Bilingual Meetings: Take Action!

Before the meetingFootnote * starts:

  • The meeting chair assigns two people to be the language keeper and the note taker and gives each the appropriate card for their role, keeping the chair card.
  • The chair reads his card out loud in both official languages and invites the language keeper and the note taker to do the same.
  • If the chair is not fluent in both official languages, he should enlist the help of a co-chair.

Take Action!

The chair and the participants do their best to apply the following best practices during the meeting.


If some participants are unilingual, ensure that frequent summaries of the key points raised in French are given in English, and vice versa.


  • Speak in the official language of your choice.
  • Trust that the chair can summarize your comments effectively in the other language.


Text on the chair’s card

The meeting will be bilingual, and I will make sure that you can all participate fully in the meeting from start to finish in the official language of your choice.

I will lead by example!

Text on the language keeper’s card

I will keep track of the balance between the use of English and French and will advise the chair when the balance needs to be readjusted.

To do this, I will hold up this card when necessary.

Text on the note taker’s card

I will take the meeting notes and make sure that the comments made in each official language during the meeting are reflected in the notes.


The federal public service is bilingual. In regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes, employees have the right to work and be supervised in the official language of their choice. This includes meetings in which they participate.

Leadership is key!


Footnote *

All meeting documents should be distributed in both official languages at the same time.

Return to footnote * referrer

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