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What’s New with Bill 96 in 2023?

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By Rossion

By now, you’ve probably all heard of Bill 96, a change to the Quebec Charter of French Language in Quebec that took effect in 2022.

If you missed our first rundown of what changes came into effect with Bill 96, check it out here.

But did you know that other provisions come into effect this year, and more come into effect in the future? Here’s a rundown of what’s coming soon.

Changes to Non-Negotiable or Consumer Contracts

As of June 1, 2023, businesses must present a French version of a non-negotiable or consumer contract. This means that a party can only be asked to sign a standard contract, or contract of adhesion, in a language other than French if it is first also presented with a French version of the contract.  After this is done, the parties may decide to contract in another language, but only after a French version has been reviewed. Note that if both parties agree to contract in another language, the related documents can be provided in English only.

Who Is Responsible for Translating These Documents?

The author of the contract is responsible for translation fees. They cannot be charged to the franchisee. Keep in mind that the entire contract must be clear and comprehensible in French—you cannot provide an abbreviated version or template that refers to another document that is not available in French.

What Exemptions Are There to This Rule?

Several exemptions exist to this rule, including the following:

  • Loan contracts
  • Clearing house contracts
  • Contracts from a platform for trading derivatives and securities
  • Some insurance policies
  • Civil administration contracts that are “used in relations outside Québec”

Francization of Workplaces: What Do I Need to Know?

As of June 1, 2023, another rule comes into effect that may very well affect your business if you operate in Quebec. Businesses based in Quebec with five or more employees must offer French learning services. Francisation Québec will offer this service. If you do not comply, the government could refuse to contract with you, so this is a rule you’ll want to follow!

Key Takeaways: New Rules for Contracts, but Some Exemptions

  • New regulations from Bill 96 come into effect on June 1, 2023, including a change to how adhesion contracts are treated.
  • Some exemptions exist, but not many. Do your research thoroughly because it’s better to be prepared than pay the fines!
  • If your business is subject to francization rules, you are obligated to offer French-learning services to your employees if they request it. Francisation Québec will offer this service.

Keep a close eye on our blog for updates about what else is changing by June 1, 2025 – we’re here for you in translation! Contact your legal advisors for information about the law.

Planning to localize content for the Quebec market? We’re here to help. Get in touch to learn how Rossion can support your company’s transition and adapt your industry-specific content to French. Get in touch

References

https://www.stewartmckelvey.com/thought-leadership/parlez-vous-francais-recent-amendments-to-quebecs-charter-of-the-french-language-may-impact-atlantic-canadian-businesses/

https://mcmillan.ca/insights/quebec-bill-96s-impact-on-franchise-businesses/#:~:text=Starting%20June%201st%202023%2C%20a,contract%20in%20any%20other%20language

https://www.dentons.com/fr-ca/insights/articles/2022/june/22/the-main-impacts-of-quebecs-bill-96-on-companies

https://www.legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/document/cs/c-11

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