French Language Services Act Overview
The French Language Services Act of Prince Edward Island is in effect since December 14, 2013.
What are the key aspects of the French Language Services Act?
- The Act is based on the principle of aligning the service priorities of the Acadian and Francophone community with the service capacity of the Government;
- The Act requires some government services to be provided in French;
- The Act establishes a complaints mechanism to ensure its implementation.
What services have to be provided in French according to the French Language Services Act?
- Written correspondence – The Act states that any written correspondence received in French must be responded to, in writing, in French.
- Public consultations – The Act states that when public consultations are conducted through written or electronic means, the public must be provided with an opportunity to participate in the consultations in French and in English, and that when public consultations are conducted through public meetings, the public must be provided with an opportunity to participate in at least one of the public meetings in French and English.
- Designated services – The Act states that designated services must be provided in a person’s choice of French or English, and that they must be provided with comparable quality in French and English. The Act also states that the measures established by the regulations must be taken to make it known to the public that a designated service is provided in a person’s choice of French or English.
What is a designated service under the French Language Services Act?
The Act provides for the designation of services. Services are designated according to the service priorities of the Acadian and Francophone community, which are identified by the Acadian and Francophone Community Advisory Committee, and the service capacity of the Government. When a service is designated:
- The service must be provided in a person’s choice of French or English
- The service must be provided with comparable quality in French and English;
- Measures must be taken to make it known to the public that the service is provided in both languages.
What services are currently designated services?
The list of designated services and the scope of their designation can be found in the General Regulations of the Act. Here are the services that are currently designated:
- All services offered in person at the Bibliothèque publique d’Abram-Village, the Bibliothèque publique Dr.-J.-Edmond-Arsenault (Charlottetown) and the Bibliothèque publique J.-Henri-Blanchard (Summerside);
- Coaching support services offered to early childhood educators;
- The provision of the Community Cultural Partnership Program;
- The traveller information service (511) by phone and online;
- The Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy traffic signs (except for those erected before the General Regulations came into force, stop signs and electronic variable message signs);
- All services offered in person at Access PEI in Wellington;
- The Telehealth information service (811) by phone;
- The provision of information within or in support of permanent or temporary exhibits at the Acadian Museum;
- All services offered in person at the Acadian Museum.
Where can I find more information of the French Language Services Act?
You can contact the Acadian and Francophone Affairs Secretariat at:
Acadian and Francophone Affairs Secretariat
PO Box 58
Wellington, PE C0B 2E0