French Language Health Services

Designation of Public Service Agencies (Regulation 398/93)

Organizations that are partially funded by the province and provide services to the public, such as hospitals, long-term care homes and community agencies, are not automatically subject to the French Language Services Act (FLSA). To be subject to the FLSA, this type of organization must be designated as a public service agency by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, pursuant to section 8 of the FLSA. Such a designation requires the organization to provide services and communicate with the public in French, in accordance with section 2 of the FLSA. An organization may request to be designated as a public service agency.

A designation under the FLSA is recognition that an agency has met the government’s designation criteria in providing French language services to its French-speaking clients and has demonstrated its ability to continue to do so.

Before the government will designate an organization, the organization must:

  • offer quality services in French on a permanent basis, which is ensured by employees with the  required French language skills;
  • guarantee access to French-language services which can be provided for all or some services and during business hours
  • Ensure that effective representation of Francophones sit of the board of directors and its committee are included in the administrative by-laws and must reflect the proportion of the francophone population within the community served
  • have an effective representation of Francophones among its  senior management team
  • ensure that the board of directors and senior management are accountable for the quality of French-language services

If an organization is designated as a public service agency under the FLSA, the organization is subject to the FLSA in all respects. However, a regulation designating a public service agency may limit the designation to apply only to specific services provided by the agency, or may specify services that are excluded from the designation. These are called partial designations.

Every three years, designated agencies must show how they have maintained this level of service. The board of each agency must submit to their ministry a report detailing how this was done.

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