Ambit of the Policy

The French-Language Services (FLS) Policy provides a framework for public bodies in the offer of government services to Francophones and to Manitoba’s Francophone community.

The policy’s purpose is to allow this community and the institutions serving it to access comparable government services in the language of the laws of Manitoba. - Statement of Policy

By the implementation of an active offer of French language services, the French-speaking population of Manitoba can be made to feel that it is indeed a constituent part of one of the fundamental characteristics of Canada.

The main points of the active offer concept of French language services are as follows:

The active offer concept applies to all services provided to the general public in designated areas by public bodies covered by the FLS Policy. This concept encompasses all communications in the official language of the clientele's choice, either by phone, in person, in writing, or by electronic methods.

The active offer concept means that the service providers publicize the availability of services in both official languages and create an environment where the public is completely at ease in dealing with provincial government offices in either English or French.

Members of the general public are convinced from the outset that using the official language of their choice will not result in a diminished quality of service, wherever this service is offered.

Therefore, an active offer of French language services means:

  • providing quality service in the official language of the clientele's choice;
  • making this service evident, readily available, and easily accessible to the client; and
  • providing a comparable service in both official languages for all oral, written, and electronic communications related to the service.

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General Definitions

Active Offer

The set of measures taken by designated public bodies to ensure that French language services are evident, readily available, easily accessible, and publicized, and that the quality of these services is comparable to that of services offered in English.

Bilingual Format

The "bilingual format" as it pertains to forms means that:

the English and French texts are printed side-by-side or one after the other throughout the form.

As for public information documents, the "bilingual format" means:

  • parallel, dual-column format;
  • back-to-front, i.e., with English on one side of the page and French on the other;
  • head-to-tail, i.e., with each version upside down in relation to the other.

Comparable Service

The provision of a service in French equivalent in quality, availability and accessibility to that offered in English.

Designated Area

A region that is recognized by the government of Manitoba as warranting French language services due to the concentration of Francophones or the vitality of the region's Francophone community, as demonstrated by the use of French in local schools, cultural organizations, community groups, etc.

Designated Bilingual Position

A position that must be filled by an individual who speaks both official languages and who is able to adequately deliver “comparable service” in French in accordance with the requirements of the French-Language Services (FLS) Policy, the active offer concept and the Multi-Year Strategic FLS Plan of his or her designated public body.

Designated Public Body

An entity or organization to which the government of Manitoba French-Language Services Policy applies and which is, therefore, required to actively offer its services in French.

Designated Service Centres

  1. Bilingual Service Centres (BSCs) located in rural and urban designated regions. These centres are one-stop shops that give citizens access to services of the various levels of government in both official languages. Currently, such centres are in place in the Interlake, Mountain, Red River, Seine River, St. Boniface and St. Vital-St. Norbert Regions and are managed by the Francophone Affairs Secretariat.
  2. Completely bilingual facilities or offices that may or may not be located in the designated areas (such as Translation Services, the Bureau de l’éducation française [French education bureau] and the Francophone Affairs Secretariat) and that are entirely staffed with bilingual personnel so as to ensure services in both official languages at all times.
  3. Partially bilingual facilities or offices that have a bilingual staff component in designated positions and in back-up positions to ensure an active offer and delivery of services in French at all times.

French Language Services (FLS)

The set of written, verbal, audio-visual and electronic communications in the French language by which a designated administrative body provides information or assistance to the members of the Francophone community in Manitoba, and which are comparable to its English language communications.

French-Language Services Coordinator

An individual within a designated public body who has particular and specific responsibilities under the FLS Policy and policy guidelines for the overall implementation of French language services.

General Public

  • The population of Manitoba in general;
  • a portion of this population which is Francophone;;
  • or service providers who have frequent and direct contact with Francophones and must therefore communicate in both official languages.

Multi-Year Strategic French-Language Services Plan

An outline of the practical ways and means by which a designated public body can actively offer and effectively provide its services in French as they relate to its policies, programs and services including those programs and services provided by third parties on its behalf.

Policy Analyst

An individual who, on behalf of the Francophone Affairs Secretariat’s Policy Unit, provides consultative, analytic and planning support to designated public bodies in relation to the implementation of the FLS Policy and related legislation.

Referral System

A network of bilingual employees available to provide services in French, in person or at a distance, on behalf of a government office (designated or non-designated) that is itself unable to respond promptly to French-speaking clients.

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