French Language Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32Skip to content
|O. Reg. 544/22||ACTIVE OFFER OF SERVICES IN FRENCH - PRESCRIBED MEASURES|
|O. Reg. 284/11||PROVISION OF FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES ON BEHALF OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES|
|O. Reg. 407/94||DESIGNATION OF ADDITIONAL AREAS|
|O. Reg. 398/93||DESIGNATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE AGENCIES|
|O. Reg. 671/92||EXEMPTIONS|
French Language Services Act
R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER F.32
Historical version for the period January 1, 2003 to December 15, 2004.
Amended by: 1993, c. 27, Sched.; O. Reg. 407/94, s. 1; 1997, c. 25, Sched. E, s. 3; 1997, c. 26, Sched.; 1999, c. 14, Sched. F, s. 4; 2000, c. 5, s. 12; 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.
Whereas the French language is an historic and honoured language in Ontario and recognized by the Constitution as an official language in Canada; and whereas in Ontario the French language is recognized as an official language in the courts and in education; and whereas the Legislative Assembly recognizes the contribution of the cultural heritage of the French speaking population and wishes to preserve it for future generations; and whereas it is desirable to guarantee the use of the French language in institutions of the Legislature and the Government of Ontario, as provided in this Act;
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. In this Act,
“government agency” means,
(a) a ministry of the Government of Ontario, except that a psychiatric facility, residential facility or college of applied arts and technology that is administered by a ministry is not included unless it is designated as a public service agency by the regulations,
(b) a board, commission or corporation the majority of whose members or directors are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council,
(c) a non-profit corporation or similar entity that provides a service to the public, is subsidized in whole or in part by public money and is designated as a public service agency by the regulations,
(d) a nursing home as defined in the Nursing Homes Act or a home for special care as defined in the Homes for Special Care Act that is designated as a public service agency by the regulations,
(e) a service provider as defined in the Child and Family Services Act or a board as defined in the District Social Services Administration Boards Act that is designated as a public service agency by the regulations,
and does not include a municipality, or a local board as defined in the Municipal Affairs Act, other than a local board that is designated under clause (e); (“organisme gouvernemental”)
“service” means any service or procedure that is provided to the public by a government agency or institution of the Legislature and includes all communications for the purpose. (“service”) R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 1; 1997, c. 25, Sched. E, s. 3.
Provision of services in French
2. The Government of Ontario shall ensure that services are provided in French in accordance with this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 2.
Use of English or French in Legislative Assembly
3. (1) Everyone has the right to use English or French in the debates and other proceedings of the Legislative Assembly. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 3 (1).
Bills and Acts of the Assembly
(2) The public Bills of the Legislative Assembly introduced after the 1st day of January, 1991 shall be introduced and enacted in both English and French. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 3 (2).
Translation of Statutes
4. (1) Before the 31st day of December, 1991, the Attorney General shall cause to be translated into French a consolidation of the public general statutes of Ontario that were re-enacted in the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1980, or enacted in English only after the coming into force of the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1980, and that are in force on the 31st day of December, 1990. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 4 (1).
(2) The Attorney General shall present the translations referred to in subsection (1) to the Legislative Assembly for enactment. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 4 (2).
Translation of regulations
(3) The Attorney General shall cause to be translated into French such regulations as the Attorney General considers appropriate and shall recommend the translations to the Executive Council or other regulation-making authority for adoption. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 4 (3).
Right to services in French
5. (1) A person has the right in accordance with this Act to communicate in French with, and to receive available services in French from, any head or central office of a government agency or institution of the Legislature, and has the same right in respect of any other office of such agency or institution that is located in or serves an area designated in the Schedule. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 5 (1).
Duplication of services
(2) When the same service is provided by more than one office in a designated area, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate one or more of those offices to provide the service in French if the Lieutenant Governor in Council is of the opinion that the public in the designated area will thereby have reasonable access to the service in French. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 5 (2).
(3) If one or more offices are designated under subsection (2), subsection (1) does not apply in respect of the service provided by the other offices in the designated area. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 5 (3).
Existing practice protected
6. This Act shall not be construed to limit the use of the English or French language outside of the application of this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 6.
Limitation of obligations of government agencies, etc.
7. The obligations of government agencies and institutions of the Legislature under this Act are subject to such limits as circumstances make reasonable and necessary, if all reasonable measures and plans for compliance with this Act have been taken or made. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 7.
8. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,
(a) designating public service agencies for the purpose of the definition of “government agency”;
(b) amending the Schedule by adding areas to it;
(c) exempting services from the application of sections 2 and 5 where, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, it is reasonable and necessary to do so and where the exemption does not derogate from the general purpose and intent of this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 8.
Public service agencies; limited designation
9. (1) A regulation designating a public service agency may limit the designation to apply only in respect of specified services provided by the agency, or may specify services that are excluded from the designation. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 9 (1).
Consent of university
(2) A regulation made under this Act that applies to a university is not effective without the university’s consent. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 9 (2).
Notice and comment re exempting regulation, etc.
10. (1) This section applies to a regulation,
(a) exempting a service under clause 8 (1) (c);
(b) revoking the designation of a public service agency;
(c) amending a regulation designating a public service agency so as to exclude or remove a service from the designation. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 10 (1).
(2) A regulation to which this section applies shall not be made until at least forty-five days after a notice has been published in The Ontario Gazette and a newspaper of general circulation in Ontario setting forth the substance of the proposed regulation and inviting comments to be submitted to the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 10 (2).
(3) After the expiration of the forty-five day period, the regulation with such changes as are considered advisable may be made without further notice. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 10 (3).
11. (1) The Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs is responsible for the administration of this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 11 (1).
(2) The functions of the Minister are to develop and co-ordinate the policies and programs of the government relating to Francophone Affairs and the provision of French language services and for the purpose, the Minister may,
(a) prepare and recommend government plans, policies and priorities for the provision of French language services;
(b) co-ordinate, monitor and oversee the implementation of programs of the government for the provision of French language services by government agencies and of programs relating to the use of the French language;
(c) make recommendations in connection with the financing of government programs for the provision of French language services;
(d) investigate and respond to public complaints respecting the provision of French language services;
(e) require the formulation and submission of government plans for the implementation of this Act and fix time limits for their formulation and submission,
and shall perform such duties as are assigned to the Minister by order in council or by any other Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 11 (2); 1993, c. 27, Sched.
(3) The Minister, after the close of each fiscal year, shall submit to the Lieutenant Governor in Council an annual report upon the affairs of the Office of Francophone Affairs and shall then lay the report before the Assembly if it is in session or, if not, at the next session. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 11 (3).
Office for Francophone Affairs
12. (1) Such employees as are considered necessary shall be appointed under the Public Service Act for the administration of the functions of the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs, and shall be known as the Office of Francophone Affairs. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 12 (1).
Function of Office of Francophone Affairs
(2) The Office of Francophone Affairs may,
(a) review the availability and quality of French language services and make recommendations for their improvement;
(b) recommend the designation of public service agencies and the addition of designated areas to the Schedule;
(c) require non-profit corporations and similar entities, facilities, homes and colleges referred to in the definition of “government agency” to furnish to the Office information that may be relevant in the formulation of recommendations respecting their designation as public service agencies;
(d) recommend changes in the plans of government agencies for the provision of French language services;
(e) make recommendations in respect of an exemption or proposed exemption of services under clause 8 (1) (c),
and shall perform any other function assigned to it by the Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs, the Executive Council or the Legislative Assembly. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 12 (2); 1993, c. 27, Sched.
French language services co-ordinators
13. (1) A French language services co-ordinator shall be appointed for each ministry of the government. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 13 (1).
(2) There shall be a committee consisting of the French language services co-ordinators, presided over by the senior official of the Office of Francophone Affairs. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 13 (2).
(3) Each French language services co-ordinator may communicate directly with his or her deputy minister. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 13 (3).
(4) Each deputy minister is accountable to the Executive Council for the implementation of this Act and the quality of the French language services in the ministry. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 13 (4).
Municipal by-laws re official languages
14. (1) The council of a municipality that is in an area designated in the Schedule may pass a by-law providing that the administration of the municipality shall be conducted in both English and French and that all or specified municipal services to the public shall be made available in both languages. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 14 (1).
Right to services in English and French
(2) When a by-law referred to in subsection (1) is in effect, a person has the right to communicate in English or French with any office of the municipality, and to receive available services to which the by-law applies, in either language. R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, s. 14 (2).
(3) Where an area designated in the Schedule is in a regional municipality and the council of a municipality in the area passes a by-law under subsection (1), the council of the regional municipality may also pass a by-law under subsection (1) in respect of its administration and services. 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.
MUNICIPALITY OR DISTRICT
City of Greater Sudbury
City of Hamilton
All of the City of Hamilton as it exists on December 31, 2000
City of Ottawa
City of Toronto
Regional Municipality of Niagara
Cities of: Port Colborne and Welland
Regional Municipality of Peel
City of Mississauga
County of Dundas
Township of Winchester
County of Essex
City of Windsor
Towns of: Belle River and Tecumseh
Townships of: Anderdon, Colchester North, Maidstone, Sandwich South, Sandwich West, Tilbury North, Tilbury West and Rochester
County of Glengarry
County of Kent
Town of Tilbury
Townships of: Dover and Tilbury East
County of Middlesex
City of London
County of Prescott
County of Renfrew
City of Pembroke
Townships of: Stafford and Westmeath
County of Russell
County of Simcoe
Town of Penetanguishene
Townships of: Tiny and Essa
County of Stormont
District of Algoma
District of Cochrane
District of Kenora
Township of Ignace
District of Nippissing
District of Sudbury
District of Thunder Bay
Towns of: Geraldton, Longlac and Marathon
Townships of: Manitouwadge, Beardmore, Nakina and Terrace Bay
District of Timiskaming
R.S.O. 1990, c. F.32, Sched.; O. Reg. 407/94; 1997, c. 26, Sched.; 1999, c. 14, Sched. F, s. 4; 2000, c. 5, s. 12.