Appendix C -- Bill 199, The Charter of
the French and English Languages
Member for Jacques-Cartier
The object of this bill is to repeal the Charter of the French language, apposed
in 1977, and establish French and English as the official languages of Quebec.
In Chapter II, the bill recognizes certain fundamental individual languages
- the right of every person to receive services from the Civil Administration,
parapublic organizations, employees’ associations and businesses operating in
Quebec in the official language of his or her choice;
- the right of every person to use French or English during deliberative
- the right of every person to receive instruction in French or in English.
In Chapter III, the bill establishes French and English as the languages used in
legislative texts and in the court system.
Bills, statutes, regulations and other acts of a similar nature to which section
133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, applies are printed and published in French
and n English.
In addition, debates of the National Assembly and of the committees of the
National Assembly, certain legislative documents, judgments rendered by a
judicial tribunal and decisions rendered by a body exercising quasi-judicial
functions are translated into the other official language and are printed and
published in French and in English.
In Chapter IV, the bill makes French and English the languages of the civil
In Chapter V, the bill requires public utility firms, professional corporations
and the members of these corporations to ensure that their services are
available in French and in English and that they use one of the two official
languages in their communications with the civil administration and with
In Chapter VI, the bill requires employers to draft their written communications
to their employees and their offers of employment and promotion in French and in
Collective agreements, schedules to collective agreement and decisions rendered
pursuant to a collective agreement or under the Labour Code must e drafted in
French and in English.
No employer may dismiss, demote or transfer a member of his staff for the sole
reason that the staff member speaks only one of the official languages.
In addition, no employer may require the knowledge of a particular official
language for the obtaining of a job or office unless the nature of the duties
requires the knowledge of that language.
Chapter VII is concerned with the languages of commerce and business.
Inscriptions on a product make, used or consumed in Quebec on its container or
wrapping, or in or on a document or object supplied with it, must be drafted in
French and in English. Catalogues, brochures, folders job application forms,
order forms, invoices, receipts and quittances are subject to the same
However, firm names, public signs and posters and commercial advertising may be
in French or in English.
Chapter VIII of the bill concerns the languages of instruction and allows
children to receive their instruction in French or in English, at the request of
one of their parents.
However, a child must have sufficient knowledge of spoken and written French and
English in order to receive a secondary studies certificate.
The bill also recognizes certain particular rights of the Amerinds and the Inuit
Finally, the bill contains a provision requiring the various branches of the
civil administration which provide services to a community in which at least 10%
of the members speak an official language other than the official language of
the majority to provide the services in the other official language also.