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Quebec’s language laws just got stricter. Are you ready?

Don’t risk the fines. Start planning your translation now.

Some Facts About Bill 96

What is Bill 96?

Bill 96, officially known as An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, is a proposed law that makes several changes to Bill 101 (aka Quebec’s Charter of the French Language), notably to extend its scope and impose harsher penalties for non-compliance. Read our blog article on this topic for more information.

What happens if I don’t comply?

Companies that fail to comply with Bill 96 will be liable for fines of $3,000 to $30,000 for a first offence. These fines are doubled for a second offence and tripled for a third offence, meaning they can reach up to $90,000.

When will Bill 96 take effect?

The National Assembly of Quebec adopted Bill 96 on May 24, 2022. Some requirements are already in effect, while others will take effect gradually (between 3 months and 3 years). Businesses need to make sure they comply by the right deadline.

Who is subject to Bill 96?

Among other things, Bill 96 amends the Charter of the French Language to require the francization of companies with 25 or more employees (previously it was 50).

It also applies to companies in federally regulated industries with employees in Quebec. Namely:

  • air transportation
  • banks
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills, feed warehouses and grain-seed cleaning plants
  • federal Crown corporations
  • port services, marine shipping and ferries
  • postal and courier services
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • railways
  • road transportation services
  • telecommunications
  • uranium mining and processing and atomic energy

Although technically the Quebec government doesn’t have jurisdiction over federally regulated workplaces, Ottawa has already indicated that it will not interfere with Bill 96.

What content needs to be made available in French in Quebec?

  • All customer-facing materials
  • Training materials
  • Employment contracts
  • Job offers/descriptions
  • Policies and procedures
  • Written communications
  • Legal pleadings

Where do I start?

Start by contacting us for a free consultation. We’ll help you identify what content needs to be translated into French to be compliant. We can then plan a schedule and budget that fits with your business goals, and discuss cost-effective solutions for documents that aren’t a top priority.