2. Learn about designated agencies

I speak French. What are my rights to services in Ontario in French?
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2. Learn about designated agencies

Designated agencies are government agencies or agencies funded by the government that provide services and communicate with the public in French.

Services in French include services provided in person, over the phone, electronically (by email), and in writing. You must be given a choice to use either language from the time of first contact. An example of this is the use of "Hello-Bonjour". This is sometimes called an active offer.

There are 243 designated agencies. Some of these agencies are not required by law to provide services in French but have applied for and received a French-language designation. Here are some examples of the kinds of agencies that may be designated:

  • children's aid societies
  • hospitals
  • colleges and universities
  • seniors' residences

When you go to any one of these agencies, they must:

  • offer French-language services on a permanent basis by employing people with a certain level of French-language skills
  • guarantee French-language services can be provided for all or some services during business hours

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Reviewed: May 1, 2019

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