2011-2016 Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act


The following departmental policy is adopted within the framework of the 2011-2016 Action Plan.

Policy statement

The Department of Justice fulfills the commitments and duty found in section 41 of Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

Wording of Section 41


41. (1) The Government of Canada is committed to:

(a) enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development; and

(b) fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

41. (2) Every federal institution has the duty to ensure that positive measures are taken for the implementation of the commitments under subsection (1). For greater certainty, this implementation shall be carried out while respecting the jurisdiction and powers of the provinces.

Policy requirements

  1. The Department identifies the policies and programs that have an impact on English and French minority communities at the initial elaboration stage or upon their renewal.
  2. Once the Department has determined that a policy or program has an impact on English and French minority communities, the needs of these communities are considered with a view to integrating these needs in the Department’s policies and programs when appropriate.
  3. The Department documents the process followed to consider and integrate the needs.

In addition, the Department takes positive measures to implement the government’s commitments under subsection 41(1) such as research, capacity building and partnerships.

Legislative Requirement

The implementation of section 41 is not optional as it arises from a legislative provision contained in a quasi constitutional law. The adoption of a departmental policy lies within this context.



The exercise of the powers, duties and functions of the Attorney General of Canada as set out in section 5 of the Department of Justice Act is not covered by this policy.