The office of the Minister for the French Language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, maintains that “the provisions concerned aim to promote better access to justice in the language official and common, French”.
A Quebec Superior Court judge has temporarily suspended two sections of “Bill 101 reform” that she says could prevent some English-speaking organizations from accessing the justice system.
Judge Chantal Corriveau ruled that sections of the Act respecting the official and common language of Quebec, French that require companies to pay a certified translator to produce French versions of legal documents should be suspended until their legal challenge can be heard on the merits.
Lawyers challenging sections of the law have argued that this translation requirement could result in costs and delays that could deter some small and medium-sized entities that conduct their business in English to access the courts.
Justice Corriveau agreed that the lawyers had raised relevant questions about whether these provisions of the new law violated sections of the Constitution Act, 1867 that guarantee access to the courts in both official languages of Canada.< /p>
Lawyers are part of several groups that are challenging the Act respecting the official and common language of Quebec, French, in court. This law, passed by the National Assembly in May, notably makes changes to the Charter of the French language, commonly known as “Law 101”.
The new law aims to strengthen the use of French in Quebec by updating language regulations that affect businesses, colleges, immigration and the courts, among others.
Bill 96, which was passed earlier this year, also preemptively invokes the notwithstanding provision provided for in the Canadian Constitution, in order to shield it from possible challenges based on certain sections of the charters of the human rights and freedoms.
In a statement sent to Radio-Canada, the office of Quebec Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, says it is analyzing of judgment. It should be noted that the provisions concerned are intended to promote better access to justice in the official and common language, French. The government is firmly committed to defending this fundamental right. We will not comment further at this time, he adds.