IMAGE - Langue de service
On the radar of l’Office Québécois de la langue française
Following a complaint filed with l’Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) early in 2012, and other requests submitted by l’OQLF over the years, Council has agreed to implement the necessary measures in order for the administration to comply with the Charter of the French language. Indeed, during the December 4th Council session, a resolution confirms the Town will fully comply with the Charter and will soon privilege unilingual French in all its activities, after nearly 20 years of behaving as a bilingual town. Let us remember that Ville de Saint-Lazare has never officially had a bilingual status.

“Whether we personally agree or not with Bill 101”, stated Mayor Robert Grimaudo, “members of Council are government representatives, and they must respect the Law. Changes must be made to the way we have systematically supplied bilingual information to all our citizens in the past, but rest assured we will continue to inform everyone while respecting our provincial laws. As a municipal government, we cannot ignore a provincial law, and we must obey by the Charter of the French language”.

Over the years, l’OQLF has asked the Town to comply with the Charter in several respects, including the Town’s welcome signs at the city’s entrances, the way the Town uses its official French name and official department names, its website welcome page and more recently, its written publications. ”This does not mean that we will no longer provide services in English” explained the Mayor, “in fact, the Town will continue to supply every document it previously did in English, just in a separate and distinctive format, as prescribed by the Charter.”

“Of course, before proceeding”, added the Mayor, “Council waited for the 2011 Census results issued by Statistics Canada on October 24, 2012, to review the possibility of requesting a bilingual status. The City did not reach the required percentage; we must therefore proceed to the corrective measures.”

According to the most recent 2011 Census data, Ville de Saint-Lazare did not reach the magic 50% for residents with an English mother tongue. Indeed, only 36.5% declared English has their mother tongue, while 53.3% of our residents declared French has their mother tongue. The 7.3% allophones cannot be compiled with the English percentage.

What does this mean on a daily basis? “Our residents must expect all-French publications, press releases, newsletters, administrative forms and documents, including their tax bills as well as any other official Town correspondence. A distinct separate English version will be made available online for documents 8 pages or less, and in a printed format for documents more than 8 pages, or of high interest, such as the Liaisons, the resident guide, the day camp brochure and the garbage calendar for example. These paper copies will be made available for pick-up at one of 3 locations including the Town hall, the Community centre and the Complexe professionnel.

Changes will start December 10, 2012. Residents can expect to see their last bilingual Liaisons, Resident Guide and general tax account mid-February or March 2013.

L’Office québécois de la langue française
and respecting the Charter of the French language

What can residents expect?

Aide-mémoire :
l’usage du français dans les organismes municipaux

Last updated: 09/06/2013
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1960, chemin Sainte-Angélique, Saint-Lazare (Québec), J7T 3A3
Telephone: 450 424-8000

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