Canada: Long-awaited draft regulation under Québec's Bill 96 finally published – More questions than answers?

In brief

On 10 January 2024, the draft Regulation to amend mainly the Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business ("Draft Regulation") to the Charter of the French language ("Charter") was introduced by the Quebec legislature. The long-awaited Draft Regulation provides guidance on the sweeping amendments to the Charter introduced by Bill 96. Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, was adopted by the Québec National Assembly in June 2022 to overhaul and strengthen French language requirements in Québec under the Charter. Once adopted, the Draft Regulation will further amend the Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business to clarify the rules surrounding the permitted use of non-French language trademarks, in particular on product packaging; revise French language prominence rules for trademarks used on public signs and posters; formally expand the definition of commercial documentation; and clarify how standard form contracts (i.e., boilerplate contracts) may be provided in French online and by telephone.


The Draft Regulation is subject to a 45-day consultation period and is expected to pass by the summer of 2024. The Draft Regulation is a key next step in clarifying how the changes resulting from Bill 96 will apply in practice, and are of critical importance to companies operating in or selling into Quebec or contracting with Quebec counterparties, and they will therefore want to consider their compliance approach carefully in light of these changes. 

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