Understanding proposed changes to Quebec’s French language law

French open sign

Navigating the changes taking place with respect to language laws in Canada can be a challenge for businesses across the country. New requirements passed as part of An Act Respecting French, the Official and Common language of Québec, mean significant amendments to the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101). The Act, which was adopted on May 24, 2022, introduces changes that will affect all businesses operating or having employees in Québec.

Understanding and implementing the new requirements will be critical for business entities in order to remain compliant. In a webinar series presented by Osler, partners of our Litigation, Labour & Employment and Pension & Benefits groups provided important insights. A summary of how the changes impact organizations can also be found below.

To help organizations stay abreast of the changes taking place in this area of language laws, Osler’s team of experts can provide guidance on language law requirements. As regulatory and compliance specialists, they are often consulted as trusted advisors on issues specific to employment and labour law and compliance with the Quebec Charter of the French Language. In particular, Litigation partner Alexandre Fallon, advises clients in a wide range of industries on regulatory and statutory compliance, and represents clients in their dealings with the board charged with overseeing compliance of the Charter.

Stay informed

Receive insight and updates on proposed amendments to the Charter of the French Language by email.

Subscribe now

Resources

Québec adopts changes to the Charter of the French Language

May 25, 2022

Québec adopted Bill 96, the Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, on May 24, 2022. Osler’s Alexandre Fallon and Alexandra Romcea discuss the law’s key amendments to the Québec Charter of the French Language and the new requirements businesses operating in the province need to know. Read more about this development


Alexander Fallon on proposed changes to Quebec’s Charter of the French Language – Lexpert TV

November 17, 2021

If Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the Official and Common Language of Québec, becomes law, it could launch a new trend of language litigation in Québec. Osler’s Alexandre Fallon, a partner in the Litigation practice in Montréal, recently spoke with Lexpert TV’s Kavita Musty about how the proposed changes could impact employment and labour relations for businesses operating in that province. Read about Alexandre’s comments and watch the interview.


Government of Québec proposes stricter French language law (Part 1) – webinar series

September 17, 2021

Proposed amendments to the Charter of the French Language (the Charter) in Québec, if adopted, would be the most significant overhaul to the Charter since it was first introduced in the 1970s. This will result in new requirements and new risks for companies operating in Québec. An overview of what may lie ahead was presented by Osler’s Alexandre Fallon, partner, Litigation, and Monique Jérôme-Forget, Special Advisor, during the first of two webinars being presented by Osler on the proposed amendments. Watch now


Government of Québec proposes stricter French language law (Part 2) – impact on labour relations (webinar series)

September 23, 2021

The broader requirements of the proposed amendments to the Charter of the French Language in Québec may convince businesses that had previously put off translating larger documents to re-think their strategy. This was among the discussion points during the second of two webinars on the proposed amendments presented by Osler. Watch now


Proposed amendments to the Québec Charter of the French Language – impacts on labour relations

September 9, 2021

Currently, all job advertisements for Québec positions must be published in French. Application forms in respect of those positions must also be made available in French. Nevertheless, employers have significant latitude on how to do this. Learn more about the proposed changes


Government of Québec proposes stricter French language law: what franchisors need to know

September 9, 2021

The Charter already requires standard form contracts to be available in French, unless it is the express wish of the parties that the contract be in another language. A practice exists whereby certain businesses, rather than developing a French version of their standard form contracts, simply insert a clause stating that it is the express wish of the parties that the contract be in English. Learn more about the proposed changes


Government of Québec proposes stricter French language law

May 17, 2021

Currently, corporations are entitled to exercise their legal rights before Québec Courts in French or in English. The proposed bill would remove this right by imposing upon corporations who choose to file pleadings in English to attach a certified French translation, at the corporation’s expense. However, parties will be entitled to request an English translation of a judgment or adjudicative decision rendered in French, at the government’s expense. Learn more about the proposed changes