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The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms makes English and French the official languages of Canada, as well as of the province of New Brunswick. This means that all statutes, records and journals of the federal Parliament and the New Brunswick legislature must be available in both languages; Canadians may also use the language of their choice with thse two institutions.

The Charter also grants very specific rights to Canadians: 

  • They can use English or French before courts established by the federal Parliament or the New Brunswick legislature;
  • They can use English or French to communicate with, or receive services from, the head or central office of federal government institutions;
  • They can use English or French to communicate with, or receive services from, the government of Canada where:
  1. There is a significant demand in that location for communications and services in English and in French;
  2. The nature of the office warrants the offer of communications and services in English and in French. 
  • They may at any time use English or French to communicate with, and receive services from, the institutions of the New Brunswick government;
  • They may have their children educated in their official language where:
  1. That language is their first official language learned and still understood, and is that of the linguistic minority population of the province in which they reside;  
  2. They received their own primary school instruction in Canada in English or French and reside in a province where the language in which they received that instruction is the language of the linguistic minority population of the province in which they reside;
  3. They already have a child who has received or is receiving instruction in that language in Canada. 

The Charter also recognizes the English and French linguistic communities in New Brunswick as having equality of status, including the right to distinct educational institutions and such distinct cultural institutions as are necessary for the preservation and promotion of those communities. 

If you feel that your language rights guaranteed by the Charter are not being respected, you may appeal to the Language Rights Support Program

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