Board Policy CA-220: Official Languages

Effective date: 2019-06-18

Purpose

Vitalité Health Network (the “Network”) is a Francophone leader in health care in New Brunswick. The Network is also bound to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act and the Regional Health Authorities Act to ensure that members of the public have access to the services and programs provided by the Network in the official language of their choice and to set official language requirements regarding its internal operations.

Definitions

  • Public:
    Refers to any person or group of persons, any association or body, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, any municipality or municipal body, any provincial or federal department or body, or any non-governmental organization or their representative.
  • Services of equal quality:
    Services that are actively offered in both official languages and that are available without undue delay in the language chosen by the client.
  • Active offer (to actively offer):
    Active offer of service means taking the necessary measures to let members of the general public know they can obtain services in the official language of their choice.  Active offer of service means letting people know at first contact that services are available in both official languages, and this, without the public members having to ask for it.
  • Program:
    Refers to any program such as the Public Health, Mental Health, or any other similar program.
  • Language of service:
    Refers to the active offer and the delivery of all services provided by the Network in French and English throughout the health facilities, programs or hospitals in the province.  All members of the public have the legal right to receive health care services in the official language of their choice.

A. Services to the public

Under the Official Languages Act and the Regional Health Authorities Act, the Network is committed to guaranteeing delivery of services of equal quality1 to the general public throughout all its facilities and programs2 in the two official languages recognized by the province, in respect of both linguistic communities on the Network's territory.

  1. As regards the language of service, the Network is responsible for implementing the policy and guidelines of the Language of Service Policy of the Government of New Brunswick.
    1. Thus the Network is committed to taking the necessary measures to actively offer members of the public services in the language of their choice and to inform them about this.
    2. The Network must have on site at all times the linguistic resources required to fulfill its obligations when comes the time to offer and provide services to the public.
    3. The Network must ensure that public signage or visible by the public, other publications and communications directed to the public are available in both official languages.  This includes written and verbal communication, communication technologies (e.g. voicemail boxes), and the website.
    4. To be better able to fulfill its official language obligations, the Network must develop and maintain the linguistic profile of its employees to ensure that it has the ability to offer quality services in both official languages.

B. Internal operations

  1. The working language of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) and the Network head office is French. To fulfill this legal responsibility:
    1. All members of the Board must be fully functional in French (verbal and written).
    2. All documents from the Government of New Brunswick (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Ministry of Social Development, Service NB etc.), including tenders, must be submitted in French in same time as the English version.
    3. In public places, when the Network uses any media (radio, reportage, educational medium), French will be privileged.
  2.  Board meetings are held in French.
    1. However, the Network is responsible for providing simultaneous interpretation services during the public meetings of the Board.
    2. The minutes of the Board public meetings and by-laws must also be available in both official languages.

1 Services of equal quality are services that are actively offered in both official languages and that are available without undue delay in the language chosen by the client.

2 Program refers to any program such as the Extra-Mural Program, Public Health, Mental Health, or any other similar program.