1st Session, 41st Legislature
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THE FRANCOPHONE COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT AND SUPPORT ACT
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(Assented to )
WHEREAS a vibrant Francophone community has been present in Manitoba since the 18th century;
AND WHEREAS, under the authority of section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, French and English enjoy equal status in the legislative and judicial spheres in Manitoba;
AND WHEREAS the government has adopted a policy whereby government departments and certain government agencies and other governmental bodies provide French language services in designated bilingual areas;
AND WHEREAS bilingual service centres provide a broad range of government programs and services in both French and English in six Manitoba communities with a high degree of Francophone vitality, and their role is established in law by The Bilingual Service Centres Act;
AND WHEREAS through the years legislation has been enacted to protect the status and enhance the operation of key Francophone community institutions in Manitoba, such as The Université de Saint-Boniface Act and The Centre culturel franco-manitobain Act;
AND WHEREAS French language services have been provided for the municipal services sector by Part 9 of The City of Winnipeg Charter, and for the social services sector by the French Language Services Regulation, and for the health care sector by the French Language Services Regulation and the Bilingual and Francophone Facilities and Programs Designation Regulation;
AND WHEREAS The Public Schools Act recognizes that French and English are the languages of instruction in public schools in Manitoba, and Francophone schools are governed by a Francophone school division under that Act;
AND WHEREAS it is desirable for the government to continue fostering the advancement of the Francophone community in Manitoba through a comprehensive sectoral approach;
THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
The following definitions apply in this Act.
"administrative tribunal" means
(a) an administrative tribunal listed in Schedule A; or
(b) a tribunal, body or person exercising a quasi-judicial function that is designated as an administrative tribunal by regulation. (« tribunal administratif »)
"advisory council" means the Francophone Affairs Advisory Council established under subsection 8(1). (« Conseil consultatif »)
"executive director" means the executive director appointed under subsection 6(3). (« directeur général »)
"French-language services plan" means a French-language services plan approved under section 13. (« plan des services en français »)
"French-language services policy" means the policy adopted by the government in 1989 relating to French language services, as amended from time to time. (« politique sur les services en français »)
"government agency" means
(a) any of the following:
(i) Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation,
(ii) Manitoba Hydro,
(iii) Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation,
(iv) The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation,
(v) The Manitoba Arts Council,
(vi) Sport Manitoba Inc.,
(vii) Travel Manitoba,
(viii) The Workers Compensation Board;
(b) a regional health authority referred to in the French Language Services Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 46/98;
(c) a Child and Family Services Authority referred to in the French Language Services Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 199/2005; and
(d) a body designated as a government agency by regulation. (« organisme gouvernemental »)
"government department" means a department or branch of the executive government of the province. (« ministère »)
"independent officer" means
(a) the Auditor General;
(b) the Chief Electoral Officer;
(c) the Children's Advocate; and
(d) the Ombudsman. (« haut fonctionnaire de l'Assemblée »)
"minister" means the minister responsible for Francophone Affairs. (« ministre »)
"public body" means
(a) a government agency; and
(b) a government department. (« entité publique »)
"Schedule" means a Schedule to this Act. (« annexe »)
"secretariat" means the Francophone Affairs Secretariat continued under subsection 6(1). (« Secrétariat »)
For the purpose of this Act, "Manitoba's Francophone community" means those persons in Manitoba whose mother tongue is French and those persons in Manitoba whose mother tongue is not French but who have a special affinity for the French language and who use it on a regular basis in their daily life.
The purpose of this Act is to provide a framework for enhancing the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community and supporting and assisting its development through the work of the secretariat and the advisory council and the use of French-language services plans.
In administering this Act and in fulfilling the responsibilities under it, regard must be had for the following principles:
Recognition: Manitoba's Francophone community has made and continues to make a significant contribution to the province and there is a benefit to enhancing the vitality of the Francophone community and supporting and assisting its development within the context of Manitoba's inclusive and pluralistic society.
Active offer: The active offer concept is the cornerstone for the provision of French language services whereby these services are to be made evident, readily available and easily accessible to the public and are to be of comparable quality to English language services.
Collaboration and dialogue: Public bodies and the representatives of Manitoba's Francophone community working in collaboration and through dialogue, along with cooperation among all levels of government, will support and assist the development of Manitoba's Francophone community.
Progress: Steady growth in the provision of French language services across sectors will enhance the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community and benefit the province as a whole.
The minister responsible for Francophone Affairs is responsible for taking measures to enhance the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community, including measures to
(a) support the ongoing implementation of the French-language services policy;
(b) advocate that the policies, programs and services of relevant bodies take into account the needs of Manitoba's Francophone community and that those needs are resourced equitably;
(c) encourage representation of Manitoba's Francophone community on the boards of government agencies and on administrative tribunals; and
(d) encourage the efforts of public bodies in supporting and assisting the development of Manitoba's Francophone community.
The French-language services policy is to be made available to the public, including by posting it on the government's website.
The minister may recommend amendments to the French-language services policy and must undertake a review of the French-language services policy at least once every five years.
FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS SECRETARIAT
The Francophone Affairs Secretariat is continued as a secretariat of the government under the direction and control of the minister and through which this Act is administered.
The secretariat's mandate is to advise the government about Francophone affairs, including the measures to be taken to foster the enhancement of the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community and support and assist its development, and in doing so the secretariat may
(a) guide, monitor and coordinate the implementation of the French-language services policy;
(b) assist and advise the relevant bodies about the development of French-language services plans and coordinating the approval of those plans;
(c) act as a liaison between the government and Manitoba's Francophone community to make the needs of the community known to the relevant bodies;
(d) encourage, support and assist the relevant bodies in addressing the needs of the community in the development of their policies, programs and services;
(e) increase public awareness of the laws relating to Manitoba's Francophone community, including the Acts and regulations listed in Schedule B;
(f) deal with representations or concerns from the public about French language services;
(g) cooperate with other levels of government in the provision and sharing of resources; and
(h) encourage the establishment of partnerships between public bodies and Francophone community organizations at the local, provincial, national or international level, including partnerships for the purpose of facilitating the provision of French language services to the community.
An executive director of the secretariat must be appointed under The Civil Service Act.
The secretariat must provide operational and administrative support to the advisory council.
The Francophone Affairs Advisory Council is hereby established.
The advisory council is to be composed of the following individuals:
(a) the Clerk of the Executive Council;
(b) the president and chief executive officer, or the chair of the board, of the Société franco-manitobaine;
(c) at least five deputy ministers appointed by the minister, or their designates;
(d) at least five individuals from Manitoba's Francophone community who have demonstrated a commitment toward enhancing the vitality of the community and who are appointed by the minister upon the recommendation of the Société franco-manitobaine;
(e) the executive director, who is an ex officio member.
The executive director is secretary to the advisory council.
A member of the advisory council may be appointed for a term of up to three years. The term is renewable.
A member whose term expires continues to hold office until he or she is re-appointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.
The minister may designate as co-chairs
(a) the Clerk of the Executive Council or a deputy minister appointed under clause (2)(c); and
(b) the member referred to in clause (2)(b).
The advisory council must meet at the call of the co-chairs and at least twice a year.
The advisory council may advise and make recommendations to the minister about matters relating to enhancing the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community and supporting and assisting its development.
At the minister's request, the advisory council may
(a) review and make recommendations about the French-language services policy;
(b) review and make recommendations about French-language services plans;
(c) make recommendations about measures to encourage representation of Manitoba's Francophone community on the boards of government agencies and on administrative tribunals;
(d) make recommendations about any Act or regulation listed in Schedule B; and
(e) advise and make recommendations to the minister about any other matter.
The minister may establish terms of reference for the advisory council to follow in carrying out its responsibilities under this Act.
FRENCH-LANGUAGE SERVICES PLANS
Every public body must prepare and submit to the minister, at the time and in the form specified by the minister, a proposed multi-year strategic plan relating to the provision of French language services by the public body.
In its proposed plan, the public body must describe
(a) the priorities of Manitoba's Francophone community in relation to the public body's French language services;
(b) the public body's capacity to provide French language services;
(c) the provision of French language services by the public body as they relate to its policies, programs and services including those programs and services provided by third parties on its behalf;
(d) the provision of French language services by each administrative tribunal that falls within the public body's mandate;
(e) other measures to be taken by the public body to enhance the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community and to support and assist its development; and
(f) any matter required by regulation or the minister.
A proposed plan for French language services that is submitted by a regional health authority under The Regional Health Authorities Act or a Child and Family Services Authority under The Child and Family Services Authorities Act is deemed to be a plan submitted under subsection (1).
The minister may provide a copy of a public body's proposed French-language services plan to the advisory council for its advice and recommendations.
The minister may approve a proposed French-language services plan that is satisfactory to the minister or refer it back to the public body to be revised in accordance with any direction of the minister.
Each public body must provide information to the minister, at the time and in the form specified by the minister, about the implementation of its approved French-language services plan and the progress made under it.
An independent officer must prepare and submit for approval a proposed multi-year strategic plan relating to the provision of French language services to the Legislative Assembly Management Commission continued under The Legislative Assembly Management Commission Act, and the commission may avail itself of the assistance of the secretariat in approving the plan.
For each fiscal year, the minister must prepare a report about the measures taken to enhance the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community and promote and support its development, including information about the secretariat and the advisory council and the progress made by public bodies to implement their French-language services plans. The report must be made public.
The minister must table a copy of the report in the Assembly within 15 days after completing it if the Assembly is sitting or, if it is not, within 15 days after the next sitting begins.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) designating a tribunal, body or person exercising a quasi-judicial function as an administrative tribunal;
(b) designating a body as a government agency;
(c) respecting French-language services plans, including, without limitation,
(i) prescribing matters for the purpose of subsection 11(2),
(ii) requiring public bodies to consult with persons and entities about their plans,
(iii) requiring public bodies to provide specified information about the implementation of approved plans and their progress under those plans, and
(iv) requiring plans to be reviewed and amended;
(d) amending Schedule B to add one or more enactments that relate to Manitoba's Francophone community;
(e) respecting any other matter necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.
A regulation under subsection (1) may be general or particular in its application and may apply to the whole or any part of the province.
The minister must provide the opportunity for public consultation about proposed regulations and must consult with the advisory council about them.
For greater certainty, nothing in this Act limits or derogates from any existing language rights.
Subsection 6(1) of The Bilingual Service Centres Act is replaced with the following:
For each fiscal year, the minister must prepare a report about the operation and activities of the bilingual service centres, which may be included in the report prepared under subsection 16(1) of The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act.
This Act may be referred to as chapter F157 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.
SCHEDULE A (Subsection 1(1))
The Animal Care Appeal Board established under The Animal Care Act
The Automobile Injury Compensation Appeal Commission established under The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act
The Child Care Staff Qualifications Review Committee established under The Community Child Care Standards Act
The Disaster Assistance Appeal Board appointed under The Emergency Measures Act
The Land Value Appraisal Commission continued under The Land Acquisition Act
The Licence Suspension Appeal Board established under The Highway Traffic Act
The Manitoba Farm Industry Board established under The Family Farm Protection Act
The Manitoba Health Appeal Board established under The Health Services Insurance Act
The Mental Health Review Board established under The Mental Health Act
The Municipal Board continued under The Municipal Board Act
The Residential Tenancies Commission established under The Residential Tenancies Act
The Social Services Appeal Board continued under The Social Services Appeal Board Act
The appeal tribunal continued under section 38 of The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation Act
A hearing panel established under section 35 of The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act
A review committee appointed under subsection 13(1) of the Appropriate Educational Programming Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 155/2005
SCHEDULE B (Clause 6(2)(e))
ACTS AND REGULATIONS THAT RELATE TO MANITOBA'S FRANCOPHONE COMMUNITY
The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act establishes a framework for enhancing the vitality of Manitoba's Francophone community and supporting and assisting its development.
The Bilingual Service Centres Act requires bilingual service centres to be maintained in certain regions in Manitoba where there is a high degree of French language vitality.
The Centre culturel franco-manitobain Act establishes the centre to present, promote, foster and sponsor cultural and artistic activities in the French language for all Manitobans.
Health care sector
The Bilingual and Francophone Facilities and Programs Designation Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 131/2013, designates bilingual and Francophone health care facilities.
The French Language Services Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 46/98, requires approved plans for French language services for regional health authorities.
The Université de Saint-Boniface Act provides for the Université, which is the only French-language post-secondary institution in Manitoba and which plays a vital role in the linguistic, cultural, social and economic development and growth of Manitoba's Francophone community.
In The Public Schools Act, section 79 (languages of instruction) provides for French and English as the languages of instruction in public schools, and Part I.1 (Francophone School Division) establishes a Francophone school division to govern Francophone schools.
Social services sector
The French Language Services Regulation, Manitoba Regulation 199/2005, requires Child and Family Services Authorities to have approved plans for French language services.
Municipal services sector
In The City of Winnipeg Charter, Part 9 (Official Languages of Municipal Services) provides for the use of the French language in the provision of municipal services, including its use in documents, signs and the access guide.
In The Municipal Act, section 147.1 sets out the requirements to be met before a municipal by-law relating to French language services may be repealed or amended.