Bilingual Ottawa bill could cause legal problems

Posted on: July 22nd, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

A provincial law to officially recognize the bilingualism of Ottawa may not be necessary, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers recently introduced private member’s Bill 140, which would amend the City of Ottawa Act to require the municipality to make a bylaw for bilingual administration and services.

But Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish, questions the need for the law.

“It seems like it’s just a way to formalize something that is already happening,” she tells “I think the challenge would be that there could be some cost issues in making sure that everything was accessible in French.

“It’s an interesting case because it is the nation’s capital, but it’s in a province that is not officially bilingual. I think the city effectively is bilingual anyway because you have this massive civil service based there. If you want to work for the federal government, there is an expectation to speak both languages, and most federal politicians know some French,” Deliscar adds.

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