French Language Laws

The unique requirements of the Charter of the French Language in Québec pose many challenges for businesses, as do the requirements of the Official Languages Act in respect of certain federally regulated organizations.

An Act Respecting French, the official and common language of Québec enacted significant amendments to the Charter of the French Language that significantly increase compliance issues and risk in respect of doing business in Québec.

Understanding and implementing the requirements of the new rules will be critical for business entities to remain compliant.

Osler’s team of experts can provide guidance on all language law requirements. As regulatory and compliance specialists, they are often consulted as trusted advisors to aid in reducing risk and maintaining compliance with the Charter of the French Language and the Official Languages Act. They also advise clients in a wide range of industries on regulatory and statutory compliance, as well as representing them in their dealings with the board charged with overseeing compliance of the Charter, the Office québécois de la langue française, and the Federal Commissioner of Official Languages. Having litigated Official Languages Act claims at the federal level, they are also uniquely qualified to face the new trend of language litigation that will follow the adoption of the new rules.

Our experienced and fully bilingual lawyers from a range of practice areas can help you evaluate and manage risks in several areas including

  • Employment and labour law
  • Contracts (including public sector procurement)
  • Civil and commercial litigation (including class actions)
  • Pensions and benefits
  • Financial services
  • Marketing and distributionTranslation Services

Translation services

The French language services team at Osler also provides comprehensive Translation services. Osler’s translation team, based in the Montréal office, includes seasoned lawyers and legal translators. The team is skilled in all relevant areas pertaining to the translation of legal and commercial documents. It is an experienced and integrated translation team that distinguishes itself by rendering translations in‑house rather than by systematically outsourcing.

Contact one of the Osler French language service team members to find out more about how they can assist you in navigating the regulatory landscape in this area of law.