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Cost Estimate for Bill C-13: An Act for the Substantive Equality of Canada's Official Languages

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Published on June 2, 2022 PDF

This report response to a request from the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages to provide an independent analysis of the financial cost of Bill C-13, An Act for the Substantive Equality of Canada's Official Languages.

Highlights

  • Of the many provisions set out in this bill, financial implications arise solely from the proposed extensions of French language rights to federally regulated private businesses.

  • We expect private compliance costs to implement these rights to be $240 million in one-time costs plus $20 million each year in ongoing costs. These costs arise primarily from language training and bilingualism wage premiums for managers in designated bilingual regions outside Quebec.

  • We estimate the public administrative cost to implement these rights to be $2.9 million per year. However, the amount of funding provided is fundamentally discretionary – the activities that can be undertaken in support of the implementation of Bill C-13 will be limited by the funding available.

  • The 2021-22 Fall Economic Statement allocated $16 million in 2022-23 for initial implementation costs associated with this bill. The responsible departments wrongfully refused to disclose how this funding would be allocated on the basis that “this information is not publicly available.” They also refused to identify the additional ongoing tasks they plan to undertake as a result of the bill, or associated staffing and costs. The $16 million does not cover ongoing administrative costs and was not intended to cover those costs. However, it will allow additional initial implementation activities to be undertaken.

  • The cost estimates provided above are sensitive to the scope of regions outside of Quebec where the legislation will be applied, the businesses sizes which are exempted, any additional industry exemptions, and the operationalization of the rights to receive services, work, and be supervised in French.


Communications

Quote

  • In response to our inquiries, the Treasury Board Secretariat, Canadian Heritage and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada refused to disclose their planned expenditures pertaining to the changes set out in C-13, either as a share of the $16 million for initial implementation or in terms of ongoing expenses. Departments provided limited detail regarding the specific tasks they planned to undertake and no detail regarding their anticipated resources requirements for those tasks.

Yves Giroux
Parliamentary Budget Officer

Infographic

News Release

{"id":34,"created_at":"2022-05-31T13:34:50-04:00","updated_at":"2022-06-02T10:06:06-04:00","slug":"pbo-estimates-private-sector-compliance-costs-for-bill-c-13-to-top-240-million-le-dpb-estime-que-ladoption-du-projet-de-loi-c-13-entrainera-des-couts-de-conformite-depassant-les-240-millions-de-dollars-pour-le-secteur-prive","title_en":"PBO estimates private sector compliance costs for Bill C-13 to top $240 million","title_fr":"Le DPB estime que l\u2019adoption du projet de loi C-13 entra\u00eenera des co\u00fbts de conformit\u00e9 d\u00e9passant les 240 millions de dollars pour le secteur priv\u00e9","body_en":"The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) today released an independent cost estimate of Bill C-13, which seeks to strengthen the state of French in federal public institutions and expand the use of French in the federally regulated private sector. This report was prepared in response to a request from the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages (OLLO).\n\nFinancial implications of the bill arise mainly from the proposed extensions of French language rights to federally regulated private businesses. The PBO estimates the cost to the private sector for the implementation of these rights to be $240 million in one-time costs plus $20 million each year in ongoing costs. These costs arise primarily from language training and bilingualism wage premiums for managers in designated bilingual regions outside Quebec.\n\nThe 2021-22 Fall Economic Statement allocated $16 million in 2022-23 for initial implementation costs for federal departments and agencies. The PBO requested details regarding how the money is currently being spent. \n\n\u201cIn response to our inquiries, the Treasury Board Secretariat, Canadian Heritage and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada refused to disclose their planned expenditures pertaining to the changes set out in C-13, either as a share of the $16 million for initial implementation or in terms of ongoing expenses\u201d, said Yves Giroux, PBO. \u201cDepartments provided limited detail regarding the specific tasks they planned to undertake and no detail regarding their anticipated resources requirements for those tasks.\u201d\n\nDespite a lack of cooperation from the responsible departments, the PBO estimates federal administration costs to implement these rights to rise by at least $2.9 million per year.","body_fr":"Le directeur parlementaire du budget (DPB) a publi\u00e9 aujourd\u2019hui une estimation ind\u00e9pendante du co\u00fbt du projet de loi C 13, qui vise \u00e0 renforcer l\u2019\u00e9tat du fran\u00e7ais dans les institutions publiques f\u00e9d\u00e9rales et \u00e0 \u00e9largir l\u2019usage du fran\u00e7ais dans le secteur priv\u00e9 sous r\u00e9glementation f\u00e9d\u00e9rale. Ce rapport a \u00e9t\u00e9 pr\u00e9par\u00e9 \u00e0 la suite d\u2019une demande du Comit\u00e9 s\u00e9natorial permanent des langues officielles (OLLO). \n\nL\u2019\u00e9largissement propos\u00e9 des droits linguistiques des francophones aux entreprises priv\u00e9es sous r\u00e9glementation f\u00e9d\u00e9rale sera la principale raison des r\u00e9percussions financi\u00e8res du projet de loi. Le DPB estime que le co\u00fbt de la mise en \u0153uvre de ces droits pour le secteur priv\u00e9 s\u2019\u00e9l\u00e8vera \u00e0 240 millions de dollars, plus 20 millions de dollars par an par la suite. Ces co\u00fbts seront avant tout li\u00e9s \u00e0 la formation linguistique et aux primes salariales de bilinguisme pour les gestionnaires dans les r\u00e9gions d\u00e9sign\u00e9es bilingues \u00e0 l\u2019ext\u00e9rieur du Qu\u00e9bec.\n\nL\u2019\u00c9nonc\u00e9 \u00e9conomique de l\u2019automne 2021 2022 a affect\u00e9 16 millions de dollars en 2022 2023 aux co\u00fbts de mise en \u0153uvre initiale pour les minist\u00e8res et organismes f\u00e9d\u00e9raux. Le DPB a demand\u00e9 des d\u00e9tails sur la fa\u00e7on dont l\u2019argent est actuellement d\u00e9pens\u00e9.\n\nToutefois, comme l\u2019a indiqu\u00e9 Yves Giroux, DPB, \u00ab en r\u00e9ponse \u00e0 nos demandes d\u2019information, le Secr\u00e9tariat du Conseil du Tr\u00e9sor, Patrimoine canadien et Immigration, R\u00e9fugi\u00e9s et Citoyennet\u00e9 Canada ont refus\u00e9 de communiquer leurs d\u00e9penses pr\u00e9vues pour se conformer aux changements \u00e9nonc\u00e9s dans le projet de loi C 13, autant en ce qui concerne la part des 16 millions de dollars consacr\u00e9e \u00e0 la mise en \u0153uvre initiale qu\u2019en ce qui a trait aux d\u00e9penses r\u00e9currentes. Les minist\u00e8res ont fourni peu de d\u00e9tails sur les mesures pr\u00e9cises qu\u2019ils pr\u00e9voyaient prendre et n\u2019ont donn\u00e9 aucun d\u00e9tail sur les ressources n\u00e9cessaires, selon eux, pour ces mesures. \u00bb\n\nMalgr\u00e9 le manque de coop\u00e9ration des minist\u00e8res responsables, le DPB estime que les co\u00fbts d\u2019administration \u00e0 l\u2019\u00e9chelle f\u00e9d\u00e9rale pour mettre en \u0153uvre ces droits augmenteront d\u2019au moins 2,9 millions de dollars par an.","release_date":"2022-06-02T09:00:00-04:00","is_published":"2022-06-02T08:57:04-04:00","internal_id":"COM-2223-034","permalinks":{"en":{"website":"https:\/\/www.pbo-dpb.ca\/en\/blog\/news-releases--communiques-de-presse\/pbo-estimates-private-sector-compliance-costs-for-bill-c-13-to-top-240-million-le-dpb-estime-que-ladoption-du-projet-de-loi-c-13-entrainera-des-couts-de-conformite-depassant-les-240-millions-de-dollars-pour-le-secteur-prive"},"fr":{"website":"https:\/\/www.pbo-dpb.ca\/fr\/blog\/news-releases--communiques-de-presse\/pbo-estimates-private-sector-compliance-costs-for-bill-c-13-to-top-240-million-le-dpb-estime-que-ladoption-du-projet-de-loi-c-13-entrainera-des-couts-de-conformite-depassant-les-240-millions-de-dollars-pour-le-secteur-prive"}},"pivot":{"publication_id":688,"news_release_id":34}}