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Official Languages Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.))

Act current to 2024-05-28 and last amended on 2024-01-01. Previous Versions

PART IXCommissioner of Official Languages (continued)

Investigations, Compliance Agreements and Orders (continued)

Marginal note:Compliance agreement complied with

 If the Commissioner is of the opinion that a federal institution has complied with a compliance agreement,

  • (a) the Commissioner shall provide written notice to that effect to the federal institution and, if the complainant is a party to the agreement, to the complainant;

  • (b) the Commissioner shall withdraw any applications that the Commissioner made under paragraph 78(1)(a) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement; and

  • (c) the complainant, if they are a party to the agreement, shall withdraw any applications that they made under subsection 77(1) in respect of any matter covered under the agreement.

Marginal note:Compliance agreement not complied with

  •  (1) If the Commissioner is of the opinion that a federal institution has not complied with a compliance agreement, the Commissioner shall provide written notice to that effect to the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution and to the complainant, if they are a party to the agreement, and may apply to the Federal Court

    • (a) for an order requiring the federal institution to comply with the agreement, in addition to any other remedies that the Federal Court may give; or

    • (b) for a remedy in accordance with paragraph 78(1)(a) or for the reinstatement of proceedings that have been suspended as a result of any application made under paragraph 64.2(1)(c).

  • Marginal note:Parties to proceedings

    (2) A federal institution whose deputy head or other administrative head receives a notice under subsection (1), and a complainant who receives a notice under that subsection, have the right to appear as parties to the proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Complainant

    (3) On receipt of the notice, the complainant may apply to the Federal Court for a remedy in accordance with subsection 77(1) or for the reinstatement of proceedings that have been suspended as a result of an application made under paragraph 64.2(2)(b).

  • Marginal note:Time for application

    (4) Despite subsection 77(2) and paragraph 78(1)(a) but subject to subsection 77(3), the application shall be made within one year after the date of the notice or within any longer period that the Federal Court may, either before or after the expiry of that year, allow.

Marginal note:Commissioner’s order

  •  (1) If, after carrying out an investigation of a complaint, the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that a federal institution has contravened a duty — or violated a right — under Part IV or V and has made recommendations under subsection 63(3) in respect of that contravention or violation, or in respect of an identical contravention of that duty or violation of that right by the institution, the Commissioner may make an order directing that institution to take any action that the Commissioner considers appropriate to rectify the contravention or violation.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) However, the Commissioner is not permitted to make an order in respect of the subject-matter of a complaint unless, before making the order, the Commissioner invited the federal institution to enter into a compliance agreement under subsection 64.1(1) in respect of that subject-matter.

  • Marginal note:Preconditions to order

    (3) Before making an order under subsection (1), the Commissioner shall provide to the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution concerned a notice that sets out

    • (a) the order that the Commissioner intends to make; and

    • (b) a statement that within 20 days after the day on which the deputy head or other administrative head receives the notice, that deputy head or other administrative head shall notify the Commissioner

      • (i) of the action taken or proposed to be taken by the federal institution to implement the proposed order or the recommendations made under subsection 63(3), or the reasons why no such action has been or is proposed to be taken, or

      • (ii) whether the federal institution wishes to enter into a compliance agreement under subsection 64.1(1).

  • Marginal note:Condition

    (4) The order may include any condition that the Commissioner considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Notice of order

    (5) The Commissioner shall provide to the complainant and to the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution a notice that sets out

    • (a) any order that the Commissioner makes;

    • (b) a statement that the complainant and the federal institution each have the right to apply for a review under section 78.1, within the period specified for exercising that right, and that they must comply with section 78.5 if they exercise that right; and

    • (c) a statement that if neither the complainant nor the federal institution applies for a review within the period specified for doing so, any order set out in the notice takes effect in accordance with subsection (6).

  • Marginal note:Effect

    (6) The order takes effect on the 31st business day after the day on which the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution receives the notice.

  • Marginal note:Deemed date of receipt

    (7) For the purpose of this section, the deputy head or other administrative head of the federal institution is deemed to have received a notice on the fifth business day after the date of the notice.

Marginal note:Filing of order

  •  (1) If the Commissioner is of the opinion that a federal institution has not complied with the terms of an order made under subsection 64.5(1), the Commissioner may file in the Federal Court a copy of the order certified by the Commissioner to be a true copy.

  • Marginal note:Effect of filing

    (2) On the certified copy being filed, the decision becomes and may be enforced as an order of the Federal Court.

Marginal note:Report to Governor in Council where appropriate action not taken

  •  (1) If, within a reasonable time after a report containing recommendations under subsection 63(3) is made, adequate and appropriate action has not, in the opinion of the Commissioner, been taken thereon, the Commissioner, in his discretion and after considering any reply made by or on behalf of any federal institution concerned, may transmit a copy of the report and recommendations to the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Action by Governor in Council

    (2) The Governor in Council may take such action as the Governor in Council considers appropriate in relation to any report transmitted under subsection (1) and the recommendations therein.

  • Marginal note:Report to Parliament

    (3) If, within a reasonable time after a copy of a report is transmitted to the Governor in Council under subsection (1), adequate and appropriate action has not, in the opinion of the Commissioner, been taken thereon, the Commissioner may make such report thereon to Parliament as he considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Reply to be attached to report

    (4) The Commissioner shall attach to every report made under subsection (3) a copy of any reply made by or on behalf of any federal institution concerned.

Reports to Parliament

Marginal note:Annual report

  •  (1) The Commissioner shall, within such time as is reasonably practicable after the termination of each year, prepare and submit to Parliament a report relating to the conduct of his office and the discharge of his duties under this Act during the preceding year including his recommendations, if any, for proposed changes to this Act that the Commissioner deems necessary or desirable in order that effect may be given to it according to its spirit and intent.

  • Marginal note:Part of report

    (2) The Commissioner shall include, as part of the report, in respect of each federal institution concerned,

    • (a) the number of times that the Commissioner refused or ceased to investigate a complaint under subsection 58(4) and the paragraph of that subsection that was relied on;

    • (b) for each process of alternative dispute resolution used, the number of complaints on which that process was used and the number of them that were resolved through that process;

    • (c) the number of times that the Commissioner published any information under subsection 63.1(1);

    • (d) the number of complaints that were made the object of a compliance agreement under subsection 64.1(1), a description of the contravention that resulted in the agreement being entered into and an indication as to whether the federal institution complied with the agreement and, if not, any measures taken by the Commissioner as a result; and

    • (e) the number of complaints that were made the object of an order under subsection 64.5(1), a description of the contravention or violation that resulted in the order being made and an indication as to whether the federal institution complied with the order and, if not, any measures taken by the Commissioner as a result.

Marginal note:Special reports

  •  (1) The Commissioner may, at any time, make a special report to Parliament referring to and commenting on any matter within the scope of the powers, duties and functions of the Commissioner where, in the opinion of the Commissioner, the matter is of such urgency or importance that a report thereon should not be deferred until the time provided for transmission of the next annual report of the Commissioner under section 66.

  • Marginal note:Reply to be attached to report

    (2) The Commissioner shall attach to every report made under this section a copy of any reply made by or on behalf of any federal institution concerned.

Marginal note:Contents of report

 The Commissioner may disclose in any report made under subsection 65(3) or section 66 or 67 such matters as in his opinion ought to be disclosed in order to establish the grounds for any conclusions and recommendations contained therein, but in so doing shall take every reasonable precaution to avoid disclosing any matter the disclosure of which would or might be prejudicial to the defence or security of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada.

Marginal note:Transmission of report

  •  (1) Every report to Parliament made by the Commissioner under subsection 65(3) or section 66 or 67 shall be made by being transmitted to the Speaker of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Commons for tabling respectively in those Houses.

  • Marginal note:Reference to parliamentary committee

    (2) Every report referred to in subsection (1) shall, after it is transmitted for tabling pursuant to that subsection, be referred to the committee designated or established by Parliament for the purpose of section 88.

Delegation

Marginal note:Delegation by Commissioner

 The Commissioner may authorize any person to exercise or perform, subject to such restrictions or limitations as the Commissioner may specify, any of the powers, duties or functions of the Commissioner under this or any other Act of Parliament except

  • (a) the power to delegate under this section; and

  • (b) the powers, duties or functions set out in sections 63, 65 to 69 and 78.

General

Marginal note:Security requirements

 The Commissioner and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner who receives or obtains information relating to any investigation under this Act shall, with respect to access to and the use of such information, satisfy any security requirements applicable to, and take any oath of secrecy required to be taken by, persons who normally have access to and use of such information.

Marginal note:Confidentiality

 Subject to this Act, the Commissioner and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner shall not disclose any information that comes to their knowledge in the performance of their duties and functions under this Act.

Marginal note:Disclosure authorized

 The Commissioner may disclose or may authorize any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner to disclose information

  • (a) that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is necessary to carry out an investigation under this Act; or

  • (b) in the course of proceedings before the Federal Court under Part X or an appeal therefrom.

Marginal note:No summons

 The Commissioner or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner is not a compellable witness, in respect of any matter coming to the knowledge of the Commissioner or that person as a result of performing any duties or functions under this Act during an investigation, in any proceedings other than proceedings before the Federal Court under Part X or an appeal therefrom.

Marginal note:Protection of Commissioner

  •  (1) No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Commissioner, or against any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner, for anything done, reported or said in good faith in the course of the exercise or performance or purported exercise or performance of any power, duty or function of the Commissioner under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Libel or slander

    (2) For the purposes of any law relating to libel or slander,

    • (a) anything said, any information supplied or any document or thing produced in good faith in the course of an investigation by or on behalf of the Commissioner under this Act is privileged; and

    • (b) any report made in good faith by the Commissioner under this Act and any fair and accurate account of the report made in good faith in a newspaper or any other periodical publication or in a broadcast is privileged.

PART XCourt Remedy

Definition of Court

 In this Part, Court means the Federal Court.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (4th Supp.), s. 76
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 183

Marginal note:Application for remedy

  •  (1) Any person who has made a complaint to the Commissioner in respect of a right or duty under sections 4 to 7, sections 10 to 13 or Part IV, V or VII, or in respect of section 91, may apply to the Court for a remedy under this Part.

  • Marginal note:Time limit

    (2) An application may be made under subsection (1) within 60 days — or within any further time that the Court may allow, on request made either before or after the expiry of those 60 days — after

    • (a) the results of an investigation of the complaint by the Commissioner are reported to the complainant under subsection 64(1),

    • (a.1) the complainant is informed of the actions taken to implement the recommendations that the Commissioner made under subsection 63(3),

    • (b) the complainant is informed of the recommendations of the Commissioner under subsection 64(2), or

    • (c) the complainant is informed of the Commissioner’s decision to refuse or cease to investigate the complaint under subsection 58(5).

  • Marginal note:Application six months after complaint

    (3) Where a complaint is made to the Commissioner under this Act but the complainant is not informed of the results of the investigation of the complaint under subsection 64(1), of the actions taken to implement the recommendations that the Commissioner made under subsection 63(3), of the recommendations of the Commissioner under subsection 64(2) or of a decision under subsection 58(5) within six months after the complaint is made, the complainant may make an application under subsection (1) at any time thereafter.

  • Marginal note:Order of Court

    (4) Where, in proceedings under subsection (1), the Court concludes that a federal institution has failed to comply with this Act, the Court may grant such remedy as it considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Conflict — compliance agreement

    (4.1) If there is a conflict between a provision of an order made under paragraph 64.4(1)(a) and a provision of an order made under subsection (4), the order made under subsection (4) prevails to the extent of the conflict.

  • Marginal note:Conflict — Commissioner’s order

    (4.2) If there is a conflict between a provision of an order filed under subsection 64.6(1) and a provision of an order made under subsection (4), the order made under subsection (4) prevails to the extent of the conflict.

  • Marginal note:Other rights of action

    (5) Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from any right of action a person might have other than the right of action set out in this section.

 

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