In Ontario, there is a legal provision for the exemption of government ministries and agencies from translating publications into French. That provision appears in Ontario Regulation 671/92, Exemptions.29
Under this regulation, sections 2 and 5 of the French Language Services Act30 do not
apply in the following situations:
- Publications or appendices that are of a scientific, technical, reference, research or scholarly nature and that are:
- not normally made available to the public or
- normally consulted by members of the public with the assistance of public servants.
Ministries that have a translation exemption for a publication must provide the public with a summary of the document, and publish a notice indicating the name and telephone number of a bilingual person to contact for more information.
Since the Act and the associated Regulation 671/92 often seem to be misinterpreted, they are often incorrectly applied. The exemptions regulation was intended to exempt a limited range of government publications from translation into French.
29 For more information: www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/920671 (page consulted in May 2016).
30 Section 2 requires the government to ensure that services are provided in French, and section 5 concerns the right to use French in communicating with the government or receiving services.