French Languages Services Act

Municipalities are not required to offer services in French, even in the designated areas. The municipalities themselves are responsible for deciding whether or not to provide them.

Agencies partially funded by the province (hospitals, daycare centers, group homes, etc.) are not automatically subject to the FLS Act. However, at their request, the Cabinet of ministers can pass a regulation to designate them. Once designated, the agencies must provide French-language services just as the ministries do.

The French Language Services Act has been in effect since 1989, ensuring the linguistic rights of Franco-Ontarians through the delivery of provincial government services in French at head offices and in designated areas throughout the province. It was modified in May 2007 and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner was created as an office within the government. In 2013, the Commissioner was made an independent officer of the Legislature, like the Ombudsman.

In 2019, new legislation took effect that transferred the Commissioner’s responsibilities to the Ombudsman and required the Ombudsman to appoint a Deputy Ombudsman to be known as the French Language Services Commissioner.

The French Language Services Commissioner ensures compliance with the FLS Act and review public complaints. She publies an Annual Report, which is to include recommendations for improving the provision of French language services.

Make a complaint

It is possible that you notived a violation of the FLS Act: no services in French are available, inordinate delay in obtaining services in French, unsatisfactory quality of the service, etc.

In such cases, you can make a complaint with the French Language Services Unit.