Office québécois de la langue française

Office québécois
de la langue française
Office québécois de la langue français logo.gif
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The OQLF's main office, located in the old building of the École des beaux-arts de Montréal.
Agency overview
FormedMarch 24, 1961
JurisdictionMinistère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec
Headquarters125, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, Quebec
Employees233
Annual budget$24.124 million CAD (2016-2017)[1]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Robert Vézina, CEO
Child agency

The Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) (English: Quebec Board of the French Language), is a public organization established on March 24, 1961 by the Liberal government of Jean Lesage. Attached to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, its initial mission, defined in its report of April 1, 1964 was "to align on international French, promote good Canadianisms and fight Anglicisms ... work on the normalization of the language in Québec and support State intervention to carry out a global language policy that would consider notably the importance of socio-economic motivations in making French the priority language in Québec".[3]

Its mandate was enlarged by the 1977 Charter of the French Language, which also established two other organizations: the Commission de toponymie (Commission of Toponymy) and the Conseil supérieur de la langue française (Superior Council of the French Language).

History

The creation of a "Board of the French language" (Régie de la langue française) was one of the recommendations of the Tremblay Royal Commission of Inquiry on Constitutional Problems which published its five-volume report in 1956.[3] Such an institution was part of the list of 46 vows formulated by the Second Congress on the French Language in Canada held in Quebec City in 1937.

In 1961, the Act to establish the Department of Cultural Affairs was passed providing for the creation of the Office of the French Language (OLF). The organization had as its mission the assurance of the correct usage French and enrichment of the spoken and written language. In 1969, the Act to promote the French language was passed. This law expanded the mandate of the office and introduced the notion of the right to work in French.

In 1974, the Official Language Act was passed aiming to strengthen the status and use of French in Quebec and gives the office a decisive role in the implementation of its provisions. In 1977, the Charter of the French Language was passed. The first mandatory language law, it incorporates several elements of the Official Language Act, which it broadens, and substantially enhances the status of the French language in Quebec. For its implementation, the Charter establishes, in addition to the Office de la langue française, the Commission de toponymie, the Commission de surveillance et des enquêtes and the Conseil de la langue française.

The office was renamed as the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) pursuant to the adoption of Bill 104 by the National Assembly of Quebec on June 12, 2003, which also merged the OLF with the Commission de protection de la langue française (Commission of protection of the French language) and part of the Conseil supérieur de la langue française. Two new mandates, the handling of complaints and the monitoring of the linguistic situation, were then entrusted to the OQLF. The organization has also instituted two committees each chaired by a member of the Board: the Linguistic Officialization Committee and the Language Status Monitoring Committee.