French Language Laws

Osler’s team of experts can provide guidance on all language law requirements.

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.

In addition, 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 is critical for businesses to remain compliant.

Osler’s team of experts can provide guidance on all language law requirements. As regulatory and compliance specialists, we 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. Our team also advises clients on regulatory and statutory compliance, across a wide range of industries 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, we 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 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 distribution
  • Translation 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 experienced 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 we can assist you in navigating the regulatory landscape in this area of law.

Key Contacts

Alexandre Fallon

Partner, Disputes, Montréal

Latest Insights

  • Video Jul 12, 2022

    Bill 96: Understanding Québec’s French language law

    Bill 96, adopted by Québec’s National Assembly in May 2022, brings significant amendments to the Charter of the French Language that will af...

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    Bill 96: Understanding Québec’s French language law
  • Osler Update Mar 1, 2024

    Québec further tightens language rules for commerce and business: what you need to know

    Québec is making further changes to its language law, with proposed amendments to the Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business.

    Read more
    Québec further tightens language rules for commerce and business: what you need to know
  • Osler Update Jul 21, 2023

    Government of Québec adopts the Regulation respecting the language of the civil administration

    The regulation clarifies provisions of the Charter of the French Language and creates new exceptions to the general principle of French as the first a...

    Read more
  • Osler Update Jul 20, 2023

    Bill C-13: Parliament enacts the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act

    Last month, Bill C-13, which makes several changes to strengthen, protect and promote the French language, received royal assent. We discuss how it al...

    Read more
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In the Media

  • Media Mentions Feb 27, 2024

    Consumers will ultimately pay the price for Québec’s new language rules, experts say –

    Alexandre Fallon was interviewed by CBC journalists Isaac Olson and Shawn Apel about upcoming changes to Québec’s language laws that will require all ...

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  • Media Mentions Jan 26, 2024

    U.S. trade officials among those concerned about Québec’s new French-language sign rules – CBC News

    A new draft regulation that would require significant redesign of storefront signage in Québec has businesses and foreign trade officials concerned ab...

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  • Media Mentions Aug 3, 2023

    Bill C-13 presents challenges for employers even outside of province: Lawyers – HR Reporter

    Organizations that have to translate documents and computer data into French as a result of Québec’s new Bill C-13 legislation may find this overly bu...

    Read more
  • Media Mentions Mar 3, 2023

    Federally chartered companies do not comply with “Bill 96” – Le Devoir

    The federal government’s Bill C-13, designed to strengthen and modernize the Official Languages Act, is stricter on employers than Québec’s language l...

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