Application of the Charter of the French language

Our organization must follow Québec's language laws, which are based mainly on the Charter of the French language and the regulations under it, and the Politique linguistique de l'État (PDF, 2.7 MB) (in French only at Qué

Changes to the Charter of the French language

As explained on the Modernization of the Charter of the French language page of the Québec government's website, the Charter has been amended to underline the fact that French is the only official language of Québec and the common language of the Québec nation. Québec's government departments, agencies and public organizations have a leading role to play in using, promoting, protecting and ensuring the development of the French language in Québec. To guide them, a number of measures were introduced on June 1, 2023.

Specifically, we have to:

  • adopt a language directive that describes when we can use a language other than French;

  • implement measures to ensure that French is used exclusively to communicate with the public—except in the situations below provided for by law.


Under the new requirements, we can communicate with you in English if you are an individual and any of the following apply: 

  • We were communicating with you in English before May 13, 2021 (in which case we consider you have an acquired right).

  • You are eligible to receive instruction in English in Québec:
    (You are eligible to receive instruction in English under a certificate of eligibility issued to you by a person designated by the Minister of Education.)

  • You are an Indigenous person:
    (You are a member of one of the 11 Indigenous nations of Québec, namely the Inuit Nation and the First Nations (Abenakis, Algonquin, Atikamekw, Cree, Huron-Wendat, Innu, Malecite, Mi'kmaq, Mohawk and Naskapi).)

  • You are an immigrant who has been in Québec less than six months:
    (For the purpose of the Charter of the French language, an immigrant is a person from another country who has been admitted into Canada through a federal immigration program.) 

  • You do not live in Québec.

We can also communicate with you in English in the following situations:

  • You are acting on behalf of a person covered by one of the exceptions listed above.

  • You represent a corporation, a partnership or an organization that is situated outside Québec or only on a reserve.

  • When health or safety requires it.

Situations in which the language we use to communicate with you may change

If you do not meet the above requirements, the following may happen:

  • You may receive correspondence by mail or email in French only.

  • You may receive in French and English communications you previously received in English.

  • Some pages or documents on our website may be available in French only.

  • Our agents will address you in French only or ask you whether you are covered by an exception when you call us or go to one of our offices. 

Other measures will gradually be implemented to ensure we comply with the new provisions of the Charter.

To learn more

To learn more about the Charter of the French language and the Politique linguistique de l'État, go to the Ministère de la Langue française website.