Regulation - LGIC

Proposal to create a regulation on the active offer for French language services

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
French Language Services Act
Summary of Proposal:
The French Language Services Act ("FLSA") was recently amended by Bill 43, Build Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2021, c. 40, Sched. 13, s. 6(2) to include a provision regarding the active offer of services in French. Specifically, subsection 5(1.1) of the FLSA now provides the following:

5 (1.1) If a person has a right under subsection (1) to receive services in French from an office of a government agency or institution of the Legislature, the agency or institution shall do the following to bring the availability of those services in French to the attention of the person from the time contact is first made between the person and the office:

1. Take measures prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph.
2. Take such other measures as the agency or institution considers appropriate.

The Government of Ontario is proposing to proceed with a new regulation to prescribe measures for the purpose of paragraph 1 of subsection 5(1.1) of the FLSA.

To encourage a successful implementation of this requirement, the Ministry of Francophone Affairs is working to develop and seek approval for a regulation that would outline measures for the implementation of active offer as provided for under the FLSA.

The Ministry is exploring the inclusion of measures of the following nature in this proposed regulation:

• Establish intake processes which would ensure that persons are provided, at first point of contact with the government office, with the option to receive services in French throughout the service continuum with respect to the service they are seeking.
o Intake processes would also be required to record linguistic preferences of the individual for the purposes of all future interactions that the individual may have with that particular government office.
• A requirement that information about services offered by the government office, which are intended for the public are made available in French or bilingual format. For example, if information on services is provided through a public notice or brochure, these items must be made available in French or bilingual format. .
• A requirement that web-based and virtual media including webpages, social media pages, online chat services of government agencies, ministries, institutions of the Legislature are offered in French or bilingual format to members of the public at their first point of access of these online resources.
• A requirement for signage identifying the particular government office and/or its services to be in bilingual format or, alternatively, a French version of the signage be placed in an area of similar visibility, and of similar prominence, as the signage in English..
• A requirement that telephone systems must provide persons at the beginning of the call the option of receiving the services via telephone in French or English.
• English documents that are available in French must include a bilingual message noting that the document is available in French.

The Ministry will also repeal the active offer provision in Ontario Regulation 284/11 - Provision of French Language Services on Behalf of Government Agencies, as this new proposed regulation would apply to regulation 284/11.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
There are no new compliance costs to ministries and agencies.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
September 20, 2022
Comments Due Date:
November 4, 2022
Contact Address:
700 Bay Street, 25th floor, Office 2501
Toronto, Ontario M7A 0A2
Proposal Status: