FIRST SESSIONFORTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE Bill 96 An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec Introduction Introduced by Mr. Simon Jolin-Barrette Minister Responsible for the French Language Québec Official Publisher 2021
EXPLANATORY NOTES The purpose of this bill is to affirm that the only official language of Québec is French. It also affirms that French is the common language of the Québec nation. To that end, the bill makes several amendments to the Charter of the French language. The bill introduces new fundamental language rights, including the right to French language learning services. It also recognizes the enforceable nature of each of the fundamental language rights provided for by the Charter of the French language. The bill introduces various measures to reinforce French as the language of legislation and justice. The bill proposes several amendments with regard to French as the language of the civil administration. It thus imposes on the civil administration the duty to use French in an exemplary manner and exclusively, subject to certain exceptions. The bill also provides for the development of a language policy of the State. The bill specifies the rules applicable to the professional orders and their members concerning the use of French, including by requiring the members to maintain knowledge of French that is appropriate to the exercise of their profession. The bill proposes several amendments with regard to French as the language of work. For instance, it sets out the obligations applicable to employers to ensure that the workers' right to carry on their activities in French is respected. Every employee is granted the right to a work environment free of discrimination or harassment related to the use of French or to claiming a right arising from the Charter of the French language. Employers are required to take all reasonable means to avoid requiring a person to have knowledge of a language other than French to obtain or keep a position.
3The bill strengthens provisions relating to the use of French as the language of commerce and business, in particular as concerns signs and posters and the drafting of certain documents, such as contracts relating to certain sales of immovable property. As regards instruction, the bill sets limits on the duration and renewal of the exemption that allows certain children to not receive instruction in French. It includes various provisions to provide a framework for the development of college-level educational institutions. It also makes amendments to provisions relating to the policies of college- and university-level educational institutions concerning the use and quality of the French language. The bill provides for Québec's role in the growth of Canada's francophone and Acadian communities as well as in promoting and asserting the value of French in the actions of the civil administration within Canada and abroad. The bill introduces various measures to, among other things, extend francization to enterprises employing 25 or more persons. It amends the provisions relating to francization committees and francization programs, and introduces other provisions relating to the establishment of French language learning services within enterprises. The bill amends certain operating rules of the Commission de toponymie. It establishes, within the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration, Francisation Québec, whose mission is to be the sole government point of access for persons wishing to receive French language learning services. It establishes the Ministère de la Langue française and sets out the functions and powers of the Minister of the French Language. The bill makes clarifications and adjustments to the functions and powers of the Office québécois de la langue française, in particular those concerning complaints, disclosures, inspections and investigations, and grants it the power to issue orders to put an end to certain failures to comply with the Charter of the French language. The bill provides for the appointment of a French Language Commissioner, whose functions include monitoring the progression of the language situation in Québec. The bill abolishes the Conseil supérieur de la langue française.