Francophone driver challenges speeding ticket from Anglophone officer

Posted on: August 10th, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Language rights can get complicated when federal bodies operate in unilingual provinces, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

The Winnipeg Free Press reports that a local Francophone lawyer is challenging a speeding ticket on the basis that rights afforded to him under the Charter and the Official Languages Act were breached when he was stopped by an RCMP officer who could not speak French and wrote the ticket out in English only.

“If you look across the country, Quebec is traditionally French speaking, and New Brunswick is bilingual, but the rest of the provinces, including Manitoba, are officially English-speaking,” Deliscar tells

“The interesting thing here is that the RCMP is a federal body that is required to provide bilingual services, so that is a clash that will have to be addressed,” adds Deliscar, who runs Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish.

According to the Free Press, the lawyer in the case, who has argued language rights matters involving Franco-Manitobans at the Supreme Court of Canada during a 30-year career, was pulled over in St-Pierre-Jolys last summer.

While the town has an officially designated bilingual RCMP detachment, the paper says the officer who handed out the ticket is actually based at a nearby station which doesn’t have the same language requirements.

RCMP spokesperson Tara Seel told the Free Press that despite its limited obligation to provide bilingual officers at certain detachments, it will also provide service in French on demand anywhere in the province.

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