Roles and Responsibilities

It can sometimes be difficult to figure out what to do when you have a question about language rights or obligations. In addition to your managers, who can certainly point you in the right direction, you can also go to one of your institution's official languages resource people. Certain federal institutions also have specific government-wide responsibilities in this area.




Your institution's official languages director

  • Makes employees and managers aware of their language rights and obligations.
  • Provides advice on official languages issues.
  • Ensures that the institution complies with the Official Languages Act.

Your institution's official languages champion

  • Promotes the use and development of official languages in their institution.
  • Ensures that senior management takes official languages into account in their decision-making.
  • Roles and Responsibilities.

Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions

  • Supports the network of champions and national and regional official languages directors' networks.
  • Advises the Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on Official Languages and other key agencies (e.g. the TBS and Canadian Heritage).
  • Promotes official languages issues at all levels of the Public Service.
  • Promotes communication and exchange of best practices.

Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on Official Languages

  • Supports the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and all ministers who have responsibilities under the Act. 
  • Ensures leadership for managing the Official Languages Program, including the implementation of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013.
  • Oversees the evaluation of the Roadmap.
  • Supervises the implementation of the Horizontal Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (HRMAF).

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

  • Ensures that federal institutions comply with the Act.
  • Handles complaints related to compliance with the Act from the public and federal government employees.
  • Promotes the use of both official languages in Canadian society.

Treasury Board Secretariat

  • Approves directions and policies related to:
    • Communications with the public in both official languages (Part IV of the Act);
    • Workplace that is conducive to the use of English and French (Part V);
    • Participation of both language groups (Part VI).

Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

  • Develops and coordinates principles arising from Parts IV, V and VI of the Act.
  • Verifies and evaluates how federal institutions comply with these principles.

Canadian Heritage

Official Languages Support Programs

  • Coordinates the implementation of Part VII of the Act, which aims to promote the development of official language minority communities and to foster the full recognition and use of both official languages.

Official Languages Secretariat

  • Plays a key role in the implementation of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013.
  • Coordinates government-wide official languages files.
  • Supports the Minister of Official Languages.

Department of Justice

  • Advises the government on legal issues dealing with the status or use of official languages.
  • Handles certain aspects of the administration of justice in both official languages.

Public Service Commission

  • Monitors the application of linguistic provisions of public service staffing.
  • Conducts second language evaluations of government employees.

Canada School of Public Service

  • Ensures the quality of language training services provided by contractors to government employees.
  • Provides second language maintenance courses and online tools and courses.

The House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees on Official Languages

  • Monitor the government's compliance with the Act.
  • Study the reports to Parliament by the Commissioner of Official Languages, the President of the Treasury Board, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage.