Northwest Territories Act (1877)


Affected Legal Entities


Canada and Northwest Territories


Legal Status






The first version of section 110 of the Northwest Territories Act was adopted in 1877. Under this section, any person could use French or English before the courts. Section 110 as it was later known was enacted in 1886 as an amendment to Section 18 of the Northwest Territories Act. In addition to reiterating the free choice of language before the courts, it allowed the territorial assembly to "réglementer ses délibérations et la manière d'en tenir procès-verbal et de les publier."


Linguistic Significance


The act made the use of French and English mandatory in the writing and publication of statutes and other parliamentary documents, and elective in debates of the Legislature, pleadings, and court proceedings in the Northwest Territories.


Linguistic Provisions


An Act respecting the Northwest Territories

1886 R.S.C. c. 50, s. 110, repealed and substituted for 1891, 54-55 Vict. c. 22, s. 18.

Section 18

Section one hundred and ten of the Act is hereby repealed and the following substited therefor:

"110. Either the English or the French language may be used by any person in the debates of the Legislative Assembly of the Territories and in the proceedings of the courts; and both those languages shall be used in the records and journals of such Assembly; and all ordinances made under this Act shall be printed in both those languages: Provided, however, that after the next general election of the Legislative Assembly, such Assembly may, by ordinance or otherwise, regulate its proceedings, and the manner of recording and publishing the same; and the regulations so made shall be embodied in a proclamation which shall be forthwith made and published by the Lieutenant Governor in conformity with the law, and thereafter shall have full force and effect."


Complete Text


The complete text of the Northwest Territories Act has not been included, as only section 110 dealt with language.

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