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Indigenous Languages Act (S.C. 2019, c. 23)

Act current to 2024-04-01 and last amended on 2020-10-01. Previous Versions

Office of Commissioner of Indigenous Languages (continued)

Mandate and Powers, Duties and Functions (continued)

Marginal note:Support offered by Office

 At the request of an Indigenous community or an Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body, the Office may provide support to the community or the Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body in its efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen an Indigenous language, including its efforts to

  • (a) create permanent records of the language, including audio and video recordings and written materials such as dictionaries, lexicons and grammars of the language, for the purposes of, among other things, its maintenance and transmission;

  • (b) establish certification standards for translators and interpreters;

  • (c) conduct research and studies and community assessments in respect of the use of the language;

  • (d) develop and implement plans for reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining and strengthening the language; or

  • (e) engage with the Government of Canada or provincial or territorial governments to establish culturally appropriate methods of teaching and learning the language.

Marginal note:Dispute resolution services

 At the request of an Indigenous community, an Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body, an Indigenous organization or the Government of Canada, the Office may provide services, including mediation or other culturally appropriate services, to facilitate the resolution of a dispute related to

  • (a) the fulfilment by any party of an obligation related to Indigenous languages under an agreement entered into by the Government of Canada;

  • (b) funding provided by the Government of Canada for the purposes of an initiative related to Indigenous languages;

  • (c) the fulfilment of any of the Government of Canada’s obligations under this Act; or

  • (d) the implementation of any of the Government of Canada’s policies and programs related to Indigenous languages.

Marginal note:Review of complaints

  •  (1) The Commissioner may conduct a review of a complaint, filed by an Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body, an Indigenous organization or an Indigenous person, respecting any matter referred to in any of paragraphs 26(a) to (d).

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) After conducting the review, the Commissioner must prepare a report containing any recommendations that the Commissioner considers to be appropriate.

Marginal note:Capacity, rights, powers and privileges

 The Office has the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, including the capacity to

  • (a) enter into contracts;

  • (b) acquire, hold and dispose of property or an interest or right in property, or lease property; and

  • (c) sue and be sued.

Marginal note:Delegation

 The Commissioner may delegate any of the Commissioner’s powers, duties and functions under this Act to any director or employee of the Office, subject to any conditions that the Commissioner may impose.

Marginal note:Limit of liability

 No action or other proceeding lies against the Commissioner, a director, an employee of the Office or a person acting on behalf of the Office for anything done, or omitted to be done, in the exercise or purported exercise in good faith of any power, or in the performance or purported performance in good faith of any duty or function, of that person in accordance with this Act.

Financial Management

Marginal note:Fiscal year

 The Office’s fiscal year is the period beginning on April 1 in one year and ending on March 31 in the next year.

Marginal note:Expenditure of revenues

 Subject to any conditions that the Treasury Board may impose, the Office may expend, in the furtherance of its mandate, during a fiscal year or the following one, any revenues that it receives in that fiscal year through the conduct of its activities.

Marginal note:Business plan and budget

  •  (1) The Office must establish a business plan and budget for each fiscal year and submit them to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Scope and contents of business plan

    (2) The Office’s business plan must encompass all of the Office’s activities and include a statement of

    • (a) the Office’s mandate;

    • (b) the Office’s objectives for the fiscal year and the measures it intends to employ to achieve those objectives; and

    • (c) the Office’s expected performance for the fiscal year.

  • Marginal note:Contents of budget

    (3) The Office’s budget must include a statement of the Office’s projected revenues and expenses for the fiscal year.

  • Marginal note:Activities consistent with business plan

    (4) The Office must carry on its activities in a fiscal year in a manner that is consistent with its business plan for that year.

Marginal note:Books and systems

  •  (1) The Office must keep books of account and records in relation to them and must also maintain financial and management control and information systems.

  • Marginal note:Requirements

    (2) The books, records and systems referred to in subsection (1) must be kept and maintained in a manner that will provide reasonable assurance that

    • (a) the Office’s assets are safeguarded and controlled;

    • (b) its transactions are carried out in accordance with this Act;

    • (c) its financial, human and physical resources are managed economically and efficiently; and

    • (d) its activities are carried out effectively.

  • Marginal note:Internal audit

    (3) The Office may cause internal audits to be conducted to assess the Office’s transactions and activities for the purpose of verifying compliance with subsections (1) and (2).

  • Marginal note:Financial statements

    (4) The Office must prepare financial statements annually, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

  • Marginal note:Form of financial statements

    (5) The Office’s financial statements must be prepared in a form that clearly sets out information according to its principal activities.

Marginal note:Annual auditor’s report

  •  (1) The Office must cause an annual auditor’s report to be prepared on its financial statements and any quantitative information required to be audited under subsection (3).

  • Marginal note:Contents

    (2) The report must, among other things,

    • (a) include separate statements as to whether in the opinion of the Office’s auditor

      • (i) the financial statements are presented fairly, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, applied on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year,

      • (ii) the quantitative information is accurate in all material respects and, if applicable, was prepared on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year, and

      • (iii) the Office’s transactions that have come to the auditor’s notice in the course of the auditor’s examination for the report were carried out in accordance with this Act; and

    • (b) call attention to any other matter falling within the scope of the auditor’s examination for the report that, in the auditor’s opinion, should be brought to the attention of the Office or the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Audit of quantitative information

    (3) The Minister may require that any quantitative information required to be included in the report under paragraph (2)(a) be audited.

  • Marginal note:Presentation to Minister

    (4) The Office must submit to the Minister its audited financial statements with respect to the fiscal year within 90 days after the end of that fiscal year.

Marginal note:Special examination

  •  (1) At any time required by the Minister, the Office must cause a special examination to be carried out in respect of its transactions and activities to determine if the books, records, systems and practices referred to in section 34 were, in the period under examination, maintained in a manner that met the requirements of that section.

  • Marginal note:Examiner

    (2) The special examination is to be carried out by the Office’s auditor. However, if, in the Minister’s opinion, a person other than the Office’s auditor should carry out the special examination, the Minister may, after consultation with the Commissioner, direct that the examination be carried out by another auditor who is qualified for the purpose.

  • Marginal note:Plan

    (3) Before commencing the special examination, an examiner must survey the Office’s systems and practices to be examined and submit a plan for the examination, including a statement of the criteria to be applied in the examination, to the Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Reliance on internal audit

    (4) The examiner must, to the extent feasible, rely on any internal audit conducted under subsection 34(3).

Marginal note:Examiner’s report

  •  (1) The examiner must, on completion of the special examination, submit a report on the examiner’s findings, and a summary of that report, to the Minister and the Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Contents

    (2) The examiner’s report is to include

    • (a) a statement as to whether, in the examiner’s opinion, having regard to the criteria referred to in subsection 34(2), there is a reasonable assurance that there are no significant deficiencies in the systems and practices examined; and

    • (b) a statement on the extent to which the examiner relied on internal audits.

  • Marginal note:Posting of summary

    (3) The Office must, as soon as feasible after the Commissioner has received the report, post the summary of the report on its website.

Marginal note:Consultation with Auditor General

 The Office’s auditor or the examiner may at any time consult the Auditor General of Canada on any matter relating to an audit or special examination.

Marginal note:Right to information

  •  (1) At the request of the Office’s auditor or the examiner, the present or former Commissioner, directors or employees of the Office must provide any information and explanations, and give access to any of the Office’s records, documents, books, accounts and vouchers that are under their control, that the auditor or examiner considers necessary to prepare a report required under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Obligation to inform

    (2) If the Office’s present or former Commissioner, directors or employees do not have information or explanations requested by an auditor or examiner under subsection (1), the Office’s current Commissioner or directors must obtain the information or explanation and provide it to the auditor or examiner.

Marginal note:Restriction

 Nothing in sections 34 to 39 is to be construed as authorizing the Office’s auditor or the examiner to express any opinion on the merits of matters of policy, including the merits of the Office’s mandate or any policy decision of the Office.

Marginal note:Qualified privilege

 An oral or written statement or a report made under this Act by the Office’s auditor or an examiner has qualified privilege.

Marginal note:Disclosure of material developments

 The Commissioner must, as soon as feasible, notify the Minister of any financial or other developments that, in the Commissioner’s opinion, are likely to have a material effect on the Office’s ability to carry out its mandate or exercise its powers or perform its duties or functions, on its performance or on its requirements for funding.

Annual Report

Marginal note:Contents

  •  (1) The Office must, within four months after the end of each fiscal year, submit to the Minister an annual report on

    • (a) the use and vitality of Indigenous languages in Canada;

    • (b) the needs of Indigenous groups, communities and peoples and entities that are specialized in Indigenous languages — and the progress made — in relation to the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Indigenous languages;

    • (c) the adequacy of funding provided by the Government of Canada for the purposes of initiatives related to Indigenous languages; and

    • (d) the implementation of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Activities of Office and other contents

    (2) The annual report must also set out information respecting the Office’s principal activities for the fiscal year and must include

    • (a) a list of the research and studies undertaken under subsection 24(1);

    • (a.1) the Office’s financial statements;

    • (b) the annual auditor’s report;

    • (c) a statement on the extent to which the Office has met its objectives for the fiscal year; and

    • (d) any other information specified by the regulations.

Marginal note:Tabling in Parliament

  •  (1) The Minister must cause a copy of the Office’s report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the day on which the report is received.

  • Marginal note:Referral to committee

    (2) After it is tabled, the report stands referred to the committee of the Senate, the House of Commons or both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the report.

Regulations and Rules

Marginal note:Regulation-making powers

  •  (1) Following consultations by the Minister with the Office, a variety of Indigenous governments and other Indigenous governing bodies and a variety of Indigenous organizations in order to take into account the unique circumstances and needs of Indigenous groups, communities and peoples, the Governor in Council may make regulations

    • (a) respecting complaints referred to in section 27, including

      • (i) the filing of complaints, including the conditions that must be met before complaints may be filed,

      • (ii) the review of complaints, and

      • (iii) the reports made after conducting the review of complaints, including the type of recommendations that may be made in those reports, the period of time within which the reports must be completed and the persons or entities to which the reports must be provided;

    • (a.1) respecting procedures for consultations required under this Act as well as for the negotiation of agreements or arrangements under sections 8 and 9;

    • (a.2) for the purpose of section 10.1,

      • (i) specifying the services to which access may be provided in an Indigenous language and the region in which a federal institution or its agent or mandatary may provide access to those services in that language,

      • (ii) defining the expression “provide access to services”, and

      • (iii) defining the expressions “capacity” and “demand” and specifying the circumstances in which a federal institution or its agent or mandatary has the capacity to provide access to services in an Indigenous language and those in which demand for access to services in that language is sufficient;

    • (b) specifying other information to be included in the annual report for the purposes of paragraph 43(2)(d); and

    • (c) generally, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Distinctions-based approach

    (2) The regulations made under paragraph (1)(a.2) may provide definitions and requirements that vary depending on

    • (a) the Indigenous language in question;

    • (b) the use and vitality of that language;

    • (c) the unique circumstances and needs of an Indigenous group, community or people that uses that language;

    • (d) the region where that language is used; and

    • (e) the federal institution or its agent or mandatary that may provide access to services in that language.


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