French Communication Guidelines

Information that meets one or more of the following requirements should be communicated in French. Information that is:

  • critical, or of the most direct benefit to all citizens, (i.e. tax measures, or programs which provide funding or other incentives to large segments of the population, such as home owners or parents, etc.);
  • related to a citizen's health, safety or security; or
  • of particular relevance to the francophone and Acadian population.

News releases are translated and issued in French when: they are of particular relevance to Francophone and Acadian Nova Scotians or to a community which is recognized as having a significant Francophone population; they pertain to French language service delivery from a provincial government department; or if program materials, including, where appropriate, application forms, are available in French.

Advertising: province-wide advertising campaigns include French media. Advertisements in French may be placed in provincial (English) media when they pertain to provincial government French language services.

Correspondence: written correspondence from the public in English or French sent to any government department will be replied to in the language of the original correspondence.

Telephone inquiries: service in French is provided through the government’s call centre. Requests to departments for telephone service in French will be complied with. (Departments are not necessarily expected to hire additional staff in order to meet this guideline, but, rather, to find ways within their own organizations or the broader public service – including Acadian Affairs – of providing an initial response to callers who request information in French, finding the required information within their department and providing it, in French, to the caller.)

Web sites: on-line services and materials will be available in French on government web sites when they contain critical public information; they are of the most direct benefit to citizens (such as the Health Department’s wait times site); are of particular relevance to Francophone and Acadian Nova Scotians or to a community which is recognized as having a significant Francophone population.
Government web sites will use a consistent link button to indicate French content at appropriate points, including their front pages; they will also use the same navigation in directing users to French material and services. Departments will not display bilingual welcome pages.

Information documents produced in English will have a French counterpart when: they contain critical public information (i.e. influenza protection or hurricane preparation); they are of the most direct benefit to citizens (such as the fuel rebate program); they pertain to French language service delivery from a provincial government department; are of particular relevance to Francophone and Acadian Nova Scotians or to a community which is recognized as having a significant Francophone population.

Public consultations: provision will be made for the participation of French-speaking citizens in all province-wide public consultations; when the consultation is of particular relevance to Francophone and Acadian Nova Scotians, or to a community which is recognized as having a significant Francophone population.

Community and road signs: within the Acadian regions of Argyle, Clare, Pomquet, Cheticamp and Richmond County, the name of a community or the name of a road/street may be displayed in either French or English, or a combination of both, as preferred by the inhabitants of the community.

Signs in government offices: government offices which offer service in French should display French signage.

Promotional items should be considered for bilingual production or in French versions according to the same criteria as information documents.

Business cards: employees who offer service in French are encouraged to have their business cards produced in English and French.