13-21 – Official Languages Policies and Directives

Cadet Administrative and Training Orders (CATOs)


1. The Department of National Defence is required to implement governmental official languages policies and directives.

2. The purpose of this order is to ensure compliance with the policies and directives governing the activities of the Canadian Cadet Organizations. 


3. Services provided to cadets at the corps/sqns or at Cadet Summer Training Centres (CSTCs) shall be offered according to the unit language designation assigned when the unit is officially formed:

  1. English Language Unit (ELU). The majority of cadets have English as the principal language. The activities and the administration are conducted in English.
  2. French Language Unit (FLU). The majority of cadets have French as the principal language.  The activities and the administration are conducted in French.
  3. Bilingual Unit (BU).  Both official language groups are present in sufficient numbers. The activities and the administration are conducted equally in both languages.

Designations – English and French

4. Cadet corps/sqns and CSTCs designated ELU or FLU are not required to conduct activities in languages other than that of their designation. When the majority of cadets has changed substantially to the point where a change of language designation is required, a request for a Change of Designation shall be submitted in accordance with CATO 11-10.

5. In cases where a corps/sqn or a CSTC has an official language minority, but this minority is not large enough to warrant a re-designation of the unit, the Commanding Officer (CO) must be satisfied that every reasonable effort has been taken to satisfy the needs of individuals of the linguistic minority. 

6. Corps/sqns and CSTCs are encouraged to promote the use of both official languages and promote the vitality of English and French linguistic minorities as well as supporting their development and fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. A designation of ELU or FLU does not prevent a unit from conducting training in both languages. 

7. Candidates will not be refused admission to a cadet corps/sqn solely to maintain a unilingual composition. In large centres, it might be desirable for corps/sqns to refer prospective cadets to each other in order to maintain one language of work. However, discretion must be carefully exercised so that this practice does not become discrimination or give the impression of discrimination, rather than a means to facilitate the provision of services.

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Bilingual Designation

8. Where cadets from both official language groups are present in sufficient numbers, the services, activities and commands should be provided in both languages subject to availability of qualified cadet instructors.

9. Cadet corps/sqns and CSTCs designated bilingual shall provide courses, course material, and instructions in both languages to the cadets.

10. Where English and French classes are impractical because of the numbers involved and bilingual instructors are available, those instructors should be made available to assist the minority language group.

Service Contracts

11. Regional Cadet Support Units (RCSUs) must ensure to follow ministerial guidelines related to the Official Languages Act.

Communications – Superior Units

12. Communications issued by Superior units must be in the language of work of the receiving unit and in both official languages when addressed to BUs.

Communication Rules – Bilingual Units

Mixed Readership

13. Written communications transmitted by or within a BU and intended for a “mixed readership” should be in both official languages.

Communications with a Unilingual Unit

14. A BU will communicate, whether verbally or in writing, with ELUs in English, with FLUs in French.  A BU will communicate in both languages with a mix of ELUs, FLUs, and BUs.

Communications with another Bilingual Unit

15. A BU will communicate, whether verbally or in writing, with another BU in either English or French.  If the communication is intended for a mixed readership, initially or by redistribution, the communication shall be sent in both official languages.

Communications within a Bilingual Unit

16. The creation of a conducive work environment is essential to ensure that personnel of both language groups are enabled to make the best possible professional input in the official language of their choice. Personnel must be open and receptive to their colleagues in the other linguistic group who exercise the same right to work in the official language of their choice. Common sense and courtesy are very important.

Communication Rules – Elus and Flus

English Language Unit

17. Communications originating from an ELU and intended for another ELU, a FLU, or a BU will be in English only. The onus of understanding the communication is normally on the recipient.

French Language Unit

18. Communications originating from a FLU and intended for another FLU, an ELU, or a BU will normally be in French only. The onus of understanding the communication is on the recipient.


19. Cadet corps/sqns shall advertise and conduct recruiting campaigns in the language(s) designated for their unit. A French-designated or English-designated corps/sqn may recruit in the other official language.

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OPI: D Cdts 5
Date:  Feb 02
Amendment:  Ch 1/02

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