Version of document from 2007-07-31 to 2017-11-20:

Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations

SOR/92-48

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT

Registration 1991-12-16

Regulations Respecting Communications with and Services to the Public in Either Official Language

P.C. 1991-2541  1991-12-16

Whereas, pursuant to section 84 of the Official Languages ActFootnote *, the President of the Treasury Board has sought the views of members of the English and French linguistic minority communities and members of the public generally on the proposed Regulations concerning communications with and services to the public in either official language;

Whereas, pursuant to section 85 of the said Act, the President of the Treasury Board has laid a draft of the proposed Regulations before the House of Commons on November 8, 1990, which date is at least thirty days before a copy of the proposed Regulations was published in the Canada Gazette under section 86 of the said Act;

And Whereas, pursuant to section 86 of the said Act, the proposed Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette on March 23, 1991, which date is at least thirty days before the proposed effective date thereof, and a reasonable opportunity was thereby afforded to interested persons to make representations to the President of the Treasury Board with respect thereto;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Treasury Board, pursuant to section 32 of the Official Languages ActFootnote *, is pleased hereby to make the annexed Regulations respecting communications with and services to the public in either official language.

Short Title

 These Regulations may be cited as the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations.

Interpretation

 In these Regulations,

Act

Act means the Official Languages Act; (Loi)

CMA

CMA means a census metropolitan area, excluding Ottawa-Hull, as used by Statistics Canada for the purposes of the census referred to in section 3; (région métropolitaine de recensement)

CSD

CSD means a census subdivision, excluding any CSD or any part thereof within the National Capital Region, as used by Statistics Canada for the purposes of the census referred to in section 3; (subdivision de recensement)

immigration services

immigration services means services that are provided, powers that are exercised and duties and functions that are performed by an immigration officer under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, other than services provided, powers exercised or duties or functions performed under that Act by an officer as defined in section 2 of the Customs Act; (services d’immigration)

Method I

Method I means the method of estimating first official language spoken that is described as Method I in Population Estimates by First Official Language Spoken, published by Statistics Canada in September 1989, which method gives consideration, firstly, to knowledge of the official languages, secondly, to mother tongue, and thirdly, to language spoken in the home, with any cases in which the available information is not sufficient for Statistics Canada to decide between English and French as the first official language spoken being distributed equally between English and French; (méthode I)

route

route means

  • (a) for the purposes of paragraphs 7(4)(c) and (d), a route on which a federal institution provides the travelling public with a transportation service by aircraft or train that is carried out by a single conveyance, and

  • (b) for the purposes of subsection 7(2) and paragraph 7(4)(e), a route on which a federal institution provides the travelling public with a two-way transportation service by aircraft, train or ferry between the starting and finishing points of a flight, train run or ferry crossing that is carried out by a single conveyance between those two points, with or without intermediate stops. (trajet)

  • 2001, c. 27, s. 273.

PART ISignificant Demand

Definition of English or French Linguistic Minority Population

 English or French linguistic minority population means that portion of the population in a province in which an office or facility of a federal institution is located that is the numerically lower official language population in the province, as determined by Statistics Canada under Method I on the basis of

  • (a) for the purposes of paragraphs 5(1)(a), (b) and (d) to (r), subsection 5(2) and paragraph 7(4)(a),

    • (i) before the results of the 1991 census of population are published, the 1986 census of population taken pursuant to the Statistics Act, and

    • (ii) after the results of the 1991 census of population are published, the most recent decennial census of population for which results are published; and

  • (b) for the purposes of paragraphs 5(1)(c) and 6(1)(d) and (2)(c), subparagraphs 6(2)(d)(i) and 7(4)(c)(ii) and (iii) and paragraph 7(4)(d), the 1986 census of population taken pursuant to the Statistics Act.

Calculation of Population Numbers

  •  (1) For the purposes of this Part, the number of persons of the English or French linguistic minority population in a province, CMA, CSD or service area is equal to the estimated number of persons of that population in that province, CMA, CSD or service area as determined by Statistics Canada under Method I on the basis of the census referred to in section 3.

  • (2) For the purposes of this Part, the total population in a province, CMA, CSD or service area is equal to the estimated total population, excluding institutional residents as defined in Population Estimates by First Official Language Spoken, published by Statistics Canada in September 1989, in that province, CMA, CSD or service area as determined by Statistics Canada on the basis of the census referred to in section 3.

General Circumstances

  •  (1) For the purposes of paragraph 22(b) of the Act, there is significant demand for communications with and services from an office or facility of a federal institution in both official languages where

    • (a) the office or facility is located in a CMA that has at least 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population and is the only office or facility of the institution in the CMA that provides a certain service;

    • (b) the office or facility is located in a CMA that has at least 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the office or facility is one of two or more offices or facilities of the institution in the CMA that provide the same services and those services are not available in both official languages at a proportion of those offices or facilities that is at least equal to the proportion of that population in the CMA to the total population in the CMA or, if the number representing that proportion of offices is equal to less than one, at at least one of those offices or facilities, the choice of which depends on

      • (i) the distribution of the linguistic minority population within the CMA, and

      • (ii) the function of the offices or facilities that provide those services, their clientele and their location within the CMA;

    • (c) the office or facility is located in a province in which the English or French linguistic minority population is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province and is located in a CMA that has a population of at least 1,000,000 persons, the office or facility is one of two or more offices or facilities of the institution in the CMA that provide any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (f)(i) to (vi) and those services are not available in both official languages at one office plus at a proportion of those offices or facilities that is at least equal to the proportion of that population in the CMA to the total population in the CMA or, if the number representing that proportion of offices is equal to less than one, at at least two of those offices or facilities, the choice of which depends on

      • (i) the distribution of the linguistic minority population within the CMA, and

      • (ii) the function of the offices or facilities that provide those services, their clientele and their location within the CMA;

    • (d) the office or facility is located in a CMA that has fewer than 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population and does not provide any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (f)(i) to (vi), and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in the official language of that population;

    • (e) the office or facility is located in a CMA that has fewer than 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population and the service area of the office or facility has at least 5,000 persons of the linguistic minority population;

    • (f) the office or facility is located in a CMA that has fewer than 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population and is the only office or facility of the institution in the CMA that provides

      • (i) services related to income security programs of the Department of National Health and Welfare,

      • (ii) services of a post office,

      • (iii) services of an employment centre of the Department of Employment and Immigration,

      • (iv) services of an office of the Department of National Revenue (Taxation),

      • (v) services of an office of the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada, or

      • (vi) services of an office of the Public Service Commission;

    • (g) the office or facility is located in a CMA that has fewer than 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the office or facility is one of two or more offices or facilities of the institution in the CMA that provide any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (f)(i) to (vi) and those services are not available in both official languages at a proportion of those offices or facilities that is at least equal to the proportion of that population in the CMA to the total population in the CMA or, if the number representing that proportion of offices is equal to less than one, at at least one of those offices or facilities, the choice of which depends on

      • (i) the distribution of the linguistic minority population within the CMA, and

      • (ii) the function of the offices or facilities that provide those services, their clientele and their location within the CMA;

    • (h) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD and

      • (i) the service area of the office or facility has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population and the number of those persons is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population of that service area,

      • (ii) the service area of the office or facility has at least 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population,

      • (iii) the office or facility serves the CSD and is the only office or facility of the institution in the CSD that provides a certain service, the CSD has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population and the number of those persons is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the CSD, or

      • (iv) the service area of the office or facility includes all or part of two or more provinces in which the languages of the English or French linguistic minority populations are not the same;

    • (i) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to at least 5 per cent and less than 30 per cent of the total population in the CSD, the office or facility is one of two or more offices or facilities of the institution in the CSD that provide the same services and those services are not available in both official languages at a proportion of those offices or facilities that is at least equal to the proportion of that population in the CSD to the total population in the CSD or, if the number representing that proportion of offices is equal to less than one, at at least one of those offices or facilities, the choice of which depends on

      • (i) the distribution of the linguistic minority population within the CSD, and

      • (ii) the function of the offices or facilities that provide those services, their clientele and their location within the CSD;

    • (j) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to at least 30 per cent of the total population in the CSD and the office or facility is one of two or more offices or facilities of the institution in the CSD that provide the same services;

    • (k) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to less than 5 per cent of the total population in the CSD, the office or facility does not provide any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (l)(i) to (vii) and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in the official language of the linguistic minority population;

    • (l) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to less than 5 per cent of the total population in the CSD and the office or facility is the only office or facility of the institution in the CSD that provides

      • (i) services related to income security programs of the Department of National Health and Welfare,

      • (ii) services of a post office,

      • (iii) services of an employment centre of the Department of Employment and Immigration,

      • (iv) services of an office of the Department of National Revenue (Taxation),

      • (v) services of an office of the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada,

      • (vi) services of a detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or

      • (vii) services of an office of the Public Service Commission;

    • (m) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to less than 5 per cent of the total population in the CSD, the office or facility is one of two or more offices or facilities of the institution in the CSD that provide any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (l)(i) to (vii) and those services are not available in both official languages at a proportion of those offices or facilities that is at least equal to the proportion of that population in the CSD to the total population in the CSD or, if the number representing that proportion of offices is equal to less than one, at at least one of those offices or facilities, the choice of which depends on

      • (i) the distribution of the linguistic minority population within the CSD, and

      • (ii) the function of the offices or facilities that provide those services, their clientele and their location within the CSD;

    • (n) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has at least 200 and fewer than 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the CSD, the office or facility does not provide any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (l)(i) to (vii) and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in the official language of the linguistic minority population;

    • (o) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has at least 200 and fewer than 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the CSD, the office or facility provides any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (l)(i) to (vii) and those services are not available in both official languages at at least one office or facility of the institution in the CSD;

    • (p) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the CSD has fewer than 200 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, the number of those persons is equal to at least 30 per cent of the total population in the CSD and the office or facility provides any of the services referred to in subparagraphs (l)(i) to (vii);

    • (q) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that it serves, the number of persons of the English or French linguistic minority population in the CSD has not been determined by Statistics Canada under Method I on the basis of the census referred to in section 3, or cannot be disclosed by Statistics Canada for reasons of confidentiality, and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in the official language of that population; or

    • (r) the office or facility is located outside a CMA and within a CSD, the number of persons of the English or French linguistic minority population in the service area of the office or facility cannot be determined by Statistics Canada under Method I on the basis of the census referred to in section 3 because of the nature of the service area or cannot be disclosed by Statistics Canada for reasons of confidentiality, and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in the official language of that population.

  • (2) For the purposes of paragraph 22(b) of the Act, there is significant demand for communications with and services from an office or facility of a federal institution in the official language that is not the official language of the English or French linguistic minority population where the office or facility is located in Canada and is not an office or facility at which there is significant demand in both official languages under subsection (1).

  • (3) For the purposes of paragraph 22(b) of the Act, there is significant demand for communications with and services from an office or facility of a federal institution in an official language where the office or facility is located outside Canada and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in that language.

  • (4) Subsections (1) to (3) do not apply in respect of

    • (a) services described in paragraph 6(1)(a); or

    • (b) an office or facility described in any of paragraphs 6(1)(b) to (e), subsection 6(2) or section 7.

Specific Circumstances

  •  (1) For the purposes of paragraph 22(b) of the Act, there is significant demand for communications with and services from an office or facility of a federal institution in an official language where

    • (a) the services provided by the office or facility are provided to a restricted clientele, the members of which are identifiable, those services are specifically intended for that clientele and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from that clientele for those services is in that language;

    • (b) the office or facility provides ship-to-shore communications services, including coast radio station services and vessel traffic services, and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for those services is in that language;

    • (c) the office or facility provides immigration services and is located at a place of entry into Canada, and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for those services is in that language;

    • (d) the office or facility provides services other than immigration services and is located at a place of entry into Canada, other than an airport or a ferry terminal, in a province in which the English or French linguistic minority population is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province, and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in that language;

    • (e) the office or facility provides search and rescue services from a vessel that has long-range capabilities or from an aircraft, the vessel or aircraft from which the service is provided is distinctively marked by the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Coast Guard as a search and rescue vessel or aircraft or is crewed by the Department of National Defence with personnel specially trained for search and rescue operations, and at that office or facility over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for those services is in that language; or

    • (f) the office or facility is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment that provides services in a province to sections of the Trans-Canada Highway where there is a point of entry to another province that is officially bilingual, and over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for those services is in that language.

  • (2) For the purposes of paragraph 22(b) of the Act, there is significant demand for communications with and services from an office or facility of a federal institution in both official languages where

    • (a) the office or facility provides ship-to-shore communications services, including coast radio station services and vessel traffic services, and the service area of the office or facility includes all or a portion of the Bay of Fundy, the St. Lawrence River or the Gulf of St. Lawrence up to the innermost limit of Cabot Strait, but not including Cabot Strait, and up to the southern limit of the Strait of Belle Isle, but not including the Strait of Belle Isle;

    • (b) the office or facility provides air traffic control services and related advisory services in circumstances in which either official language may be used pursuant to the Aeronautical Communications Standards and Procedures Order;

    • (c) the office or facility provides services other than immigration services and is located at a place of entry into Canada, other than an airport or ferry terminal, in a province in which the English or French linguistic minority population is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province, and at that place of entry at least 500,000 persons come into Canada in a year; or

    • (d) the office or facility provides search and rescue services from a vessel that has long-range capabilities or from an aircraft, the vessel or aircraft from which the service is provided is distinctively marked by the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Coast Guard as a search and rescue vessel or aircraft or is crewed by the Department of National Defence with personnel specially trained for search and rescue operations, and the office or facility provides those services

      • (i) in or over a province in which the English or French linguistic minority population is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province,

      • (ii) in or over Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait or James Bay, or

      • (iii) in or over an area that falls within the boundaries of the Halifax Search and Rescue Region as set out in Annex 3B of the National Search and Rescue Manual, published by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard, as amended from time to time.

  • SOR/2007-172, s. 1.
  •  (1) For the purposes of subsection 23(1) of the Act, there is significant demand for services to the travelling public, other than air traffic control services and related advisory services, from an office or facility of a federal institution in an official language where the facility is an airport, railway station or ferry terminal or the office is located at an airport, railway station or ferry terminal and at that airport, railway station or ferry terminal over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the public for services is in that language.

  • (2) For the purposes of subsection 23(1) of the Act, there is significant demand for services to the travelling public from an office or facility of a federal institution in an official language where the office or facility provides those services on a route and on that route over a year at least 5 per cent of the demand from the travelling public for services is in that language.

  • (3) For the purposes of subsection 23(1) of the Act, there is significant demand for services to the travelling public, other than air traffic control services and related advisory services, from an office or facility of a federal institution in both official languages where the facility is an airport or the office is located in an airport and over a year the total number of emplaned and deplaned passengers at that airport is at least 1,000,000.

  • (4) For the purposes of subsection 23(1) of the Act, there is significant demand for services to the travelling public from an office or facility of a federal institution in both official languages where

    • (a) the facility is a railway station that serves the travelling public and

      • (i) is located in a CMA that has at least 5,000 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population, or

      • (ii) is located outside a CMA and within a CSD that has at least 500 persons of the English or French linguistic minority population and the number of those persons is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population of the CSD;

    • (b) the facility is a ferry terminal located in Canada and over a year the total number of arriving and departing passengers at that ferry terminal is at least 100,000;

    • (c) the office or facility provides those services on board an aircraft

      • (i) on a route that starts, has an intermediate stop or finishes at an airport located in the National Capital Region, the CMA of Montreal or the City of Moncton or in such proximity to that Region, CMA or City that it primarily serves that Region, CMA or City,

      • (ii) on a route that starts and finishes at airports located in the same province and that province has an English or French linguistic minority population that is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province, or

      • (iii) on a route that starts and finishes at airports located in different provinces and each province has an English or French linguistic minority population that is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province;

    • (d) the office or facility provides those services on board a train

      • (i) on an interprovincial route that starts in, finishes in or passes through a province that has an English or French linguistic minority population that is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province, or

      • (ii) on a route that starts and finishes at railway stations located in the same province and that province has an English or French linguistic minority population that is equal to at least 5 per cent of the total population in the province; or

    • (e) the office or facility provides those services on board a ferry on a route on which over a year there are at least 100,000 passengers.

PART IINature of the Office

Health, Safety and Security of the Public

 For the purposes of paragraph 24(1)(a) of the Act, the circumstances that relate to the health, safety or security of members of the public are the following:

  • (a) where an office or facility of a federal institution provides emergency services, including first aid services, in a clinic or health care unit at an airport, railway station or ferry terminal;

  • (b) where an office or facility of a federal institution uses signage that includes words or standardized public announcements regarding health, safety or security in respect of

    • (i) passengers on aircraft, trains or ferries,

    • (ii) members of the public at airports, railway stations or ferry terminals, or

    • (iii) members of the public in or on the grounds of federal buildings; and

  • (c) where an office or facility of a federal institution uses written notices or signage that includes words for alerting the public to hazards of a radioactive, explosive, chemical, biological or environmental nature or to other hazards of a similar nature.

Location of the Office

 For the purposes of paragraph 24(1)(a) of the Act, the circumstances that relate to the location of an office or facility of a federal institution are the following:

  • (a) where the office or facility is located in a park as defined in the National Parks Act or on land set aside as a National Historic Park in accordance with Part II of that Act and the office or facility does not provide the services referred to in paragraph (b);

  • (b) where the office or facility is located in a park or on land referred to in paragraph (a), the office or facility is one of two or more offices or facilities in the park or on the land that provide the services of a post office and those services are not available in both official languages at at least one of those offices or facilities;

  • (c) where the office or facility is located in such proximity to a park or land referred to in paragraph (a) that it provides specific services for visitors to the park or land and those services are not available in that park or on that land;

  • (d) where the office or facility is located in the Yukon Territory, serves the public generally and, of all offices or facilities of the institution in the Yukon Territory, is the office or facility at which over a year there is the greatest number of persons using the French language to request services; and

  • (e) where the office or facility is located in the Northwest Territories, serves the public generally and, of all offices or facilities of the institution in the Northwest Territories, is the office or facility at which over a year there is the greatest number of persons using the French language to request services.

National or International Mandate of the Office

 For the purposes of paragraph 24(1)(a) of the Act, the circumstances that relate to the national or international mandate of an office of a federal institution are the following:

  • (a) where the office is a diplomatic mission or consular post;

  • (b) where the office is responsible for organizing or hosting an exposition, fair, exhibition, competition or game of national or international scope that is open to the public;

  • (c) where the office participates in an event referred to in paragraph (b);

  • (d) where the office is located in a province at a place of entry into Canada and is, of all offices located at a place of entry in that province, the office that in a year provides immigration services to the greatest number of persons seeking to come into Canada; and

  • (e) where the office provides services other than immigration services and is located in a province at a place of entry into Canada, other than an airport, that is the place of entry, other than an airport, where in that province the greatest number of persons come into Canada in a year.

Other Circumstances

 For the purposes of paragraph 24(1)(b) of the Act, the circumstances in which it is reasonable that communications with and services from an office or facility of a federal institution be available in both official languages are the following:

  • (a) where the office or facility serves one or more entire provinces and those services are

    • (i) correspondence services,

    • (ii) toll-free long-distance telephone services, or

    • (iii) local telephone services, if the office or facility provides the same services by toll-free long-distance telephone;

  • (b) where those communications and services are made available by the office or facility through an automated system accessible to the public and the communications and services are directly related to the operation of the system or consist of providing material or information that originated with the institution; and

  • (c) where those communications and services are the provision in an airport, railway station or ferry terminal of signage, including information display systems with respect to aircraft, train or ferry transportation services or baggage pick-up.

PART IIIContract for Services to the Travelling Public

  •  (1) For the purposes of subsection 23(2) of the Act, services to the travelling public are the following:

    • (a) restaurant, cafeteria, car rental, travel insurance, ground transportation dispatch, foreign exchange, duty free shop and hotel services;

    • (b) self-service equipment, including automated banking machines and vending machines, and the provision of instructions for the use of public telephones and electronic games; and

    • (c) passenger screening and boarding services, public announcements and the provision of other information to the public, and carrier services, including counter services for tickets and check-in but excluding carrier services in respect of buses provided at railway stations or ferry terminals.

  • (2) Where a service referred to in subsection (1) is provided by means of printed or pre-recorded material, such as signs, notices and menus, car rental contracts and travel insurance policies for the travelling public, the material shall be provided in both official languages.

  • (3) Where a service referred to in subsection (1) is provided by means other than those referred to in subsection (2), the service shall be offered to the travelling public by such means as will enable any member of that public to obtain those services in the official language of his or her choice.

PART IVEffective Date

  •  (1) Sections 1 to 4, paragraphs 5(1)(a) to (c), (e) to (j), (l), (m), (o) and (p), subsections 5(2) and (4), paragraphs 6(2)(b) and (c), subsections 7(3) and (4), section 8, paragraphs 9(a) to (c) and sections 10 and 11 shall come into force one year after the date of registration of these Regulations by the Clerk of the Privy Council.

  • (2) Paragraphs 5(1)(d), (k), (n), (q) and (r), subsection 5(3), paragraphs 6(1)(a), (c) and (d), subsections 7(1) and (2) and paragraphs 9(d) and (e) shall come into force two years after the date of registration of these Regulations by the Clerk of the Privy Council.

  • (3) Paragraphs 6(1)(b) and (e) and (2)(a) and (d) and section 12 shall come into force three years after the date of registration of these Regulations by the Clerk of the Privy Council.

Date modified: