English and French are the official languages of Canada. The Constitution of Canada and the Official Languages Act guarantee that English and French have equality status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and government of Canada. Thus, the following minimum rights for the citizens of Canada are guaranteed in their dealings with federal government agencies and federally controlled corporations:

• The full and equal access to the laws of Canada and to the federal courts in both languages

• The right of any member of the public to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any institution of the Parliament or the government of Canada in either official language

• The right of officers and employees of institutions of the Parliament or government of Canada to have equal opportunities to use the official language of their choice while working together

The Official Languages Act provides as well that every federal institution that regulates persons or organizations with respect to any of their activities that relate to the health, safety or security of members of the public has the duty to ensure, through its regulation of those persons or organizations, that members of the public can communicate with and obtain available services from those persons or organizations in relation to those activities in both official languages.

Please see full chapter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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