On May 24, 2022, Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the
official and common language of Québec (Act), which
amends the Charter of the French Language, was adopted by
Quebec's National Assembly. The Act aims to promote the French
language and affirm its status as Quebec's only official
language by requiring the civil administration to use the French
language and ensure its protection in an exemplary manner.
As noted in our Blakes Bulletin: Bill 96: Impacts on the Real Estate and Financial Services Sectors, the Act will affect how registrations with Quebec's register of personal and movable real rights, the Registre des droits personnels et réels mobiliers (RDPRM), may be made. As of September 1, 2022, all such new registrations must be prepared in the French language only.
Given that many foreign lessors and financiers with interests in Quebec will often contract in the English language, the Act will require a change in practice. Both Quebec debtors and their foreign lessors/financiers will need to find a practical solution to address the costs and the language barrier that results from the Act and the requirements that filings be made in the French language only. Some of the practical solutions include requesting a certified translation of the relevant filings or certain representations from the Quebec debtor.
Regardless of the approach taken, it is clear that there is a new path forward required when dealing with assets located in Quebec and lessors and financiers will need to take note going forward.
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