[37] Bill 108 Original (PDF)

Bill 108 2001

An Act to provide for an
English and French languages policy
for the City of Ottawa


The City of Ottawa is the capital of Canada, a bilingual country that has English and French as its two official languages. As the capital, it is the residence of a substantial number of English-speaking and French-speaking persons, including a large Franco-Ontarian population and a larger bilingual population. It is appropriate to ensure that the residents of the city receive a full range of municipal services in both English and French.

Bilingualism is a vital asset for the economic development of the City of Ottawa. Ottawa is acknowledged as one of the major high technology centres in Canada and North America. Recognizing in law the bilingual character of the city would form a key element of the city's strategy to continue to attract investment and qualified human resources.

The City of Ottawa is a major tourist destination in Canada. There are over five million visitors to the City of Ottawa each year, including English-speaking and French-speaking persons from all parts of Canada and from other countries. Many of those visitors are attracted to the city by its bilingual ambiance.

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

1. The City of Ottawa Act, 1999 is amended by adding the following section:

English and French languages policy

5.1 (1) The city shall have a languages policy that provides that, to the extent that the city determines is reasonable in the circumstances,

(a) the city shall conduct its administration in both English and French; and

(b) the city shall make available to the public in English and French the municipal services that the policy specifies.


(2) The policy shall provide for its implementation by the city.

Right of the public

(3) A person has the right to communicate in English or French with any office of the city and to receive, in English or French upon request, the municipal services that the policy requires the city to make available to the public in English and French.


2. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

3. The short title of this Act is the Capital City of Canada (Ottawa) Languages Act, 2001.


The Bill amends the City of Ottawa Act, 1999 to require the City of Ottawa to have an English and French languages policy relating to the conduct of the city's administration and the providing of its municipal services to the public.