Summary of language rights in Canada and complaint mechanisms

City of Sudbury 

Applicable Norms

Bylaw of the City of Greater Sudbury Concerning the Use of the English and French Languages, 2001-81A
French Languages Services Policy (2001)
French Language Services Act, RSO 1990, c F-32


The City of Greater Sudbury is an important center for Ontario's francophone community. In support of the region's bilingualism, City Council passed Resolution #379 in 1999, which expressed the commitment of the Province and the City "to improve and expand the French language services currently offered in the City of Greater Sudbury". As a result, following the amalgamation of the Regional Municipalities in 2001, the new City of Greater Sudbury passed By-law 2001-81A concerning the Use of English and French, as well as its French Language Services Policy.

By-law 2001-84 is a "by-law" within the meaning of Section 14 of the French Language Services Act. It incorporates the provisions of the Policy.

The City of Greater Sudbury's French Language Services Policy states that the City “recognizes the multilingual character of the Sudbury area and, while it agrees that the language of business in the community is English, notes the desirability of the of the City to provide services in both official languages.”

For example, the policy ensures that the following services are provided in French:

  • Switchboard/Call Center:  The switchboard and call center positions will be staffed by persons capable of answering calls and greeting the public in English and French.

  • Recorded Telephone Messages: Telephone messages accessed by the general public after normal business hours shall be recorded in both official languages

  • Written communications and forms: The website, public notices, pamphlets, etc. for the general public will be available in both official languages. E-mails and mail will be answered in the language in which they were received.  All forms and supplementary notices prepared by or for the City for public use will be available in both English and French (preferably in bilingual format).

  • Please note that documents of a technical and legal nature (i.e. by-laws, official plans, reports, etc.) are produced in English only. 

  • Public Events/Ceremonies: Greetings at official City of Greater Sudbury public events must be in English and French.

Complaint Mechanisms 

There are two (2) language complaint mechanisms applicable to the City of Greater Subury: the City's Communications and French Services Department and the Ontario Ombudsman. These two mechanisms operate in parallel. Therefore, it is not necessary to make a complaint to the City before turning to the Ombudsman. That being said, it is generally more effective to exhaust internal avenues before seeking external remedies.

1.    Communications and French Services Department

The Communications and French Services Department develops and implements communications activities to increase public awareness of the City of Greater Sudbury while respecting its vision, values, goals and priorities. This department ensures that services are provided to citizens in both official languages in accordance with the French Language Services Policy adopted by City Council. Language complaints can be made: 

  • Through the online form

  • By e-mail: Marie Litalien, Manager, Communications and French Language Services (

  • By mail: to Marie Litalien, Manager, French Communications and Services, City of Greater Sudbury, P.O. Box 5000, Stn. A, 200 Brady Street, Sudbury, Ontario, P3A 5P3

  • By telephone: 705-674-4455, ext. 2470

  • Fax: 705-673-3096

2.    The Ontario Ombudsman  

The City of Greater Sudbury has adopted a by-law and policy on the provision of services in both official languages and is required to comply with the French Language Services Act. As a result, the Ombudsman of Ontario may receive language complaints about the City of Greater Sudbury failures to comply with its French Language Services Policy.

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