Subject to subsections (2) to (6) and sections 81.‍3 and 81.‍5, Part IX applies with respect to a complaint made under section 81.‍3 as if the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint were a federal institution.
Reference to deputy head
(2)A reference in Part IX 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.
Report
(3)For the purposes of subsections 62(2) and 63(1), the Commissioner shall make a report only to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.
Reference to certain Parts
(4)A reference in subsection 64.‍5(1) to Part IV or V is to be read as a reference to sections 45.‍22 to 45.‍24.
Non-application
(5)Subsections 65(3) and (4) do not apply with respect to the complaint.
Special report
(6)The Commissioner may make a special report under subsection 67(1) with respect to a complaint referred to the Board only after the Board has decided whether the complaint is well-founded.
Referral to Board
81.‍5(1)The Commissioner may, with the consent of the complainant, refer the complaint to the Board if the Commissioner has attempted to resolve the complaint but is of the opinion that
(a)the Commissioner will not be able to resolve the complaint within what the Commissioner considers to be a reasonable period; and
(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.
Limitation
(2)However, the Commissioner is not permitted to refer a complaint to the Board if the Commissioner has, in respect of the complaint,
(a)entered into a compliance agreement under subsection 64.‍1(1) with the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint; or
(b)made an order with respect to that federally regulated private business under subsection 64.‍5(1).
Notice to parties
(3)Before referring the complaint to the Board, the Commissioner shall provide the parties with reasonable notice of the Commissioner’s intention to do so and provide the parties with an opportunity to make representations.
Document or evidence
(4)Once the complaint is referred to the Board, the Commissioner shall provide the Board with any document or evidence in respect of the complaint that the Commissioner considers relevant.
Non-application
(5)Part X no longer applies with respect to the complaint after it has been referred to the Board.
Board’s decision
81.‍6(1)The Board shall decide whether a complaint referred to it by the Commissioner is well-founded.
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.
Member presiding over panel
(3)If the Chairperson assigns a panel of members to deal with the complaint, the Chairperson shall designate a member of the panel to preside over it.
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 Part 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 81.‍91.
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 under this Part is deemed to be a decision made by the Board.
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.
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.
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 Part.
External adjudicator — remuneration and expenses
(9)An external adjudicator shall 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.
Dealing with complaint
81.‍7In dealing with any complaint under this Part, the Board
(a)shall proceed as informally and expeditiously as the circumstances and considerations of fairness permit; and
(b)is not bound by legal or technical rules of evidence.
Powers of Board
81.‍8The Board has, in relation to a complaint referred to it by the Commissioner, the power
(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;
(b)to administer oaths;
(c)to receive, and base a decision on, any evidence adduced that the Board believes to be credible;
(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;
(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;
(f)to abridge or extend the time for doing any act, filing any document or presenting any evidence;
(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;
(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;
(i)to adjourn or postpone any proceeding from time to time;
(j)to defer deciding any matter, if the Board considers that the matter could be resolved by an alternate method of resolution;
(k)to amend or permit the amendment of any document filed in connection with the complaint;
(l)to add a party at any stage;
(m)to permit an interested person to intervene at any stage;
(n)to merge complaints that relate to the same situation or subject matter;
(o)to decide any matter that may arise in connection with the complaint;
(p)to take notice of facts that may be judicially noticed;
(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
(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.
Consultation
81.‍9A 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.
Regulations
81.‍91(1)The Board may make regulations respecting its powers, duties and functions under this Part, including regulations respecting
(a)rules of procedure for proceedings;
(b)the use of means of telecommunication that permit simultaneous communication;
(c)the forms to be used in connection with a complaint;
(d)the time within which and the circumstances under which the Board may exercise its powers under this Part;
(e)the form in which and the period during which evidence may be presented to the Board;
(f)the time within which and the parties or persons to whom notices and other documents shall 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
(g)the delegation of the Board’s powers under paragraph 81.‍8(h).
Non-application
(2)Section 57 does not apply with respect to regulations made under subsection (1).
Rejection of complaint
81.‍92(1)The Board may reject a complaint, in whole or in part, if the Board is satisfied that
(a)the complaint is not within its jurisdiction;
(b)the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith;
(c)there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint;
(d)the complaint has been settled in writing between the complainant and the federally regulated private business;
(e)there are other means available to the complainant to resolve the subject matter of the complaint that the Board considers should be pursued;
(f)the subject matter of the complaint has been adequately dealt with through recourse obtained before a court, tribunal, arbitrator or adjudicator; or
(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.
Notice of rejection
(2)If the Board rejects a complaint, it shall notify the parties in writing, with reasons.
Board orders
81.‍93If 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
(a)permit the complainant to return to the duties of their employment;
(b)reinstate the complainant;
(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;
(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
(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.
Copy of decision
81.‍94The Board shall 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 81.‍93, with reasons.
Enforcement of orders
81.‍95(1)Any person affected by an order of the Board made under section 81.‍93, 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 of Appeal 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.
Registration
(2)Once filed, the order shall be registered in the 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.
No civil remedy affected
81.‍96No civil remedy of an employee against an employer is suspended or affected by this Part.
Regulations
81.‍97The Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of this Part.
51Section 83 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Rights relating to other languages
83(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.
Maintenance of linguistic heritage
(2)Nothing in this Act shall 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.
52Subsection 86(3) of the English version of the Act is replaced by the following:
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 shall be counted.
53Subsection 87(5) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:
Définition de jour de séance
(5)Pour l’application du présent article, jour de séance s’entend, à l’égard d’une chambre du Parlement, de tout jour où elle siège.
54Section 89 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Section 126 of Criminal Code
89Section 126 of the Criminal Code does not apply to or in respect of any contravention of any provision of this Act or the regulations.
55Section 91 of the Act is replaced by the following:
Staffing generally
91Nothing in this Act authorizes the application of official language requirements to a particular staffing action unless those requirements are objectively required to perform the functions for which the staffing action is undertaken.
56The Act is amended by adding the following after section 93:
Review
93.‍1(1)On the 10th anniversary of the day on which this section comes into force and every 10 years after that anniversary, the Minister of Canadian Heritage shall undertake a review of the provisions and operation of this Act.
Report
(2)That Minister shall 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.
57The Act is amended by adding the following after the heading “Transitional” after the heading of Part XIV:
Compliance agreements — Quebec (communications and services)
104(1)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍1(1) in respect of a complaint made by a consumer in Quebec in respect of a right or duty under section 45.‍21.
Compliance agreements — Quebec (language of work)
(2)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍1(1) 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 45.‍22 to 45.‍24.
Orders — Quebec (communications and services)
(3)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍5(1) in respect of a complaint made by a consumer in Quebec in respect of a right or duty under section 45.‍21.
Orders — Quebec (language of work)
(4)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍5(1) 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 45.‍22 to 45.‍24.
58The Act is amended by adding the following after section 104:
Compliance agreements — regions with a strong francophone presence (communications and services)
105(1)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍1(1) 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 45.‍21.
Compliance agreements — regions with a strong francophone presence (language of work)
(2)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍1(1) 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 45.‍22 to 45.‍24.
Orders — regions with a strong francophone presence (communications and services)
(3)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍5(1) 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 45.‍21.
Orders — regions with a strong francophone presence (language of work)
(4)The Commissioner is not permitted to exercise, before the day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, the powers under subsection 64.‍5(1) 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 45.‍22 to 45.‍24.
59Sections 107 and 108 of the Act are repealed.

Related Amendments

R.‍S.‍, c. L-2

Canada Labour Code

60Subsection 9(2) of the Canada Labour Code is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (d), by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (e) and by adding the following after paragraph (e):
(f)any other full-time or part-time members that the Governor in Council considers necessary to assist the Board in carrying out its functions under the Official Languages Act.
61Subsection 10(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Exception
(3)The members of the Board appointed pursuant to paragraph 9(2)‍(e) or (f) are to be appointed by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, to hold office during good behaviour for terms not exceeding three years each, subject to removal by the Governor in Council at any time for cause.
Members appointed pursuant to paragraph 9(2)‍(f)
(3.‍1)The members of the Board appointed pursuant to paragraph 9(2)‍(f) must have experience and expertise in official language rights.
62Subsection 11(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Part-time occupation
(2)A part-time Vice-Chairperson, or a member appointed pursuant to paragraph 9(2)‍(e) or (f), must not hold any other employment or office in respect of which they receive any remuneration and that is inconsistent with their duties under this Act or the Official Languages Act.
63Section 12.‍02 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (4):
Members — paragraph 9(2)‍(f)
(5)For greater certainty, members appointed pursuant to paragraph 9(2)‍(f) are not permitted to vote on the making of regulations under section 15.
1995, c. 11

Department of Canadian Heritage Act

64The Department of Canadian Heritage Act is amended by adding the following after section 7:
Funding — test cases
7.‍1To promote a greater understanding of human rights, fundamental freedoms and related values, the Minister may take measures to provide funding to an organization, independent of the Government of Canada, responsible for administering a program whose purpose is to provide funding for test cases of national significance to be brought before the courts to clarify and assert constitutional human rights.

Consequential Amendments

R.‍S.‍, c. 35 (4th Supp.‍)

Air Canada Public Participation Act

65Subsection 10(1) of the Air Canada Public Participation Act is replaced by the following:
Official Languages Act
10(1)The Official Languages Act, other than Part VII.‍1, applies to the Corporation.
1995, c. 24

CN Commercialization Act

66Section 15 of the CN Commercialization Act is replaced by the following:
Application of Official Languages Act
15The Official Languages Act, other than Part VII.‍1, continues to apply to CN as if it continued to be a federal institution within the meaning of that Act.
1996, c. 20

Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act

67Section 96 of the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act is replaced by the following:
Official Languages Act applies
96The Official Languages Act, other than Part VII.‍1, applies to the Corporation as if it were a federal institution.

Regulations

Power to repeal
68The Governor in Council may, by regulation, repeal the C.‍N.‍R. Company Exemption Order, C.‍R.‍C.‍, c. 1244.

Coordinating Amendment

Bill C-10
69If Bill C-10, introduced in the 2nd session of the 43rd Parliament and entitled An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, receives royal assent, then, on the first day on which both section 25 of that Act and section 22 of this Act are in force, section 42.‍1 of the Official Languages Act is replaced by the following:
Recognition — Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
42.‍1The Government of Canada recognizes that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in carrying out its purposes under the Broadcasting Act and subject to any applicable orders and regulations of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, contributes through its activities to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and to the protection and promotion of both official languages. This recognition is made while respecting the freedom of expression and the journalistic, creative and programming independence enjoyed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Coming into Force

Order in council
70(1)Subsections 2(4), 3(2), 6(3) and 23(2), sections 26, 37 and 45, subsection 46(1) and sections 50, 57, 60 to 63 and 65 to 67 come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.
Second anniversary
(2)Subsections 2(5) and 3(3) and sections 27 to 32 and 58 come into force on the second anniversary of the day on which section 26 comes into force.
Order in council
(3)Section 24 comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.