My Language Rights

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Since English and French are the official languages of New Brunswick, government services must be provided in both of these languages. The Official Languages Act of New Brunswick describes the rights of citizens and the obligations of the government and public bodies. Here are a few highlights from that Act.

  • All individuals have the right to communicate with and receive services from provincial institutions in the official language of their choice.

    Provincial institutions are:
    • provincial departments1 (e.g., the Department of Health);
    • Crown corporations (e.g., NB Liquor, NB Power, Service New Brunswick);
    • courts;
    • agencies of the Legislative Assembly (e.g., the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, Ombudsman);
    • police services;
    • hospitals and public health services;
    • any board, commission or council, or other body or office, established to perform a governmental function.
  • Provincial institutions must actively offer the public their services in both official languages. This is done by means of bilingual signage and greeting people in both languages over the phone and in person.
     
  • Provincial institutions must publish information intended for the general public in both official languages.
     
  • Private or other bodies that provide services on behalf of the provincial government must do so in both official languages.
     
  • New Brunswick's cities (Bathurst, Campbellton, Dieppe, Edmundston, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, Saint John) as well as some municipalities (Atholville, Charlo, Dalhousie, Eel River Crossing, Rexton, Richibucto, Shediac, Tide Head) must provide certain services2 to the public in both official languages, including publication of information of a general nature. This obligation also applies to the following Regional Service Commissions: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11. (See map).

     

It should be noted that the New Brunswick Official Languages Act does not apply to distinct educational institutions. School districts, public schools, community centers, community colleges and universities do not have to offer services in both official languages. Moreover, the Official Languages Act does not apply to the English and French sections of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

For more information, consult the section entitled Acts, regulations & policies.
 

  1. The Official Languages Act of New Brunswick does not apply to the English and French sections of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
  2. See Services and Communications Regulation 2002-63 under the Official Languages Act of New Brunswick.