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Who We Are

What We Do

The Bilingual Service Centres offer services in designated-bilingual regions of Manitoba, where there is a concentration of French-speaking residents. Each Bilingual Service Centre is unique, offering services that respond to its regional needs. The centres provide a wide range of federal, provincial, municipal and community-based services, all under one roof.

Our History

The Bilingual Service Centres were born out of recommendations in the Chartier Report, Above All, Common Sense. In 1997, the Manitoba government commissioned Judge Richard Chartier to study and report on the implementation of its French Language Services Policy. His report recommended the concentration of French-language services in single outlets.

The federal government wanted to provide the public with a one-stop shop to access services, and other organizations also expressed their interest in participating in this new venture.

The six Bilingual Service Centres opened between 2002 and 2012 in the following regions:

April 2002
St. Boniface
Region
October 2002
Red River
Region
March 2003
Mountain
Region
April 2008
Interlake
Region
April 2009
St. Vital/St. Norbert
Region
April 2012
Seine River
Region

Our Mission

The Bilingual Service Centres are administered by the Manitoba government’s Francophone Affairs Secretariat. The Secretariat advises the government about Francophone affairs, including measures to support the Francophone community. It guides and coordinates the implementation of French-language service plans and encourages public bodies to address the needs of the community when developing their policies, programs and services. The Bilingual Service Centres also serve as a liaison between the government and French-speaking organizations in the province.

The mission of the Bilingual Service Centres is to provide a wide range of bilingual government services, while promoting the active offer of services in the French language within the Francophone milieu.

To achieve this mission, the Bilingual Service Centres:

  • Offer bilingual services within designated bilingual areas of the province, in communities that have been identified as having a high degree of French-language vitality.
  • Ensure that all centre employees are bilingual, to provide citizens with a range of services in the official language of their choice.
  • Promote the use of French as the language of work and day-to-day operations and interactions within the centres.
  • Provide the public with a one-stop-shop to deal with civil servants from municipal, provincial and federal governments, as well as staff of some non-government organizations.
  • Create a hub for bilingual government services in designated areas of the province. Encourage the coordination of services offered in the centres.
  • Adopt information technology to provide access points for regionalized information distribution and electronic service delivery.
  • Promote the centres and their services through public awareness campaigns.
  • Maintain a community and centre-based evaluation process that allows for service improvement and an evolution in the deployment of government services.

Legislative Acts to support French Language Services

In 2012, the Manitoba government adopted The Bilingual Service Centres Act (Bill 31). This legislation requires that bilingual services centres be maintained in regions throughout Manitoba, where there is a concentration of French-speaking residents. The minister responsible for Francophone affairs, who also has responsibility for the bilingual services centres, is required to provide an annual report about the centres and the government’s French-language services.

In 2016, the Manitoba government adopted new legislation – The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act. The act provides a framework for enhancing the vitality of Manitoba’s Francophone community through the work of the Francophone Affairs Secretariat. It mandates all public bodies to develop and implement multi-year, strategic French-language service plans.

The legislation also includes the establishment of the Francophone Affairs Advisory Council, the strengthening of the mandates of the minister responsible for Francophone Affairs and the Francophone Affairs Secretariat, as well as a requirement for a tabled report on the work of the Secretariat and the Advisory Council, and the progress made by public bodies to implement French-language services.