An Act Respecting Official Languages
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:
Official Languages Act
1( 1) Section 1 of the Official Languages Act, chapter O-0.5 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 2002, is amended
(a) in the English version in the definition “publication and published” by striking out the period at the end of the definition and substituting a semicolon;
(b) by adding the following definition in alphabetical order:
“public service” means those portions or divisions of the Public Service specified in the First Schedule of the Public Service Labour Relations Act that are prescribed by regulation. (services publics)
1( 2) The Act is amended by adding after section 1 the following:
1.1 The purpose of this Act is the following:
( a) to ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of New Brunswick;
( b) to ensure that English and French have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Province; and
( c) to set out the powers and duties of the institutions of the Province with respect to the two official languages.
1( 3) The Act is amended by adding after section 5 the following:
5.1( 1) The Province shall prepare a plan setting out how it will meet its obligations under this Act, and the plan shall include the following:
( a) goals and objectives with respect to its obligations under this Act;
( b) measures to ensure the equality of status of the two linguistic communities;
( c) measures to ensure the equality of use of the English and French language in the public service;
( d) measures to ensure that language of work is considered when identifying work groups within the public service and when developing language profiles for positions in the public service;
( e) measures to improve the bilingual capacity of senior management in the public service;
( f) measures to provide for the review and the improvement, when necessary, of the public signage policies of the Province, which policies shall include consideration of the two linguistic communities and of the linguistic composition of a region; and
( g) performance measures for evaluating the effectiveness of the measures implemented under the plan and time frames within which they must be implemented.
5.1( 2) The Premier is responsible for ensuring central government coordination and oversight of the implementation of the plan prepared under subsection (1).
5.1( 3) Each portion of the public service shall prepare an action plan setting out how it will meet the goals and objectives included in the plan prepared under subsection (1) and how it will implement the measures included in that plan.
5.1( 4) As soon as practicable after the end of each fiscal year, each portion of the public service shall submit a report to the Premier with respect to the activities under its action plan.
5.1( 5) As soon as practicable after the end of each fiscal year and after receiving the reports under subsection (4), the Premier shall submit a report to the Legislative Assembly with respect to the activities under the plan prepared under subsection (1).
1( 4) Section 12 of the Act is amended by striking out “printed” and substituting “co-drafted, printed”.
1( 5) Section 30 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:
Services provided by third parties
30 When the Province or an institution engages a third party to provide a service on its behalf, the Province or the institution, as the case may be, is responsible for ensuring that its obligations under sections 27 to 29 are met by the third party.
1( 6) Section 31 of the Act is amended by adding after subsection (3) the following:
31( 4) When determining if a peace officer has taken the measures necessary under subsection (2) within a reasonable time, a court shall consider the efforts made by the police force or agency to fulfil its obligations under subsection (3).
1( 7) The Act is amended by adding after section 41 the following:
41.1( 1) In this section, “professional association” means an organization of persons that by an Act of the Legislature has the power to admit, suspend, expel or direct persons in the practice of a profession or an occupation.
41.1( 2) A professional association shall provide the services prescribed by regulation to its members in both official languages.
1( 8) Subsection 42(1) of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:
42( 1) The Premier shall initiate a review of this Act, and the review shall be completed no later than December 31, 2021.
1( 9) Section 43 of the Act is amended
(a) in subsection (2) of the English version by striking out “The Commissioner” and substituting “Subject to subsections (2.1) to (2.4), the Commissioner”;
( b) by adding after subsection (10) the following:
43( 10.1) Despite subsection (10), when the Commissioner considers it appropriate, the Commissioner may attempt to resolve a complaint without conducting an investigation.
( c) in subsection (16) by striking out “only”;
( d) in subsection (17) by striking out “only”;
( e) by adding after subsection (17) the following:
43( 17.1) When the Premier, a deputy head or an administrative head receives the results of an investigation from the Commissioner under subsection (16) or (17), he or she shall acknowledge in writing receipt of the results and of any recommendations made by the Commissioner.
43( 17.2) After carrying out an investigation under subsection (10), if the Commissioner considers it to be in the public interest, the Commissioner may publish a report on the results of his or her investigation and on any recommendations made as a result of the investigation.
1( 10) The Act is amended by adding after section 43 the following:
Protection from reprisal
43.1 No person shall take a reprisal against a person or direct that one be taken against a person because the person has made a complaint in good faith to the Commissioner or cooperated in an investigation under this Act.
43.2 No proceedings lie against the Commissioner or against a person holding an office or appointment in the Office of the Commissioner for anything he or she may do, report or say in the course of the exercise or intended exercise of his or her functions under this Act regardless of whether that function was within his or her jurisdiction, unless it is shown the person acted in bad faith.
1( 11) Section 45 of the Act is amended
(a) by adding after paragraph (a) the following:
( a.1) prescribing portions or divisions of the Public Service for the purposes of the definition “public service” in section 1;
( a.2) establishing public signage policies for the Province;
(b) by adding after paragraph (c) the following:
( c.1) prescribing the services that a professional association is required to provide to its members in both official languages, including imposing different requirements on professional associations based on criteria established by the regulations;
(c) by adding after paragraph (e) the following:
( e.1) providing for a remedy for violating section 43.1 or establishing a procedure for enforcing the prohibition in section 43.1, including prescribing a violation of that section to be an offence and prescribing a penalty with respect to the offence;
Regulation under the Official Languages Act
2 New Brunswick Regulation 2011-48 under the Official Languages Act is repealed.
3 Subsection 11(1) of the Municipalities Act, chapter M-22 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is amended by adding after paragraph (j.1) the following:
( j.2) requiring commercial signs to be displayed in both official languages;
4( 1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.
4( 2) Paragraph 1(9)(a) shall be deemed to have come into force on April 1, 2013.