French business: Quebec takes the lead in the federal government

According to information obtained by Radio Canada,OQLF Last Friday he wrote to companies that have not yet registered with the boycott organization to begin creating a formal plan to acquire the franchises.

Companies with 25 to 49 employees have three years to finish the process, while companies with 50 or more employees have six months.

This approach is not unanimous, while Ottawa claims to be responsible for businesses in areas under its jurisdiction such as banks, telecommunications and interprovincial transportation.

The federal government insists that these companies will instead have to comply with the new business language obligations contained in Bill C-13.

This bill is still under consideration in Parliament, while the federal government is slow to deliver on its promise to update the Official Languages ​​Act.

Quebec is currently benefiting from the void, meaning that as long as the federal government has not issued these new guidance that will be in C-13 regarding corporate obligations under federal jurisdiction in both official languages, there is, I believe, a possibility that Quebec will act. »

Quote from Stephanie Chouinard, Professor of Political Science at the Royal Military College of Canada

Quebec takes the lead

The Quebec government has expanded the scope of its language laws to companies under federal jurisdiction through an overhaul of the French language charter, called Bell 96 and entered into force last month.

L ‘OQLF So the franchising process for companies under federal jurisdiction has just begun with a letter giving them 30 days to provide the name of the contact and the number of their employees.

Companies with 25-49 employees will have three years Franchising process to make French the language used within the company.

The requirements are higher for companies with 50 or more employees, who must register from now on nearOQLF They have six months to develop their franchising plan.

French Language Minister Simon-Jolin Barrett (file photo)

Photo: The Canadian Press / Jacques Boasino

French Language Minister Simon Jolin Barrett said Quebec has all the power to impose new obligations on businesses in the province.

Quebecers have the right to make a living in their language, French. It is a fundamental and non-negotiable right.says its spokeswoman Elizabeth Jocelyn Benveno.

Legal battle on the horizon

A lawyer who helps companies comply with the French language charter recently expected this case to end in court.

There is clearly potential for conflict with federal law in the field of employment, and one would expect the Federal Department of Justice to intervene in such cases to preserve federal jurisdiction. »

Quote from Alexander Fallon, attorney at Osler

The federal government, for its part, asserts that it will defend its jurisdiction. Bill C-13 aims to allow the federal government to do so Promote and protect the use of the French language in private companies under federal jurisdiction in Quebec and in regions with a strong Francophone presence.

Among the companies that will be affected by the new measures, Canada National Railways (CN) says it is currently analyzing provisions of Law 96 that affect companies under federal jurisdiction.

Air Canada, for its part, asserts that it is indeed subject to the Federal Law on Official Languages, noting that its Air Canada Vacations is under territorial jurisdiction and is already registered withOQLF.

Daniel LeBlanc

New rules imposed by Quebec

Of the large corporations under federal jurisdiction in Quebec, 189 voluntarily obtained the franchise certificate, according to the rules in place prior to the adoption of Bill 96.

However, the place of French in some large companies has made headlines lately, regarding the linguistic unity of the Air Canada CEO and the lack of francophones on the board of directors. North Carolina.

Quebec now imposes new franchising obligations on all companies with 25 or more employees, who must:

  • Submit documentation in French for issues related to human resources or vocational training;
  • publish their job offers in French;
  • “Take all means” to avoid asking for knowledge of languages ​​other than French during the recruitment process;
  • Ensure meetings are held in French, software in French, corporate terminology in French;
  • Improve knowledge of the French language within the company.
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