Report Cards 2014–2015 and 2015–2016

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages issues report cards to a number of federal institutions. The report cards evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of federal institutions in terms of their various obligations under the Official Languages Act. The names of federal institutions that appear on this list are those that were in effect before the change of government on November 4, 2015.

 
2014–2016 Rating Guide
 

2014–2016 Rating Guide

A- Official Languages Program Management (10%)

 
  • A1. Action Plan and Policy (4%)

    The institution has a complete and updated official languages policy and official languages action plan in which the persons responsible and the achievement timeframes are clearly identified. In addition, senior management regularly reviews and approves the policy and the action plan. The action plan should also include targeted measures to address the shortcomings identified in investigations, previous report cards and audits by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (Office of the Commissioner).

  • A2. Tools/Procedures (4%)

    The institution has a structure that enables it to take official languages into account in planning its activities and in important decision-making processes. This structure incorporates the following elements: (a) official languages are always on the agenda of executive committee meetings; (b) the institution has an official languages committee that meets regularly; (c) the institution has appointed an official languages champion who is active in the organization; (d) the institution has tools or procedures for taking into account official languages when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs.

  • A3. Complaints (2%)

    The institution always provides the documentation requested by the Office of the Commissioner for the purpose of its investigations without delay. The institution fully cooperates with the Office of the Commissioner during investigations.

B- Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%)

 
  • B1. Observations of Service in Person (10%)

    The results of the observations of in-person service carried out by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, at a given time period, confirm the presence of an active visual offer and an active offer by staff in both official languages and the availability of service to the public in the official language of the linguistic minority.

    • Active visual offer (2%)
    • Active offer in person (2%)
    • Availability of service (6%)
  • B2. Observations of Service on the Telephone (10%)

    The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, at a given time period, confirm the presence of an active offer to the public in both official languages by staff or by an automated telephone system and this service is available to the public in the official language of the linguistic minority.

    • Active offer (4%)
    • Availability of service (6%)
  • B3. Observations of Service by E-mail (5%)

    The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service to the public by e-mail, at a given time period, confirm that the response rate is comparable in both official languages, and is provided within comparable timeframes for both language groups.

    • Comparable response rates (2.5%)
    • Comparable timeframes (2.5%)
  • B4. Services of Equal Quality in Both Official Languages (5%)

    Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the DesRochers case, the institution must fully assess the need to provide the public with service of equal quality in both official languages, bearing in mind the nature of the service and its purpose. Services of equal quality are not necessarily identical services, but rather services that are tailored to the needs of official language minority communities, as applicable.

C- Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%)

 
  • C1. Measures Taken in Regions Designated Bilingual for Language-of-work Purposes (25%)

    The institution takes measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions that are designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes (for example, a registry of employees’ language preferences, language training and maintenance, and reminders about language-of-work rights and obligations). The institution systematically evaluates the impact of these measures.

D- Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%)

 

This section concerns the equitable representation of the two language groups. We evaluate how official language minority communities (OLMCs) are represented within institutions’ workforces. We compare this representation data with data from the last population census, taking into account the specific circumstances of the institution in terms of its mandate, its target audience and the location of its offices. The participation rates that are evaluated consist of Francophones outside of Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) (D1), Anglophones in Quebec, excluding the NCR (D2) as well as Francophones in the NCR (D3). The evaluation of this representation is broken down into three separate geographical areas (presented below) and aims to gather detailed data to help institutions implement the necessary corrective measures.

The results of the 2011 census were used as a reference for evaluating the institution against the criteria of this part.

  • D1. Percentage of Francophones Outside Quebec and the NCR (1.5%)

    The Francophone population outside of Quebec and the NCR represents 2.4% of the total population. The participation of Francophones in the institution tends to reflect the presence of the Francophone community in this part of Canada.

  • D2. Percentage of Anglophones in Quebec, Excluding the NCR (3%)

    The Anglophone population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. The participation of Anglophones in the institution tends to reflect the presence of the Anglophone community in this part of Canada.

  • D3. Percentage of Francophones in the NCR (1.5%)

    The Francophone population in the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. The participation of Francophones in the institution tends to reflect the presence of the Francophone community in this part of Canada.

  • D4. Targeted Measures to Promote Equitable Participation (4%)

    The institution demonstrates that all necessary measures have been taken so that its workforce reflects the makeup of Canada’s two official language communities, based on its mandate, the public it serves and the location of its offices. It takes all necessary measures to encourage the participation of Anglophones or Francophones, whose representation is not equitable, in its recruitment campaigns specifically targeting OLMCs.

E- Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%)

 

This section evaluates the concrete measures taken by the institutions to implement Part VII of the Act, which involves the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and the promotion of linguistic duality.

OLMC Development: 41(1)(a) and 41(2)

  • E1. Identification of OLMCs and their Needs (2.5%)

    The institution has:

    • Identified the OLMCs
    • Consulted or met with these communities to systematically identify their needs
  • E2. Positive Measures to Foster the Development of OLMCs (7%)

    The institution has put positive measures in place, in line with its mandate, that meet the needs of OLMCs and foster their development.

  • E3. Assessment of the Impact of Positive Measures on the Development of OLMCs (3%)

    Using formal mechanisms, the institution assesses the impact of the positive measures that have been taken to foster the development of OLMCs and takes the results into account to adjust the measures as needed.

Promotion of Linguistic Duality: 41(1)(b) and 41(2)

  • E4. Initiatives to Promote Linguistic Duality (2.5%)

    Taking its mandate into account, the institution has identified how it can promote linguistic duality, both within and outside of the organization.

  • E5. Positive Measures to Promote the Equal Status and Use of Both English and French in Canadian Society (7%)

    Taking its mandate into account, the institution has taken positive measures to promote the equal status and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

  • E6. Assessment of the Impact of the Positive Measures that have been Taken to Promote Linguistic Duality (3%)

    Using formal mechanisms, the institution assesses the impact of the positive measures that have been taken to promote the equal status and use of both English and French in Canadian society and takes the results into account to adjust the measures as needed.

Bonus points (5%)

 

Up to five percentage points (5%) can be awarded for one or several best practices put in place by the institution if they do not fall within the Office of the Commissioner’s parameters for evaluation, or if they go beyond the above-mentioned criteria.

 
Rating Definitions Ratings Percentage
Rating scale used for the five sections of the report card and the overall rating:
Exemplary A 90% – 100%
Good B 80% – 89%
Fair C 70% – 79%
Poor D 60% – 69%
Very Poor E 59% and under
 
 

Report card results (2014–2015 and 2015–2016)

Report card results (2014–2015 and 2015–2016)
Federal institutions that received an overall ratingReport card results table note*
  Program management Service to the public Language of work Equitable participation Development and promotion Overall rating
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada C C C C D C
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada A C A C B B
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency A B B A A B
Business Development Bank of Canada C B C C C C
Canada Council for the Arts C B C A B C
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions B C B D C C
Canadian Food Inspection Agency B B A D E C
Canadian Heritage B B B A A B
Canadian Institutes of Health Research B A B A C B
Environment Canada A C B A B B
Industry Canada A B A C A B
Infrastructure Canada B A C A C B
Library and Archives Canada B B A C A B
National Arts Centre A A C A A B
National Capital Commission C B C A C B
National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces B C C C C C
National Film Board C A C A B B
National Research Council Canada B C D C D D
Natural Resources Canada A D B B B B
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada D C B A C C
NAV CANADA A B A D B B
Public Health Agency of Canada A C A B B B
Public Safety Canada C C C A D C
Public Service Commission of Canada B A B A C B
Public Works and Government Services Canada A A A C B B
Royal Canadian Mounted Police B C B C B C
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council A B B A A B
Transport Canada C B B A D C
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat B A A A C B
Western Economic Diversification Canada A A C A A B
Federal institutions that did not receive an overall ratingReport card results table note*
  Program management Service to the public Language of work Equitable participation Development and promotion
CBC/Radio-Canada B B B A Report card results table note**
Destination Canada C D Report card results table note*** A D
Service Canada A A B Report card results table note**** B

Report card results table notes

Report card results table note *

Only federal institutions evaluated under all report card sections received an overall rating.

Return to report card results table note * referrer

Report card results table note **

CBC/Radio Canada was not evaluated under this section, because of the legal dispute concerning its obligations under the Official Languages Act.

Return to report card results table note ** referrer

Report card results table note ***

Destination Canada was not evaluated under this section, because its only office in Canada is not located in a region designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

Return to report card results table note *** referrer

Report card results table note ****

Service Canada was not evaluated under this section, because data on equitable participation was not available.

Return to report card results table note **** referrer

 
 

Results of observations of service to the public (2014–2015 and 2015–2016)

Results of observations of service to the public (2014–2015 and 2015–2016)
Results of observations of service to the public (2014–2015 and 2015–2016)
  In person By telephone By e-mail
Visual active offer (%) Active offer (%) Availability of service (%) Active offer (%) Availability of service (%) Availability of serviceResults of observations table note * (%) Response timeResults of observations table note ** (%)
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 82 52 100 68
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 94 28 72 81 85 95 42
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 96 55 100 81 89 95 32
Business Development Bank of Canada 89 24 72 100 100 80 35
Canada Council for the Arts 90 80 100 100 100 100 76
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 88 98 95 36
Canadian Food Inspection Agency 86 37 77 87 81 85 100
Canadian Heritage 100 67 100 77 95 95 48
Canadian Institutes of Health Research N/A N/A N/A 100 100 95 92
CBC/Radio-Canada Results of observations table note **** 72 27 85 100 100 95 48
Destination Canada N/A N/A N/A 100 Results of observations table note *** 27 Results of observations table note ***
Environment Canada Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 48 68 85 49
Industry Canada 98 35 75 98 94 100 55
Infrastructure Canada N/A N/A N/A 85 100 100 85
Library and Archives Canada Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 100 100 90 77
National Arts Centre 100 96 100 100 100 82 29
National Capital Commission 100 66 96 92 100 100 78
National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces 100 25 85 83 74 95 58
National Film Board N/A N/A N/A 100 100 100 90
National Research Council Canada 89 9 79 82 94 100 19
Natural Resources Canada 85 7 81 87 76 75 56
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada 100 6 100 68 89 90 32
NAV CANADA 88 30 80 94 100 100 96
Public Health Agency of Canada 78 10 88 65 87 95 57
Public Safety Canada Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 96 82 85 76
Public Service Commission of Canada Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 100 100 100 95
Public Works and Government Services Canada Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 87 84 90 86
Royal Canadian Mounted Police 69 26 68 71 65 90 74
Service Canada 98 77 85 100 100 N/A N/A
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 100 6 100 Results of observations table note *** Results of observations table note *** 95 88
Transport Canada 95 13 81 85 85 95 92
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat N/A N/A N/A 100 100 N/A N/A
Western Economic Diversification Canada 100 Results of observations table note *** 100 83 100 90 68

Results of observations table notes

Results of observations table note *

Availability of service by e-mail indicates the difference between the response rates for English e-mails and the response rates for French e-mails. The smaller the difference is between the response rates, the higher the score.

Return to Results of observations table note * referrer

Results of observations table note **

E-mail response time indicates the difference between the average response times for English and French e-mails. The smaller the difference is between the response times, the higher the score.

Return to Results of observations table note ** referrer

Results of observations table note ***

Because insufficient data was obtained during the observations, the results are not published. Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only); observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised; too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail. By e-mail: no responses were received in English and/or French.

Return to Results of observations table note *** referrer

Results of observations table note ****

Only administrative services were evaluated.

Return to Results of observations table note **** referrer

 
 

Methodology

Report Card
 

Report Card

Background

The report card is a tool that the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (Office of the Commissioner) uses to assess federal institutions’ compliance with their obligations under the Official Languages Act (the Act). The first report cards were issued in 2004 in response to a recommendation made by the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages in October 2003.Footnote1 The report card methodology is based on a strategic selection of institutions, an assessment of compliance according to key parts of the Act and the assignment of a rating as a performance indicator. Furthermore, it can focus on a specific part of the Act and takes jurisprudence into account. For example, the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the DesRochers caseFootnote2 has changed how Part IV is assessed since 2009.

Selection of institutions

The selection is made from some 200 institutions subject to the Act. The Office of the Commissioner aims to assess the greatest number of institutions possible. The report card also tracks the progress of institutions that have previously been assessed. Other activities of the Office of the Commissioner are taken into consideration during the selection process. For example, an institution is unlikely to be selected for a report card if an audit or audit follow-up is being conducted on that institution in the same year. The selection of institutions must also meet the Office of the Commissioner’s strategic objectives.

Weighting

The report cards focus on the results of concrete actions taken by the institutions and on statistical data collected by the Office of the Commissioner. More points are divided among the sections of the report card that evaluate institutions’ performance with respect to Parts IV, V and VII of the Act. The Rating Guide provides a detailed explanation of how points are awarded based on the assessment criteria.

Official Languages Program Management: 10%

Service to the Public (Part IV): 30%

Language of Work (Part V): 25%

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians (Part VI): 10%

Development of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) and Promotion of Linguistic Duality (Part VII): 25%

Sources of information included documentation provided by the institutions and interviews conducted with institution representatives (for qualitative information), as well as statistical data (for quantitative results).

The sections of the Act on which performance is assessed ensure that compliance is measured consistently for all institutions subject to the Act.

Report card sections

Official Languages Program Management (10%)

In this section, the Office of the Commissioner evaluates the institution’s official languages action plan, its response to complaints and the extent to which it takes official languages into account when making important decisions such as eliminating programs or closing offices. Some of this information is gathered through interviews with institution representatives.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%)

This section contains the results of the Office of the Commissioner’s anonymous observations of service to the public in person, by telephone and by e-mail. For observations made in person, the Office of the Commissioner evaluates the active offer of bilingual service by staff, the visual active offer of bilingual service at bilingual points of service and the availability of service in the official language of the linguistic minority. For observations made by telephone, the Office of the Commissioner evaluates the active offer of bilingual service and the availability of service in the official language of the linguistic minority. More points are allocated to service availability than to active offer. For observations made by e-mail, the Office of the Commissioner compares the institution’s response rates to e-mail written in English and in French and it compares the time delays of the responses in both official languages.

The observation results are worth 25% of the overall rating. The data is gathered through anonymous observations of points of service offering bilingual services, using a sampleFootnote3 identified by Statistics Canada.

Since the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the DesRochers case in 2009, the report card has included an additional criterion to assess the extent to which the institution takes the needs of OLMCs into consideration in its service delivery. This subsection is worth 5% of the overall rating.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%)

Because the most recent results of the Public Service Employee Survey (which date back to 2011) were analyzed in its 2012–2013 annual report, the Office of the Commissioner decided not to use the results of this survey’s language-of-work questions regarding the satisfaction of English-speaking federal public servants in Quebec and French-speaking federal public servants in the rest of Canada. Instead, it asked each institution to show how it takes measures to encourage the use of both official languages in the workplace in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes and how it systematically evaluates the impact of these measures.

This section is worth 25% of the overall rating.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%)

This section has two parts (subsections A and B) and is worth 10% of the overall rating.

Subsection A – 6%

This subsection concerns the equitable representation of Canada’s two official language communities in the federal public service. The Office of the Commissioner evaluates how well OLMCs are represented within the institution’s workforce.Footnote 4 Data on the composition of the workforce is compared with data from the most recent Census of the Population. The participation rates evaluated include Francophones outside of Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR), Anglophones in Quebec, excluding those in the NCR and Francophones in the NCR. The evaluation of these three separate geographical areas (presented below) aims to gather detailed data to help the institution take the necessary corrective measures. It is not intended to redefine the distribution and representation of OLMCs across the country.

The detailed evaluation of this criterion breaks down as follows:

  • Percentage of Francophones outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) (1.5%)

The French-speaking population outside Quebec and the NCR, represents 2.4% of the total population. The percentage of Francophones in the institution’s workforce tends to reflect the presence of the Francophone community in this part of Canada.

Ratings Percentage
A – Exemplary 2.2% and above
B – Good between 1.92% and 2.1%
C – Fair between 1.68% and 1.91%
D – Poor between 1.44% and 1.67%
E – Very Poor 1.43% and below
  • Percentage of Anglophones in Quebec, excluding the NCR (3%)

The English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. The percentage of Anglophones in the institution’s workforce tends to reflect the presence of the Anglophone community in this part of Canada.

Ratings Percentage
A – Exemplary 12.1% and above
B – Good between 10.7% and 12%
C – Fair between 9.4% and 10.6%
D – Poor between 8% and 9.3%
E – Very Poor 7.9% and below
  • Percentage of Francophones in the NCR (1.5%)

The French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. The percentage of Francophones in the institution’s workforce tends to reflect the presence of the Francophone community in this part of Canada.

Ratings Percentage
A – Exemplary 31.1% and above
B – Good between 27.6% and 31%
C – Fair between 24.1% and 27.5%
D – Poor between 21% and 24%
E – Very Poor 20.9% and below

Subsection B – 4%

The Office of the Commissioner is also evaluating recruitment activities intended to encourage the participation of members of English and French linguistic minority communities, where representation is not equitable, specifically targeting OLMCs.

Development of OLMCs and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%)

In this section, the Office of the Commissioner evaluates the tools put in place by the institution to comply with Part VII of the Act, which deals with the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality. The aim is to determine whether the institution identifies OLMCs whether it consults or meets with them and whether it determines their needs.

The Office of the Commissioner also evaluates the extent to which the institution incorporates the requirements of Part VII (OLMCs and linguistic duality) into its programs.

It assesses the implementation of positive measures, in accordance with the institution’s mandate, and the mechanism(s) used to check the impact of the positive measures taken to support community development and promote linguistic duality.

Bonus Points (5%)

Up to five percent (5%) in extra bonus points may be awarded for one or several best practices put in place by the institution if they do not fall within the Office of the Commissioner’s parameters for evaluation or if they exceed the criteria mentioned above.

Overall rating

The overall rating is calculated using the weighted results for each part. For the institution, it is a tangible indicator of compliance with official languages requirements under the Act.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

See Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages, “Fostering a Proactive Approach within Institutions Responsible for Official Languages,” in Official Languages: 2002-2003 Perspective, Study of the Action Plan for Official Languages and the Annual Reports of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Treasury Board and the Department of Canadian Heritage, 37th Parliament, 2nd Session, October 2003.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in the case of DesRochers v Canada (Industry), also known as the CALDECH case, in February 2009. The Court ruled on the nature and scope of the principle of linguistic equality in communications and in the provision of services by the federal government. Federal obligations in this area stem from section 20 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Part IV of the Official Languages Act.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

Statistics Canada takes the sample from a list of bilingual points of service provided by each institution. It randomly selects points of service to undergo observations in person, by telephone and by e-mail, as well as the number of observations to be made.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

Data on the representation of OLMCs within an institution’s workforce is collected either from the institution or through the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

 
 
Observations of service in person and by telephone
 

Observations of service in person and by telephone

Background

The observations of service to the public made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (the Office of the Commissioner) are among many tools used to measure the performance of federal institutions with respect to Part IV of the Official Languages Act, which deals with service to the public. The Office of the Commissioner observes three types of service provided by institutions: in-person, telephone and e-mail. This document describes the methodology used for in-person and telephone observations, which are the two kinds of observations most often used by the Office of the Commissioner to measure federal institutions’ compliance with Part IV.

The Office of the Commissioner is supported by Statistics Canada in its methodological approach, particularly with respect to sampling, calculations and validation of results. It is important to note that the results provide an indication of an institution’s performance at the specific time the observations take place. They do not represent the probability of obtaining service in the official language of your choice.

Definitions

In-person observations

Observations of service in person involve making anonymous visits to a federal institution’s bilingual points of service to assess its capability to serve the public in the official language of the linguistic minority. This includes observations of service in English in Quebec and service in French outside of Quebec and in the National Capital Region.

The evaluation is based on the following three criteria:

  • Visual active offer

The observer indicates whether bilingual services are offered at the point of service (“yes” or “no”). This offer is provided through the following visual elements:

  • bilingual signage outside
  • bilingual signage inside
  • presence of “English/Français” pictogram
  • display of pamphlets, forms or documents in both official languages

The observer may indicate “yes” even if not all of the elements are present. For example, if the “English/Français” pictogram is not visible, but most of the documents and signs at the point of service are in both official languages, the observer will indicate that there is a bilingual visual active offer.

  • Active offer by staff

The observer indicates whether initial contact with an employee at the point of service is in both official languages (“yes” or “no”), through the use of the “Hello, bonjour” greeting, a phrase such as “Next, suivant” or a similar phrase.

  • Availability of service in the official language of the linguistic minority

The observer indicates whether service is received in the official language of the linguistic minority at the point of service (“yes” or “no”).

Telephone observations

Observations of service by telephone involve making calls to contact numbers that the institution provides to the public. When the telephone number is for a specific physical office, the same approach is used as for in-person observations with respect to the official language of the linguistic minority. If there is only one telephone number for the entire country, the same number of observations is made in English and French.

The evaluation is based on the following two criteria:

  • Active offer by telephone

The observer indicates whether the institution’s first point of contact answers the telephone call in both official languages (“yes” or “no”), through the use of a bilingual greeting such as “Hello, bonjour” or with the name of the institution in both languages, for example, “Canada Revenue Agency, Agence du revenu du Canada.” Greetings like this make it clear to callers that service is available in the official language of their choice.

  • Service by telephone available in the official language of the linguistic minority

The observer indicates whether service is received in the official language of the linguistic minority (“yes” or “no”).

Methodology

The methodology is the same for observations in person and by telephone. It involves making a number of anonymous observations at a representative sample of all the bilingual points of service of the institution being assessed. At the beginning of each report card cycle, the Commissioner asks the institutions that will be observed to provide a list of all of their bilingual points of service that are open to the public without an appointment. The list is sent to Statistics Canada to establish a sample. One or more observations of the points of service in the sample are made over a defined period of time. The results provide an indication of the availability of service in the official language of the linguistic minority.

  • Results

The main objective of in-person and telephone observations is to obtain statistically valid overall results for each of the observation criteria. Nevertheless, when a large number of observations are made in a given region (for example, Western Canada) or province, it is possible to compile certain regional or provincial results. Unless otherwise stated, the observations do not generate statistically valid results by point of service.

  • Results quality indicator

When Statistics Canada calculates the observation results, it assigns a quality indicator to each one. The indicator establishes the quality of the sample that was subject to observations.

  • A: standard deviation below 4% (margin of error of less than 8%, 19 times out of 20)
  • B: standard deviation between 4% and 8% (margin of error between 8% and 16%, 19 times out of 20)
  • C: standard deviation between 8% and 12% (margin of error between 16% and 24%, 19 times out of 20)

Statistics Canada considers the quality indicators A, B and C to be appropriate, given the objective of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations. This statistical survey is not an opinion survey, nor is it intended to predict future results.

  • Comparison of results

Observation results are snapshots of service availability at various points of service at a specific time. Unless otherwise stated, they cannot be compared from year to year or serve to determine progress over time. The ensuing results would not be reliable, as the margins of error increase when results from separate samples are compared. However, it is reasonable to conclude that an institution must make improvements at its bilingual points of service if it obtains poor results at every observation exercise.

 
 
Observations of service by e-mail
 

Observations of service by e-mail

Objective

The observations of service to the public made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (Office of the Commissioner) are among many tools used to measure the performance of federal institutions with respect to Part IV of the Official Languages Act (service to the public). The Office of the Commissioner observed three types of service offered by institutions: in-person, telephone and e-mail. This document explains the methodology used for e-mail observations.

E-mail service is evaluated in order to prepare report cards. The objective is to compare e-mail response rates and times in both official languages.

Scoring

The points awarded for e-mail service account for 5% of the overall report card rating and are broken down as follows:

  1. Response rates are comparable in both official languages (2.5%)
  2. Response time is comparable in both official languages (2.5%)

Methodology

The methodology was established in cooperation with Statistics Canada, which also participated in the interpretation of results.

Identical e-mails in English and French were sent to each institution during a specific time period to compare response rates and times. The results are therefore representative of that time period.

Unlike observations in person and by telephone, the results of which indicate service availability in the official language of the linguistic minority, e-mail observation results compare response rates in both official languages.

1) Comparable response rates

The response rates in both official languages make it possible to determine whether the institution provides comparable service in English and French.

  1. Calculating response rates in English and French
    • Response rates in English: (Number of English responses received ÷ Number of English e-mails sent) × 100 = x%
    • Response rates in French: (Number of French responses received ÷ Number of French e-mails sent) × 100 = x%
  1. Determining the score
    • Comparable response rate score: Parity score - Difference in the response rates in both official languages = x%
    • Parity score = 100%
    • The parity score represents the ideal case where the response rate for English e-mails is the same as the response rate for French e-mails.
    • Take, for example, institution A that provided a response in English or French for each e‑mail during the observation period. Based on the calculation formula, there is no difference (0%) in the response rate, resulting in a score of 100% for comparable response rates (score equivalent to 2.5% of the overall report card rating—see Appendix A).
    • As another example we have institution B whose response rate was 90% in English and 40% in French. By subtracting the difference between the response rates in both official languages from the parity score, a score of 50% is obtained for comparable response rates (score equivalent to 1.25% of the overall report card rating—see Appendix A).

2) Comparable response times

The average response times for English e-mails and French e-mails make it possible to compare response times in each official language. To do this, a score is assigned that represents the proportionality or equivalency of the average response times in both official languages. Consequently, the closer the value of the proportionality coefficient is to 1, the higher the score.

  1. Calculating average response times
    • In order to reduce the effect of excessive response times on the average, the Winsorization estimation method is used, which involves determining a limitFootnote 1 (e.g., 200 hours for a given institution) based on the assumption that a response time exceeding that limit is the result of something other than a question of language. Therefore, any response time exceeding the limit is rounded off to that number for the purposes of calculating the average response times.

    1. Calculating the average response times for English e-mails and French e-mails
      • Average response times (hours) = Average response times total (hours) ÷ Number of responses received
    1. Calculating the difference in average response times for English e-mails and French e-mails
      • Difference between the two average response times (hours) = |Average response times for English e-mails - Average response times for French e-mails|
  1. Determining the score
    • The score is the proportionality coefficient expressed as a percentage. That value is obtained based on the average response times for e-mails in each official language. When the value is equal to 1, it means that the average response times for English e-mails is equal to the average response times for French e-mails. In other words, the smaller the difference between the average response times in each official language, the closer the proportionality coefficient is to 1 and the higher the score.

    1. Calculating the proportionality coefficient
      • If ß (the shortest response time) is proportional to Ω (the longest response time) and µ is the proportionality coefficient, then µ = ß ÷ Ω, with ß = µ × Ω and Ω = (1 ÷ µ) × ß.
    1. Calculating the score
      • Comparable response time score: µ × 100 = x%
      • Difference between the two average response times: (Difference between the two average response times ÷ Ω) × 100 = x%
      • Consider, for instance, institution A for which the average response time is 75.2 hours for English e-mails and 163.9 hours for French e-mails. This results in a proportionality coefficient of 0.46, which corresponds to a score of 46% (75.2 ÷ 163.9 × 100 = 46%). The difference of 88.7 hours between the two averages corresponds to a proportional difference of 54% (163.9 - 75.2 = 88.7 hours; 88.7 ÷ 163.9 × 100 = 54%). The weight of this score in the report card is 1.15% (46% × 2.5% ÷ 100 = 1.15%) out of 2.5% (see Appendix A).
      • As another example, consider institution B for which the average response times is 62.7 hours for English e-mails and 83.3 hours for French e-mails. That results in a proportionality coefficient of 0.75, which corresponds to a score of 75% (62.7 ÷ 83.3 x 100 = 75%). Furthermore, the difference of 20.6 hours between the two averages corresponds to a proportional difference of 25% (83.3 - 62.7 = 20.6 hours; 20.6 ÷ 83.3 x 100 = 25%). The weight of this score in the report card is 1.9% (75% x 2.5% ÷ 100 = 1.9%) out of 2.5% (see Appendix A).

Appendix A

Examples of E-mail Service Observations
Report Cards
Institution Service Availability Response Times Overall score out of 5% (in report card)
Response rate in English Response rate in French Service availability score Score out of 2.5%
(in report card)
Average response time in English Average response time in French Difference between average response times
(hours)
Difference between average response times
(%)
Response time score Score out of 2.5%
(in report card)
A 100% 100% 100% 2.5% 75.2 hours 163.9 hours 88.7 hours 54% 46% 1.15% 3.7%
B 90% 40% 50% 1.25% 62.7 hours 83.3 hours 20.6 hours 25% 75% 1.9% 3.2%

Footnotes

Footnote 5

Because response times vary for each institution, the limits also vary.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

 

Institutions

report cards beginning with the letter A

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

AANDC has a dual mandate to support Canada’s Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and northern residents in the development of healthy and self-sufficient communities and to pursue broader economic and social development objectives.

In 2014, AANDC eliminated its policy on communications with and services to the public, as well as its official languages accountability framework, to begin using the Treasury Board of Canada official languages policy instruments applicable to parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act. The institution submitted a comparison to justify its decision, demonstrating that the Treasury Board instruments are more comprehensive and inclusive than the AANDC instruments previously used. AANDC had a directive on language training, as well as an official languages complaint process, in force at the time of data collection. However, the institution does not have a specific tool to explain and validate the current official languages responsibilities throughout the organization for all parts of the Act. It also lacks a Part VII policy, which is the responsibility of the Northern Affairs Sector rather than the Human Resources and Workplaces Services Branch.

In 2013, the Branch approved a 2013─2016 action plan that covered parts IV, V and VI of the Act. This plan contained a definition of responsibilities, specific measures, performance indicators and a timeline, but did not contain any ongoing monitoring. AANDC indicated that the action plan would be reviewed annually by the Human Resources and Workplace Services Management Committee (HRWSMC). The human resources action plan that applies to all sectors includes a component on service to the public regarding active offer of service. In addition, the human resources service centres in the three AANDC regions play an active role in official languages. Each has an official languages regional coordinator and an action plan for Parts IV, V and VI. This strengthens AANDC’s program management capacity. AANDC did not have an updated action plan on Part VII at the time of the evaluation. The last update (to the existing plan that has been in force since 2009─2010) was in 2011. This means that no plan takes into account the transfer to the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency of key responsibilities related to official languages communities, a process that was already under way at the time of the last report card in 2010─2011.

Official languages are on the HRWSMC’s agenda on a quarterly basis. The human resources service report to senior management includes official languages activities. A dashboard includes the number of employees who meet the language requirements of their position and representation by official language.

The Official Languages Champion set up an official languages committee in 2013. At the time of the evaluation, this committee had met twice. The Department has not had an active official languages committee since 2005. The current committee includes a representative from each headquarters sector and each region. At the time of the evaluation, a new champion was occupying the position. This person had just created an official languages group on the federal social media platform GCconnex. The former champion was also active within AANDC. In 2013, she facilitated an official languages discussion as part of Destination 2020 strategic reflection.

AANDC adopted some tools to guide staff on taking official languages into account when adding, modifying or eliminating programs. Its representatives provided information that explained how senior management was informed of policy changes related to official languages. Nevertheless, this information did not specify how official languages are integrated into the organization’s strategic planning or how the Deputy Head exercises her ultimate responsibility in terms of compliance. AANDC uses an analysis grid to assess the impact of changes to programs on Part VII of the Act as part of memorandums to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions. However, the information collected did not show that AANDC has a systemic, coordinated and timely approach or challenge function for all parts of the Act.

For complaints, AANDC has generally provided the necessary documentation over the past few years to resolve complaints and has fully collaborated with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

AANDC seems to be fulfilling its official languages functions with respect to human resources, including data sent to senior management. However, the Department did not demonstrate by means of the information it provided to the Office of the Commissioner how, overall, senior management and the various sectors take official languages issues into account, particularly regarding strategic decisions. AANDC did not demonstrate what formal mechanisms exist to ensure that official languages issues for all parts of the Act are taken into consideration when adding, modifying or eliminating programs. In this context, a lack of integration between the management of parts IV, V and VI and the management of Part VII of the Act was observed. AANDC should strengthen the integration of official languages considerations for all parts of the Act at the design stage of programs. AANDC indicated that, from now on, official languages will be on the agenda twice a year for the Director General Implementation and Operations Committee. This is a positive step in raising awareness among senior management about the management of AANDC’s official languages program.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, from December 2014 to February 2015, were insufficient to evaluate AANDC on this criterionFootnote 1. The institution was therefore not evaluated on this criterion.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, from September to December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated telephone system was made in 82% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 52% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 5.2 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 32%Footnote 2.

In 2011─2012, AANDC conducted a review of its programs based on the principle of substantive equality in response to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in DesRochers. The review did not identify a need to modify any programs. An annual update is scheduled. The Official Languages Unit sends an annual follow-up message to ensure that new programs implemented throughout the year are assessed, if applicable, and the Unit follows up as needed.

AANDC received excellent results on its response rate for e-mails sent in English and in French, as well as good results concerning active offer by telephone. The results revealed longer response times for requests in French, which needs improvement, but not as much as the results concerning availability of service by telephone, which are very poor. The Office of the Commissioner strongly encourages the Department to increase its efforts so that future results demonstrate that service by telephone is available to the extent required by the substantive equality criterion under the Act. For the review of programs based on the principle of substantive equality, AANDC has made progress and the Department is encouraged to continue its efforts to ensure that the analysis remains up to date. The official languages impact analysis should be done during the design stage for programs, as mentioned in the previous section on official languages program management.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

AANDC took targeted, specific or ongoing measures to promote the effective use of both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. However, the Department still does not assess its impact, and this affects performance.

AANDC ensures that an employee’s preferred language is entered in the human resources management system. The Department periodically uses the weekly departmental newsletter sent to all employees to remind employees of their rights, support employees who make an active offer of service and inform employees of key official languages documents. Executive Group Services keeps up-to-date results on executives’ expired or nearly expired language assessments. The information is reviewed monthly during HRWSMC meetings. The Official Languages Unit monitors non-imperative staffing, which remains the exception, and conducts the necessary follow-ups in a timely manner.

AANDC specifies that it provides language training for both professional development, which is the priority, and learning retention. The Department led an on-line language training pilot project in addition to its traditional language training. AANDC also implemented a twinning project between second-language learners from various regions. The Department indicated that it is focusing on self-learning and informal exchanges of services with other institutions to address the major challenges to language training access in the regions. Since 2009, AANDC has had a language training initiative for succession purposes, specifically for its Aboriginal staff, to increase their language skills and thereby boost their career opportunities. AANDC indicated that over 500 Aboriginal employees participated in the initiative.

AANDC has an informal internal language-of-work complaint resolution process.

For assessing the impact of positive measures, AANDC is conducting a follow-up on key staffing indicators. The Department stated that the language training satisfaction indicators and the number of complaints to the Office of the Commissioner are also used as measurement tools. For the twinning initiative described in the previous section, the Department said that it followed up, measured satisfaction and used the information gathered to assess whether to renew the project.

AANDC has had many significant achievements related to language of work, particularly the language training initiative that specifically targets the needs of its Aboriginal staff. The Office of the Commissioner also noted the appropriateness of AANDC’s informal mechanism for resolving internal complaints and considers it a good practice. Certain departmental initiatives, for example the presentations at management tables, should be implemented more systematically, and extended to all sectors. That being said, AANDC did not demonstrate that it systematically assessed the impact and relevance of measures taken for language-of-work purposes. AANDC cannot rely solely on the number of complaints to the Office of the Commissioner, which seldom provides an accurate picture of the situation in a federal institution. The Office of the Commissioner also determined that the Department could have taken concrete and targeted measures to address significant gaps related to language of work identified in the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES). For example, a large number of Francophone respondents who were AANDC employees felt that, in 2011, they were not free to write documents, including e-mails, in the official language of their choice, or to use their official language of choice in their unit meetings. The survey’s official languages questions stem directly from Part V obligations. However, AANDC did not adopt a specific official languages action plan throughout the Department in response to the 2011 PSES. It is important that AANDC senior management equip itself with an action plan that will lead to concrete and measurable actions to improve employee satisfaction in response to the 2014 PSES results, which were published after this report card. Implementing this specific action plan, which was scheduled at the time the information was collected, is essential to improving the Department’s performance.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating AANDC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 2.1% of AANDC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 43.4% of AANDC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population in Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 2.7% of AANDC’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

A slight under-representation of French-speaking employees outside of Quebec is noted. In Quebec, outside the NCR, the participation of the English-speaking population is well below the demographic weight of the linguistic minority community. AANDC has two offices in Quebec: one in Kahnawake, which provides services in English to a restricted and identifiable clientele, and one regional office for Quebec, located in Québec City.

Given the demographic reality of the Greater Québec City Area, the workforce would not be expected to fully reflect the demographic proportion of the English-speaking population in the province of Quebec. However, AANDC did not provide information on the measures it was taking or planned to take to increase the participation of English-speaking Canadians at its Québec City office, which provides services to Eastern Canada. The Department is encouraged to find ways to stimulate the recruitment of English-speaking Canadians who can work in an environment where the language of work is French.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) D

AANDC states that the 2009 transfer to the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency of responsibilities related to the three territories means that the Department is no longer responsible for services that were important to official language minority communities (OLMCs), particularly in the Yukon. AANDC demonstrated that it identified the OLMCs, both Aboriginal (for example, the French-speaking Métis or Aboriginal communities in Quebec that use English on a daily basis) and non-Aboriginal (in the North), but did not demonstrate that it systematically consulted the OLMCs to determine their needs.

In terms of positive measures, AANDC did not provide sufficient information to demonstrate that it had taken positive measures related to its mandate in order to meet the specific needs of the OLMCs it had identified. AANDC cited obligations stemming from other parts of the Act, such as those related to communications and services or the publication of official notices. It also noted the impact of education programs on Aboriginal communities where instruction is in the minority official language, in English-speaking Aboriginal communities in Quebec, for example; it did not demonstrate, however, how it specifically planned to take into account the “official language community” factor in its programs. The 2010─2011 report card referred to measures taken to enhance the vitality of Métis and non-status First Nation members that are part of the OLMCs, but AANDC did not provide information on this aspect during this exercise. The Department did not demonstrate how it measured the specific impact of its programs on OLMCs or that it had a formal mechanism to assess the impact of the positive measures taken, except regarding the review of its services based on substantive equality, described in the section on Part IV of the Act.

The Department has begun to reflect on how it can promote linguistic duality, both inside and outside of the organization. Internally, AANDC promotes Linguistic Duality Day and the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, two annual events, and encourages its employees to participate in local OLMC events. Externally, AANDC mentioned some obligations stemming from other parts of the Act, such as those related to communications and services, which, in the Department’s opinion, promote linguistic duality, even if they cannot be considered positive measures as such under Part VII. AANDC notes that all its communications with the public are in both official languages, which in its opinion is significant, in a context where the language used in Aboriginal communities is often one other than English or French. The institution indicates that in Quebec, where there are both English-speaking and French-speaking Aboriginal communities, meetings with band chiefs take place in both official languages. AANDC says that the Aboriginal staff working in the Department has, in many cases, acquired the skills to allow them to communicate in both official languages, to the benefit of their respective communities. AANDC also specifies that when signing a devolution agreement with the Northwest Territories, it included a clause regarding the application by the Territories of the Official Languages Act to ensure that devolved services are provided in both official languages. The Department also ensures that standardized contribution agreements include considerations related to Part VII objectives.

In terms of positive measures, AANDC notes that its contribution to the World Acadian Congress in Edmundston, New Brunswick, in August 2014 led to activities that promoted closer ties between the Acadian and Aboriginal communities of this region bordering New Brunswick, Quebec and Maine.

AANDC does not have a formal mechanism to assess the impact of positive measures to promote linguistic duality. The Department noted that it expects to develop this element in a future Part VII plan.

The result obtained for Part VII of the Act can be attributed to the lack of permanent mechanisms to identify the needs of OLMCs and assess the impact of positive measures. It can also be attributed to the fact that the information provided primarily concerns obligations stemming from other parts of the Act, or that it is not detailed enough for commenting on specific elements. Although the promotion of linguistic duality was successful internally, the institution would benefit from a deeper reflection on the positive measures it could take to promote the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society.

The result for this section does not mean that the Department was completely unsuccessful. For example, the one-time positive measure taken during the World Acadian Congress could be a starting point for a reflection to identify other opportunities to build ties and foster mutual understanding between the Aboriginal and Inuit communities and the OLMCs. AANDC would benefit from developing a methodology to better measure the specific impact of existing programs on OLMCs. The promotion of Aboriginal languages is an important objective for Canadian society, which goes beyond the mandate of the Commissioner and the legislative framework of the Official Languages Act. In certain contexts, however, members of Aboriginal and Inuit communities use an official language in a minority setting. This is an important factor for AANDC to consider in the implementation of its obligations under Part VII of the Act, while taking into account the different context and distinct needs expressed by these communities.

The Office of the Commissioner is aware of the impact of budget constraints and restructuring, and recognizes that they can partly explain the gaps observed in the implementation of Part VII. However, at the time of the evaluation, AANDC indicated that no funding was planned for review of the Part VII plan, even though it has not been updated since 2011 and major changes have occurred since then. Therefore, the Office of the Commissioner strongly encourages AANDC to make the implementation of Part VII a higher priority throughout the Department, channelling the goodwill shown by AANDC representatives during the evaluation to achieve more conclusive results.
Conclusion

This exercise revealed some successes, but also some areas in need for significant improvement. The availability of service by telephone had significant gaps, even though the results of service by e-mail were good. Certain results related to language of work require stronger measures to foster a bilingual workplace, even though the Department has some good language-of-work initiatives. A renewed and consistent approach for Part VII is needed. AANDC has undergone major transformations in recent years. The growth of self-governance for Aboriginal peoples and the devolution to the territories, as well as the transfer of key AANDC activities a few years ago, means that there is less direct contact with the public and OLMCs. In this context of major changes, AANDC must ensure proactive integration of official languages issues as part of its planning exercises and other activities. The Office of the Commissioner encourages AANDC to regularly discuss, at the most senior levels, strategic direction related to official languages issues, particularly regarding planning, execution and accountability. The information that AANDC provided during the evaluation identified an Official Languages Unit that performs many key functions well. However, overall, the Office of the Commissioner encourages AANDC to ensure the integration of official languages as a cross-cutting element that is essential to its activities. The adoption of a unified and up-to-date official languages plan that includes all parts of the Act would be a good starting point.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

AAFC’s mission is to guide, regulate and develop the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector in collaboration with the provinces and partner organizations.

The Department applies Treasury Board official languages policy instruments. AAFC also has an internal language of work policy and internal guidelines on supervision. These instruments have been approved by senior management and are available on AAFC’s intranet page. However, the Department does not have an internal policy on Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

AAFC’s 2013–2016 official languages strategy serves as an action plan and is reviewed regularly and approved by the Departmental Management Committee. This strategy fills the gaps that were raised in the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ 2009 audit and 2012 follow-up. The strategy designates units responsible, but does not include specific deadlines. AAFC’s 2014–2017 Business Plan refers to this strategy. The Department reports that the previous version of this strategy, which was in effect between 2009 and 2012 and focused on transforming the organizational official languages culture, enabled the Department to continuously improve its compliance. AAFC also has a 2011–2014 action plan for Part VII, which is also reviewed regularly. This plan includes expected results and performance indicators, but no specific deadlines. The work of developing the next Part VII action plan was underway during the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation.

The senior management horizontal management committees, on which key members of the Executive Committee sit, decide on an overall vision for official languages. The documentation submitted demonstrates the participation and commitment of senior management and the Official Languages Champion in resolving the issues raised by the Official Languages Unit and reviewing the existing official languages tools.

A new committee headed by the Official Languages Champion had just been created at the time of the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation. According to the terms of reference, this committee is composed of mid- to senior-level representatives from each branch and looks at Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. Until 2012, AAFC had a department-wide committee for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, but this committee was dissolved when it was discovered that the members were not high enough in the hierarchy to fully influence decision-making in their respective branches.

AAFC has several tools to take into account official languages when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. These tools were created and adopted in response to the Office of the Commissioner’s 2009 audit of service to the public and the Office of the Commissioner’s recommendations following investigations related to the vitality and development of official language minority communities (OLMCs), which were issued primarily during the period targeted by this report card.

First, AAFC has an Official Languages Program Performance Measurement and Evaluation Framework for the 2012–2015 period, as well as an Official Languages Accountability Framework, which apply to all parts of the Act. Each branch reports annually to the Official Languages Unit, which oversees departmental official languages performance. These measures replace the sector service-to-the-public action plans developed in 2011–2012.

The Department also has internal tools for analyzing official languages impacts before decisions are taken. The Department has a tool for considering official languages during spending reviews before taking decisions such as abolishing a program or closing an office. This tool had recently been made mandatory at the time of data collection. The Department also had another detailed tool for analyzing official languages impacts of each draft memorandum to Cabinet and Treasury Board submission, including the impacts on OLMCs, but it was still a draft. The Department was working towards strengthening its processes in order to ensure a consistent application of these tools throughout the Department. The Official Languages Unit plays a role in reviewing Treasury Board submissions to analyze the impact of the proposal on the various parts of the Act.

AAFC has revised the standardized official languages clauses included in transfer payment agreements. In addition, the Department’s Public Participation Guide refers to obligations towards OLMCs.

AAFC cooperates fully with the Office of the Commissioner’s investigations and always provides full supporting documentation.

In response to the observations made by the Office of the Commissioner and others, AAFC strengthened its official languages management program, which enabled it to stay on track in rectifying and improving its official languages performance, despite the scope of the cuts it had to make to programs and its workforce. Although the Department did not have an official languages committee between 2012 and 2014, a period marked by significant program and workforce changes, the Office of the Commissioner congratulates AAFC for taking charge of this situation by establishing a new official languages committee.

The challenge will now be to continuously maintain performance. In this regard, the Office of the Commissioner encourages AAFC to set specific deadlines in its action plans. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates AAFC for its internal compliance assessment and performance measurement tool, because it is exemplary. An ongoing commitment is needed to ensure that it is effective. A key ingredient in maintaining performance is the expertise the Official Languages Unit offers to the sectors when they are adding, eliminating or modifying programs; the Department has improved in this area since its last report card. The Office of the Commissioner encourages AAFC to continue its full cooperation with the investigations.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between December 2014 and February 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 94% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 28% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 72% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 81% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 85% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 95% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 5.3 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 58%Footnote 1.

When the data was being collected, AAFC had not completed its program review intended to fully assess the need to provide service to the public of equal quality in both official languages, in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2009 ruling in DesRochers. This exercise was begun in 2010, but AAFC states that it had to interrupt its implementation due to the significant workforce and program spending cuts to which it was subjected. The Department indicated when the data was collected that work in this area had been resumed.

AAFC obtained exemplary results in visual active offer and response rate to e-mails in English and in French. The results of observations by telephone were good. The results in terms of availability of service in person in the minority official language were moderate. The results for comparable response time in both official languages were poor, while the results for verbal active offer in person by staff were very poor.

Furthermore, AAFC is encouraged to complete its evaluation of the need to tailor its services to the needs of OLMCs, taking into account the nature of the services and their objectives. This element was included in the Official Languages Program Performance Measurement and Evaluation Framework for 2012–2015. The tools for analyzing the impact of decisions on official languages also incorporate the principle of substantive equality. Both are good practices.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

AAFC put in place several targeted measures, some ongoing and some not, to promote a workplace conducive to the use of both official languages. The Department conducted an employee awareness campaign on language of work. A number of tools for employees are available on AgriSource, the organization’s intranet. AAFC promoted a learner’s logo to display when staff members are practising their second language in internal communications.

In 2014 AAFC developed a detailed Second Language Training Guide for its staff, which explains under which circumstances and in response to what needs each type of language training (for acquisition or maintenance) is offered, in addition to presenting best practices. Presentations to staff and a new-employee integration program that addressed official languages were being planned at the time when data was collected. The other measures taken since the last report card include a complementary on-line second language training pilot project, a language club initiative from 2012 to 2013, and one day a month during which employees can speak and write in French.

The Department indicated that it monitors executives’ second language results, since their positions have a significant impact on the supervision of employees in the official language of their choice. Follow-ups are conducted with executives whose results are about to expire, so they can prepare for the appropriate evaluation.

AAFC has an informal and confidential internal process for resolving complaints related to language of work. The Official Languages Unit intervenes as needed on behalf of the employee in order to resolve problematic situations.

Since the second-language training and maintenance program was cancelled in 2012, each branch has been responsible for policies and decisions regarding language training. They do not all have such policies in place. In addition, access to suppliers of second-language training is sometimes challenging in the regions.

AAFC is assessing the impact of measures taken through follow-ups on the results of internal and external performance analyses. The Department’s Official Languages Performance Measurement Framework assesses language-of-work indicators such as access to personal and central services and supervision, as well as communications between unilingual and bilingual regions, including ongoing monitoring of AgriWiki (an internal AAFC social media tool). The Department’s positive results in dealing with official languages qualifications during staffing activities as part of the Public Service Commission’s Staffing Management Accountability Framework are also an important element of the Department’s analysis of the impact of its measures. In addition, official languages are one of the five areas for improvement in the Departmental action plan adopted in response to the results of the 2008 and 2011 public service employee surveys. According to AAFC, the data collected on linguistic profiles helped inform workforce reduction decisions. The affected employees had the option of taking advantage of a special language-training program.

AAFC takes measures to promote the effective use of both official languages in the workplace. It assesses the impact of language of work and staffing measures taken. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates AAFC and encourages it to continue measuring the performance of its program. The Department’s efforts in terms of language of work have produced positive results, and it is important to maintain this progress. This is especially true since the Department indicated, during the data collection phase, that English predominates as the language of work, due to the scientific nature of AAFC’s activities. Therefore, the Office of the Commissioner encourages AAFC to continue its efforts to improve its performance, taking into account the results of the Public Service Employee Survey (whose 2014 results became available after the data for this report card was collected).

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating AAFC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 3.8% of AAFC’s workforce is French-speaking.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 28.1% of AAFC’s workforce is French-speaking.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 5.8% of AAFC’s workforce is English-speaking.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The data reveal a significant under-representation of English-speaking employees in AAFC’s Quebec workforce outside of the NCR. Although the Department has offices in Montréal and Sherbrooke, it stated that a number of offices and experimental farms in Quebec are located in regions where there are few English-speaking communities. It is therefore difficult for AAFC to have a workforce that reflects the linguistic composition of the province. The Department pointed out that the representation of English-speaking employees in the Montréal office is greater than the demographic weight of the English-speaking population in Quebec society as a whole. In the NCR, however, French-speaking employees are under-represented.

These facts were taken into consideration in assigning the rating, which takes into account both the shortcomings observed and geographical realities. The Office of the Commissioner understands that AAFC has not hired externally in recent years due to the workforce adjustment exercise. The Department is nevertheless invited to explore ways to fill the representation gap. One way is through more exchanges with English-speaking minority community organizations and post-secondary institutions to present the Department as an employer of choice for members of the English-speaking communities of Quebec, especially in the Montérégie region and the Eastern Townships, where the OLMC is well established. In the NCR, AAFC is encouraged to look into the possibility of promoting employment opportunities to French-language post-secondary institutions in the region or elsewhere.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

The rating assigned for this part takes into account the fact that the positive measures that were taken did not necessarily cover the entire period since the last report card, which was in 2010–2011. This is due to the elimination, following the 2012 and 2013 federal budgets, of programs and transfer of responsibilities through which AAFC had reached OLMCs. These include responsibilities related to cooperative development for the federal government, which were transferred from AAFC to Industry Canada following the 2012 Budget. Investigations by the Office of the Commissioner demonstrated that AAFC had made cuts and changes to programs without taking into account the impact of these decisions on OLMCs. However, AAFC is in the process of rebuilding its capacity with regard to Part VII of the Act. It has identified its OLMCs and is once again determining their needs based on existing programs. It is familiar with key organizations and pertinent data sources. The new AAFC official languages committee will be responsible for developing a new OLMC strategy, taking into account the significant changes that have occurred.

In 2011 and 2012, AAFC consulted organizations representing English- and French-speaking communities while developing its federal-provincial agriculture strategic framework for 2013–2018 Growing Forward 2, as well as while developing the 2011–2014 Part VII action plan. AAFC wanted to better define the communities’ priorities in relation to its mandate. The Department indicates that it is sensitive to the needs expressed by Quebec’s English-speaking communities. Also, the Department included in the federal-provincial agreements for Growing Forward 2 a clause stating that AAFC can request to receive communication products so that it can subsequently prepare and disseminate them in the other official language.

Since the last report card in 2010–2011, AAFC has taken a number of positive measures to support OLMCs across the country, by taking into account their needs in the context of rural and agricultural development and cooperative development. However, these programs no longer exist.

Regarding the evaluation of positive measures for OLMC development, AAFC sectors report positive measures taken through the official languages performance measurement framework. Beyond that, the Department says it wants to push the exercise further and refine its official languages risk management and performance measurement strategy in order to better formally evaluate the effectiveness and pertinence of the positive measures.

Internally, AAFC actively promotes linguistic duality through Linguistic Duality Day and the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie by, for example, highlighting the diversity of the Francophonie. Regarding the promotion of linguistic duality in Canadian society, AAFC has designed the AgPal on-line tool to help those involved in the agricultural and agribusiness sectors find federal, provincial and territorial programs and services. The site contains information in French even when the provinces and organizations in question are unilingual English. As well, an AAFC scientist made a presentation to a French-language school in Prince Edward Island in 2013 in order to promote science in French.

Regarding evaluation of the impact of the positive measures taken to promote linguistic duality, AAFC acknowledged that the new official languages committee needs to more systematically identify ways of promoting linguistic duality to complement the positive measures taken for OLMCs.

AAFC has taken significant positive measures to foster the development and vitality of OLMCs in recent years, but the major transformations that the Department has undergone have resulted in its losing ground since the last report card, as indicated in the beginning of this section. Since then, AAFC has developed tools to evaluate the impact on OLMCs of its adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. Ongoing application of these tools will enable AAFC to foster success in the future. AAFC is encouraged to continue the practice of consulting OLMCs when developing its successor policy frameworks.

Regarding promotion of linguistic duality, the information submitted shows that AAFC sometimes has difficulty identifying positive measures that go beyond bilingual Web communications and a bilingual presence at events such as fairs and open houses. With respect to the inclusion of a clause in federal-provincial agreements for Growing Forward 2, the Office of the Commissioner would not be in a position, in a report card, to formally assess whether this complies with the recommendations and principles concerning the inclusion of a language clause in various types of agreements set out in its 2009 Audit of the Service to the public at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The clause mentioned above, however, seems rather modest at first glance. Also, the Department did not indicate when it had indeed prepared and disseminated bilingual documentation as per the clause. Regarding the science-related presentation mentioned above, AAFC did not specify how it had reached other minority communities through similar presentations elsewhere in the country. It is noteworthy that AAFC will participate in working groups that focus on promotion of English and French, such as the official languages committee for science-based departments and the Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on official languages, which should help inform its reflections on measures to support linguistic duality.

Conclusion

AAFC obtained a good overall result, because it stayed the course on official languages despite the profound changes that marked the period since its last report card, which was in 2010–2011. The strategic and operational reviews that followed the 2012 and 2013 federal budgets caused significant losses of personnel. In response to investigations and to an audit conducted by the Office of the Commissioner, AAFC nevertheless made efforts to strengthen the structure of its official languages framework, which involves senior management. In terms of program management, AAFC relaunched its official languages committee, which had become inactive, and the Department developed tools to assess official languages implications with regards to its programs and services. AAFC also implemented an Official Languages Performance Measurement Framework applying to all parts of the Act and a relatively full range of tools to ensure that it takes official languages into account when creating, eliminating or modifying programs—a practice that complies with the spirit and letter of the Act and the official languages policy instruments, but is still all too rare among federal institutions.

Regarding service to the public, AAFC has performed relatively well in general, but improvements are needed to ensure that service in person is available in the language of the minority, particularly in-person active offer. Moreover, at the time of data collection, the Department had not completed its program review based on the principle of substantive equality. Regarding language of work, the Office of the Commissioner congratulates AAFC for taking several pertinent measures and monitoring the implementation of measures and improvements to make. For equitable participation, the Department is invited to take more proactive measures, even if the location of its offices poses a challenge. In terms of Part VII of the Act, AAFC seems to be on the right path to reflect on the implementation of Part VII in the context of its new reality. Continuing this reflection, in collaboration with the pertinent stakeholders, and the resulting concrete actions, as well as maintaining what it has achieved through corrective measures made since the last report card, are essential ingredients to maintaining performance.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

2014–2016 Report Card
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The mission of the ACOA is to work for innovation, diversification, economic development and business competitiveness in communities in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Human Resources Directorate at ACOA is responsible for coordinating Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act, while Part VII falls to the Community Development Unit. Discussions with ACOA during data collection revealed close collaboration among units in this regard. ACOA has had an official languages policy on Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act since 2011. It is a statement of principles slated to be updated in 2014–2015. Concrete measures are included in the 2013–2016 official languages action plan, which the President approved in February 2013. The plan includes a management accountability framework that defines the roles and responsibilities at different levels in the organization. The action plan sets out the expected outcomes, assigned responsibilities, success indicators and update factors. Action plan objectives were defined taking into account the last report card, written in 2010–2011. The evaluation of the previous action plan led to the integration of Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act.

ACOA has a structure that enables it to take official languages into account in its activity planning and making of important decisions. According to the Agency, the action plan is on the agenda of each meeting of the official languages management committee, which meets at least twice a year. ACOA explained that the action plan is updated for each meeting to ensure that objectives are met and success indicators are monitored. In addition, two ACOA vice-presidents are active members of the official languages committee, as well as members of the executive committee: the Official Languages Champion, who is the Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Services, and the Vice-President, Policy and Programs. ACOA was able to demonstrate the commitment of senior management and the Champion to official languages initiatives and their inclusion in the Agency’s strategic framework. The Champion’s financial responsibilities provide an additional perspective on official languages matters.

In addition to contributing to the management of the program, the Official Languages Champion keeps employees informed. For example, she sends them e-mails reminding them of specific aspects of their language obligations.

Also regarding tools and procedures to take official languages into account when planning activities and making important decisions, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages notes that the topic of official languages has been incorporated into the human resources operational plan, as called for in the 2013–2016 action plan. ACOA explained that language clauses are included in the contribution agreements under all existing and new programs. It uses the field work of its program staff and that of the committee composed of regional official languages officers and representatives of the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE), among other sources, to gauge the impact of program changes on official languages. In that regard, ACOA explained that official languages were taken into account when changes were made to programs in 2013–2014 and 2014–2015. Consultations were held with official language minority communities (OLMCs) when regional economic development organizations were abolished and changes were made to the delivery of business innovation and assistance programs. In addition, ACOA pointed to the frequent internal consultations, the Champion’s role, and discussions with those in charge of official languages—who in turn consult program officers—as ways of taking into account the effects that program changes have on official languages.

Since its last report card in 2010–2011, ACOA has collaborated fully in investigations by the Office of the Commissioner and has been proactive in resolving complaints.

Overall, ACOA has an appropriate official languages structure, in keeping with its mandate. Those in charge of official languages at all levels work proactively. Discussions with ACOA during the report card exercise revealed, however, that the Agency would do well to more clearly identify program beneficiaries that offer services on its behalf within the meaning of section 25 (Part IV) of the Act, as well as those that have contractual obligations related to Part VII, in order to adjust its agreements and monitoring accordingly. To do so, the Agency is encouraged to strengthen even further the way in which it applies the tools that allow it to take official languages into account when programs are developed. That being said, ACOA is performing very well in terms of official languages program management.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, from December 2014 to February 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 96% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 55% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, from September to December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 81% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 89% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in English took, on average, 14 hours longer than those in French. This represents a difference of 68%Footnote 1.

ACOA conducted a thorough analysis of the impact of its programs in relation to the principle of substantive equality, and was able to demonstrate compliance. It deemed that standard programs met the needs of OLMCs, because of the close contact between program officers and recipients, the Agency’s deeply rooted culture of consultation, and program flexibility. The analysis grid for substantive equality is to be used again in 2015. ACOA referred to a culture of consultation with OLMCs to determine their needs.

ACOA obtained excellent results on active visual offer and availability of services in person, as well as very good results for active offer and availability of services on the telephone. The results for active offer in person could be improved. The results for e-mail response rates are excellent. However, the e-mail response-time results show that the Agency had more difficulty responding in the language of the majority than in the language of the minority. That is an unexpected result that shows that while efforts to provide service in the minority language have clearly succeeded, providing service of equal quality in both languages can sometimes be a challenging balancing act. ACOA is encouraged to continue its work to provide service of equal quality via e-mail to both Anglophones and Francophones.

Since the obligation imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2009 in DesRochers is permanent, the Agency is encouraged to maintain this culture, especially through training and monitoring activities. Nevertheless, the thorough analysis that the Agency conducted (and of which the Office of the Commissioner has obtained a copy) is considered to be a best practice.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

ACOA has taken targeted, ongoing measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes: New Brunswick, where its head office is located, and its office in Ottawa.

ACOA explained that Agency management meetings alternate between English and French. With respect to language training, the Agency’s human resources plan made it possible to get a picture of language profiles and then target language-training efforts to ensure succession in the context of budget restraint. ACOA checks its employees’ bilingual capacity twice a year, which is a measure related not only to service to the public, but also to the Agency’s capacity to provide personal and central services to employees in their preferred language. The Agency demonstrated that managers do the required monitoring.

In a time of technological change, when many employees now have a mobile phone rather than a conventional one, the Champion reminded ACOA staff of the importance of active offer on all devices, which has an impact not only on service to the public, but also on maintaining a bilingual workplace. In addition, ACOA makes sure its employees have the required work instruments in their preferred official language. Managers communicate by e-mail with employees in bilingual regions in both official languages. The Agency also promotes the “DARE! OSEZ!” initiative of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions, which is a series of tools to promote linguistic duality as a personal and corporate value.

According to the Agency, official languages objectives are incorporated into the performance agreements of the members of the official languages management committee and the senior managers responsible for offices that are designated bilingual for the purposes of service to the public and language of work. However, ACOA said it was reviewing the matter in light of the number and kinds of performance objectives called for in the new public-service-wide performance management system.

ACOA has an informal language-of-work complaint resolution process. Employees can take their complaints to the official languages team, which examines each complaint, meets with the manager (if necessary), and offers solutions. Guidelines were being finalized when the report card information was being collected.

The Agency was in the process of developing and updating practical tools for employees. These cover, particularly, active offer and conducting bilingual meetings, and include guidelines on language of work. They were to be presented to employees at information sessions before the end of the 2014–2015 fiscal year.

With respect to the evaluation of language-of-work measures, the Agency pointed out that its results in the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) were above the average of the public service as a whole. It also said that no language-of-work complaint had been filed since the last performance report card, in 2010–2011.

ACOA has taken measures to maintain a workplace conducive to the use of both official languages, but did not demonstrate that it systematically assessed the impact of those measures. Tools that were about to be introduced could not be evaluated, because they had not been finalized. Their implementation will allow ACOA to better comply with Part V. The Agency added that it used PSES results as a barometer. The survey results for ACOA were consistently higher than those of the public service as a whole. Nevertheless, since PSES official languages questions are directly related to Part V obligations, the Agency is encouraged to do an in-depth analysis of the official languages results—according to demographic data, for example—and to take measures to address any shortcomings that might not be obvious from looking at the Agency’s overall results. ACOA must avoid losing sight of the matter of incorporating official languages objectives into performance agreements.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating ACOA’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 39% of the ACOA’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 34.6% of ACOA’s workforce is Francophone.

ACOA has no office in Quebec. Therefore, representation of the English-speaking minority was not evaluated.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

ACOA is involved in the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities. It was also involved in the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, which was in effect at the time of its 2010–2011 report card. This involvement gives the organization access to specific resources to take positive measures,in keeping with its mandate. However, the positive measures ACOA has taken go beyond the parameters of the roadmaps.

ACOA clearly demonstrated that it had identified the OLMCs and that it had mechanisms to take into account their needs and perspectives in its programs. First, meetings on the implementation of Roadmap 2013–2018 were held with OLMC groups in all four provinces, and ACOA took an active part in organizing the days of dialogue with Atlantic communities in cooperation with Industry Canada and the New Brunswick Federal Council. Second, a committee made up of representatives of ACOA and the Atlantic RDÉE, which had a work plan at the time of data collection and met two or three times a year, was an important source of information on OLMCs’ needs. Third, ACOA has a network of Part VII coordinators, made up of economic development officers in each province. The network, which meets regularly, works on the implementation of the EDI and, according to ACOA, acts as a link with program staff, since implementation of Part VII is the responsibility of the Community Development Unit.

Positive measures taken include financial support for Acadian tourism development initiatives in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, which were aimed at, among other things, making Acadian culture better known to the Anglophone majority. ACOA also contributed to projects to strengthen governance and capacity in the Francophone and bilingual business communities in Atlantic Canada.

With respect to evaluating measures taken, ACOA evaluated the Roadmap 2008–2013 initiatives, which had not been completed at the time of the last report card. Following that evaluation, it changed the format for presentations to OLMCs about Roadmap 2013–2018. Besides the specific measures for the Roadmap, the ACOA-Atlantic RDÉE regional committee is a productive forum for remedying shortcomings in program delivery, according to the Agency.

Further regarding the linguistic-duality-promotion component of Part VII, ACOA pointed to its financial contribution to a not-for-profit organization that supports the translation industry in New Brunswick. It also highlighted its cooperation with the Université de Moncton on an initiative to promote ties between Atlantic Canada (through Francophone and Anglophone chambers of commerce) and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (France), located near Newfoundland. Internally, at the time of the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation in fall 2014, ACOA was planning on organizing an awareness tour to remind employees of their language obligations and the impact of their decisions on OLMCs. ACOA said it had updated almost all contribution agreement templates to reflect the obligation to take positive measures. ACOA also pointed out that 13 of the 41 Community Business Development Corporations provide services in both languages, even in areas where ACOA does not provide funding. ACOA considers this to be a positive measure.

ACOA pointed to a number of positive measures it had taken. It did not, however, demonstrate that it formally evaluated the impact of measures to promote the equal status and use of both English and French in Canadian society. In particular, it did not explain how it monitored the implementation of language clauses regarding the promotion of linguistic duality by beneficiaries. To fulfil their obligation to take positive measures when making transfer payments, institutions must determine what language clauses are appropriate, depending on a series of factors, including the nature and scope of the activities concerned. They must also help beneficiary organizations implement the clauses by doing monitoring. The Office of the Commissioner notes that the official languages action plan, which details roles and responsibilities, does not mention managers’ responsibility to specifically monitor contract language clauses. This is a key aspect of ACOA’s responsibilities, given the amount of funding it provides beneficiary organizations in the communities.

ACOA has successfully implemented Part VII. This is not simply a product of chance or the result of its involvement in the Roadmap, but rather the result of a genuine commitment on the part of the institution.

Conclusion

ACOA has maintained its good performance since the last report card. The main factors that enable a federal institution to get excellent ratings on official languages program management are present: an active Champion; a dynamic, proactive official languages team; and active participation by key senior managers on official languages committees. Although there are some areas for improvement, ACOA got good ratings for service to the public. The thorough analysis conducted to assess the impact of its programs in accordance with the principle of substantive equality is considered a best practice. As for language of work, there is a need to more systematically assess the impact of measures taken. Nevertheless, tools that were in the process of being approved could not be evaluated, which would suggest that an improvement is likely. The representation of the Francophone minority in the Agency’s workforce is high. As for OLMC development and the promotion of linguistic duality, the Office of the Commissioner notes that ACOA’s good performance in this area is contributed to by work groups that are aware of OLMC needs. The Office of the Commissioner also notes, however, that improvement is needed with respect to language clauses in agreements with organizations that ACOA funds to provide services to the community, as well as the monitoring of such clauses.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter B

Business Development Bank of Canada

Business Development Bank of Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Business Development Bank of Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

BDC is a Crown corporation within the Industry Canada portfolio. Its mission is to support the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada by helping create and develop Canadian businesses through financing, consulting services and securitization. BDC focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by supporting entrepreneurs in all business sectors at all stages of development from more than 100 business centres across Canada.

BDC’s official languages procedure provides general guidelines for the application and administration of Parts IV (communications with and services to the public), Part V (language of work), Part VI (participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians) and Part VII (development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality) of the Official Languages Act in the corporation’s various areas of activity. The procedure was updated in 2014 and approved by the Senior Vice President, Human Resources. However, BDC’s action plan was uniquely for 2010–2013 and addresses only implementation of section 41 of the Act. Objectives, activities to be implemented and expected results are clearly defined. After some consultations, BDC decided not to update its action plan. Without an up-to-date action plan, it is difficult to have a proactive approach to official languages issues in the organization.

BDC’s Human Resources Department is responsible for guiding and supporting the planning and coordination of activities related to official languages. In this respect, it also has a supervisory and auditing role that it shares with the Internal Audit Department. The Official Languages Champion is the Senior Vice President, Human Resources. She sits on the Senior Management Committee and intervenes when a matter involves issues concerning the corporation’s obligations regarding official languages. The co-Champion is the Director, Employee Experience; he is responsible for ensuring that the corporation respects its official languages obligations in its day-to-day operations. The Senior Management Committee is made up of the corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as the vice presidents of various departments, including Human Resources, Financing and Consulting, and the Chief Information Officer.

According to BDC, assigning responsibilities in this manner allows it to ensure that official languages are an integral part of the decision-making process and are fully incorporated into its activities. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages does not share this opinion and, based on the materials it was provided, does not see formal and systematic consideration of official languages during Senior Management Committee meetings. Further, BDC has no official languages committee, and the Champion and Co-champion only meet informally. The corporation has no formal tools or procedures to take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. As a result, it is difficult for BDC to fully measure the impact of its official languages management framework on the visibility of official languages within its workforce and in its activities.

With respect to cooperation in the complaint resolution process, the Office of the Commissioner has not received any complaints against BDC since 2008. Therefore, the institution was not evaluated on this criterion.

BDC has an official languages management framework, but there is room for improvement. In addition, the structure is incomplete for taking official languages into account when planning activities and making important decisions. The Office of the Commissioner is of the opinion that it would be opportune and advantageous for BDC to complete this structure by establishing an up-to-date action plan, official languages committee, and tools and procedures to take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service between December 2014 and February 2015 indicate an active visual offer was present in 89% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 24% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 72% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone between September and December 2014 indicate an active offer by staff or an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 80% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 6.1 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 65%.Footnote 1

In 2010, following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in DesRochers, BDC evaluated its services and programs using the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Analytical Grid to ensure that the corporation makes services available to the public that satisfy the principle of substantive equality. BDC concluded that no changes were required to reflect the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs). This evaluation process was done in consultation with Justice Canada.

Despite excellent results for observations of service on the telephone, there is room for improvement with the active offer and availability of service in person and response time by e-mail. BDC assessed the need to make services of equal quality available to the public in both official languages, bearing in mind the nature of the service and its purpose.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

BDC makes managers and employees aware of their rights and obligations with respect to the language of work by providing an aide-mémoire on official languages. In addition, a presentation is given to new managers to inform them of the corporation’s responsibilities regarding official languages; they in turn are responsible for informing their employees. Such a presentation was given in 2013 for the Greater Toronto Area East region. However, there is no tool or mechanism to ensure that managers understand and meet their obligations regarding language of work. The human resources information system prompts employees to fill out a form and specify their preferred official language for correspondence and work, as well as the first official language they learned. BDC also sends a survey to new employees in their preferred official language to ensure that their on-boarding went well. This survey includes a question asking new employees whether they were evaluated in the official language of their choice during the hiring process. Nevertheless, the Office of the Commissioner notes that this survey does not measure satisfaction levels regarding actions taken to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

BDC encourages employees to improve their second official language skills by offering language training and providing a list of companies specializing in this area. In addition, it created a list of generic phrases for interacting with the public; audio recordings are also available to help with pronunciation. However, the institution was not able to show, during data collection, the effective use of these generic phrases.

BDC states that it has never received complaints from employees regarding language of work. However, the Office of the Commissioner believes that this cannot be an absolute indicator of compliance with the Act. In addition, BDC has not evaluated the impact of measures for the effective use of both official languages at offices in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. Such evaluations are necessary to assess the effectiveness of measures taken and to make adjustments if needed.

Even though BDC has taken measures to develop and maintain a work environment conducive to the use of both official languages, it did not clearly demonstrate other language-of-work aspects, such as the use of preferred official language during work unit meetings. Further, BDC does not evaluate the impact of these measures. Consequently, the corporation has no way of measuring the actual satisfaction levels of employees with respect to the use of both official languages in designated bilingual regions. It would be possible to assess employee satisfaction in this matter a number of ways, for example, through the on-boarding survey. In this case, having in place evaluation tools is just as important as having the measures themselves.

The Office of the Commissioner encourages BDC to take measures with respect to all language-of-work aspects and to develop an evaluation framework for assessing the effectiveness of such measures.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating BDC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 3.4% of BDC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 21.6% of BDC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 21.7% of BDC’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, March 31, 2014.)

BDC has a recruitment strategy that consists of always advertising employment opportunities in both official languages on its Web site, as well as on external sites like LinkedIn, even if the positions are in unilingual regions. Nevertheless, this general approach does not target the participation of either of the communities.

According to the data from the Treasury Board Secretariat, the representation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in BDC’s workforce in Quebec and the rest of the country, excluding the NCR, effectively represents the presence of Canada’s two official language communities. There is room for improvement in the NCR, however, where the proportion of BDC’s French-speaking employees does not reflect their representation in the region’s total population. In addition, even though the corporation’s recruiting strategy includes official languages elements, it does not specifically aim to encourage the participation of either of the two official language communities.

The Office of the Commissioner encourages BDC to implement appropriate measures to specifically target both official language communities in its recruiting strategy and to increase the participation levels of French-speaking Canadians in its workforce in the NCR.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

As part of its mandate, BDC has created alliances and partnerships with some organizations with similar missions to help entrepreneurs and to promote entrepreneurship across Canada. Some of the organizations are dedicated to helping communities of entrepreneurs at the regional level, for example, community futures development corporations and business development centres. Other organizations operate on a national scale, such as Futurpreneur Canada (formerly Canadian Youth Business Foundation). BDC states that these organizations have ties to communities of entrepreneurs from OLMCs across the country. Nevertheless, it cannot demonstrate that it has identified these communities or the nature of these ties. As an example, during Small Business Week from October 19 to 25, 2014, BDC organized numerous regional events to celebrate entrepreneurship in Canada and to meet with entrepreneurs. However, these meetings did not specifically target entrepreneurs from OLMCs nor did they have an aim of identifying their needs.

Since the 2008–2009 report card, BDC has taken a number of positive measures in connection with its mandate to promote the development of OLMCs. These measures essentially fall within its mission to provide financing for the creation and development of Canadian SMEs. For example, in fiscal year 2010–2011, it sponsored the Camp Jeunes entrepreneurs organized by the Conseil de la Coopération de la Saskatchewan (CCS). CCS is an organization that encourages the economic development and expansion of co-operatives in the French-speaking community of Saskatchewan and the Camp Jeunes entrepreneurs is an entrepreneurship awareness tool for young Francophones in western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia). A number of other sponsorships were granted to the Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta (CDÉA) for the 2010–2014 period. CDÉA is a community economic development organization that operates to enhance the vitality of the French-speaking community in Alberta. BDC also established a partnership with Enactus Canada, a community of university students that enables progress through entrepreneurial action. BDC also plays the role of a sponsor by financing initiatives and the role of an expert when evaluating SME projects. Over the past few years, BDC has performed these roles to support initiatives from English-language universities in Quebec such as Concordia, McGill or Bishop’s.

For formal mechanisms to evaluate the impact of positive measures for the development of OLMCs, BDC tallies the number of partnership agreements and the number of loans and their value. However, BDC has not been able to demonstrate how this mechanism allows it to assess the impact of these loans on the development of OLMCs or measure the results for identifying if any adjustments are needed.

BDC states that the promotion of linguistic duality is fully integrated into all its areas of activity, such as business creation, partnerships, or financing and consulting groups. It promotes Linguistic Duality Day to employees and managers through BDC etc., the corporation’s internal magazine. Specifically, it publishes articles encouraging employees to express themselves in their second official language. It participates in a number of programs and activities outside the organization that support future entrepreneurs in communities of both official languages across the country. For example, it actively takes part in the Case Challenge at Vanier College, an English-language college in Quebec. The Challenge is the largest marketing case study challenge at the college level in Canada, involving a number of Canadian English-language and French-language colleges. Presentations, guides and assessment tools for the challenge are available in both official languages. The promotional material prepared by Vanier College and BDC is also in both official languages. Furthermore, BDC sponsors the event and its employees participate directly as judges on the panel. However, similar to measures taken for the development of OLMCs, BDC does not have any tools or mechanisms to assess the impact of the measures on the promotion of linguistic duality.

BDC considers its relationship with its clients as the heart of its day-to-day work. For this reason, it has a client experience evaluation strategy to ensure that this relationship is most effective. This strategy is based on measures like a client survey and impact assessment tools. However, this strategy does not reflect the specific needs of OLMC clients. This kind of information would allow BDC to better understand OLMCs and their needs.

The Office of the Commissioner notes that BDC has the ability to implement formal evaluation mechanisms. Consequently, a suggestion in BDC’s 2008–2009 report card is reiterated: to encourage the corporation to develop formal mechanisms to assess the impact of its measures on the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality. Furthermore, the Office of the Commissioner suggests that BDC identify communities of entrepreneurs in OLMCs that have ties to the corporation or its partners in order to identify their needs.

Conclusion

Overall, BDC’s 2014–2016 report card reveals the institution’s commitment and tangible efforts to meet its obligations under the Act. However, the institution should redouble its efforts to fix the shortcomings identified in the assessment. The Office of the Commissioner notes that BDC has an official languages management framework and takes measures to develop and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in designated bilingual regions (Part V) and to support the development of OLMCs and promote linguistic duality (Part VII). Nevertheless, the report card also reveals that other than the evaluation conducted after the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in DesRochers (Part IV), BDC rarely assesses the impact of official languages measures. Such an assessment is necessary to ensure the measures taken are targeted, address needs and produce the desired effects. In particular, such an evaluation is needed for measures taken with respect to language of work and for the development of OLMCs. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages BDC to develop an up-to-date official languages action plan that takes into account the shortcomings identified.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter C

Canada Council for the Arts
2014–2016 Report Card
Canada Council for the Arts
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for the Canada Council for the Arts report card was collected during the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes made after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The Canada Council is an arm’s length federal Crown corporation whose mandate is to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of the arts and the production of artistic works for the benefit of Canadians. The Canada Council champions and invests in artistic excellence so that Canadians may participate in a rich cultural life. Through its grants, services, prizes and other activities, the Council works to ensure that excellent, vibrant and diverse art engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world.

The institution has a framework for implementing the Official Languages Act. However, this framework—which describes the Canada Council’s official languages governance structure—was not up to date at the time of the data collection process, due to major changes in the institution’s governance structure. The institution has no formal policy or guidelines on official languages. It noted that it observes the Treasury Board policy instruments but has not shown how it systematically informs all of its employees about the various responsibilities and obligations that these instruments contain.

The institution has an action plan for Parts IV, V and VI for 2011–2016, along with an action plan on Part VII for the same period. The Canada Council is among the federal institutions that must prepare an action plan on Part VII and report annually to Canadian Heritage on the implementation of this part of the Act. Both plans are complete and indicate the responsible persons or units. Missing from the plan on Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, however, are clear indications of when progress is evaluated.

Although official languages are not always on the agenda of executive committee meetings, the institution submitted documentation showing the commitment by senior management to official languages questions at key times, for example, through the work of individuals who have assumed the role of Official Languages Champion since 2012. These people promote official languages to employees through such means as presentations and messages. The champion at the time of data collection, who was Director of Human Resources, had introduced a major change in the employee evaluation process by having the evaluation include procedures for ensuring that employees discuss their language training needs with their supervisor.

The institution reviewed its governance committee structure in early 2015. Its official languages committee is responsible for the implementation of Parts IV, V, VI and VII. This committee is mandated to meet twice a year, but at the time of data collection, the institution did not demonstrate that it had yet met. In the previous governance structure, responsibilities were divided between a committee on Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, geared more to human resources aspects, and a committee on the arts and official languages, geared to the implementation of Part VII. At the time of data collection, the Canada Council did not clearly demonstrate that either of the committees had met regularly over the period since the institution’s previous report card in 2010–2011.

The Canada Council confirmed that, at the time of data collection, it had no formal tools or procedures to take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. A major overhaul of Canada Council programs was under way at the time of data collection. Without reducing the scope of its support or resources, the institution undertook a major exercise to streamline its procedures and administrative structure, going from more than 100 programs to 6. The institution states that there were no standard procedures for taking official languages into account from one program to the next, but that the new funding policy and the new program charters would contain considerations to ensure official languages are taken into account early in the process. The new governance documents had not yet been finalized at the time of data collection.

Few complaints have been filed against the Canada Council since its last report card in 2010–2011. The institution’s representatives cooperate fully with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the resolution of complaints.

Although the Canada Council has some of the things necessary for effective program management, such as official languages plans and an official languages committee with a mandate and an active champion, the Office of the Commissioner’s assessment revealed a number of areas for improvement. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the Canada Council to continue pursuing its reflection of how official languages should be built into its program parameters and its structural decisions. The Canada Council was in a state of flux at the time of data collection, since major changes to its program structure were being made. The Office of the Commissioner is of the opinion that the Canada Council’s performance could be improved, given the current movement toward greater formalization of its practices at the program level. To that end, a single action plan for all parts of the Act, coordinated by a single official languages committee that meets frequently, would be helpful for managing the official languages program and contribute a to fully integrated implementation of Parts IV, V, VI and VII within the institution.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, from May to July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 90% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 80% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, from May to July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service, between May and July 2015, resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in English took, on average, 0.8 hours longer than those in French. This represents a difference of 24%.Footnote 1

As part of the report card exercise, the Office of the Commissioner also reviews how the institution assessed the need to make available to the public services of equal quality in both official languages, while taking into account the nature and objective of the service, in light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s DesRochers ruling in 2009. The Canada Council obtained a legal opinion in 2011 to help it determine whether its programs needed to be adapted in light of the DesRochers ruling. The Council determined that its programs complied with the principle of substantive equality. Although the institution has since provided proof that the assessment had been properly conducted, the Office of the Commissioner must evaluate the Canada Council based on the fact that no supporting documentation was provided at the time of data collection. However, linguistic duality is a value included in its governance document called Equity Framework.

The results were excellent for active visual offer and availability of service in person in the official language of the minority, as were the results for active offer and availability of service by telephone. The same was true for the response rate for e mails in both official languages. The results were good for active offer in person and for the e mail response time in either official language. As for the evaluation of services to the public to ensure that they are of equal quality in both official languages, the Canada Council said that it had yet to adopt a formal overall approach to official languages obligations in its programs, with the approach left up to each program. The Canada Council is currently undergoing a complete overhaul of its programs. In order to ensure in the coming years that the Canada Council fully grasps the impact on official language minority communities (OLMCs) of the services to the public that it provides to its recipients and the public at large, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to adopt a permanent, formal mechanism to take the principle of substantive equality into account when designing its programs. This is in addition to the support the Canada Council provides to OLMCs through its programs in accordance with the obligations under Part VII of the Act, which are examined below. While it is clear that several of the Council’s initiatives are geared to the needs of official language communities (both majority and minority), federal institutions have an ongoing obligation to ensure that they are making services of equal quality available to the public in both official languages across all of their programs and activities and, given the nature and objective of the services, that they are adapting them to the needs of OLMCs as necessary.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

The Canada Council is taking a number of measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages. The institution only has offices in the National Capital Region (NCR), a region designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

The Canada Council ensures that letters of offer for senior management positions include a message conveying the importance of leadership by executives when it comes to official languages. Staff orientation sessions provide an overview of the obligations set out in the various parts of the Act, including Part V, with more detailed information provided in sessions aimed at new managers. The institution also notes its employees’ language of preference in its human resources system.

The Canada Council offers its staff various types of language training—individual, group, full-time or on-line—in order to both meet its requirements and to ensure that its employees maintain their language skills. Before, access to language training was less structured, but in 2014 the institution supplemented the employee performance evaluation process with the requirement that employees discuss their language training needs with their supervisor. In addition, the institution has a policy stipulating that employees’ voice mail messages be in both official languages.

The Canada Council looked at best practices in other federal institutions when creating its handbook on chairing bilingual meetings, which offers hints and tips to those called on to chair meetings, as well as a checklist to help them ensure that the meeting allows for the effective use of both English and French.

The Canada Council did not demonstrate that it had formal mechanisms to assess systematically the impact of the actions taken to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages. The institution said that it monitors the bilingualism of messages to employees and automated telephone messages, but did not provide documentation to corroborate this statement. The institution confirmed that the employee satisfaction survey it conducted in 2014 did not contain questions on official languages (even though the official languages action plan called for this), but that it intends to add official languages questions in the future.

The Canada Council has implemented some notable language-of-work measures. The handbook it created on bilingual meetings, modelled after best practices from other federal institutions, could serve as a reference. But without a formal evaluation mechanism, it is difficult to confirm whether the measures taken are effective and entirely appropriate in the specific workplace context. The Office of the Commissioner invites the Canada Council to add questions on the various aspects of language of work (supervision, training, meetings, writing, personal and central services, etc.) to its employee satisfaction surveys and, once this exercise has been completed, to conduct a detailed analysis of the results by, at the very least, language group for the various parts of the organization. The institution could do the same thing through systematic exit interviews. Any identified shortcomings could thus be the subject of corrective measures in the institution’s official languages action plan, while success stories could be highlighted.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the Canada Council’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 42.8% of the Canada Council’s workforce is Francophone.

The institution has no offices outside the NCR.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Taking positive measures to promote English and French is central to the Canada Council’s mandate.

The Canada Council demonstrated that it had identified the OLMCs. At least once a year it organizes extensive consultation meetings with the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF), Quebec’s English Language Arts Network and their member organizations. The Canada Council also participates in meetings with the community together with other federal institutions with a cultural mandate, such as Canadian Heritage, particularly in connection with working groups for the development of the arts and culture in OLMCs, to take stock of needs and realities. In addition, the Canada Council contributes financially to research projects on the cultural and artistic vitality of Francophone minority communities, in partnership with the FCCF. The institution also showed that the personnel in its various disciplines (theatre, visual arts, music, etc.) have frequent discussions with OLMC arts communities and their representatives, thanks to the extensive consultations mentioned above or as part of specific meetings.

The Canada Council has taken a number of concrete measures to promote the development and growth of OLMCs since its last report card in 2010–2011. For example, as part of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, the institution is putting in place a national and international market access strategy for OLMC artists and arts organizations, aimed at building marketing capacities outside of local markets and expanding national and international access to works of art from OLMCs. In addition to the programs in the 2013–2018 Roadmap, the Canada Council provides, as part of its regular programming, operational assistance to dozens of minority-language arts organizations across the country and across artistic disciplines. In addition to its regular programs, it is operating a fund aimed at boosting investment in OLMC artistic and operational development. Also, the institution has put in place the Cultivate initiative, aimed at arts connectors to strengthen the arts communities designated in its Equity Framework, including OLMCs, and to raise their profile. Lastly, the Canada Council organized several assessment process simulations and workshops with participants from OLMCs from across the country to explain its programs and procedures with a view to eliciting applications that further encourage the success of arts communities in OLMCs.

As a means of evaluating the impact of the positive measures taken to support OLMCs, senior management obtains reports from time to time on the funding allocated to artists and arts organizations in OLMCs. The institution is monitoring low rates of applications and follow-up investment, as well as the representation of members of these communities on the peer assessment juries it forms to allocate its funding. The active population in the minority-language arts sector serves as a baseline. At the time of data collection, the institution was preparing a plan for the coming years to optimize implementation of the market access strategy, which includes a review of what has been done to date. The Canada Council says that its new program and funding structure will allow for program evaluations on a regular basis, which had not previously been the case.

The Canada Council is taking positive measures to promote the equal status of English and French in Canadian society. For example, the Canada Council administers the National Translation Program for Book Publishing through an agreement with Canadian Heritage. Under this program, the Canada Council has supported, for over five years, the Translation Rights Fair, an event where Canada’s English- and French-language publishers can exchange ideas. Another example is the Governor General’s Literary Awards; the institution is responsible for this national bilingual competition, which has seven categories in each language, including an award for translation from one official language to the other.

Internally, the Canada Council promotes Linguistic Duality Day every year to its employees, and in 2015 it organized a presentation by Anglophone and Francophone artists in its offices to mark World Theatre Day.

For purposes of the report card, however, the Office of the Commissioner assesses not only the positive measures actually taken, but also how the institution determined it can promote linguistic duality according to its mandate, a reflection that helps to frame the positive measures that have been taken. The information submitted by the Canada Council for this report card had to do mostly with OLMCs. This is an essential part of its activities, but one that must not completely overshadow, in its strategic approach, the promotion of the equal status and use of English and French in Canadian society. The institution did not show that it had engaged in a systematic and structured reflection in this regard.

What is more, unlike what was done for the positive measures taken for the development and vitality of OLMCs, the Canada Council did not show that it had either formal or informal mechanisms for evaluating the positive measures taken to promote linguistic duality, nor how it took into account the results to adjust the measures, as necessary.

The Canada Council took a number of concrete measures to foster the development and enhance the vitality of OLMCs and to promote the full recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society since its last report card, in 2010–2011. Its programs strongly support the development of the arts and culture in OLMCs, and it systematically assesses the impact of the measures it takes for OLMC development. For the promotion of linguistic duality, however, although it does take positive measures, such as those having to do with the cross-cultural reach of Anglophone and Francophone works thanks to its translation programs, the data collected show that the institution’s approach did not take into account the extent of its Part VII obligations. The Canada Council did not show that it had engaged in a strategic reflection on the subject or that it had made systematic use of formal mechanisms to assess the impact of the positive measures that were taken. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the Canada Council to reflect on its procedures and operations to determine the current practices and initiatives that can help to promote linguistic duality so that the institution can identify what is working and equip itself accordingly to make these actions systematic. The Canada Council has a public Web page on official languages. At the time of data collection, this page dealt basically with the institution’s support for OLMCs while highlighting the artists and initiatives that come from these communities. As the first step toward a more integrated approach to implementing Part VII, the institution could improve this Web page by posting initiatives aimed at promoting linguistic duality, such as the ones mentioned above. The Office of the Commissioner is of the opinion that the program overhaul under way at the time of data collection is an excellent opportunity to formalize practices in this regard and to further strengthen the Canada Council’s compliance with the Act.

Conclusion

This report card found the Canada Council had a very uneven performance in terms of its official languages obligations. The observations on service to the public resulted in a high rating; indeed, the institution even obtained a few perfect scores. The bilingual meetings tool developed by the Canada Council for its staff is noteworthy. Furthermore, the Canada Council showed strong compliance in identifying and consulting OLMCs, and in the range of positive measures it takes. On the other hand, the lack of formal practices explains most of the shortcomings identified in this report card. The institution did not yet have tools or procedures to take official languages into account in its structural decisions, nor mechanisms for determining whether to adapt its programs to take into account the principle of substantive equality. As for language of work, the Canada Council does not assess the effectiveness of the actions it takes to foster effective use of both official languages, which means that it is difficult to know if it is taking appropriate actions. As part of its mandate, the Canada Council takes a number of positive measures to promote English and French in Canadian society, but it did not engage in a structured reflection on the subject nor demonstrate that it was assessing the impact of its measures. The Canada Council said that the new funding policies and program charters being prepared in connection with the program structure overhaul would contain official languages considerations. That is an excellent opportunity for improvement that could have a structural effect on official languages program management, on service to the public and on the promotion of English and French, and in the process greatly increase the Canada Council’s compliance.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

2014–2016 Report Card
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

CED has a mission to promote the long-term economic development of the regions of Quebec by giving special attention to those with slow economic growth.

CED has an institutional policy on bilingualism (2011–2014) that covers Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act. The policy objective is to allow the institution to meet the three key principles of institutional bilingualism arising from the Act, specifically service to the public (Part IV), language of work (Part V) and equitable participation (Part VI). It was approved by senior management in March 2005 and revised in January 2010. CED does not have a policy on Part VII.

CED has a three-year departmental action plan (2011–2014) on official languages, more specifically for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. This action plan establishes objectives, measures and timelines, as well as responsibilities, and specifies the obligations set out in Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. Senior management approved the plan at the beginning of the plan’s cycle, in June 2011.

CED does not have an action plan for Part VII of the Act. CED said that no new activities have been initiated since the end of the previous plan (2010–2013), but that discussions were under way. According to CED, renewing the Part VII action plan is desirable but not mandatory because the use of internal tools will be increasingly encouraged and accepted. For example, CED developed an integrator tool, a document to support advisors from business offices concerning the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) and the expected results of this initiative, which is the key measure for Part VII. CED said that an integrator tool is not an action plan in and of itself, but rather is a part of its action plan.

CED has had an official languages committee since 2006 and informed us that it meets two to three times per year, in addition to meetings to address special needs. Official languages are also on the agenda for Executive Committee meetings. CED has an official languages champion, who was the Acting Director General of Policy, Research and Programs at the time of the data collection in the fall of 2014.

Apart from the official languages action plans and policies, CED ensured that official languages were included in its communications plan as well as in its 2014–2017 work plan. The work plan includes planned activities on various parts of the Act, as well as timelines. The objective of the official languages communication plan, prepared in May 2014, is to raise awareness among all employees about institutional bilingualism and inform them of their rights and obligations in this regard.

To work toward and achieve the specific objectives, CED has an official languages accountability framework. This document describes the responsibilities of and measures to be taken by various executives and teams regarding official languages.

With respect to cooperation in the complaint resolution process, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has not received any complaints against CED since 2012. Therefore, the institution was not evaluated on this criterion.

CED has a structure that enables it to take official languages into account in the planning of its activities and important decision making.For example, for its Treasury Board submissions, CED evaluates the impact of new programs or new initiatives on communications with and services to the public as well as on language of work and the vitality of official language minority communities (OLMCs). In its internal communications plan, CED also mentions various activities and strategies that took official languages into account.

CED has action plans and policies on Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. Although it does not have a policy on Part VII of the Act, CED has an integrator tool concerning the EDI, which is its key measure for Part VII. That being said, CED would benefit from, in addition to its integrator tool on Part VII, developing a Part VII policy and an updated action plan outlining objectives, detailed measures and timelines in order to achieve specific results related to the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

Given the small amount of data obtained during observations of service in person, the institution is not evaluated on this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, from September to November 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 88% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 98% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 90% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 8.8 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 64%.Footnote 2

In response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in DesRochers, CED says that it fully evaluates the need to make services of equal quality available to the public in both languages while taking into account the nature of the service and its purpose. CED provided documentary evidence concerning the official languages impact analysis of the Quebec Economic Development Program, which is the key method by which it supports EDI projects. CED said that it worked in collaboration with OLMCs and participated in various consultations with them to ensure that its approaches are in line with the needs and priorities of English-speaking communities. However, the institution did not demonstrate in the documentation it provided that it evaluates its other programs based on the principle of substantive equality. CED is encouraged to equip itself with a permanent mechanism to evaluate the need to adapt all its programs based on the needs expressed by the English-speaking communities of Quebec, beyond the initiatives specifically targeted to these communities.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations found that CED obtained very good results with respect to service on the telephone. The results of the observations of service by e-mail reveal that more effort is required to improve the response time for e-mails in French. CED evaluates the need to make services of equal quality in both official languages available to the public while taking into account the nature of the service and its purpose for one of its programs. However, the Act requires that CED evaluate the need to adapt all its programs based on the needs of OLMCs. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages CED to take the necessary measures to comply with these obligations under the Act.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

CED has implemented many measures in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes in order to promote the use of the minority language in its offices.

As indicated in the section “Official Languages Program Management,” the objective of CED’s global communications plan is to raise awareness among its employees about the Act. This plan includes mandatory on-line training for all its employees on various parts of the Act, as well as group language training.

CED has also provided the Office of the Commissioner with evidence of its other noteworthy initiatives. For example, a language twinning system was implemented, which partners an Anglophone and a Francophone, with the objective that they speak in both official languages for 45 minutes a week over six months. In addition, group language training is provided to all employees who wish to participate and mandatory training on the Act is given to all employees. To enable new CED employees to integrate effectively, they are provided with a welcome kit prepared in both official languages to inform them of CED’s various policies, including the official languages policy, as well as their rights and obligations in this regard. In its ongoing efforts to promote a bilingual work environment, CED also uses its intranet to promote some research tools, such as Gateway to English | Le français sans secret and the new application ourlanguages.gc.ca.

To measure the impact of the various measures taken, CED uses evaluation forms for employee training and language twinning. It also informed the Office of the Commissioner that an internal employee survey on the impact of official languages activities would be conducted in 2015. However, it should be noted that CED did not demonstrate that it had conducted systematic follow-ups in light of the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) results. The PSES revealed significant shortcomings regarding the language of choice in the preparation of documentation and language used for work unit meetings.

With respect to Part V, it is important to note that CED made a number of efforts to make effective use of the minority language in its offices designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. CED is encouraged to take the results of the 2014 PSES into account, which were obtained after the data collection ended. These results will be useful, especially for taking targeted measures to address any shortcoming where the satisfaction rate of its Francophone employees significantly varies from that of its Anglophone employees.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) D

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating CED’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

Given that CED does not have an office outside of Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR), the institution will not be evaluated on this criterion.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 93.8% of CED’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 2.6% of CED’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

CED acknowledges that the representation of the English-speaking population in its workforce is modest. To try to rectify the situation, two key measures were taken. First, CED targeted English-language universities when hiring students under the co-op program and the Federal Student Work Experience Program, in addition to its recruiting efforts in French-language universities in the region. Second, CED said that it sent as much information as possible on the availability of certain positions to the Quebec Community Groups Network so that the Network could promote them in the English-speaking community.

CED management informed the Office of the Commissioner that, with the almost 25% reduction in its workforce, the move of a group of employees in the Quebec region and the sunsetting of one of its programs, it will be difficult to use the above-mentioned methods to increase the representation of English-speaking Canadians within its workforce. As a result of these events, no new hiring is planned for the next three years, until 2017.

CED recognizes that the English-speaking population are poorly represented in its offices in Quebec and the NCR. The Office of the Commissioner encourages CED to increase its efforts so that its workforce is more representative of the proportion of the English-speaking population in Quebec. The reduction of its resources and workforce could delay the achievement of this objective, but CED must do everything in its power to meet its obligations in this regard.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

CED has a detailed document that identifies the various OLMCs eligible for the EDI. Based on the 2011 Census, CED also has a document available on the evaluation and geographic distribution of the population of Quebec whose first official language spoken is English.

Since 2011, many meetings have been organized to identify the needs of Anglophones in the regions of Quebec. Also noted were the days of dialogue with the English-speaking communities of Quebec in July, September and November 2011. CED also organized follow-up committees for the day of dialogue in March and November 2013. These meetings were opportunities to share ideas and information with these communities.

CED indicates that it continues to support the OLMCs of Quebec through EDI, a measure stemming from the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, whose main objectives is to promote the development of OLMCs.

Many EDI projects help develop the economic potential of local Anglophone cultural heritage to stimulate tourism activities and the creation of jobs for the local English-speaking community. The potential for tourism development in OLMCs is one of the priority issues identified by OLMC representatives in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada during consultations.

CED indicates that it supports a project led by the Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders, which consists of developing the tourism sector of Grosse-Île by restoring three sites.

Another example of positive measures promoting the development of OLMCs is CED support over the past six years, through the EDI, for various projects such as Youth Employment Services (YES), an organization that provides the Montréal area with services in English on employability and entrepreneurship. Between 2008 and 2014, CED financially contributed to this organization to ensure it maintains its coaching, training, networking and placement services for young Anglophone entrepreneurs aged 16 to 45.

CED indicates that, at the request of OLMCs, it continued to finance this organization to conduct a feasibility study and implement a pilot project to expand the YES services to Anglophone clients outside the Montréal area. The results of the pilot project and the first year of deployment for the regional entrepreneurship services allowed 100 participants to participate in webinars. Many of these participants were then coached and some were able to start their business.

CED said that it evaluated the EDI component to determine its relevance and effectiveness. Eight evaluation questions were developed. However, the impact of EDI projects on the development of OLMCs was not specifically evaluated. CED said that the direct impact on OLMCs is difficult to measure on a quantitative basis. The performance indicators for financed projects are directly related to the results of projects and not based on the impact on OLMCs.

Concerning the promotion of linguistic duality in Canadian society, CED provided its support to Sous-traitance industrielle Québec, a manufacturers’ association, for the translation of many communications tools, including brochures and a Web site related to the annual Buyer/Supplier Day, which enables suppliers to find new business opportunities. CED also celebrates Linguistic Duality Day. On September 11, 2014, some activities on the agenda included the Commissioner’s dictation and a round table with the Champion on how to acquire, improve and retain your second official language skills.

Although CED takes positive measures to promote equality of the status and use of English and French in Canadian society, it does not have a mechanism to measure the impact and scope of the measures taken.

CED adequately evaluates the needs of OLMCs and their priorities are well defined. The Office of the Commissioner encourages CED to evaluate the scope of the measures taken and the project results, as well as to implement a direct follow-up mechanism with the OLMCs to target areas for improvement or good practices that could be used in the future. Measures are also taken concerning the promotion of linguistic duality. Nevertheless, CED would benefit from implementing a formal mechanism to measure their impact.

Conclusion

As part of the evaluation of compliance with various aspects of the Act, CED obtained good results for its official languages program management and language of work. However, improvements are needed to develop a Part VII policy and conduct a formal follow-up on the PSES results. CED had some very good results for the Office of the Commissioner’s observations for Part IV. However, its rating is affected by the response time for e-mails in French and the need to evaluate all its programs based on the principle of substantive equality. For Part VII, CED evaluates the needs of OLMCs and takes positive measures to support their development and promote linguistic duality. However, the rating given indicates that it should implement formal mechanisms to evaluate their success. For Part VI, CED received poor results and does not have an equitable rate of participation for Anglophone employees in Quebec, or in the NCR where Anglophones are the majority. However, the Office of the Commissioner recognizes that CED is aware of this situation and strongly encourages the institution to continue its efforts to respect the spirit of the Act in this regard.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

2014–2016 Report Card
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The CFIA is Canada’s largest science-based regulator. The CFIA is dedicated to safeguarding food, animal health and plant resources, which enhances the health and well-being of Canada’s people, environment and economy.

The CFIA has a comprehensive official languages policy, which has been in effect since 2006 and was under review at the time the institution was evaluated. The policy provides managers and employees with directives on their rights and obligations with respect to Parts IV (Communications with and Services to the Public), V (Language of Work), VI (Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians) and VII (Advancement of English and French) of the Official Languages Act. In addition, the CFIA has an official languages policy for senior managers, which sets out the language requirements in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. That policy has been in effect since 2003 and was under review at the time the institution was evaluated. The CFIA’s official languages management framework (updated in September 2012) includes the Agency’s official languages action plan for 2011–2014, which is reviewed annually, as an appendix, reflects the Agency’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the Act and provides the strategy for achieving those obligations. The CFIA chose six focuses on which to concentrate. Two of them—language proficiency levels of positions and employees, and language training and translation quality in both official languages—target shortcomings, including those identified in previous report cards. The Agency’s official languages policy and management framework are approved by its senior management committee.

The CFIA has two official languages co-champions: the Vice-President of the Science Branch and the Chief Food Safety Officer. They directly support the Agency’s president and the Inspector General of the Operations Branch in the performance of their duties. The two co-champions regularly bring official languages matters to the attention of the senior management committee. They also head the organization’s Official Languages Network. The network comprises employees and managers representing all branches and regional offices. Its mission is to support the work of the two co-champions and the official languages coordinator by raising the visibility of official languages within the Agency and enhancing awareness of official languages issues. The network meets at least four times a year.

Although the CFIA took official languages into account in developing its internal social media policy, the Agency does not have formal mechanisms to systematically take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or amending policies and programs.

The CFIA collaborates fully with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages on the complaint settlement process.

Thanks to the Official Languages Network, the CFIA has a pool of employees and managers who play an important role in promoting official languages within the organization. In addition, its official languages management framework and action plan define clear objectives to address shortcomings, including those identified in previous report cards. However, it does not have tools and procedures to take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or amending policies and programs. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the CFIA to develop formal mechanisms to be able to systematically take into account the effect of its decisions on its obligations under the Act.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between December 2014 and February 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 86% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 37% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 77% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 87% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 81% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 80% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, the response time was, on average, the same in both languages.

The CFIA fully assessed the need to adapt its services to the public to meet the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs). In 2012, the Official Languages Network discussed the implications of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the DesRochers case on the services that the organization provides. The CFIA also used the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s analysis grid to assess how well the services that its branches provided were adapted to OLMCs’ needs.

Overall, the CFIA obtained average results regarding its in-person service to the public. There is room for improvement in the availability of service in the minority official language and active offer in person. The institution obtained good results regarding its telephone and e-mail services. The CFIA fully assessed the need to provide the public with services of equal quality in both official languages, taking into account the nature of the service and its purpose.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

In regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes, the CFIA takes measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

The CFIA has its own language training policy and provides language training services to its employees and managers through its One Stop-L’Arrêt virtual portal. It also adopted a standard for the translation of scientific documents, which enables it to ensure the quality of translation in both official languages and provide its employees with quality documents in both official languages. That remedies the shortcomings that the organization had identified in translation quality. In addition, the Agency’s Official Languages Network promotes the use of both official languages in the workplace through various initiatives, such as lunch and learn sessions in the Montréal office to help employees maintain and improve their oral proficiency in English. This activity is also open to unilingual employees. Its organizer won the President’s National Award, the highest level of CFIA recognition, for her commitment to the activity since 2010. Another example of measures taken is the language exchange pilot project. Participants in these exchanges are immersed in an environment where they can improve their second-language skills, which helps them to then provide effective services and programs within and outside the Agency. Additionally, the CFIA informs managers and employees of their rights and obligations under the Act through the Agency’s intranet and by putting tent cards in meeting rooms to promote the use of both official languages.

The CFIA used the results of the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) to evaluate the impact of these measures. For the 2011 PSES, it analyzed the results of five questions related to language of work and developed an action plan to remedy the shortcomings identified. Through the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions, the Agency helped formulate additional official languages questions for the 2014 PSES.

The CFIA says it also uses internal indicators to evaluate the impact of these measures. They include the translation service usage rate and translation volume, and the number of complaints dealt with through the internal official languages complaints process.

The CFIA put in place several measures to create an environment conducive to the use of both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. It also used tools to systematically evaluate the impact of those measures. The Office of the Commissioner invites the CFIA to continue its efforts to maintain its level of excellence, and encourages other federal institutions to emulate its best practices.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) D

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the CFIA’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 6.7% of the CFIA’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 23% of the CFIA’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 4.4% of the CFIA’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The CFIA used data from March 31, 2013, on the representation of English and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce. It did a gap analysis of the representation and is working on a strategy to close the gaps in the different regions. For example, in Quebec, it is implementing a strategic plan to attract qualified applicants from the province’s Anglophone universities and colleges.

Data obtained from the Treasury Board Secretariat indicate significant gaps between the participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in the workforces of CFIA offices and their representation in the population of various regions of the country. This is especially true for English-speaking Quebecers. The CFIA is aware of this shortcoming and is working on implementing a strategy to remedy it.

The Office of the Commissioner is looking forward to seeing the results of the CFIA’s efforts to improve the participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) E

The CFIA has a detailed list of the associations representing OLMCs across the country and has prepared a diagram matching its regional offices with the corresponding associations. That allows the CFIA to clearly identify OLMCs that could be of interest in terms of its mandate and obligations for developing OLMCs. However, although the CFIA keeps abreast of meetings between federal institutions and OLMCs (using a six-month planning calendar of meetings with OLMCs), and it sends representatives to those meetings, the Agency does not conduct direct, systematic consultations with OLMCs to ascertain their needs. Such consultations are essential to taking positive measures to respond to the needs of OLMCs.

With respect to positive measures taken as part of its mandate to respond to the needs of OLMCs and promote their development, the CFIA considers that, given the nature of its services and mandate, it does not need to take measures to respond directly to OLMCs’ needs. The Office of the Commissioner does not agree with this view: through its programs and services, the CFIA does indeed maintain close ties with OLMCs, which gives the Agency opportunities to ascertain those communities’ needs and respond to them. An example of a close tie is the CFIA’s work during the emerald ash borer epidemic, which affected the agricultural OLMC of Pain Court, in the municipality of Chatham-Kent in Ontario. Having realized that it was struggling in this OLMC to carry out its work to fight the epidemic, the institution hired a community member to help communicate its response strategy to the rest of the community. That was a first step. If the CFIA generalizes this type of practice, it will be more able to define the needs of OLMCs and take positive measures.

The CFIA is developing a questionnaire on Part VII of the Act using the model created by Canadian Heritage, titled Report on the Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act. The Agency will use the questionnaire in a survey of its regional offices, in order to identify and examine all the activities that could mobilize OLMCs. However, until that survey is conducted, it will be difficult to measure the impact of possible positive measures, since the Agency has no formal tools or mechanisms to do so.

The CFIA promotes linguistic duality. It informs managers and employees about the activities organized in the federal public service for Linguistic Duality Day and encourages them to participate. For example, in 2013, it notified employees about the Commissioner’s dictation and explained how to participate. To celebrate Linguistic Duality Day this year, the Agency organized a contest inviting all employees to tell a funny story that happened when they used their second language, and a winner was chosen in each region. However, to fully promote linguistic duality in Canadian society, the Agency must also take measures that have an impact outside the organization. This is not currently the case.

Thus, although the CFIA has identified OLMCs and has promoted linguistic duality within the Agency, the Office of the Commissioner believes that the institution is just getting started and a lot of work remains to be done to fulfill its obligations under Part VII of the Act. The CFIA must work harder to systematically consult OLMCs to identify their needs and then take measures within its mandate to contribute to OLMCs’ development and to promote linguistic duality in the public sphere. The Office of the Commissioner suggests that the CFIA take advantage of its process of creating an internal questionnaire on Part VII of the Act to design formal tools and mechanisms to measure the impact of its measures on the development of OLMC and the promotion of linguistic duality. The CFIA says it is drawing up an action plan son Part VII, which will identify the proactive measures it can take for the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality. The Office of the Commissioner invites the Agency to take into account the shortcomings that have been identified when drawing up the plan.

Conclusion

Overall, the evaluation of the CFIA’s compliance with the various parts of the Act reveals a definite commitment and a deliberate effort to fulfill its obligations. The CFIA got a good rating in three of the five sections evaluated: Official Languages Program Management, Bilingual Service to the Public and Language of Work. Among other things, it created an official languages network composed of managers and employees who play an important role in promoting official languages within the organization. It has also taken measures to remedy shortcomings, including those identified in previous report cards. However, the CFIA must continue its efforts to remedy the shortcomings identified in relation to Parts VI and VII of the Act. With respect to Part VI, the CFIA must make a concerted effort to ensure that the participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce reflects the presence of the two official language communities in Canada. As regards Part VII, the CFIA must not underestimate its ability to contribute, within its mandate, to the development of OLMCs and must consider measures it can take and how to implement them. It must also take measures to promote linguistic duality outside the organization.

Overall Rating C
Canadian Heritage
2014–2016 Report Card
Canadian Heritage
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for Canadian Heritage’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

Canadian Heritage’s mandate is to support the arts, cultural industries, heritage, attachment to Canada, engagement and community participation, official languages, and sport in Canadian society. The Minister of Canadian Heritage has responsibilities for coordinating and implementing Part VII of the Official Languages Act within the federal government as a whole under sections 42 to 45 of the Act, and the Department plays a horizontal coordination role for the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities.This report card looks at Canadian Heritage’s performance, as a Department, for Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. However, there are overlaps between these two responsibilities, as this report card shows.

At Canadian Heritage, the Human Resources and Workplace Management Branch (HRWMB) is responsible for coordinating the implementation of Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, and the Official Languages Branch is responsible for Part VII. Sport Canada, a branch that is an integral component of the Department, has its own official languages team.

Canadian Heritage said that it complies with Treasury Board’s official languages policy and directives. However, at the time of data collection, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages noted some limitations. For example, the Department did not have a formal official languages policy, but it did have governance documents that explained its obligations; however, these did not fully cover all parts of the Act. It also had internal language-of-work guidelines, but they had not been updated since the new Treasury Board policy instruments had come into effect in 2012. The Department was, however, in the process of updating them at the time of data collection. In addition, Canadian Heritage did not have any governance instruments or policies that cover Part VII (section 41) of the Act. In terms of best practices, it had integrated official languages into its values and ethics code. Sport Canada developed its own official languages strategic directions for 2013–2016.

Canadian Heritage has a 2013-2016 Action Plan of the Official Languages Champion and Co-Champion that covers different parts of the Act. It was developed in consultation with senior management governance committees and approved by the Executive Committee in the fall of 2013. The Action Plan contains clear commitments with key milestones for the Champion, who is the Director General of Official Languages, and the Co-Champion, who was the Senior Director of Strategic Policy, Planning and Research at the time of data collection. The Action Plan responds to the results of the previous report card, which was issued in 2010–2011, as well as the recommendations made by the Commissioner of Official Languages during investigations into issues such as language clauses in contribution agreements. As part of the Action Plan, the Champion and Co-Champion carried out an internal tour in 2014–2015 to raise awareness among their senior colleagues. The Champion and Co-Champion also promote official languages among employees. The Champion has given several presentations on various official languages issues during interdepartmental working group meetings. The data collected showed that those responsible for official languages helped to implement and update the Action Plan. However, Canadian Heritage should include a formal mechanism for updating and revising its action plans and should incorporate into these plans all of the Department’s official languages responsibilities and commitments that were discussed during the data collection.

Canadian Heritage has an official languages committee for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act that was created in 2012—when the Treasury Board’s new official languages policy instruments came into effect—in response to findings that HRWMB’s official languages responsibilities were fragmented. The committee meets a few times per year, sometimes informally. The Department identified a need to establish a network of contacts in the regional offices for language of work and service to the public. Canadian Heritage has a coordinator who is responsible for the implementation of section 41 (Part VII) and who works with HRWMB’s official languages unit and the Champion and Co-Champion to implement all parts of the Act. These responsibilities are set out in the Action Plan.

Canadian Heritage has tools and procedures to take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. The contribution agreements with Canadian civil society organizations and other levels of government are one of the key mechanisms through which Canadian Heritage ensures service delivery. The Department has a guide on transfer payments that outlines factors to consider when formulating clauses that establish recipients’ contractual obligations in terms of official languages. The guide was being revised at the time of data collection, but the previous version from 2010 was still in effect. The preliminary version of the new guide was the subject of in-depth discussion among various governance committees. The Department’s policy and programs governance committee created a template so that departmental groups submitting plans to adopt or change programs or policies can analyze their upstream impact on official languages, as needed. With regard to taking official languages into account in memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions, Canadian Heritage stated that the person responsible for official languages at HRWMB, the section 41 coordinator and, if necessary, the Sport Canada official languages team work together to provide support to the programs. Canadian Heritage also ensured that the mandatory training provided to new program officers includes information on language clauses in the contribution agreements for transfer payments. At the time of data collection, the Department was working to better integrate questions regarding the impact on official languages into the grants and contributions management software.

Since the previous report card, which was issued in 2010–2011, Canadian Heritage’s cooperation with the Office of the Commissioner in the resolution of complaints has been generally good and often complete and proactive.

Canadian Heritage performed well in terms of official languages program management. The Department acknowledged the shortcomings identified in the previous report card and in the investigations into complaints against it and succeeded in strengthening its official languages program management. It conveyed a positive message regarding the importance of official languages by incorporating them into its values and ethics code. The Champion and Co-Champion have a plan that includes specific commitments, and the Department benefits from the work of other key individuals responsible for official languages, as shown by the way they work together so effectively on all parts of the Act. At the time of data collection, Canadian Heritage had not yet completed its work with regard to official languages program management. It was still in the process of updating its language-of-work guidelines, developing its integrated departmental official languages strategy and designing new tools to strengthen the language clauses in contribution agreements for payment to funding recipients. This bodes well for other short-term improvements. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes Canadian Heritage’s efforts to improve the way in which it considers the impact of all of its programs on official languages, right from their conception, and encourages the Department to continue the process of ongoing improvement.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between May and July 2015, indicate that a visual active offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 67% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate that an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 77% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 95% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service, between May and July 2015, resulted in a response rate of 85% for e-mails sent in English and 80% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 22.5 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 52%.Footnote 1

In 2012, Canadian Heritage evaluated the need to adapt its services to the public, in accordance with the principle of substantive equality, by taking into account the nature and purpose of the services in light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2009 decision in the DesRochers case. The Department examined its various programs, with the exception of internal services. The Program and Policy Committee looked at the need to repeat the evaluation exercise in 2015 and found that it was not necessary, but it did emphasize the importance of staff training on the nature of this obligation and its practical consequences.

Canadian Heritage received excellent results in terms of visual active offer and the availability of service in person, on the telephone and by e-mail. The results for active offer in person, active offer on the telephone and the comparable timeframes between e-mail responses in English and those in French merit increased attention by the Department in order to ensure service of equal quality in both official languages at all times. With regard to the need to adapt its services in accordance with the principle of substantive equality, the Department has demonstrated that it proceeded with an evaluation and has considered the need for a re-evaluation.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Canadian Heritage takes measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. As stated earlier, the Department has language-of-work guidelines, which were being updated at the time of data collection. Canadian Heritage also published a guide for managers on key language-of-work obligations. In addition, employees have access to Departmental guides for writing in English and French, and language-of-work promotional tools are available on the Department’s intranet.

In terms of second official language learning, the Department has implemented the Language Buddy Program, in which a learner is informally partnered with another participant to improve the learner's second official language. In addition, at the time of data collection, the Department was launching coffee chat sessions, a new informal meeting initiative. Canadian Heritage has a resource person to coordinate language training and promote the standardized selection process for language course suppliers implemented by Public Works and Government Services Canada. The Department also introduced a strategic fund that provides supplemental funding to sections and regions that do not have the funds to meet all the language training needs of their employees.

The Department requires a CBC linguistic profile for all supervisory positions, not only to improve service to the public and ensure succession among management groups (where this level is mandatory), but also to guarantee supervision in the official language of the employee’s choice.

Some sectors or regions have implemented specific initiatives. For example, the Atlantic region issued a directive on language training to ensure a fair and impartial process. Sport Canada also has an official languages section on its intranet.

Canadian Heritage has implemented many methods to evaluate the impact of measures taken with respect to language of work. It reported that it obtained very good results for the official languages indicators that are part of the Management Accountability Framework, which contains five indicators related to official languages program management and language of work, some of which are based on a self-assessment. The Department also conducts an annual risk evaluation exercise for the various official languages components in terms of people management, an exercise that leads to recommendations on the degree of supervision required for official languages activities. Official languages activities were not deemed to be high-risk in terms of supervision. The Department also demonstrated that it had reviewed the aggregate results of the 2011 and 2014 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) by language group and by bilingual- or unilingual-designated region. It recognized the need to make some improvements in terms of employees’ writing in the official language of their choice. However, in order to ensure ongoing improvement, Canadian Heritage would do well to use the PSES results when establishing its strategic and operational directions for language of work throughout the Department: for example, through an action plan.

Canadian Heritage has made considerable efforts to promote a bilingual work environment and has put measures in place to assess the impact of its efforts with respect to language of work. The tools made available to its staff and the informal activities it organizes contribute to this environment. In addition, the Department addressed potential budget constraints by implementing a centralized contingency fund for ensuring access to language training. However, the Department would benefit from uniformly applying its efforts in other sectors and regions: for example, by issuing a directive on language training like the one in the Atlantic region. In terms of assessing the impact of measures taken, the risk evaluation exercise and the PSES results analysis are good practices. The Department should fine-tune its analysis of the PSES results by examining the detailed results of each question for each official language group, taking demographics into account. It should also take targeted measures to address any shortcomings that are not apparent in the aggregate results. If it decides to assess employee satisfaction, as it did in 2013, Canadian Heritage should include questions on official languages so that it can gauge staff perceptions and take appropriate measures.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating Canadian Heritage’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 36.6% Canadian Heritage’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 66.7% of Canadian Heritage’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 20.8% of Canadian Heritage’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

Taking positive measures to advance English and French is at the heart of Canadian Heritage’s mandate. The Department uses various methods to support the development and vitality of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and promote linguistic duality in its different programs. It has programs dedicated to OLMCs and linguistic duality, specifically, its Official Languages Support Programs (OLSPs).

Canadian Heritage targets the needs of OLMCs systematically in many ways. Through the OLSPs, the Department has in-depth knowledge of OLMCs and their needs. It supports close to 500 not‑for‑profit organizations, which represent English-speaking and French-speaking OLMCs at the regional, provincial and national level. In addition, the Department conducts research to establish the socio-demographic profile of OLMCs throughout the country and to identify the determinants affecting their vitality. Canadian Heritage established a frame of reference on this vitality  in order to gain a better understanding of the issues OLMCs face. Different departmental programs also have mechanisms to identify OLMCs, such as through funding application forms or program criteria that take into account the specific realities of these communities. The Department has put mechanisms in place for consulting with OLMCs and identifying their needs and has developed reflexes for this purpose on the regional and national level. For example, as part of the implementation of OLSPs, Canadian Heritage has incorporated consultation and needs identification processes that OLMCs participate in. The regional offices contribute to the consultation with OLMCs and the identification of their needs, including through roundtable discussions. The Department also hosts working groups that bring together representatives from Canadian Heritage programs, various portfolio member federal institutions and OLMC organizations, in arts and culture, for example. Canadian Heritage has a network of regional sectoral coordinators for Part VII and is active within the official languages committees of regional federal councils.

Canadian Heritage has taken many positive measures to promote the development of OLMCs across the country. For example, the Department has supported minority-language elementary and high school instruction for many years, mainly through agreements negotiated with each province and territory under a multilateral protocol on official languages in education that was established with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). It also supports OLMC organizations that work in fields such as arts and culture, heritage and media. The Department coordinates the implementation of the Collaboration Agreement for the Development of Arts and Culture in the Francophone Minority Communities of Canada 2013–2018, in which many federal institutions participate. With the Music Showcase Program, the Department helps to spread the cultural influence of OLMC artists. In 2013, in response to the Commissioner’s recommendations during an investigation, the Department strengthened how the Canada Media Fund (CMF) supports English-language television and digital content produced in Quebec and increased the CMF’s requirements in terms of support provided to English and French OLMCs. Sport Canada contributes to the development of OLMCs by creating partnerships between organizing committees of large-scale sporting events and organizations representing OLMCs.

Canadian Heritage uses various methods to evaluate the impact of its positive measures. Using its OLMC consultation reflexes, mechanisms and needs identification, the Department maintains a dialogue that elicits informal feedback from OLMCs on the impact of measures taken to promote their development and takes the feedback into account to adjust the measures, as needed. More formally, the five-year program evaluations conducted by the Department include some evaluation criteria related to the impact on the development and vitality of OLMCs and can include the consultation with representatives from OLMCs. In 2012–2013, Canadian Heritage conducted a summative evaluation of the implementation of the OLSPs and, in 2013, a summative evaluation of the 2008–2013 Roadmapinitiatives.Although the Department did not demonstrate that it systematically evaluated the measures taken for all its programs, it nevertheless launched a pilot project on monitoring compliance with language clauses for all grant and contribution programs.

Canadian Heritage has taken many measures to promote linguistic duality in Canadian society. The OLSP component called Enhancement of Official Languages financially supports second-language instruction in elementary and high schools, chiefly through agreements negotiated with each province and territory under the CMEC multilateral protocol on official languages in education. This component also fosters second official language learning initiatives and official languages promotional initiatives in civil society. For example, Canadian Heritage released a guide entitled Making Your Organization Bilingual, which provides advice and examples to allow civil society organizations to progress toward services and communications in English and French. In terms of support for Canada’s governance organizations for high-performance sport, Sport Canada included official languages obligations in its Sport Funding and Accountability Framework. The Department also included criteria and contractual obligations related to the promotion of both official languages in the support framework that it provides for celebrations and commemorations leading up to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. In French-speaking Canada, Canadian Heritage financially supports TV5 Québec-Canada, which produces and broadcasts digital and television content that reflects OLMCs and promotes French-language learning.

In addition, Canadian Heritage celebrates Linguistic Duality Day with activities for its staff. The Deputy Minister presents the Official Languages Award annually to an employee who has contributed to achieving the organization’s official languages objectives, particularly through the promotion of linguistic duality.

With regard to mechanisms to evaluate the impact of positive measures to promote the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society, the Office of the Commissioner noted the five-year program evaluations—which can include criteria related to fostering the use of English and French—and the evaluations of the implementation of OLSPs and the 2008–2013 Roadmap initiatives, as mentioned above. Various programs have mechanisms through which funding recipients report on their compliance with key indicators related to the advancement of English and French in their activities. Sport Canada has evaluation mechanisms for communication activities in both official languages for the organizations that receive its funding.

Through numerous initiatives, Canadian Heritage promotes the development of OLMCs and promotes linguistic duality. The Department has developed OLMC consultation reflexes and mechanisms, and identified their needs, which ensures better understanding of their issues. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes its efforts to better integrate support for OLMCs and linguistic duality into its various programs and to ensure a more standardized evaluation of impact among its programs, and it encourages the Department to continue in this regard so that all programs have formal and systematic mechanisms to evaluate the impact of measures taken.

Conclusion

The Office of the Commissioner’s assessment found that Canadian Heritage performed well in terms of official languages. The Department has improved its tools and procedures in order to take official languages into account in its decisions affecting program structure. At the time of data collection, it was conducting an in-depth study of further improvements. The Champion and Co‑Champion are active and provide internal reporting through their action plan. The Department has also incorporated official languages into its values and ethics code. With regard to service to the public, Canadian Heritage’s results were excellent for visual active offer and for availability of service in person and on the telephone. With regard to language of work, the Department ensured that its staff had access to useful tools and resources to foster the effective use of both official languages in the workplace, and it put measures in place to assess the impact of its actions. Canadian Heritage has been exemplary in meeting its obligations to take positive measures to advance English and French and has made significant efforts to determine the needs of communities and to assess the impact of its efforts. The fact that there is a key person responsible for implementing section 41 of the Act throughout the organization means that there is a consistent approach for all departmental programs, which all have obligations.

The Office of the Commissioner noted that areas for improvement include adopting updated guidelines and an action plan that contains a mechanism for revision. The work that was in progress at the Department at the time of data collection bodes well for advances in other aspects of official languages program management. The Office of the Commissioner also noted the need to put measures in place to improve the active offer in person and on the telephone, and to improve comparative response times for English and French e-mails. With regard to language of work, the Department would benefit from uniformly applying its efforts in other sectors and regions and from proactively addressing any shortcomings raised in employee satisfaction evaluations. With regard to the advancement of English and French, Canadian Heritage is encouraged to pursue its efforts—already well under way—in ensuring a more consistent approach to taking positive measures and assessing the impact of those measures for all of its programs. If Canadian Heritage continues the work it has been doing over the past several years to correct shortcomings in various areas, it will achieve excellence in the years to come.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
2014–2016 Report Card
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

Data for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes made after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

CIHR is governed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Act. It consists of three business portfolios, each headed by a vice-president and 13 virtual institutes, each headed by a scientific director. As the Government of Canada organization responsible for investing in health research, CIHR has a mission to create and apply new knowledge in order to improve the health of the Canadian population, offer better health products and services, and strengthen Canada’s health system.

For the past few years, CIHR has been reorganizing. In addition to a program and policy reorganization, in particular through the development of a new series of open programs and a new peer evaluation system, CIHR underwent a significant realignment of human resources in 2015, and half its workforce found themselves with new roles and responsibilities. CIHR carried out an internal review for a better systematization and integration of its programs, and is therefore in a period of adaptation to its new responsibilities, including those related to official languages.

CIHR has an official languages policy and action plan, both of which have been approved and cover Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act.These two documents are reviewed regularly and, when necessary, and are approved by the Executive Management Committee. In addition to setting out roles and responsibilities, the action plan includes a summary implementation schedule, which distributes the activities planned over the three years of the plan rather than according to specific deadlines. In addition, the action plan leaves it up to the designated individuals to decide how to implement the objectives and activities for which they are responsible, based on the reasoning that they are the best placed to know which actions to take. The institution is currently developing a work plan that is harmonized with the action plan. That, it hopes, will better orient the people responsible to what they have to accomplish as part of their official languages responsibilities.

Official languages are on the agenda at meetings of the Executive Management Committee and the Extended Executive Management Committee, meetings of the Science Council and meetings of executive vice-presidents, depending on the needs to be considered, the information to be disseminated and the decisions to be made. In this regard, an official languages committee was created as a component of the Extended Management Executive Committee. It consists of seven executive members, who meet every two months, or more often if needed, and is governed by detailed terms of reference. At the Science Council, which establishes strategic directions and supervises scientific and financial decision-making, the institution has also appointed an official languages champion, the Chief Scientific Officer, Vice-President, Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics, as well as two co-champions, both scientific directors. In addition, the institution has two other champions at the director level, both of whom are members of the Extended Executive Management Committee and co-chairs of the Official Languages Committee. While it did not clearly demonstrate how it assesses the impact of its decisions, the institution has described, in its plan covering the 2015–2016 to 2017–2018 fiscal years, the activities intended to equip it with tools and procedures to take into account official languages more systematically when changing policies and programs. In this regard, CIHR created, in August 2015, a new science council subcommittee that will ensure that all its new programs and funding processes have an official languages component, in line with the CIHR official languages policy and action plan. To do this, according to the institution, this subcommittee will certainly be called on to work with the Official Languages Committee.

The institution cooperates fully with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages during investigations.

A good part of CIHR activities are under way and, given that it is in a period of adjustment, the Office of the Commissioner recognizes its efforts to incorporate official languages in its decision-making and its governance. Nevertheless, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to conduct regular monitoring of its activities to make sure it does not lose sight of its official languages obligations. Lastly, since an inadequate framework and absence of specific guidelines can hinder the effective implementation of the activities set out in the action plan, the Office of the Commissioner encourages CIHR to further specify in this plan the activities that have to be carried out by those responsible for official languages, make them concrete and establish more specific deadlines that allow for formal and regular follow-up.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

The Office of the Commissioner was not able to conduct in-person observations for CIHR because the institution does not have a point of service accessible to the public. CIHR was therefore not evaluated on this criterion.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 90% for e-mails sent in English and 95% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 0.2 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 8%.Footnote 1

After the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the DesRochers case,CIHR evaluated the need to provide services to the public adapted to the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and concluded that it does not need to do so. Nevertheless, the institution says that it recognizes the specific needs of certain OLMCs, particularly in the process of granting funding for research, and that it is open to working with OLMC institutions and researchers in particular so that they can be better equipped for these processes.

The observation results for CIHR’s service to the public by telephone and e-mail were outstanding, and the Office of the Commissioner recognizes the institution’s excellent results. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to maintain its efforts to fulfill its language obligations in communications with and services to the public in order to maintain its results in this area.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, CIHR takes measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

In addition to software indicating employees’ language preferences, their language test results and their respective statuses when they are in language training, the CIHR intranet contains a section on official languages. This presents general information and provides links not only to external sites that contain more information or training, but also to internal resources, such as conversation sessions in the other official language for skills maintenance.

The institution indicated that all internal communications intended for all employees are in both official languages. For example, the institution distributes a newsletter that occasionally contains articles related to official languages. CIHR also broadcasts similar information on screens installed in common areas. According to the institution, this makes it possible to communicate much more quickly and reach employees more easily and more often. The institution also said that posters promoting bilingual meetings are posted in the meeting rooms and that those chairing meetings invite employees to participate in both official languages.

The work tools available in the official language of the employee’s choice include software in both official languages, glossaries of frequently used words and expressions, writing tools and internal translation services. In addition, internal and external language training is provided to ensure that employees meet the language requirements of their position in a timely manner, especially for non-imperative staffing.

In terms of supervision, CIHR maintains that only employees holding a bilingual position can be supervised in the official language of their choice. It also maintains that employees holding unilingual positions must be supervised in the language of the position, unless the supervisor holds a designated bilingual position, in which case the employee may choose the language of supervision. In these cases, employees can inform the supervisor of the official language in which they would like to be supervised and assessed. If difficulties arise, particularly during performance evaluations, CIHR says that procedures are in place so that other managers or even, in certain cases, directors or human resources representatives, can be asked to participate in the performance evaluation process and thereby help the people involved in the official language of their choice.

In terms of evaluating the impacts of language-of-work measures, the institution informed the Office of the Commissioner that it was in a period of reorganization and restructuring due to changes in the roles and responsibilities of more than half of its staff in 2015. The institution did not clearly demonstrate that all the measures taken are evaluated systematically, although it has nevertheless evaluated the impact of some of them. In its efforts to include official languages in a systematic process integrated throughout the organization, the institution has developed two evaluation tools: the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) action plan and the Human Resources Management Strategy.

The PSES action plan, in addition to presenting and analyzing the results of the survey, sets out a specific action plan for the issues that are raised. This action plan includes specific activities to increase employee satisfaction and, for each activity, timeframes, the person responsible and a section indicating the progress that has been made. However, the institution only conducts an analysis of the overall PSES results, taking into account employee satisfaction data by first official language spoken.

The CIHR 2014–2018 Human Resources Management Strategy, harmonized with the PSES analysis action plan, emphasizes the responsibilities of people for carrying out activities. It makes it possible to monitor, follow up and track trends in order to improve activities put forward by the institution to attain an established priority. One aspect of the strategy, aiming to maximize official languages capacity, was included to respond to the need to recruit and retain the best candidates. To maximize this official languages capacity, the official languages policy instruments and practices are being reviewed and updated, second language acquisition and maintenance guidelines are being developed and the language requirements of positions are being reviewed and updated. Note that managers are directly evaluated based on this strategy and its components.

In summary, CIHR takes a number of measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes and to assess the impact of these measures. The fact remains that CIHR should pay careful attention to ensure that employees can be supervised in the official language of their choice by their own supervisor at all times and that formal and systematic measures are in place to ensure that employees can exercise this right. In addition, the institution should pursue an analysis of the detailed PSES results, taking into account the first official language spoken, to be able to better identify any gaps related to various aspects of language of work. Lastly, the Office of the Commissioner believes that it would be useful for CIHR to add official languages questions to its exit questionnaire. This tool is automatically part of an employee’s departure process, is well established in the institution and already includes a procedure for analyzing the results obtained, identifying trends and implementing corrective measures. CIHR would benefit from using the exit questionnaire to collect data on employee satisfaction with language of work. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes CIHR’s good performance in terms of language of work and encourages the institution to assess the impact of its measures more systematically.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating CIHR’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 38.6% of CIHR’s workforce is Francophone.

The representation of French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec and English-speaking Canadians in Quebec were not evaluated, because CIHR only has offices in the NCR.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

CIHR has good representation of French-speaking Canadians in the NCR. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to monitor its current procedures and operations to ensure that this representation remains outstanding.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

CIHR has identified OLMCs, their institutions, their researchers and their organizations according to its own definitions. The Office of the Commissioner noted that these definitions sometimes resulted in the inclusion of institutions belonging to the linguistic majority. For example, English-language universities outside Quebec could be identified as research organizations serving the Francophone community outside Quebec—or vice versa—without CIHR’s having clearly shown how the organization’s activities for which it provides funding enhance the OLMCs’ vitality and support their development.

CIHR demonstrated that OLMCs are consulted indirectly. In this regard, consultation is limited to the participation of certain CIHR employees in the annual events of some community associations or meetings of the Network of Official Languages Champions. In addition, the institution also stated that its 13 institutes established across Canada, and the scientific directors that head them, are CIHR ambassadors in the OLMCs and, as they are directly on the front lines and part of specific organizations, they constitute a communication network that connects OLMCs and CIHR.

The Office of the Commissioner noted the CIHR’s vague interpretation of the notion of positive measures to enhance OLMCs’ vitality and support their development. According to the institution, any initiative or research, undertaken in the course of its mandate, that seeks to improve Canada’s health system or the health of its citizens—and thus of any community in which they live—is considered to be an initiative or research project that benefits OLMCs.

Despite this interpretation, CIHR has shown that it has taken positive measures. Its Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) is an example of how the CIHR has taken positive measures to support OLMCs. SPOR is a national coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners whose objective is to foster evidence-informed health care and to improve accountability as well as the quality and accessibility of care. SPOR’s research networks, support units and various patient groups take official languages—including the needs of OLMCs—into account in many of its interventions. Because SPOR is a long-term initiative, CIHR plans to continue its efforts to promote the importance of OLMCs and official languages to all those participating in SPOR as it develops.

In its efforts to systematically take official languages into account and include them in its activities, CIHR ensures that the new strategic plans of institutes with an appropriate mandate include official languages and OLMC considerations. One OLMC development initiative is the commitment of CIHR’s 13 scientific institutes to participate in the development of SPOR in their respective communities. At the time of this evaluation, two institutes had made a concrete commitment in their most recent strategic plans (one has been approved and the other is in the process of being approved by the Science Council) to encourage the consideration and inclusion of official languages issues and English- and French-speaking Canadians when developing and conducting health research and when improving population health outcomes. More broadly, a third institute has also included in one of the priorities in its strategic plan (also being approved by the Science Council) a mention of the particular situation of and greater risks involving French-speaking communities compared with English-speaking communities. The priority in question seeks to reduce disparity in the risk factors of vulnerable populations and their access to prevention services.

In addition, the new CIHR subcommittee, which will ensure that all new programs and funding processes comply with the institution’s official languages action plan and policy, could be called upon to work with the Official Languages Committee. CIHR plans for this subcommittee to be the anchor point of an eventual funding application reform. CIHR also intends to develop tools to raise awareness among researchers so that they take official languages and OLMCs into due consideration when designing their research projects.

In terms of promoting linguistic duality internally, the institution mentioned that the Champion and other people responsible for official languages participate in meetings of the Network of Official Languages Champions or the Official Language Best Practices Forum to share, discuss and be inspired by measures and practices related to promoting linguistic duality in federal institutions. In addition, in order to make its employees aware of Canada’s linguistic duality, CIHR demonstrated that it disseminated, by newsletters or the screens that recently replaced them, news and articles on a variety of subjects related to official languages, such as the Canadian Francophonie, Canada’s OLMCs and the country’s English-language and French-language literature. CIHR also says that it promotes events related to official languages, such as Linguistic Duality Day.

In terms of external promotion, governed since 2008 by its policy on open access to publications, CIHR is one of the partners funding PubMed Central Canada. This organization provides no-charge access to a permanent repository of full-text peer-reviewed health and life sciences articles in English, French or both official languages. CIHR invested in PubMed Central Canada over the past seven years to ensure that the interface and many functions of the tools, such as search functions, are available in both official languages, allowing the institution to disseminate the research it funds. CIHR also provided one-time funding for the organization of the annual conference of the Association francophone pour le savoir, an organization that contributes to the advancement of science in Quebec and French-speaking Canada. This conference is the most important multidisciplinary, interuniversity and intersectoral scientific event in the Francophone community and represents a unique and recognized opportunity to share research results and hold debates and discussions. CIHR is therefore contributing to the development of research in French in the country.

While CIHR demonstrated that it evaluated the impact of measures put forward for OLMC development, this evaluation was largely informal or still in progress when this report card exercise was being conducted. In terms of evaluation of measures taken to promote linguistic duality in Canadian society, CIHR did not clearly demonstrate how it evaluates the impact of its activities.

In summary, the institution has identified certain OLMCs and taken measures to enhance their development. Despite this, direct consultations with OLMCs to determine their specific needs and evaluate the impact of its positive measures, two elements closely related to each other, remain CIHR’s weaknesses in terms of Part VII. Since the Official Language Minority Communities Initiative was cancelled in 2011, CIHR has not implemented other similar targeted measures. Instead, the institution relies on the scope of other existing programs that it considers have the potential to reach OLMCs more significantly and more broadly than a program intended specifically for OLMCs. CIHR is therefore encouraged to make further efforts to reach the identified OLMCs and consult them systematically and directly, whether through its scientific directors or another manner involving regular communication with OLMC representatives. As well, in terms of promotion of linguistic duality internally and externally, CIHR is encouraged to examine how it could better target its measures and make them more effective in the context of its mandate. In addition, both for OLMC development and for the promotion of both official languages in Canadian society, the evaluation of the impact of positive measures still needs to be developed.

Conclusion

In general, CIHR has a good structure that enables it to include official languages in the institution’s planning. With its official languages committee, consisting of executives, and an official languages policy and action plan covering all the evaluated parts of the Act, CIHR is encouraged to continue its efforts to implement activities with more specific deadlines and systematize its follow-up measures to make them formal and regular.

In terms of communications with and services to the public, as well as the participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce, CIHR’s performance is exemplary. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages the institution to maintain the progress made to date. For language of work, while CIHR’s performance is good, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to continue its efforts to systematically evaluate all the measures put in place. In terms of OLMC development and the promotion of linguistic duality in Canadian society, the institution, while it has identified OLMCs, showed it had difficulty consulting OLMCs and evaluating the impact of its positive measures. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages CIHR to develop methods to clarify with whom it needs to work in OLMCs, and to make more of an effort to reach these communities and systematically consult them. This would enable CIHR to better identify their needs, reflect them in its initiatives and regularly evaluate these initiatives with formal follow-up mechanisms.

In summary, CIHR has tools with the potential to create a solid basis for taking official languages issues into account internally and externally in the context of its activities and mandate. Nevertheless, although the institution is currently working to systematize and integrate official languages into its practices and procedures, it remains essential for CIHR to implement organized and regular follow-up mechanisms to adequately and regularly evaluate the impact of its initiatives for all parts of the Act. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes CIHR’s good overall performance and encourages CIHR to continue its efforts to address the identified shortcomings.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table tnote 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

CBC/Radio-Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
CBC/Radio-Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for CBC/Radio-Canada’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The report card is a rigorous, high-level exercise. It comments on the general measures taken by a federal institution to meet its objectives under the Official Languages Act; it does not comment on compliance or non-compliance with obligations in specific cases, like an investigation does.

CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada’s national public broadcaster, is a Crown corporation whose mandate is to produce and broadcast programming that informs, enlightens and entertains Canadians across the country via radio, television, the Internet and satellite. CBC/Radio-Canada participated fully in this report card, in spite of a dispute that has been ongoing since 2006 and a legal challenge in Federal Court since 2010 regarding the application of the Act and the Commissioner of Official Language’s investigative jurisdiction related to what the broadcaster feels are programming activities. In September 2014, the Federal Court ruled that the Act applies to all CBC/Radio-Canada’s activities and recognized the concurrent jurisdiction of the Commissioner and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. This decision was legally binding when the report card data were collected. On November 12, 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the decision of September 2014 without ruling on the merits. The legal dispute was therefore still ongoing when this report card was drafted. As a result, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages will not comment on or assess the criteria at the heart of the dispute: CBC/Radio-Canada’s cooperation in investigations (in the section on official languages program management), services of equal quality to the public (in the section on service to the public – Part IV of the Act) and all of the criteria in the section on the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and the promotion of linguistic duality (Part VII).

CBC/Radio-Canada has an official languages policy dating from 2003 that covers Parts IV, V and VI of the Act.According to the Office of the Commissioner’s analysis, the policy is not up to date, especially the section on language of work. This section was slated to be reviewed at the time of data collection, but the institution stated that it wanted to wait for the outcome of the legal challenge first. However, the institution has a strategic official languages plan for 2013–2016, as well as an annual official languages strategic communications plan. Covering Parts IV, V and VI, these documents form a set that is equivalent to a comprehensive action plan for these parts of the Act and that clearly identifies time frames and the individuals responsible for taking action. Senior managers of the People and Culture Division have adopted the strategic plan and the communications plan. The Official Languages Co-Champion and the person responsible for official languages regularly follow up on the plans.

Official languages are not necessarily always on agendas of executive committee meetings, but the institution says that senior management receives a quarterly report on official languages that includes a briefing on current issues, such as the results of an internal survey on language of work conducted in 2014. The board of directors receives the annual report on official languages prepared by the institution for the central agencies.

The institution has a champion and co-champion, who each have objectives related to official languages in their performance agreements. The Champion, who is the Vice-President of People and Culture, is a member of the senior executive team. She demonstrates leadership in official languages for her fellow executives and raises awareness of official languages among employees. The Co-Champion, who is the Executive Director, of Planning, Human Resources Corporate and Total Rewards, plays an active operational and strategic role with regard to official languages, including implementing the strategic plan. The person responsible for official languages provides support for and reports to the Co-Champion.

CBC/Radio-Canada does not have an official languages committee, but the institution says that its official languages unit is close to senior management. As required, the unit strikes ad hoc committees of key people in the organization to discuss specific issues, such as during the creation of a new language testing framework in the fall of 2013. CBC/Radio-Canada also has an official languages accountability framework, which, in addition to the responsibilities of the People and Culture Division, identifies key official languages responsibilities for executives. One example is in relation to service to the public provided by third parties as part of real property management.

According to CBC/Radio-Canada, official languages are always taken into account when policies or programs are created, eliminated or changed, since the national public broadcaster is mandated to provide services to the two official language communities, both majority and minority, across Canada. Specifically, the institution maintains that the impact of official languages policies and programs is taken into account by means of an analytical grid, which is used to review human resources policy instruments regularly. The person responsible for official languages conducts follow-ups and organizes discussions on various issues as required. However, the institution did not provide concrete examples to support this statement. It also states that official languages policies and programs are taken into account in presentations on key topics given by persons responsible for official languages, including official languages responsibilities in procurement, and provided supporting evidence. The institution did not, however, provide systematic procedures or tools that demonstrate that legislative obligations are taken into account for all activities.

Because of the legal dispute between the Commissioner and CBC/Radio-Canada, which was still ongoing when this report card was drafted, the institution was not assessed on the criterion of cooperation with the Office of the Commissioner’s investigations.

The Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation shows many aspects of the foundations of official languages program management are solid, owing to the various plans and the accountability framework that have been implemented. The institution has proactive individuals who are responsible for official languages. The data collected show that the current structure works well, but it largely depends on the drive of the person responsible for official languages and the Co-Champion. This means that some difficulties with the management of its official languages program could arise when there is employee turnover. In addition, its official languages policy is not up to date. The institution also did not provide evidence of systematic procedures or tools that take the obligations under the Act into account before important decisions are made.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

As is the case for other report cards as part of this exercise, CBC/Radio-Canada’s report card only focuses on certain specific aspects of Part IV of the Act; it is not an exhaustive assessment of this part, which deals with communications with and service to the public. With the help of anonymous observations, the report card assesses the availability of the institution’s services in person to the general public at its points of service (without an appointment), on the telephone and by e‑mail, based on a list provided by the institution.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service provided by CBC/Radio-Canada administrative services, between May and July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 72% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 27% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 85% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone provided by CBC/Radio-Canada administrative services, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service provided by CBC/Radio-Canada administrative services between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 60% for e-mails sent in English and 55% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in English took, on average, 24.7 hours longer than those in French. This represents a difference of 52%.Footnote 1

Anonymous observations of service provided to the public by CBC/Radio-Canada administrative services revealed excellent availability of service on the telephone and good availability of service in the minority official language. The observations of visual active offer and the time taken to answer e-mails in English and in French showed medium to very poor results, indicating that there is a lot of room for improvement.

When preparing report cards, the Office of the Commissioner also examines how the institution has assessed the need to ensure services to the public are of equal quality in both official languages, taking into account the nature and purpose of the services in light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the DesRochers case in 2009. As was explained in the introduction to this report card, this criterion was not assessed because of the ongoing legal dispute.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

CBC/Radio-Canada is taking a number of steps to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. Language-of-work obligations are part of the institution’s annual official languages strategic communications plan. CBC/Radio-Canada has an official languages intranet page for employees that includes tools and relevant information. The institution’s official languages information system provides information on the first official language, the official language of communication and the second language proficiency of employees. According to the institution, training is provided to employees in the official language of their choice, regardless of the unit they work for. In designated bilingual regions, the institution has put brochures promoting bilingual meetings in conference rooms.

For bilingual positions, CBC/Radio-Canada has implemented a new standardized language testing initiative. In 2013, the institution piloted a project in Ottawa, where there are many bilingual positions, and where the office has adopted an internal bilingualism policy with respect to language of work. In the past, CBC/Radio-Canada did not have standardized language testing. Instead, it relied on a general skills test that addressed official languages, a shortcoming raised by an internal audit of services to the public in 2010. The implementation of standardized testing has had a positive impact on services provided to employees.

To complement this, CBC/Radio-Canada offers a centralized fund, if necessary, for language training for employees whose positions are identified as bilingual, while language training for development purposes is the responsibility of managers. In this context, the institution has prepared a guide on official languages and staffing for hiring managers.

The institution has an internal complaint resolution system for language of work, as stipulated in its official languages policy. Resolution takes the form of intervention by the person responsible for official languages, who keeps a log for follow-up purposes.

With regard to evaluating measures taken in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes, in 2014 CBC/Radio-Canada commissioned a survey of employees in a minority situation in designated bilingual regions, regardless of the linguistic identification of their positions. The survey included questions similar to those asked in the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey; as a Crown corporation, CBC/Radio-Canada does not take part in the survey. These questions dealt with supervision, tools, meetings and writing in the language of choice. The internal survey also included a specific question on bilingual services provided by institutional components and a comments box. Generally speaking, the results were satisfactory, particularly with regard to central services and training in the language of choice. The institution says that teams with noted weaknesses have been targeted for specific action. Finally, the Official Languages Unit measures how often employees consult official languages content on the intranet using Google Analytics, which provides statistics on the number of visitors, the pages consulted and the duration of consultation.

The Office of the Commissioner found that CBC/Radio-Canada takes a number of language-of-work measures and that it has evaluated their effectiveness by means of an employee satisfaction survey in 2014. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes CBC/Radio-Canada’s efforts to use this survey to measure, the effectiveness of the actions being taken and emphasizes the importance of measuring the satisfaction of employees in identified bilingual regions who belong to the linguistic minority, and not just the incumbents of identified bilingual positions, for whom the institution recognizes the full range of language-of-work rights but who represent only a fraction of the total number of employees. In fact, based on the documentation, it is sometimes difficult to understand how some measures taken by CBC/Radio-Canada to promote the effective use of English and French can have an effect on all employees in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. One of the reasons is that the institution’s official languages policy no longer seems to be consistent with the transformations stemming from resource reduction exercises, which have led to the need for the English and French services to work more closely together, including with regard to the assignment of production resources. In this sense, the standardization of practices for evaluating the language proficiency of employees is beneficial to the effective use of both official languages in the workplace, as is the fact that the institution provides all its employees with access to personal and central services, including training, in the language of their choice. It will be important for CBC/Radio-Canada to continue promoting the most effective use possible of both official languages in the workplace, given its mandate and the fact that its programming services are organized by language. It will also be important for the institution to promote the use of employees’ language of choice for functions that are common to both the English and the French networks.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating CBC/Radio-Canada’s performance in terms of equitable participation. Owing to the unique mandate and structure of CBC/Radio-Canada, which has two separate networks that provide English- and French-language services, respectively, the methodology for Part VI needed to be adjusted. As a result, the criterion was applied nationally instead of regionally. Data on the CBC/Radio-Canada workforce across the country were used as a basis for assessing this section. According to the 2011 Census, Francophones make up 23.2% of Canada’s total population. As of March 31, 2014, Francophones represented 47% of CBC/Radio-Canada personnel, while Anglophones accounted for 53%.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%)

The Broadcasting Act gives CBC/Radio-Canada the mandate to provide broadcasting services of equivalent quality that reflect the specific needs of both official language communities, including OLMCs. The Official Languages Act obliges all federal institutions to ensure that positive measures are taken to support the development of OLMCs and promote linguistic duality.

CBC/Radio-Canada is of the opinion that its broadcasting and programming activities fall exclusively under the Broadcasting Act. The Commissioner is of the opinion that CBC/Radio Canada has a very broad definition of programming. This means that the Commissioner cannot investigate all complaints that he has deemed admissible under Part VII of the Official Languages Act, even if he has concluded that a complaint is not strictly about CBC’’s programming. The Commissioner’s position is that CBC/Radio-Canada is fully subject to the Official Languages Act, including Part VII, in the context of its activities. That said, the Commissioner recognizes CBC/Radio-Canada’s freedom of expression and journalistic independence when it comes to content creation and programming. In light of the ongoing legal dispute between the Commissioner and CBC/Radio-Canada when this report card was drafted, Part VII was not evaluated.

Conclusion

Since its last report card, in 2008–2009, CBC/Radio-Canada has undergone profound changes, including a reduction of its resources, resulting in many positions being cut and an in-depth transformation of the notions of content and screens, brought about by on-line and digital technologies. CBC/Radio-Canada has comprehensive official languages planning tools and a nimble and flexible official languages structure, which is nevertheless vulnerable to problems when there is employee turnover. In addition, CBC/Radio-Canada would benefit from adopting more formal tools and procedures for taking its obligations under the Act into account when policies or programs are added, eliminated or changed. In terms of language of work, CBC/Radio-Canada must continue to strike a better balance between the particularities of its structure as a result of its mandate, under which it provides programming in English and French and meets the specific needs of both official language communities, and the right of its employees in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes to work in the official language of their choice. The broadcaster is encouraged to continue measuring, by means of employee satisfaction surveys, the effectiveness of the measures it takes and to adjust its practices accordingly. Note that the Office of the Commissioner’s assessment was partial, as some criteria in the section on official languages program management and service to the public, as well as the entire section on the development of OLMCs and linguistic duality, were not evaluated because of the legal dispute between the Commissioner and CBC/Radio-Canada that was ongoing when this report card was drafted.

Overall Rating

Table notes

Table tnote 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter D

Destination Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
Destination Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for Destination Canada’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

Destination Canada, formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission, is a Crown corporation that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Industry. Destination Canada is mandated to sustain a vibrant and profitable Canadian tourism industry by marketing Canada internationally as a desirable tourism destination. The institution builds Canadian tourism partnerships with the private and public sectors, as well as the provinces and territories. Destination Canada’s sole office in Canada is its headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia. Outside Canada, it maintains an office in China, Japan and the United Kingdom. Destination Canada also employs general sales agents around the world.

In addition to applying Treasury Board’s (TB) official languages policy instruments, Destination Canada has its own internal official languages policy that addresses Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. The institution’s policy has been in effect since January 2009. Destination Canada also has Guidelines on the Use of Minority Print Media When Using Majority Media in Advertising Campaigns; these guidelines help managers and specialists determine when minority print media is required to reach a target audience for domestic tourism promotion.

Destination Canada has a results-based official languages action plan for 2013–2016 that covers Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act, and outlines objectives, targeted measures and persons responsible. The action plan aims to ensure that executives and employees fulfill their official languages responsibilities and to ensure an effective and efficient official languages governance structure. The action plan is published on Destination Canada’s intranet.

The institution’s official languages policy and action plan indicate that it has obligations to communicate with and serve the public in the official language of its choice and includes measures to ensure compliance with Part IV of the Act. However, discussions with Destination Canada revealed that the institution’s definition of the public differs from TB’s definition. According to Destination Canada, it has client-based partnerships with Canadian tourism stakeholders only and hence does not have obligations under Part IV because the services it provides are intended for its partners and not the public. The Treasury Board Policy on Official Languages defines the public as “any person, group of persons (professional associations or others) or organization or company (other than a Crown corporation) in Canada or abroad, any representative of another level of government communicating with or receiving a service from an institution, excluding officers and employees of institutions subject to the [Act] when carrying out their duties.” Therefore, Destination Canada’s clients and partners meet the core requirement of the Policy’s definition of the public: they are not part of the federal public service. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is of the opinion that Destination Canada’s clientele is identifiable and restricted, and therefore the institution does have the obligation, under Part IV of the Act, to communicate with and provide services to its clients in the official language of their choice. The Office of the Commissioner has received several complaints since the institution’s last report card in 2009–2010 with regard to Destination Canada’s Part IV obligations. Those complaints reflect the underlying issue with the institution’s interpretation of its obligations under Part IV of the Act.

In addition, Destination Canada’s official languages policy and action plan contain some measures to facilitate a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages. However, the Office of the Commissioner notes that Destination Canada’s Vancouver office, which is not in a region designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes, does not have any Part V obligations.

The institution has demonstrated that official languages are part of its governance structure. The Board of Directors approved the official languages policy and action plan. Destination Canada has an official languages committee that comprises the Official Languages Champion and the national coordinator, who meet informally to discuss official languages priorities and issues as well as to annually review the action plan. The Official Languages Champion is the Vice-President, Strategy and Corporate Communications, and is also a member of the institution’s executive committee. The Champion raises official languages matters in executive committee meetings and ensures that official languages are on the agenda of senior management’s biweekly committee meetings. The national coordinator is the Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Government Relations.

The institution does not have formal mechanisms in place to take into account official languages when adding, changing or eliminating its programs or policies.

With regard to Destination Canada’s cooperation during the investigation process, the institution generally provided the documentation requested by the Office of the Commissioner.

Overall, the Office of the Commissioner notes Destination Canada’s commitment to ensure official languages are integrated in its governance structure and reflected in policies and action plans. Destination Canada is encouraged to continue to include in these policies and plans measures to facilitate the use of both official languages in its headquarters, even though this goes beyond its legal obligations under the Act. Some improvements are required, however, to ensure sound and effective official languages program management. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Destination Canada to establish a formal review structure for its policy and action plan so that they are updated regularly. Destination Canada is also encouraged to develop formal tools and procedures to take into account official languages when policies or programs are added, changed or eliminated. Furthermore, the Office of the Commissioner reiterates that Destination Canada has obligations under Part IV of the Act and invites the institution to include its clients and partners in the definition of what the public constitutes.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) D

The Office of the Commissioner did not evaluate in-person service because Destination Canada’s sole office in Vancouver is not a point of service accessible to the public.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, from November to December 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases. The Office of the Commissioner was unable to obtain sufficient data for service availability in the official language of the minority on the telephone to draw a statistically valid conclusion. As a result, Destination Canada was not evaluated on that criterion.Footnote 1

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between November and December 2015 resulted in a response rate of 73% for e-mails sent in English. No responses were received for e mails sent in French; therefore, the comparable timeframes were not evaluated.

Destination Canada did not demonstrate how the Supreme Court of Canada’s DesRochers decision was taken into account to evaluate whether the institution needs to adapt its services in accordance with the principle of substantive equality. Destination Canada indicated that its services and programs are directed toward the international tourism market and Canadian tourism stakeholders, such as provincial and municipal tourism agencies and economic development organizations. According to the institution, since it does not provide direct service to the general Canadian public, substantive equality was not taken into account.

With regard to the observations conducted for service on the telephone, the institution obtained excellent results for active offer provided by an automated system. For e-mail service during the same period, however, the Office of the Commissioner noted that only e-mails sent in English received responses. The Office of the Commissioner invites Destination Canada to ensure that service on the telephone and by e-mail is available in both official languages at all times. Furthermore, Destination Canada should implement a formal mechanism to fully assess the necessity to tailor its services to the needs of both official language communities, when applicable.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) N/A

The Office of the Commissioner did not evaluate Destination Canada on this criterion as its sole office in Canada is not located in a region designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes; thus, the institution does not have obligations related to this part of the Act.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating Destination Canada’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In Destination Canada’s only office in the country, located in Vancouver, 20.8% of the workforce is Francophone.

The Office of the Commissioner did not evaluate the representation of French-speaking Canadians in the NCR and the representation of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec as the entire workforce is located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) D

In line with its mandate, Destination Canada builds partnerships with provincial and territorial marketing organizations (PMOs), as well as with private and public sector partners. Examples of partnerships include Travel Manitoba, Tourism Nova Scotia, Tourisme Québec, Tourisme Montréal, Destination BC and the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité Canada (RDÉE Canada). These organizations have ties with small and medium-sized businesses from official language minority communities (OLMCs) in their respective provinces and territories. Nevertheless, Destination Canada did not demonstrate that it has systematically identified OLMCs or that these communities were consulted to identify their needs.

Through Destination Canada’s corporate Web site and newsletters, the institution engages its partners to participate in important marketing events such as Rendez-vous Canada and GoMedia. Rendez-vous Canada is Canada’s international tourism marketplace where multiple countries attend with the goal of purchasing Canadian tourism products. GoMedia is Destination Canada’s annual international media show where national and international media meet with partners for one-on-one meetings, professional development, networks, and pre- and post-event media tours. Destination Canada presents these events to its partners as an opportunity to market their communities as tourist destinations internationally. However, Destination Canada did not demonstrate how tourism marketing organizations from OLMCs are targeted under these initiatives or whether they are attending these events.

Destination Canada indicated that it has taken some positive measures to enhance OLMC vitality through its programs, marketing services and partnerships. The Office of the Commissioner notes that these measures are aimed at tourism marketing organizations in general, and the institution was not able to show to what extent they foster the development of OLMCs specifically. For example, in 2011 Destination Canada launched its Canadian Signature Experience program that aims to showcase Canada’s local culture and connect travellers with places and people. The program is a collection of authentic travel experiences in Canada and members are given the opportunity to reach key international markets through Destination Canada’s global marketing campaigns, travel trade, travel media and sales programs. To become a Canadian Signature Experience member, small and medium-sized businesses and rural and urban tourism organizations, including those from OLMCs, need to apply through their PMOs, which in turn evaluate their admissibility to the program. The evaluation criteria for admissibility do not include provisions for ensuring OLMCs are included despite Destination Canada’s obligations in this respect.

Destination Canada established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with RDÉE Canada. This MOU sets out general terms of cooperation between the two organizations. RDÉE Canada works with Francophone and Acadian communities across Canada in support of tourism development. The MOU partnership focuses on exchanging research, information and opportunities in support of tourism businesses in these OLMCs. For example, in 2014 Destination Canada encouraged RDÉE Canada to attend Rendez-vous Canada for the first time to promote Francophone and Acadian communities across Canada to international buyers from multiple countries. RDÉE Canada evaluated the success of their attendance in a final report to Destination Canada. While this example represents a step in the right direction in terms of positive measures, Destination Canada did not demonstrate that it had identified the specific needs of OLMCs prior to establishing this measure and how it assessed the impact of this measure on OLMC development.

Although Destination Canada has established partnerships with Tourisme Montréal and Tourisme Québec, the institution did not demonstrate how English-speaking communities in Quebec are actively targeted to participate in its programs, trade shows and events, as well as in its media events.

Destination Canada has activities in place to promote linguistic duality within the institution and in Canadian society. An activity initiated by the Official Languages Champion is called Lunchtime en français. Several times a month, employees are invited to speak French with their colleagues. On Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Lunchtime en français participants were also invited to enjoy some traditional Quebec food.

By publishing information on various tourist destinations, including those in OLMCs, Destination Canada helps to promote Canada’s linguistic duality to international travellers. For example, Destination Canada publishes Story Ideas for international media on its Web site. Several stories that focus on OLMC tourism such as “10 things you need to know about Canada’s Francophone festivals” and “Celebrate a unique culture at the 2014 World Acadian Congress” were published. Destination Canada also promotes Canada as a bilingual country at public appearances during Rendez-vous Canada events. For example, international buyers found information on Canada’s French and Acadian communities when they visited the RDÉE Canada stand during Rendez-vous Canada.

Destination Canada does not have a formal framework to assess the impact of its positive measures on the development of OLMCs nor on the promotion of linguistic duality in Canadian society.

Destination Canada has developed partnerships with PMOs that have ties with OLMC tourism organizations; however, those partnerships do not have mechanisms for the identifying OLMCs or their specific needs. Destination Canada must also establish mechanisms to evaluate the impact of measures it has taken for the development of the OLMCs. The Office of the Commissioner invites Destination Canada to examine its programs and services to determine how they can contribute to the development of OLMCs. With respect to linguistic duality, the Office of the Commissioner notes some efforts of the institution to promote linguistic duality through its events and Web site. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages the institution to develop formal mechanisms to assess the impact of its measures on linguistic duality. This assessment of Part VII reveals some efforts by Destination Canada to fulfill its obligations under Part VII. However, the institution needs to do more. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to develop a strategic approach that includes identifying and consulting OLMCs through its various partnerships and to implement positive measures by taking into account OLMC needs.

Conclusion

Destination Canada received a fair rating for its official languages program management. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Destination Canada to establish formal procedures and tools that take into account official languages in its decision-making when planning, changing or eliminating policies or programs. With regard to Part IV, the Office of the Commissioner reiterates that Destination Canada has obligations under Part IV of the Act to provide services to its clients and partners in the official language of their choice and that it is required to evaluate whether it needs to adapt its services or programs in accordance with the principle of substantive equality. It should also ensure that the public can communicate in French and in English with its office by telephone and by e-mail. Although the institution was not evaluated on Part V, the Office of the Commissioner recognizes the institution’s efforts to promote the use of both English and French in its headquarters. With respect to Part VI, the institution received an excellent rating. For OLMC development and promotion of linguistic duality, the institution received a poor rating. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Destination Canada to establish a mechanism to identify and systematically consult OLMCs to identify their needs and take positive measures that fall within its mandate. Furthermore, the Office of the Commissioner invites the institution to develop formal mechanisms to evaluate the impact of its measures on the vitality of OLMCs and on linguistic duality.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter E

Environment Canada

Environment Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Environment Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for Environment Canada (EC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

EC is mandated to protect the environment, conserve the country’s natural heritage, and provide weather and meteorological information to keep Canadians informed and safe.

EC has a number of official languages directives and guidelines but does not have its own official languages policy. All directives and guidelines are approved by senior management. At the time of the collection of data for this report card, the directives and guidelines were being reviewed and updated to reflect the new Treasury Board policy instruments.

EC’s Official Languages Action Plan 2014–2016 was approved by the Executive Management Committee (EMC) on June 4, 2014. It is reviewed annually and updated at least every three years. This action plan sets out priorities, elements to be measured, expected outcomes, activities and performance indicators. It also identifies clearly who is responsible for those activities. Executives are accountable for the action plan’s production schedule for the implementation of Parts IV, V, VI and VII and section 91 of the Official Languages Act.

EC’s Official Languages Champions Network also has an action plan approved and reviewed by senior management every year. Both departmental official languages champions are members of the EMC. Their membership allows the co-champions to bring forward a variety of elements related to official languages for discussion, including issues, events or other activities. Each year, the Deputy Minister has discussions with the official languages co-champions to support their actions, and to ensure that an action plan is in place for executives to renew their language levels, when required. Furthermore, the language qualifications of employees are considered prior to their promotion. They must meet the CBC language level for executive positions and EC can offer immersion programs for high-potential employees to help them reach the language level required for the positions they aspire to attain.

EC’s Official Languages Committee, led by the Official Languages Champions Network, is actively involved in promoting both official languages within the Department. Committee members meet two to three times per year to plan annual activities, revisit its accomplishments and organize specific activities (e.g., Linguistic Duality Day). At these meetings, the committee also discusses the Department’s Part VII activities.

EC is a member of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions—Science-Based Institutions. EC’s team is mandated to identify current official languages issues and associated risks, as well as to explore potential actions in implementing the Act.

As part of the Treasury Board submission process, EC has implemented an internal approval process that includes the review of submissions by an official languages advisor and the Assistant Deputy Minister of Human Resources, and an evaluation of the potential impact of adding, eliminating or modifying a program or policy. This approval process ensures that proper strategies are in place to address any potential issues that might affect official language minority communities (OLMCs).

As part of its grants and contributions program overhaul, EC incorporated Part VII into the analysis process and trained employees on how to do so. It is now possible for communities to propose projects related to the nine grants and contributions programs, such as EcoAction and the Community Interaction Program. This process was launched in 2011–2012 and improved for the 2013–2014 fiscal year with the addition of an analysis grid and tools to evaluate grants and contributions requests that are regularly sent to regional offices and headquarters.

EC cooperates well with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the complaint resolution process. It is usually possible to gain access to EC’s Senior Departmental Official Languages Advisor within the Human Resources Branch and the appropriate manager involved in a complaint investigation. Various circumstances have contributed to lagging timeframes on both sides. Ongoing discussions on this issue over the past year between the Office of the Commissioner and EC have resulted in a renewed collaboration.

EC has a strong action plan for 2014–2016 and an efficient monitoring mechanism. Shortcomings are addressed as they arise. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes that EC’s program management reflects its commitment to official languages overall, as well as a commitment to collaboration and to the improvement of the resolution-of-complaints process.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The data obtained during the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service were insufficient to evaluate the Department for this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September and November 2014, indicate that an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 48% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 68% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service, between September and December 2014, resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 80% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 31.7 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 51%.Footnote 2

Using the Treasury Board Secretariat’s analytical grid to ensure that the principle of substantive equality is being applied to federal programs and services, EC’s educational programs were developed in the spirit of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the DesRochers case. The activities and educational products were specifically developed for OLMCs and adapted to provincial differences. The same principle applies to EC’s grants and contributions initiative. Because these programs are managed regionally, they are easily adapted to respond to the particular service needs of OLMCs, which is consistent with the principle of substantive equality.

EC applies the principle of substantive equality and is encouraged to continue its excellent work in this area. However, the overall results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations during the fall of 2014 revealed that telephone and e-mail services were poor to very poor. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages EC to continue its efforts to ensure that active offer and service to the public in the official language of the linguistic minority are available at all times.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, EC has taken measures to promote the use of both official languages in the workplace. For instance, EC’s Official Languages Champions Network lists on the departmental intranet site examples of best practices, as well as tips and tools. These are shared with all employees to remind them that managers should take all reasonable steps to create and promote a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages. Further examples of tools available on EC’s intranet site include the following: out-of-office bilingual auto-replies; bilingual voice mail greetings; instructions on how to hold bilingual meetings; a list of boardrooms equipped with projectors for holding bilingual meetings, and translation and writing tools.

The Network holds activities across the country on Linguistic Duality Day. On that day, EC’s official languages co-champions make employees aware of issues and tools related to language of work. EC’s Committee on Language of Work created an initiative to raise awareness of the use of both official languages during national videoconferences.

The 2014–2016 departmental action plan has a section on language of work with the following three priorities: (1) develop a departmental directive on language of work, such as promoting an approach for EMC and the branch management committees to alternate the mandatory use of both official languages during their meetings; (2) develop and promote tools to encourage communications in both official languages, such as creating new departmental awards for leadership in the promotion or implementation of official languages practices; and (3) develop an inventory of best practices to support managers in promoting the use of both official languages within their teams.

Several activities have been undertaken or are planned with regard to language of work in the Official Languages Champions Network action plan. Examples include liaising with EC’s Managers’ Network on the promotion of bilingualism in national committees and providing instructions on how to hold bilingual videoconferences with dual screens.

EC has developed a monthly official languages recourse dashboard that allows the Department to report on and monitor the type and number of official languages complaints to senior management and take measures to not only address concerns but also reduce the number of future complaints.

Although EC has introduced a number of measures to help create a bilingual environment and to encourage its employees to use the official language of their choice, the Department does not systematically assess the impact of these measures. EC is encouraged to develop an assessment framework to evaluate the effectiveness of its language-of-work initiatives.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating EC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 3.6% of EC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 42.8% of EC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 15.4% of EC’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, dated as of March 31, 2015.)

EC promotes awareness of its Part VI obligations with a national service delivery model/organizational structure that allows the Department to bring the work to the talent and to workplaces in many different locations across Canada. This structure encourages hiring and participation of Canada’s two official language communities across the country. EC uses its departmental statistical portal to track the English- and French-speaking population in its various regions and branches. In addition, EC encourages employees to maintain or develop their language skills through the implementation of departmental guidelines on learning a second language for career development purposes. This effort allows EC employees to develop their second official language and offers opportunities for career advancement.

EC’s performance with regard to Part VI of the Act is excellent. Moreover, EC has taken measures that will certainly help maintain equitable representation of English- and French-speaking Canadians within its ranks in the future.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Representatives from EC’s Part VII Committee participate in regional interdepartmental meetings or committees organized by federal councils across Canada, particularly in the Atlantic, Quebec and Manitoba regions. These meetings offer great informal opportunities for the committee to hold discussions with OLMC representatives, to receive their feedback, and to hear about their concerns, issues and specific needs. Regular informal meetings also take place with the Quebec Community Groups Network, the Quebec English School Boards Association and the Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française. However, EC does not have formal consultation mechanisms in place to ensure ongoing communication with OLMCs.

EC has identified two positive measures that distinguished its actions related to Part VII. First, in 2008–2009, it launched its five-year education program activities and environmental training, which were created and designed specifically for OLMCs. They were offered at no charge to OLMCs, and EC set itself the goal of directly reaching secondary schools in those communities right across Canada. All of the major metropolitan regions were covered, as well as all of the high-concentration regions, such as Gaspé, the North Shore and the Eastern Townships in Quebec, the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and Northern Ontario.

Educational activities geared toward students, such as face-to-face conferences and videoconferences, and training sessions for teachers were promoted through annual symposiums of national or provincial teachers’ associations. EC indicated that these symposiums offer an opportunity for meeting and consulting with teachers, their associations and school boards about their needs related to environmental education. This work was done in consultation and in partnership with teachers and school boards. The conference and videoconference program allowed the Department to connect with OLMCs across Canada. Moreover, EC met specific needs through the distribution of promotional brochures to schools and school boards, in addition to Web send-outs, regular reminders.

Second, EC’s grants and contributions initiative was developed. During the renewal of the grants and contributions program, EC integrated Part VII into its analysis process and inserted an analysis grid and evaluation tools for grants and contributions applications. For example, in the Atlantic region, the communities were met with and informed of the Part VII initiative. After these meetings, EC was able to dedicate a portion of the grants and contributions budget to projects that came from French-speaking communities that still meet the program criteria. The Department assigned a bonus point to grants and contributions projects that involved OLMCs. Thus, not only are projects favoured for their impact on the vitality or development of OLMCs, but unilingual organizations are also encouraged to include linguistic components in their projects in order to receive a bonus point and meet the new criteria. This unique mechanism of promotion is in its early stages, but EC is hopeful that it will continue to allow greater access to programming for OLMCs.

To evaluate the impact of the various measures taken to support the development of OLMCs, EC received feedback from the participants on the quality, relevance and satisfaction of its educational activities through a questionnaire and telephone interviews. Moreover, the Francophone school directors and teachers who were targeted in the OLMC education program were consulted for their feedback on the positive measures and how they met their needs and expectations.

EC made an effort to target its programming to promote English and French in Canadian society. For example, during a week-long stay in a metropolitan area, a conference service was offered in English or in French. Priority was given to schools in OLMCs and immersion or bilingual schools, based on the region or second language learned. Therefore, many schools in Alberta, the Atlantic provinces and Quebec benefited from this conference service.

Each year, the departmental official languages co-champions, with the support of the Official Languages Committee, undertake internal activities, including promoting Linguistic Duality Day to employees and various departmental networks, such as regional committees or the Managers’ Network, organizing activities to celebrate Linguistic Duality Day, and publishing messages and promoting activities of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions—Science-Based Institutions. However, the Department does not have any formal mechanisms for evaluating the impact of its positive measures related to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society.

In 2012–2013, EC reviewed its guidelines related to attending international meetings in order to strengthen the bilingual image and character of Canada. The objective of these guidelines is to harmonize the practices of the Department’s foreign delegations and provide a framework and instructions to mission organizers, including on the Act.

EC has made improvements suggested by the Office of the Commissioner as part of its 2007–2008 report card exercise. A number of measures aim to support the vitality of OLMCs, and the Department continues to work on several previously introduced initiatives from its last report card. The Office of the Commissioner encourages EC to have formal and systematic consultation mechanisms in place to ensure ongoing communication with OLMCs. EC’s proactive involvement and the assessment of the impact of its positive measures in OLMC development demonstrate that it has a good Part VII reflex. EC is making good headway in the promotion of linguistic duality. EC is encouraged to assess the impact of its positive measures to promote linguistic duality so that it can identify where improvements or modifications could be made.

Conclusion

This assessment of EC’s compliance with various aspects of the Act shows that the Department is committed to meeting its obligations. EC obtained commendable scores in two of the evaluated areas—program management and equitable participation. There is, however, still room for improvement. Service to the public is an area needing attention, especially with regard to EC’s overall service over the telephone and response timeframes by e-mail to the linguistic minority. EC has conducted extensive recruitment activities to improve its performance in terms of equitable representation of English- and French-speaking Canadians within its workforce, and it continues efforts to attract more Anglophone employees in Quebec and Francophone employees in the NCR. The Department has also implemented a wide variety of language-of-work measures for its employees across the country. The conference and videoconference program offered to communities allowed EC to connect with OLMCs across Canada. EC assesses its positive measures for the development of OLMCs, and would benefit from implementing a formal mechanism to assess the effectiveness of its positive measures concerning the promotion of linguistic duality as well.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter I

Industry Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
Industry Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for Industry Canada’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

Industry Canada’s mandate is to help make Canadian industry more productive and competitive in the global economy, and to improve the economic and social well-being of Canadians.

The institution has an official languages policy that guides the implementation of Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. The policy states that the Human Resources Branch (HRB) is responsible for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act and that the Strategic Policy Sector (SPS) is responsible for Part VII. The HRB is also responsible for policy revisions, which take place every three years. During the data collection, the institution stated that the policy was revised in 2012 and would be revised again during the 2015–2016 fiscal year.

Industry Canada has an action plan for 2014–2017 that covers official languages program management and for Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. The 2014–2017 action plan includes targeted measures to respond to the issues identified, notably in the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), and in the Commissioner of Official Languages’ recommendations in his 2012–2013 annual report. The action plan is accompanied by the Official Languages Champion’s engagement plan, which includes various activities to promote both official languages throughout the Department. These plans are renewed every three years and revised annually to update objectives, expected results and timelines. All sectors are consulted on and contribute to the development of the action plan. The action plan and the engagement plan are presented to the Departmental Management Committee (DMC). The action plan is also made available to employees on the Industry Canada intranet, ICWeb.

Industry Canada has a governance structure that enables it to take official languages into account in planning its activities and when making important decisions. The roles and responsibilities regarding official languages are divided among three parts of the organization: the HRB, the SPS and the Office of the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Small Business, Tourism and Marketplace Services Sector. The official languages program is discussed annually at the DMC. Presentations on the situation of official languages are also given to the DMC. These presentations provide an update on the action plan, official languages priorities and the Commissioner’s recommendations in order to seek DMC approval and comments. Industry Canada also has an official languages committee, which meets three times per year and is made up of managers from all sectors.

During the data collection, Industry Canada was developing an accountability framework defining the roles and responsibilities of the Deputy Minister, the Official Languages Champion, those responsible for each sector of activity and departmental officials, with regard to official languages governance, tracking and reporting, and the application of Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act.

The Official Languages Champion is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Small Business, Tourism and Marketplace Services Sector, and she is very active in managing the official languages program. The Champion developed an engagement plan, which is integrated into the action plan and aimed mainly at fostering a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages and promoting linguistic duality. In November 2013, the Champion also presented to the DMC the results of Industry Canada’s 2009–2010 report card produced by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the steps to take for improving the Department’s compliance with the Act. She is supported in her role by two co-champions: the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy Sector is responsible for Part VII of the Act and the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for Parts IV, V and VI.

Industry Canada has a process that takes official languages into account when adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. The Official Languages Filter, atool developed by lndustry Canada, is a formal mechanism for analyzing official languages obligations and for systematically analyzing the impact of new policies and programs on official languages and on official language minority communities (OLMCs). All programs and submissions to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) must analyze the impact on official languages and OLMCs using the Filter.

As for the Department’s collaboration during investigations, Industry Canada always provides the requested documentation to allow the Office of the Commissioner to resolve complaints within the prescribed deadlines. Moreover, the institution is proactive and informs the Office of the Commissioner of corrective measures taken.

In short, Industry Canada has official languages policies and action plans, as well as a dynamic governance structure that enable it to take official languages into account in its activity planning and important decision-making. The Department is proactive and collaborates well with the Office of the Commissioner in the complaints process. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the Department to continue its efforts to ensure sound management of its official languages program.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between May and July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 98% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 35% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 75% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 98% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 94% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service, between May and July 2015, resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 95% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 14.5 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 45%.Footnote 1

Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in DesRochers, Industry Canada assessed the need to make services of equal quality available to the public in both official languages, taking into account the nature and purpose of its services and programs. In 2010, Industry Canada conducted an analysis of its services using the TBS’s analytical grid. The Official Languages Filter, a complementary tool, is used to systematically analyze the impact of its programs and policies on official languages and OLMCs. In 2010, the Filter was modified to assess the impact of the initiatives on services to the public and the need to adapt those initiatives to the needs of OLMCs, as required.

Industry Canada achieved good results for availability of service in person in the official language of the linguistic minority, but performed very poorly on active offer in person. The results for the observations of telephone service and the e-mail response rate are exemplary. The observations reveal, however, that Francophones do not receive equitable service when they contact the Department by e-mail. Industry Canada must put measures in place to ensure that service in person is available in both official languages at all times, that an active offer in both official languages is made systematically and that members of the public receive service of equal quality in English and in French when they contact the Department by e-mail. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Industry Canada to continue to integrate the Filter into its assessment processes in order to review its programs, services and policies to ensure that official languages are given full consideration and that the potential impact on the OLMCs is assessed.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

Industry Canada takes measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes and systematically assesses the impact of those measures.

Language-of-work guidelines have been developed and specify employees’ rights and responsibilities. With regard to language training, a draft of guidelines for the whole Department was developed and a final version is expected to be approved before the end of the 2015–2016 fiscal year. For now, all sectors have created language training tools for employees, and the majority of sectors have developed their own language training guidelines. A manual on language training and learning retention is available to all employees.

As already mentioned, the Official Languages Champion developed an engagement plan that sets out the objectives, expected results and resources available to employees. The objectives of the engagement plan are related to the 2014–2017 action plan and are aimed at creating a work environment where communication in both official languages is common practice, at encouraging and supporting second language development and at encouraging employees to regularly use their second language. Examples of engagement plan activities include the following: Talk the Talk: Industry Canada’s Language Column, the Holiday Music Box and a second-language day each month throughout the Department.

A number of initiatives are in place to encourage the use of both official languages, such as holding meetings in French on Fridays and promoting official languages using various posters presenting definitions, common expressions and conversation advice in both official languages. AIso, ICWeb includes a section dedicated to official languages featuring articles on official languages. These articles also serve as a reminder of the rights and responsibilities of employees with regard to language of work. The performance agreements of senior executives, managers and employees contain performance objectives on Part V to ensure respect for language of work.

To assess the impact of its language-of-work measures, Industry Canada uses the PSES. Each sector first conducts an analysis of its results to identify areas for improvement and then an action plan is developed. In addition, PSES results related to official languages are presented to the DMC.

In short, the various measures implemented by Industry Canada and the Champion’s engagement plan allow the Department to ensure an environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. The analysis of PSES results by region and by sector and the contribution of the Champion, sectors and DMC during this analysis allow Industry Canada to identify language-of-work issues and to develop an action plan addressing these issues. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Industry Canada to continue to assess the PSES results thoroughly and engage sectors in analyzing their results and developing an action plan. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates Industry Canada on its commitment to language of work.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating Industry Canada’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 11% of Industry Canada’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 42.6% of Industry Canada’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 8.5% of Industry Canada’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The statistical data show that there is good representation of Francophones within the Department in the NCR and in the regions outside Quebec and the NCR. The data also show that the underrepresentation of Anglophones within the Department in the Quebec region, excluding the NCR, continues to be a challenge since the institution’s last report card, in 2009–2010. To overcome this shortcoming, recruitment activities were organized in 2011 in English-language universities in the Quebec region, excluding the NCR. Since then, Industry Canada has been unable to continue its recruitment initiatives to overcome the identified shortcomings. The Department is aware of the gap in the Quebec region, and discussions have taken place at the DMC and Official Languages Committee to find possible solutions. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Industry Canada to further its examination of the issues identified in the Quebec region and implement measures to address them.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

As part of the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future and the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, Industry Canada received funding for the Economic Development Initiative (EDI). Dialogue days were held and Anglophone and Francophone committees were formed, with the cooperation of regional economic development agencies and community partners, for the purpose of consultation with partners so as to identify issues and best practices and discuss the impacts of funded projects on the OLMCs. One of the topics discussed was tourism. Industry Canada subsequently established a research framework and conducted a study on the economic situation of the OLMCs, and developed an overview of tourism in OLMCs.

Community partners and federal institutions that participated in these consultations include the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE), the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC), the Quebec Community Groups Network and Youth Employment Services.

A number of projects were funded as part of the EDI, for instance, the Tourism Intelligence Network, which addresses the needs and priorities identified in the research framework and in the OLMCs’s tourism profile. This strategic research project, national in scope, was initiated by the RDÉE and CEDEC, in collaboration with the Transat Chair in Tourism at the Université de Québec à Montréal, in its school of management. The purpose of this project is to create a monitoring service that makes it possible to gather and disseminate information on tourism in OLMCs so as to track their progress and address their needs.

Industry Canada developed a strategy to promote linguistic duality, which aims at allowing the Department to meet its obligations under Part VII of the Act. Notably, the strategy is based on the recommendations of the Office of the Commissioner’s 2012 audit report concerning the implementation of Part VII of the Act within Industry Canada. An implementation strategy and objectives were developed to promote linguistic duality both inside and outside the institution.

An example of an initiative implemented to promote linguistic duality internally is the Linguistic Duality Slogan contest. Industry Canada asked its employees to come up with a slogan about linguistic duality. Employees voted on the various entries, and the winning slogan was promoted throughout the Department. In addition, the Champion’s engagement plan proposes a number of initiatives to promote linguistic duality.

Linguistic duality is also promoted outside the institution. One initiative, for example, is the publication of the electronic bulletin ICExpress, which is a vehicle for communicating information on OLMCs and other federal partners.

In addition to the Official Languages Filter, the Department developed a performance measurement strategy to measure the impact of these initiatives on the development of OLMCs and the impact of activities related to the promotion of linguistic duality. The results of the projects funded are also discussed during dialogue days and at monitoring committees. Initiatives are adapted to take into account the feedback received. Following these impact assessments, some initiatives were modified and implemented in other communities based on their needs and economic situation.

Industry Canada, as part of the 2013–2018 Roadmap, demonstrated that consultations are conducted with federal partners and communities during dialogue days and at various committees to discuss and identify the needs of OLMCs and various project opportunities. The Office of the Commissioner emphasizes the importance of these consultations for properly identifying the needs of OLMCs and encourages Industry Canada to continue its proactive approaches. The Office of the Commissioner also wishes to acknowledge the strategy developed for the promotion of linguistic duality and the active participation of the Champion in her engagement plan. The Champion’s commitment and strategy allow the institution to implement innovative activities for the promotion of linguistic duality. As for the assessment of the impact of the measures, Industry Canada followed up on its last report card in 2009–2010 and not only developed the Filter, but also developed a performance measurement strategy to assess the impact of the measures taken to foster the development of OLMCs and promote linguistic duality in Canadian society. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates Industry Canada on its commitment to implementing Part VII of the Act and encourages it to keep up its efforts in this area.

Conclusion

Industry Canada’s assessment in this report card demonstrates the Department’s commitment to meeting its official languages obligations.

Industry Canada obtained commendable scores in three of the five evaluated areas: Management of the Official Languages Program, Part V (language of work) and Part VII (development of OLMCs and promotion of linguistic duality).

As for Part IV (service to the public), Industry Canada achieved good results. However, the Department must ensure that service in person is available in both official languages at all times, that an active offer in is made in both official languages systematically and that members of the public receive service of equal quality in both official languages when they contact the Department by e-mail. With regard to Part VI (equitable participation), Industry Canada is encouraged to revise its measures to ensure equitable representation of Anglophones in Quebec.

As part of the 2013–2018 Roadmap, Industry Canada takes positive measures to support the development of the OLMCs and promote linguistic duality within Canadian society. The Office of the Commissioner takes note of the various strategies and tools developed by Industry Canada, such as the strategy for the promotion of linguistic duality, the Official Languages Filter, the performance measurement strategy and the Champion’s engagement plan. These strategies and tools demonstrate a dynamic commitment on the part of the Department toward meeting its official languages obligations. Industry Canada clearly demonstrated that management is very committed to creating an environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages throughout the Department. The Office of the Commissioner also acknowledges all the work by the Official Languages Unit and its efforts aimed at creating an environment where all employees participate in the promotion of linguistic duality.

Although there is room for improvement, Industry Canada’s performance is, overall, very good.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Infrastructure Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
Infrastructure Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Infrastructure Canada (INFC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

INFC is a federal funding institution that advances national priorities to ensure that Canadians benefit from world-class modern public infrastructure. It achieves this by supporting infrastructure projects proposed by provinces and territories, making investments, building partnerships, delivering programs through regional governments and developing policies.

INFC has an official languages policy that has been in effect since 2012. It addresses each of Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act. INFC’s current official languages action plan, which targets those same parts of the Act, has been in effect since 2013. INFC’s 2015–2017 action plan will include the updating of its official languages policy as an action item. Action plans are updated and approved every two years. At the time of this evaluation, senior management was preparing to approve the action plan for 2015–2017.

To complement its action plan, INFC has created a Part VII work plan to address Part VII of the Act and, specifically, to target the shortcomings identified by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in INFC’s 2010–2011 report card. The work plan has been in place since 2013 and INFC has a mechanism to track its progress. INFC’s Part VII work plan is thorough; it takes into consideration the ways the Department can improve the fulfillment of its obligations under Part VII of the Act. INFC has demonstrated that it has made great strides in its consultations with official language minority communities (OLMCs).

Executive meeting agendas and minutes consistently include official languages, demonstrating senior management’s engagement in discussions and decision-making related to INFC’s official languages policy. Furthermore, INFC’s Official Languages Working Group meets two to three times a year. INFC’s official languages champion is the Director of Strategic Policy. Some of her duties include coordinating and planning of INFC’s Linguistic Duality Day, increasing the visibility of official languages within the Department and providing support to senior management on official languages issues. Although INFC stated that, in its submissions to the Treasury Board of Canada and in its memoranda to Cabinet, it complies with the requirement to analyze the impact on official languages of adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs, the institution did not demonstrate that it had formal mechanisms in place to do this.

With respect to cooperation in the complaint resolution process, the Office of the Commissioner has not received any complaints against INFC since its last report card; therefore, the institution was not evaluated on this criterion.

Overall, INFC’s official languages program management has shown improvement since its previous assessment by the Office of the Commissioner in 2010–2011. INFC’s policy and action plan are up to date, and INFC is encouraged to reflect its comprehensive Part VII work plan in its updated official languages policy.

While INFC’s official languages champion is an active force in the Department and official languages matters are raised with senior management, the Office of the Commissioner encourages INFC to ensure the consideration of official languages issues when adding, eliminating or modifying programs, for example, in creating a framework for its consultations and engagement with OLMCs.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

The Office of the Commissioner was not able to conduct in-person observations for INFC because the institution does not have a point of service accessible to the public. INFC was therefore not evaluated on this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate that an that active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 85% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 3.9 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 15%.Footnote 2

Although INFC reports that it assessed its service to the public in the wake of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the DesRochers case, it has not been able to sufficiently demonstrate the evaluation of its services. Furthermore, INFC has not revisited the question of substantive equality in recent years.

INFC stated that, in September 2010, following the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the DesRochers case, it reviewed its agreement model and found that it adequately takes the DesRochers decision into account. INFC also stated that its line of business and relationship with the public has not changed since then and that the clauses have been maintained in its agreements. INFC’s standard contribution agreement states that all joint media communications between different levels of government, including federal, must reflect Treasury Board’s policy on official languages and the Federal Identity Program.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of INFC demonstrate that the Department provided exemplary service to the public by telephone and by e-mail. Both the active offer by telephone and the comparable timeframes for e-mail responses were good. However, INFC has not recently taken steps to ensure that the spirit of the DesRochers decision is taken into consideration. When working toward substantive equality, it is beneficial to conduct a reassessment when a policy change occurs. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages INFC to assess its services to the public, during the development of its policies, in light of the DesRochers decision.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

INFC has two offices, one in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the other in the Montréal region. Both regions are designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. In these offices, INFC has taken targeted measures to maintain a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages. INFC has extensive second-language training programs, including one-on-one training and weekly language maintenance groups to assist employees in meeting their language requirements. INFC reported that all meetings are conducted in both official languages and that it uses bilingual meeting posters located in all boardrooms to encourage staff to hold meetings in English and French.

The results of the Public Service Employee Survey indicate a good level of satisfaction regarding language of work at INFC. However, the institution did not follow up on these results with any formal mechanisms of analysis or information distribution. Furthermore, INFC has not evaluated the impact of its second-language training programs or other activities that promote language of work.

The Office of the Commissioner recognizes INFC’s efforts to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages, but urges it to implement formal and systematic evaluation tools. This would help adjust its programming to maintain a work environment conducive to the use of both official languages.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating INFC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

Since the only INFC assessed under this section of the report card is located in Ottawa, only the numbers for Francophones in the NCR have been used here.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 40% of INFC’s workforce is Francophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Both English- and French-speaking Canadians are well represented in INFC’s workforce. The institution monitors its demographic information through a quarterly dashboard that senior management uses to make decisions concerning the evolution of programming and to predict future needs. Thus, INFC is able to address any potential shortcomings related to the representation of linguistic minority groups within its workforce. INFC is encouraged to maintain its commitment to the equitable participation of both official languages groups.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

Based on the shortcomings identified in its last report card in 2010–2011, INFC has made efforts to improve its process for identifying and consulting with OLMCs under Part VII of the Act. This is particularly evident in its design of the New Building Canada Plan, INFC’s current program suite. The Department performed a thorough identification of OLMCs across the country as well as of the language associations in their respective areas. From the first contact with provincial and territorial governments, INFC affirmed its commitment to OLMC engagement and encouraged provinces and territories to do the same throughout their bilateral meetings. The OLMC associations were contacted directly during the planning phase, when INFC was reaching out to all its partners. A letter was sent to each of the OLMC associations to ask for their input on infrastructure priorities. INFC engaged directly with the two umbrella language organizations, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada and the Quebec Community Groups Network, to gather information and inform policy decisions. Throughout this process, INFC reached out to Canadian Heritage and other federal institutions to consult and seek advice about practices of OLMC engagement.

INFC has funded several cultural projects in recent years to foster the development of OLMCs in various regions of the country. It has been a funding partner with the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation in the construction of the Acadian Museum. INFC was also a funding partner in the expansion of La Nouvelle Scène French theatre venues outside of Quebec; and in the construction of Le Centre communautaire Club Action in Hearst, Ontario. However, INFC does not have any formal mechanisms to assess the impact of its programs on the development of targeted OLMCs.

INFC’s participation in activities such as Linguistic Duality Day and the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie helps to promote linguistic duality within the organization. The core of INFC’s mandate, however, does not involve direct contact with the general public. It is a funding institution, which means that provincial and territorial governments bring project proposals and priorities to INFC for approval. INFC’s distinctive relationship with the public changes the nature of its obligations to promote linguistic duality externally and the equal status of English and French in Canadian society. While this changes the way INFC can fulfill its obligations, it does not eliminate those obligations.

Despite the fact that INFC did not include any mechanisms of formal assessment as a part of the New Building Canada Plan, the Department will be conducting a five-year review in 2019 to measure the progress of this program suite. INFC has expressed its commitment to include an evaluation of the effectiveness of its OLMC consultations at this point, as well as a review of whether OLMCs are making use of its programming.

INFC has shown improvement since its 2010–2011 report card with regard to its engagement with OLMCs, specifically in the development of its new policy suite. INFC is encouraged to maintain this level of consultation throughout the implementation and proposed review. INFC should direct its attention now to the ways in which it can fulfill its obligations to promote linguistic duality and the equal status of English and French in Canadian society with the same level of reflection and action that allowed it to build a commendable process of OLMC consultation. Furthermore, INFC needs to develop methods of evaluation for all the targeted measures it takes. The Office of the Commissioner considers the evaluation of positive measures to be of great importance because evaluation identifies positive impacts that can help to further progress.

Conclusion

Overall, this report card shows INFC’s efforts to fulfill its obligations under the Act. With regard to its program management, INFC’s senior officials demonstrate a high level of engagement with official languages issues. In compliance with Part V of the Act, INFC is pursuing efforts to promote the effective use of both official languages in the workplace; however, the lack of an evaluation tool means the impact of these measures is unknown. With regard to Part VI of the Act, the Office of the Commissioner encourages INFC to continue monitoring the representation of both English- and French-speaking Canadians within its workforce. INFC has begun to improve its Part VII performance with the implementation of an exemplary engagement and consultation process with OLMCs. The Office of the Commissioner suggests that INFC advance its compliance with Part VII obligations by undertaking the same level of reflection it gave to OLMC consultation in its efforts to support linguistic duality and equal status of English and French in Canadian society. INFC needs to implement a rigorous evaluation process in all of the measures it takes, both for its existing measures concerning OLMC development and for its future measures concerning linguistic duality and equal status of English and French. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes INFC’s conscious and attentive efforts to improve the fulfillment of its obligations under the Act.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only); observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised; too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response times for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter L

Library and Archives Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
Library and Archives Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

LAC is a federal institution within Canadian Heritage. Its mandate is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of current and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the social, cultural and economic advancement of Canadian society.

LAC uses and applies the Treasury Board policy and directives on official languages, in effect since 2012. The official languages policy is taken into account in LAC’s Access Policy Framework, in effect since 2011. This framework sets out the policy direction and principles that serve as the basis for LAC activities involving access to Canada’s documentary heritage.

LAC has an official languages action plan for 2014–2017, which lists the institution’s objectives for strengthening its commitment to meeting its official languages obligations. These relate to Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. LAC’s strategy for implementing section 41 of the Act addresses one of the gaps identified in its last report card, in 2009. In addition, the action plan includes timelines, performance indicators and responsibilities for each objective. The action plan was approved in November 2014 by the Management Board, LAC’s most senior committee, and will be reviewed once a year over its lifetime.

Various committees within the organization discuss official languages, including the Management Board, which is responsible for prioritizing, developing and implementing policies, and the Business Operations Committee, which ensures horizontal integration of operations and creates committees or working groups to review policies and develop policy instruments.

LAC has an official languages champion, who is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, and Chief Financial Officer. The Champion sits on the Management Board, which is chaired by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. The Champion is also a member of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions.

LAC does not have a committee dedicated to official languages. However, working groups are created for specific projects, such as the Part VII implementation project. LAC’s working group for the implementation of section 41 of the Act is composed of the Official Languages Champion and representatives of all branches of the organization.

LAC does not have any tools or procedures for taking official languages into account when adding, eliminating, or changing policies or programs. In addition, although one of the objectives of its action plan is to explore the need to implement such tools and procedures, these relate only to Part VII. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is of the opinion that, by developing such tools and procedures, the institution would be taking a proactive approach to official languages issues and would greatly strengthen its commitment to meeting its obligations under the Act.

LAC cooperates fully with the Office of the Commissioner in the complaint resolution process.

Since its 2009 report card, LAC has made significant efforts to improve its official languages program management. The institution has developed a detailed action plan and has a network of employees and managers who play a key role in meeting the organization’s obligations under the Act and in promoting official languages. It would be appropriate for LAC to develop its own policy on official languages to highlight, in all of its policies, the work it carries out in this area. In addition, with its strategy for implementing section 41 of the Act, LAC took into account one of the gaps identified in its previous report card. However, LAC still does not have any tools or procedures for taking official languages into account when adding, eliminating, or changing policies or programs. The Office of the Commissioner encourages LAC to develop such formal mechanisms so that it can systematically take into account the impact of its decisions on its obligations under the Act.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service to the public, between May and July 2015, did not result in sufficient data for LAC to be evaluated on this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 90% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 6.6 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 23%.Footnote 2

With respect to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in DesRochers and the evaluation of the need to adapt its services to the public to meet the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs), the Office of the Commissioner notes that this evaluation exercise is an ongoing activity included in its previous action plan for 2011–2014 and in its current action plan. However, in 2011, the services and program teams that completed the Treasury Board Secretariat’s analytical grid on substantive equality did not answer all the questions and, in 2012, some of them simply failed to use the grid. The institution is aware of the problem and has ensured the Office of the Commissioner that it will carry out this evaluation more thoroughly for future exercises.

Overall, LAC scored well on the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service to the public. However, there is room for improvement in terms of the difference in response times for e-mail service in English and in French. In addition, the Office of the Commissioner recognizes LAC’s commitment to more thoroughly evaluating the need to adapt its services to the public to meet the needs of OLMCs.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, LAC takes measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

LAC uses communication tools to promote official languages with its employees and managers. Just Between Us and In Touch inform employees and managers about activities organized as part of official languages events, such as Les Rendez-vous de la francophonie and Linguistic Duality Day. These publications also help the organization to raise employees’ awareness of their rights and obligations under the Act. For example, In Touch is used to send out reminders regarding bilingual telephone and e-mail absence messages and shares sample messages employees can use.

In 2015, LAC developed an on-line version of its orientation program for new employees, which includes a module on official languages. This module outlines employees’ rights and obligations regarding language of work, among other things. In addition, the module provides guides and tips for creating a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages, including how to organize bilingual meetings. Employees have three months to complete the program, at the end of which they are required to fill out a questionnaire to validate what they have learned.

Since 2008, LAC has increased the linguistic profile of supervisory positions to the CBC level. Incumbents who were appointed to supervisory positions before 2008 and who are not at the required language proficiency level are encouraged to take language training. This initiative is intended to improve the supervision of employees in the official language of their choice. In addition, managers ensure that employees’ work tools, as well as messages intended for them, are provided in both official languages. To that end, managers have access to translation and revision services.

Since 2007, LAC has had its own language training program, which helps employees develop or maintain their proficiency in their second official language. The program is open to all employees, including those in unilingual positions. LAC also created a language pairing program in 2013 that matches Anglophone employees with Francophone employees at discussion sessions to help them improve their oral proficiency in their second official language.

To evaluate the impact of these measures, LAC carries out an overall analysis of the results of the Public Service Employee Survey. This analysis is based on the results for all questions, including those relating to language of work. A report is then submitted to the Management Board. In addition, LAC has conducted its own internal survey on language of work each year since 2011. Other indicators are also used to evaluate the impact of the measures, such as the language training program participation rate and participant feedback, as well as the number of complaints received in relation to language of work.

LAC has implemented a number of measures to create, in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, an environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages. In addition, the institution uses tools to systematically evaluate the impact of these measures. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates LAC and encourages it to maintain its level of excellence.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as indicators for evaluating LAC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, there are no French-speaking employees at LAC offices.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 52% of LAC’s workforce is Francophone.

At the time of the evaluation, LAC had closed its Quebec office. Consequently, the institution was not evaluated on the representation of its workforce in Quebec, excluding the NCR.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

According to the data collected from the Treasury Board Secretariat, the representation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in LAC’s workforce in the NCR effectively reflects the presence of both official language communities in Canada. However, LAC has no French-speaking employees in its offices outside of Quebec and the NCR. LAC recognizes this shortcoming and has indicated that it will consider potential solutions when hiring staff in the future. The Office of the Commissioner looks forward to seeing the results of the solutions implemented by LAC.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

LAC contacted the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA) and the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) to present its mandate and to invite these organizations and the OLMCs they represent to take part in meetings. At the meetings, they had the opportunity to share their specific needs in relation to the institution’s mandate. The LAC working group for the implementation of section 41 of the Act organized a number of meetings with representatives of associations and organizations represented by the FCFA and QCGN to identify their needs. The most recent meeting was held in June 2015.

LAC has taken positive measures to foster the development of OLMCs. In its 2014–2017 action plan, the institution commits to meeting with identified OLMCs at least once a year and to creating a mechanism for disseminating information on LAC programs and initiatives of interest to OLMCs. This commitment meets a need expressed at the meetings with OLMCs. In addition, LAC implemented a social media communications strategy in 2014 targeting OLMCs and highlighting their specific needs. This strategy consists of developing a thematic series of posts and tweets to be published on a regular basis, intended for Francophones outside Quebec and Anglophones in Quebec. The objective of the strategy is twofold: to encourage OLMCs to participate in LAC services and programs, and to enhance their vitality. The Anglo-Quebec digitization initiative is an example of a theme allowing LAC to showcase the history of OLMCs. It involves developing and making available a bank of heritage pieces showcasing the history of Montréal’s English-speaking community. In addition, this initiative specifically meets a need of OLMCs wishing to be informed and to have access to LAC’s collection that addresses topics of interest to them.

In terms of the evaluation of the impact of the measures outlined in its action plan, LAC did not have an evaluation report at the time data was collected for this report card. Nevertheless, the institution indicates that, using the performance indicators set out in its action plan, LAC’s working group for the implementation of section 41 of the Act will establish results, analyze them and suggest corrective measures, if necessary. With respect to the social media communications strategy targeting OLMCs, the institution has performance measurement and monitoring tools enabling it to measure the impact of the publications showcasing the vitality of OLMCs. For example, the institution identifies the five most consulted publications. The institution also produces a daily social media report, which presents data on the public’s interactions with published content.

LAC has also taken positive measures to promote linguistic duality. Internally, LAC participates in Linguistic Duality Day every year by encouraging employees and managers to take part in activities organized within the organization and in the federal public service. On Linguistic Duality Day, the institution sets up information booths on topics relating to official languages, such as active offer and language training. Externally, LAC partners with TD Bank Group to implement the Francophone component of the TD Summer Reading Club (TD SRC). The TD SRC is a free bilingual program that brings together Canadian families and public libraries to share the joy of reading with children all summer long, while promoting Canadian authors and illustrators. Since 2008, LAC has been responsible for creating the program’s Francophone content, selecting the programming and distributing materials to libraries across the country, as well as administering the TD SRC’s annual Library Awards. Another example of an initiative is the exhibit Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians, which, since 2012, has presented portraits and biographies of Canadian historical figures from both official language communities.

LAC is also evaluating the measures taken to promote linguistic duality. An example is the TD SRC partnership; at the end of each season, LAC prepares a report on activities.

Therefore, by developing a working group and a clear strategy for implementing section 41 of the Act, LAC has made significant progress since the its last report card, in 2009, in terms of meeting its obligations under Part VII of the Act. Not only has LAC taken advantage of opportunities it had as part of its mandate to take positive measures, but it has also been proactive in meeting with OLMCs to identify their needs and consulting with them on existing measures. Although there are areas for improvement in terms of the mechanisms used to evaluate those measures, overall, LAC’s implementation of section 41 of the Act is laudable.
Conclusion

As a whole, LAC’s 2014–2016 report card reveals the institution’s clear commitment and tangible efforts to meet its obligations under the Act. LAC has obtained noteworthy results in two of the five sections evaluated: language of work, and development of OLMCs and promotion of linguistic duality. LAC has also taken measures to address the gaps identified in its previous report card, particularly by developing a strategy for implementing section 41 of the Act, an approach that could serve as an example for a number of federal institutions. The institution has also scored well in terms of official languages program management and service to the public. However, there is still room for improvement with respect to the participation of French-speaking Canadians in its regional workforce. In addition, the institution still does not have any tools or procedures for taking official languages into account when adding, eliminating, or changing policies or programs.

The Office of the Commissioner congratulates LAC on its progress and encourages it to continue its efforts to address identified shortcomings.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter N

National Arts Centre

National Arts Centre

2014–2016 Report Card
National Arts Centre
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for the National Arts Centre (NAC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The NAC is a separate employer in the field of performing arts. It works in partnership with emerging and established artists, organizations and educators throughout the country, and invests in the creation and presentation of new Canadian works.

The NAC policy that was provided to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages describes objectives for Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act: communications with and services to the public, language of work, participation of both official language communities, and development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and the promotion of linguistic duality. It contains staffing provisions and a description of the responsibilities of the President and Chief Executive Officer, the Official Languages Champion and management regarding Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. It includes guidelines on the use of official languages on social media and a directive on the use of the official languages on the NAC Web site. At the time of the evaluation, the August 2014 policy update had not yet been completed or approved by senior management.

The NAC has a results-based action plan for the implementation of Part VII of the Act for 2011–2016. This action plan continues initiatives that have been successful in the past and outlines the following: activities planned to attain the expected results, products or services that will result from the activities carried out during the action plan period, performance indicators to measure progress toward the expected results and the expected results. The action plan is reviewed and approved every five years.

The documents that the Office of the Commissioner received from the NAC demonstrate that the institution has improved its official languages management program since its last report card in 2008–2009. At that time, it did not have an official languages policy. Since then, the NAC has developed a policy for Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act.

The NAC does not have an official languages committee, but informed the Office of the Commissioner that its plans for 2016 include setting up this committee, as well as appointing a co-champion. The Official Languages Champion, who is the Manager, Translation Services, attends executive team meetings three times a year; this is the NAC’s executive committee, which meets every week. The Director of Communications, to whom the Official Languages Champion reports, regularly relays messages to the executive team and ensures that current official languages issues are taken into account.

The Official Languages Champion is responsible for the strategic planning of the NAC’s official languages activities. She is also responsible for updating the policy and action plan when revisions are required. She has prepared guidelines for the use of official languages on social media and on the NAC Web site, and works on numerous other documents related to official languages. In addition, she relays important messages in this regard to employees by e-mail, by telephone or in person. She sends reminders when necessary to ensure that everything is done in both official languages at the NAC.

An accountability framework stemming from the NAC’s official languages policy sets out the tools and procedures for taking official languages into account when adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. The framework defines the NAC’s commitments and designates the people responsible for these activities.

The NAC always produces the documentation necessary to resolve complaints within the timeframes set out by the Office of the Commissioner and cooperates fully. It is proactive with the Office of the Commissioner in resolving complaints.

The NAC has the vast majority of the elements needed to manage its official languages program well. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the NAC to create an official languages committee because of the benefits it will yield, and to appoint an official languages co-champion to ensure succession of the current Champion.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between December 2014 and February 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 96% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 80% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 11.3 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 71.7%.Footnote 1

The NAC ’s OLMCs are Francophone Canadian artists and, following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DesRochers case, the NAC evaluated the need to adapt its services to meet their needs. Its programming demonstrates its efforts to adapt services to the needs of OLMCs. In particular, the pamphlet for the 2014–2015 NAC Presents / CNA Présente is bilingual and showcases Francophone artists headlining at the NAC.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of services in person and on the telephone revealed that the NAC had excellent results with regard to its obligations under Part IV of the Act. The only observations that revealed a need for improvement related to the response time to e-mails received from Canadians in French. These Canadians should receive responses to their e-mails within a similar length of time as English-speaking Canadians do. The NAC’s programming itself demonstrates that the NAC has adapted its services to meet the needs of its OLMCs, which are composed of Francophone Canadian artists.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

The NAC is not required to participate in the Public Service Employee Survey. The NAC’s offices are located exclusively in Ottawa, a region designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, and the NAC has a large number of Francophone and bilingual employees. Human Resources determines the linguistic profiles of positions jointly with members of management; keeps statistics on the representation of both official language groups in the workforce, as required by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer of the Treasury Board Secretariat; and informs employees of their official languages rights and responsibilities. The NAC also takes measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in its offices. Employees are provided with practical tools, such as the NAC’s bilingual lexicon, out-of-office message templates in both official languages and reminders about the obligation to use internal memos in both official languages. However, the NAC does not systematically evaluate the impact of these measures. It sends reminders as needed, particularly when unilingual internal memos are received by the office of the Official Languages Champion.

The NAC takes targeted measures to address Part V of the Act. However, it does not have a formal framework for evaluating these measures and therefore cannot evaluate their impact on its employees. Consequently, the Office of the Commissioner believes it would be appropriate and beneficial for the NAC to develop this kind of framework so that its workplace is truly conducive to the effective use of both official languages in its only office, which is located in Ottawa.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the NAC’s performance in terms of equitable participation. Its only office is located in Ottawa. Therefore, only data for the French-speaking population in the National Capital Region (NCR) has been examined.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 41.2% of the NAC’s workforce is Francophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

The NAC has identified its OLMCs. Even though it is located in Ottawa, the OLMCs in question are Francophone Canadian artists throughout Canada. The institution holds a number of bilateral consultation meetings and discussions with these communities, in particular the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF), the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada and the Alliance nationale de l’industrie musicale.

Some areas of concern expressed by the FCCF include support for training and development of artists and cultural workers, such as supporting the creation of works; increasing the visibility and reach of artists and of artistic and cultural industries and organizations; and developing markets and audiences for Francophone Canadian arts and culture in Canada and abroad. Following a July 2013 bilateral consultation with the FCCF, the NAC’s Ontario Scene reached out to Réseau Ontario and the Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique, an FCCF member association, to find specifically Francophone content for the Ontario Scene.

The NAC also met with two Francophone Canadian theatre companies: Moncton’s Théâtre L’Escaouette and Sudbury’s Le Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario.

The NAC participates actively in theatre and music working groups organized by Canadian Heritage that bring together different OLMCs through consultation meetings. This participation by the NAC is directly linked to the Collaboration Agreement for the Development of Arts and Culture in the Francophone Minority Communities of Canada 2013–2018. The agreement is intended to establish a framework for cooperation between Francophone minority communities. It also promotes the development of Canada’s Francophone and Acadian minority communities and their contribution to the country’s cultural and artistic wealth.

The positive measures related to the NAC’s mandate that meet the needs of OLMCs and support their development include, above all, Zones Théâtrales, a biennial event established in 2005 that, according to the NAC, is one of its most important means of supporting Francophone artists outside Quebec who work in the theatre. The Scene festivals are also significant biennial events that have taken place since 2003 and during which great effort has been made to promote Francophone artists. The NAC cites as an example the Prairie Scene, which showcased many Francophone artists and paid tribute to a former prolific artistic director of Le Cercle Molière, a theatre in Winnipeg. There are also many examples of theatrical and musical performances in Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick.

Regarding evaluating the impact of positive measures, after each edition of Zones Théâtrales, the NAC prepares a comprehensive collection of press clippings from print media, radio and television. In the days after the Zones Théâtrales is held, the event’s team holds a debriefing meeting with representatives of the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada, which includes most of the French-language theatre companies outside Quebec. A report is prepared and recommendations are made for the next edition. The most recent report, from 2013, contains some 40 recommendations. In addition, an evaluation of the most recent Collaboration Agreement for the Development of Arts and Culture in the Francophone Minority Communities of Canada 2009-2013 has been conducted by Canadian Heritage; all the signatories, including the NAC, participated in this evaluation, which served as the foundation for renewal of the agreement for 2013-2018.

Regarding the promotion of linguistic duality, the NAC reports that, for several years, the English Theatre has been responsible for the NAC’s Family Day, where most activities take place in both official languages. Starting in February 2015, the French Theatre will add purely French content, which was revealed as a need following the success of the English Theatre’s activity in recent years. Another example of the promotion of linguistic duality is the NAC production of The Hockey Sweater, part of its Family Adventures series. The NAC is proud of this bilingual performance, during which a narrator and co-host describe, in both official languages, life on the ice rinks of Quebec villages 70 years ago in a tale that refers to Anglophone culture. The Champion noted that the key point about this series of concerts is that, in addition to being bilingual, it offered excellent opportunities for audience members of all ages to discover aspects of the other official language culture and to become more familiar with the diverse realities of their country.

The NAC reported that it evaluates the impact of its positive measures through a survey of its audience members and that the results have been positive. These surveys are conducted regularly and systematically include one or more questions specifically about official languages and allow changes, additions and modifications to be made as needed.

The NAC has demonstrated that it has identified its OLMCs and consults them regularly to systematically determine their needs. The institution has implemented a number of positive measures related to its mandate, which meet the needs expressed by the OLMCs. The impact of the positive measures is evaluated and the NAC takes the results into account when deciding to maintain or add to measures as needed. The NAC has also demonstrated that it takes positive measures for the Anglophone linguistic minority communities. It has determined ways to promote linguistic duality and has been able to demonstrate that numerous positive measures are taken to promote the equal status and use of English and French in Canadian society, that these measures are evaluated and that the results are taken into consideration to maintain or add measures, as needed. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates the NAC, highlights its success in complying with Part VII of the Act and encourages it to continue to maintain its efforts in this area.

Conclusion

The evaluation of the compliance of the NAC with various aspects of the Act indicates that it is determined to fulfill its obligations. Its ongoing efforts in official languages have earned it a good overall rating. While the Office of the Commissioner encourages the NAC to improve its response time to e-mails in French, the NAC holds a rating representative of its exemplary results for service to the public in person and by telephone. The NAC distinguishes itself with its work related to Part VII because of the wide range of measures that it has implemented to enhance the vitality of OLMCs and to promote English and French in Canada. However, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the NAC to make improvements that would benefit the institution in two specific areas: regarding official languages program management, the NAC should set up an official languages committee and appoint an official languages co-champion; for language of work, it should develop a formal evaluation framework to measure the impact on its employees of its targeted actions. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes the NAC’s efforts and encourages it to maintain its good performance.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

National Capital Commission
2014–2016 Report Card
National Capital Commission
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for the National Capital Commission (NCC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The NCC reported that before 2013, its mandate included promoting high-profile events in the national capital, such as Canada Day, Winterlude and the Christmas light show. Since 2013, the NCC’s mandate has been geared toward the development, conservation and improvement of the National Capital Region (NCR) by setting the long-term planning direction for federal lands in NCR; by guiding and controlling the use and development of federal lands in NCR; by managing, conserving and protecting NCC assets; and by maintaining heritage sites in NCR, such as official residences and commemorative sites.

The NCC has an official languages policy that covers Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. The policy defines the roles and responsibilities of approval authorities such as the Executive Management Committee (EMC) and the human resources director in the Corporate Services Branch. The policy also defines the roles and responsibilities of branch heads, the Official Languages Champion and Co-Champion, the official languages coordinator, managers, and supervisors. Although the organization’s official languages policy has not been updated since its reorganization in 2014, the NCC confirmed that it will proceed with updating its policies and guidelines as soon as the new collective agreement has been signed.

The NCC has an official languages action plan for 2015–2018. The action plan covers general items relating to Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. The action plan lacks concrete objectives, measurable activities, measurable expected results, performance measurement indicators and specific deadlines. The NCC official languages representatives indicated that, since the reorganization, the action plan was intended to be simple and general.

The institution demonstrated that official languages are on the agenda of the EMC. The EMC reviews and approves the NCC’s official languages policy and action plans.

The institution has an official languages coordinator who reports to the manager of the Human Resources Programs team. The coordinator manages the official languages program and ensures that official languages are taken into account at events. The NCC has an official languages champion and co-champion. The Official Languages Champion is the Director of Human Resources and the Official Languages Co-Champion is the Director of Corporate Planning.

The NCC has some tools and procedures to take into account official languages in its procedures and activities, for example, the intranet governance structure, its human resources management integrated framework and internal assessment guidelines and procedures. The NCC does not have a formal mechanism, however, to fully assess the potential impact programs and policies may have on official languages and on official languages minority communities (OLMCs).

As for complaint resolution, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has not received many complaints related to the NCC. However, the institution has some difficulties providing the documentation requested within the given timeframes for the few complaints received.

While the NCC has an official languages policy and an action plan, it would greatly benefit from revising its action plan to include strategic measures, specific deadlines and performance measurement indicators to address shortcomings. Its official languages procedures and tools should also be revised, and an official languages team should be created in order to ensure that official languages issues are properly addressed and that targeted measures are implemented when necessary.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between May and July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 66% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 96% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 92% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 3 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 22%.Footnote 1

The NCC did not demonstrate how the Supreme Court of Canada’s DesRochers decision was taken into account to evaluate whether the institution needs to adapt its services in accordance with the principle of substantive equality. The NCC indicated, however, that based on its mandate, its nature and the purpose of its services, the public automatically receives service of equal quality in both official languages.

The overall results were exemplary for in-person service, service on the telephone and e-mail service response rate. The results of the observations were poor, however, for in-person active offer made by staff, as well as the comparable timeframes for service by e-mail. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the NCC to implement measures to ensure that active offer of service in person is made by staff at all times, as well as measures to ensure that response timeframes by e-mail for French-speaking Canadians are comparable to those for English-speaking Canadians. The DesRochers ruling stated that federal institutions have the obligation to provide service of equal quality to the public. The NCC must determine whether the services offered in both English and French achieve substantive equality. The Office of the Commissioner therefore invites the NCC to implement a formal mechanism of review to assess whether it should tailor its services to the needs of both official languages communities, when applicable.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

The NCC established initiatives to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in its offices located in the NCR, a region designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.).

One of the guiding principles of the NCC document The Human Resources Management Integrated Framework is to promote the use of both official languages in the workplace. The framework indicates that all NCC employees are free to express themselves in the official language of their choice and that all employees are encouraged to understand Canada’s two official languages.

In addition, an official languages component is included in all employees’ performance agreements to ensure that employees maintain their linguistic proficiency levels in order to better serve clients. An official languages component is also included in managers’ and executives’ performance agreements to ensure that employees’ language-of-work rights are respected and to ensure supervision is in employees’ language of choice.

The NCC has an orientation program for new employees that includes an on-line employee kit where employees have access to various tools for providing service to the public in both official languages. The kit does not, however, contain tools or information on language-of-work rights and responsibilities. The NCC’s official languages annual report, official languages action plan and official languages program are all available on the institution’s intranet. Managers also have a guide entitled the Buddy System Guide to provide information to new employees about the workplace, including employees’ right to work in the language of their choice.

The NCC has a second-language training program during employee lunch hours. Employees can register for the training program voluntarily. An external contractor is hired to give second-language training. The instructor evaluates each employee’s progress three times a year and submits a progress report to their managers. The NCC also evaluates internally the effectiveness of this training with the NCC’s Language Training Evaluation Questionnaire given to employees.

The NCC uses the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) to evaluate employee satisfaction. The results of the PSES were included in the NCC’ 2015–2018 official languages action plan. The NCC also drafted a separate action plan to address the results of the PSES. This action plan is scheduled to be presented to senior management for approval in September 2015. Although the plan aims to address the PSES results, it does not specifically target the survey’s official languages questions.

Despite the fact that the NCC has implemented some measures to create and maintain a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages, it needs to revise its official languages action plan to ensure that it covers the specific official languages questions in the PSES. The NCC could then develop clear objectives and targeted measures to resolve potential issues regarding language of work.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the NCC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 56.4% of the NCC’s workforce is Francophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The evaluation criteria for the representation within the NCC of French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec and the NCR, as well as the representation within the NCC of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec, do not apply because the NCC’s entire workforce is located in the NCR.

Statistics reveal that the NCC has a good representation of French-speaking Canadians in its workforce in the NCR. The official languages representatives indicated that job postings are sent to OLMCs to inform them of job opportunities at the NCC. They have also indicated that they are working on developing a formal applicant tracking system. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the NCC to continue its efforts to maintain a good representation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

Since its last report card in 2008–2009, the NCC has established and maintained relationships with OLMCs. The identification and consultation of OLMCs was an integral part of the NCC’s 2009–2012 action plan on the implementation of section 41 of the Act. The NCC has an OLMC distribution list that it uses to identify OLMCs and to set up consultation platforms with those communities. OLMC representatives were consulted for the development and implementation of several NCC initiatives in line with the NCC’s new mandate.

An example of a consultation organized in 2014 was the Pontiac Working Group meeting. The NCC had several consultations with the Municipality of Pontiac (in Quebec), where a large English-speaking community lives, to understand local needs and to discuss future projects aimed at improving access to Gatineau Park and enhancing regional tourism opportunities. These meetings are ongoing and are part of the NCC Board of Directors 2015 Report on Activities.

The NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab initiative is a platform where the public and stakeholders discuss subjects related to urbanism, design, physical and natural heritage, conservation and sustainability. This ongoing initiative is also part of the NCC’s Board of Directors 2015 Report on Activities.

The NCC sends out invitations to all OLMC contacts in its distribution list to ensure OLMC participation in these discussions and to give them an opportunity to discuss their community’s needs. Although these consultations are an important step in identifying OLMC needs, they do not constitute a positive measure. For a measure to be considered “positive,” the institution must demonstrate that the measures aim to have a real and constructive impact on the vitality of official language communities. The NCC must be able to show that the activity or the decision had a specific objective that would have likely led to a positive result. The institution was not able to demonstrate how its measures enhance the vitality of OLMCs.

For the promotion of linguistic duality, the NCC identified several ways it promotes linguistic duality both within and outside the institution. The Official Languages Champion and Co-Champion actively promote activities during Linguistic Duality Day. For example, employees were invited to participate in a fun quiz on English and French expressions where they have to associate as many expressions as possible to win a prize. Other activities include the Award of Excellence in official languages where employees can nominate colleagues who they feel exemplify excellence in official languages.

Before Budget 2013, the NCC promoted linguistic duality through high-profile events such as Winterlude, the sound and light show on Parliament Hill, Canada Day and the Christmas light show. For example, in 2013, the NCC invited artists from OLMCs to perform during Canada Day and the Christmas Lights Across Canada illumination ceremony. Francophone artists from Ontario and Nova Scotia and English-speaking artists from Quebec performed at various locations during these high-profile events, including on Parliament Hill and in Major’s Hill Park and Jacques-Cartier Park. These events were broadcast by ICI Radio-Canada, TV5 and CBC. The NCC also negotiated with these media outlets to broadcast the same bilingual content.

When these events were transferred to Canadian Heritage, the NCC identified new ways to promote linguistic duality outside the institution. For example, the NCC’s Horizon 2067: The Plan for Canada’s Capital aimed at updating the plan for the national capital through public consultations and workshops across Canada. These workshops and consultations involved the general population and OLMCs from Halifax, Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton and Victoria to gather their ideas and comments on various topics, including linguistic duality. As part of Horizon 2067, the NCC surveyed official languages champions in May 2012 during the annual conference of official languages champions to gather their feedback on how to best express Canada’s linguistic duality in the national capital.

The NCC indicates that it assesses the impact of its measures on the development of OLMCs through public awareness surveys. It is not clear, however, how these surveys are used to evaluate the impact of the NCC’s measures and how the results are taken into account to adjust the measures. A formal mechanism of evaluation would permit the NCC to ensure that OLMC needs are being met and would allow an efficient assessment of the impact of positive measures on the development of OLMCs and on linguistic duality.

Overall, the NCC aims to consult OLMCs through public consultations and workshops in order to determine their needs and integrate them in its initiatives that enhance the development of the NCR, including parks and heritage sites. While these consultations are an important step forward, they are not sufficient to be considered positive measures. The Office of the Commissioner invites the NCC to go beyond its consultations and identify how it can implement positive measures through its programs and services to enhance the vitality of OLMCs. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages the NCC to implement formal mechanisms of evaluation to assess fully the impact of its projects on OLMCs and on linguistic duality. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes the NCC’s continuing efforts to integrate OLMCs in all its consultation forums and workshops.

Conclusion

This assessment of the NCC’s compliance revealed an overall good performance. To maintain a strong official languages program, the NCC should review its current procedures to integrate official languages fully into its decision making and to take official languages into full consideration, especially when creating an official languages team. The NCC also needs to develop a solid official languages action plan, complete with strategic measures, specific deadlines and performance measurement indicators to address identified shortcomings and follow up on corrective measures.

That being said, the NCC has shown exemplary performance in providing service in both official languages to the public and in ensuring equitable participation. The institution must still review its services and programs, however, to fully assess its need to tailor the services provided to the public in order to ensure substantive equality. With respect to language of work, although the NCC has some measures in place to ensure a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages, it should revise its action plan to implement targeted measures to address language-of-work issues. In addition, the Office of the Commissioner would like to highlight the NCC’s efforts, in line with its mandate, to integrate OLMCs in its planning and development of the NCR through its consultation forums and workshops. The Office of the Commissioner invites the NCC to use the knowledge it acquires through these consultations to put in place positive measures that address the needs of OLMCs and foster their development. However, the NCC does take positive measures to promote linguistic duality within Canadian society. Finally, the NCC would benefit from developing a formal mechanism to assess the impact of its initiatives on the development of OLMCs and on promoting linguistic duality.

The Office of the Commissioner encourages the NCC to continue its efforts to comply with the Act.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

2014–2016 Report Card
National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The DND/CAF are mandated to protect Canada and defend its sovereignty; to defend North America in cooperation with the United States, Canada’s closest ally; and to contribute to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries. DND and the CAF are separate entities but work closely together in achieving their goals and mission.

DND/CAF have policies and directives in place addressing Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. In 2013, both entities implemented a mandatory policy review cycle through the Defence Renewal Plan. They are also in the process of developing a comprehensive policy framework that aims to support their personnel in the implementation of the Act. The Director of Official Languages meets quarterly with the Military Personnel Policy Committee as an official languages representative.

The 2012–2017 OLAP was endorsed by the Armed Forces Council and the Defence Management Committee. The 2012–2017 OLAP was approved by the Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff. The action plan is reviewed quarterly and an official languages dashboard is produced semi-annually.

The DND/CAF OLAP for 2012–2017 addresses Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. This action plan builds on the 2007–2012 Official Languages Program Transformation Model. It outlines objectives, expected outcomes and measures to address identified shortcomings, as well as recommendations made in the 2006 audit and 2011 follow-up audit by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The action plan also consolidates previous achievements. While overall compliance with the Act is the objective, the main focus of the five-year plan is on service to the public and language-of-work rights.

DND/CAF have a structure that enables them to take official languages into account when planning their activities and in important decision-making processes. The Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources – Civilian, and the Chief of Military Personnel are the official languages champions. Both champions are involved in highest-level DND/CAF meetings and they raise official languages issues when necessary.

DND/CAF created the Senior Review Board (SRB) of Official Languages to facilitate the approval process regarding official languages decisions from the Armed Forces Council, the Defence Management Committee and the Assistant Deputy Minister Council. The SRB was established by the official languages champions and is chaired by director generals representing each of the champions. The official languages champions approved the SRB’s terms of reference. Decisions on official languages are made at the senior board level with the Official Languages Advisory Committee (OLAC) playing an advisory role. The OLAC meets three to four times a year and the SRB meets twice annually, with additional meetings if required. The Director of Official Languages presides over the OLAC meetings and is an active member of the SRB.

Official languages coordinators are responsible for implementing Part VII initiatives in their regions. The official languages coordinators report to the Director of Official Languages on measures implemented or in development.

DND/CAF have tools for taking into account official languages when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. In 2010, DND/CAF implemented Support to Official Language Minority Communities and Recognition of English and French in Canadian Society a directive that requires DND employees and CAF members responsible for the development of policies and programs to consider their impact on official language minority communities (OLMCs) should such policies and programs be created, reviewed, modified or cancelled. However, DND/CAF have not demonstrated concretely how the directive is systematically applied when a program or policy is created, modified or eliminated.

Within the context of investigations, the official languages team at DND/CAF works closely with investigators of the Office of the Commissioner to provide the requested information. This ensures that complaints are resolved in a timely manner and that the implemented corrective measures are complete and satisfactory. In cases where the documentation cannot be provided within the given timeframes, the official languages team at DND/CAF is proactive and informs the Office of the Commissioner of delays.

Overall, DND/CAF efforts and initiatives with regard to their official languages program management reflect their commitment to ensure compliance with the Act. DND/CAF have an action plan for 2012–2017 that addresses Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act and aims to implement an efficient reporting review mechanism. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the institutions to continue their efforts to ensure compliance with the Act.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between December 2014 and February 2015, indicate that an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 25% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 85% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September 2014 and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 83% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 74% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 90% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 10 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 42%Footnote 1.

DND/CAF indicated that they used the Treasury Board Secretariat’s analytical grid, when it was made available, to analyze their services and programs in light of the principle of substantive equality as recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in its DesRochers decision. However, at the moment of data collection, DND/CAF did not provide supporting documentation as evidence of how they evaluated the necessity to tailor their services to the public to meet the needs of OLMCs.

Observations of in-person service made by the Office of the Commissioner revealed that more needs to be done to ensure that an active offer is made at all times. Service availability on the telephone is fair and, as far as active offer is concerned, the results of the observations are good. While the comparable response rates with regard to e-mail were exemplary, DND/CAF should take appropriate measures to ensure that response timeframes by e-mail for Francophones are comparable to those for Anglophones.

Overall, the Office of the Commissioner encourages DND/CAF to implement measures to ensure that an active offer is systematically made in person at all times and to ensure that service in the official language of the linguistic minority is also available at all times. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages DND/CAF to review their programs and services through the use of formal mechanisms to evaluate the necessity to tailor their services to the public to meet the needs of OLMCs, thereby ensuring the principle of substantive equality.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, DND/CAF have taken general measures to promote the use of both official languages in the workplace. For example, an e-newsletter on official languages called Let’s Talk is published by the Director of Official Languages. Let’s Talk is sent to all DND/CAF members to inform them on subjects relating to official languages and the importance of complying with the Act. Formal guidelines have been given to senior officers, managers, commanders and commanding officers to communicate in both official languages when addressing DND staff and CAF members, as well as to ensure documents are provided in both official languages. A bilingual presentation was given to staff to inform them of their rights and obligations under the Act.

DND/CAF are aware of the challenges they face with regards to supervision in the official language of choice of DND employees and CAF members within their bilingual units. A variety of measures are being initiated to ensure that supervision in bilingual units is in employees’ official language of choice. For example, a review of the language requirements of military and civilian positions would be launched and access to second official language training for civilian and military staff is increased when required.

DND/CAF have several formal monitoring mechanisms to evaluate the impact of these measures. Examples include the use of the Your Say survey and the Public Service Employee Survey, an internal and external complaint system, and an internal official languages database, which draws data from the DND/CAF human resources database. Data collected from various monitoring reports are compiled in the official languages dashboard that is presented to the official languages champions, the SRB and the OLAC, and is published semi-annually on the DND/CAF intranet.

Overall, DND/CAF face various challenges related to the cultural environment surrounding official languages and language-of-work rights. Although they are putting measures in place to address those challenges, more work needs to be done with regard to employee supervision in both official languages. The Office of the Commissioner encourages DND/CAF to continue their efforts to raise awareness and find ways to ensure language-of-work rights are respected and to continue to promote an environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating DND/CAF’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

Only data for civilian DND personnel was considered for this evaluation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 5.1% of the civilian DND workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 28.5% of the civilian DND workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 8.1% of the civilian DND workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The Treasury Board data show an equitable representation of French-speaking Canadians outside of Quebec and the NCR for civilian DND personnel, and a slight under-representation of French-speaking Canadians in the NCR. The data also show an under-representation of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec outside of the NCR. The Office of the Commissioner suggests that DND/CAF review their workforce composition on a regional level, which will enable them to focus on targeting specific regions and offices where shortcomings could be present. More specifically, the Office of the Commissioner suggests that DND devise a work plan to address the identified gap in its representation of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec among civilian personnel.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

The official languages coordinators use a variety of tools to identify OLMCs. These tools include GeoSearch 2011, a Statistics Canada interactive site that includes an interactive linguistic map, and the Profiles of the Francophone and Acadian communities of Canada, which is published by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA).

DND/CAF are active members of the Network of National Section 41 coordinators and of the Justice Security Network. These networks strive to understand their obligations better and to implement positive measures under Part VII of the Act.

In 2014, the Justice Security Network organized a meeting with FCFA representatives, the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario and the Fédération des associations de juristes d’expression française de common law inc. The objectives of this meeting were to determine collaboratively the needs of these OLMCs and to identify what positive measures could be taken to address these needs. Meetings also took place with the FCFA and the Quebec Community Groups Network to identify their needs and to present DND/CAF initiatives.

DND/CAF noted some examples of positive measures they helped implement. Since 2002, in partnership with Emploi-Québec, the Valcartier Family Centre has had English speakers from Québec City and the Chaudière-Appalaches region offer employment services. In 2012, in consultation with the Centre de ressources des familles militaires d’Halifax et régions and other organizations, they identified certain health services needs for the Francophone community in Halifax. Following these discussions, an agreement was signed with the Ravines medical centre in Bedford to offer a variety of health services in French to the community. DND/CAF were involved in both initiatives through their Military Family Services Program. Services under the Military Family Services Program target military families and, with the Base Commander’s agreement, can extend to members of OLMCs.

The official languages coordinators evaluate the impact of these measures on the OLMCs by monitoring and reporting to the Director of Official Languages on measures implemented. An annual monitoring report on the activities planned and a progress report are then presented to the Director.

DND/CAF have organized several activities to promote linguistic duality within their institutions. Examples of these activities are the production and distribution of the DND/CAF e-newsletter Let’s Talk, the promotion of bilingualism in the workplace through a department-wide calendar campaign to reach all levels of the Defence Team, and celebration of Linguistic Duality Day. The institutions did not demonstrate how they evaluate the impact of these activities on linguistic duality.

Through their networks, DND/CAF consult and meet with OLMCs and identify their needs. Although the institutions are involved with OLMCs through military family resource centres in Québec City and Halifax, DND/CAF should consult systematically with other OLMCs throughout Canada to identify whether these services would be beneficial elsewhere. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the institutions to also look into their other programs and policies to see if they could contribute to the development of OLMCs. Although DND/CAF have identified measures to promote linguistic duality within their institutions, more should be done in this respect. The institutions have no formal mechanism to evaluate the impact of their activities to promote linguistic duality or to take into account their results to adjust them as needed. Therefore, the Office of the Commissioner encourages DND/CAF to implement formal systematic evaluation mechanisms.

Conclusion

This assessment of DND/CAF’s compliance with various aspects of the Act shows improvement and the institutions’ continuing efforts in the area of official languages resulted in a fair overall rating. Some of the areas evaluated require improvements, such as improving in-person active offer and service availability in the language of the minority; ensuring response timeframes by e-mail are comparable for both English -speaking and French-speaking Canadians; ensuring that language of work is respected in regions designated bilingual; ensuring an equitable representation of English-speaking Canadians in the Quebec region; and implementing formal systematic evaluation mechanisms to assess the impact of its activities on linguistic duality. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes and encourages DND/CAF efforts in working toward improving their compliance with the Act with the development and implementation of their five-year 2012–2017 OLAP that covers Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

National Film Board
2014–2016 Report Card
National Film Board
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for the National Film Board (NFB) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The NFB is a federal cultural agency mandated to produce and distribute and to promote the production and distribution of films destined to interpret Canada to Canadians and to other nations.

The NFB has a human resources manual containing official languages policies for Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act. These policies were reviewed in 2014 to ensure continued relevance. Although the NFB does not have a policy for Part VII of the Act, it reports that its official languages accountability framework, which dates from 2006, includes sufficient elements to ensure that the obligations under Part VII are respected.

The NFB has a 2012–2015 results-based action plan with well-defined objectives for implementing Part VII of the Act. The NFB will update its action plan every three years. The institution also plans to take into consideration the lessons learned during implementation of its current action plan when preparing its next action plan, which will cover 2015–2018. The action plan was approved by the Official Languages Champion in 2012 and endorsed by the management committee. The NFB does not have action plans for Parts IV, V and VI.

The NFB set up a working group in 2011 with a mandate to foster the development of French. Up until 2012–2013, this working group organized meetings on official languages with staff representing the institution’s various directorates. The NFB informed the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages that changes at the top of the organization meant there were no official languages meetings in 2014–2015. The NFB currently does not have an official languages committee and is awaiting the establishment of the management-approved diversity committee, whose mandate will be to implement the Act. However, official languages are always on the agenda of management committee meetings.

In April 2015, the Director General of Human Resources, Legal and Institutional Affairs became the NFB’s new official languages champion. The previous champion was very active within the organization. This is demonstrated by his participation in the 2012–2014 cross-Canada tour of Francophone official language minority communities (OLMCs), during which he met representatives from these OLMCs and spoke about issues that affect them.

Regarding tools and procedures intended to ensure consideration is given to official languages when activities are being planned, the NFB reports that, when budgets were being cut, meetings were used as a tool for holding discussions with those whom the decisions affected. Moreover, the NFB considers the Champion’s participation in the management committee to be another tool, since the Champion is tasked with ensuring compliance with the Act during program development and decision-making.

With respect to cooperation in the complaint resolution process, the Office of the Commissioner has not received any complaints against the NFB since 2009. The institution was therefore not evaluated on this criterion.

In conclusion, the NFB has a policy for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. And although the institution has an official languages accountability framework that includes some Part VII elements, the Office of the Commissioner encourages it to develop an internal policy for this part of the Act so that the policy will be tailored to NFB activities and better support its commitment to respect its obligations. The NFB has an action plan for Part VII, but no plan for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. It should therefore develop an action plan for these parts that identifies objectives and responsibilities. This will enable it to clearly determine what steps to take, both to assess progress and to decide what adjustments are needed to reach the objectives that have been set.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

The Office of the Commissioner was not able to conduct in-person observations for the NFB because the institution does not have a point of service accessible to the public. The institution was therefore not evaluated on this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated telephone system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 0.5 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 10%.Footnote 2

Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the DesRochers case, the NFB assessed the need to adapt its services to the public to meet the needs of OLMCs and came to the conclusion that, by the nature of its mandate and organizational structure, the NFB respects the principle of substantive equality. The institution also pays special attention to both language groups, especially within its policy framework on versions of NFB films, the main goal of which is to promote and make available the NFB collections in both official languages in order provide Canadians throughout the country with better service.

The Office of the Commissioner found that the NFB obtained very good results concerning observations by telephone and by e-mail. It encourages the NFB to continue its efforts in adapting its services in accordance with the principle of substantive equality, as this enables the institution to provide services that are adapted to the OLMCs’ needs, as required.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

The NFB has implemented many measures in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes in order to promote the use of the minority language in its offices.

The NFB keeps a register of its employees’ preferred official language so as to respect their choice regarding language of work. Employees have access to language training that includes annual in-house group classes given by an external provider and on-line courses provided by the Canada School of Public Service. When institution-wide meetings or presentations are held, the NFB makes sure that invitations are sent in both official languages so that employees can take part in their preferred language.

During the Strategic Planning exercise held in the fall of 2012, simultaneous translation was provided at several conferences that were held for all employees. The NFB also created the Buddy system for consultations involving employees and managers. The system took unilingual employees who were asked to take part in the consultations and partnered them with a bilingual colleague. The bilingual employee acted as an interpreter during bilingual group sessions.

The NFB informed the Office of the Commissioner that the survey results of the Buddy experience were inconclusive. The institution implemented remedial action at the managers’ meeting in March 2014, during which bilingual discussion groups were replaced by unilingual ones, and the use of buddies was limited to presentations.

In 2014, the NFB also surveyed its producers to find out what the preferred official language of work was in the various production studios. That same year it also conducted a survey on the institution’s linguistic services, such as translation and revision. The results were positive so no corrective measures were taken. For the evaluation of the courses and training it provides, the NFB does not have formal tools to measure their impact on its employees. Feedback is provided informally. The institution assured the Office of the Commissioner that there will be changes and that employees will be able to complete a survey at the end of their courses.

The NFB has taken targeted measures to maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages and the impact of some of these measures has been evaluated. The Office of the Commissioner invites the NFB to introduce an ongoing evaluation mechanism that will allow it to assess all of the measures its takes. This will be beneficial to the NFB and will enable it to comply with the requirements of Part V of the Act.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the NFB’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 9% of the NFB’s workforce is Francophone.

Given that the NFB does not have an office in the NCR, the institution was not evaluated with respect to this criterion.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 22.3% of the NFB’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The NFB has obtained excellent results for Part VI of the Act.In terms of representation, its workforce tends to mirror the makeup of the population. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the NFB to implement specific measures so that it will be able to continue to meet these criteria when the need arises.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

The NFB identified OLMCs throughout Canada and set up working partnerships with organizations linked to these OLMCs. Some of the NFB’s collaborations are long-standing while others have been put in place with the help of Canadian Heritage.

The NFB regularly holds bilateral consultations and discussions with some OLMCs, such as the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française, the Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada and the English Language Arts Network.

To this same end, a cross-Canada tour took place between 2012 and 2014 to hold consultations with Francophone communities. The tour’s objectives were to establish links with the major Francophone organizations, to support the NFB’s stance as an institution that cared about the development of OLMCs, to promote access to the NFB’s content and to explore concrete ways of working together.

These meetings were also opportunities to discuss some of the issues and priorities of each organization, in areas such as support for audio-visual production in Francophone communities, professional development and training, culture, and increasing artists’ profile and reach.

The NFB is one of six federal institutions to have signed the Collaboration Agreement for the Development of Arts and Culture in the Francophone Minority Communities of Canada 2013–2018, a Canadian Heritage initiative. The purpose of this agreement is to strengthen positive measures related to arts and culture, to the development of the Francophone and Acadian minorities in Canada, and to the promotion of their contribution to the country’s cultural and artistic wealth.

The NFB frequently holds follow-up meetings with OLMCs to ensure progress is being made toward objectives.

In terms of positive measures for the development of OLMCs, the NFB has implemented a number of initiatives. To support renewal within the Francophone minority outside Quebec, the NFB has created the Tremplin competition, which helps the next generation of film-makers in the target communities to create a short documentary under professional conditions and allows them to take part in professional workshops on screenwriting and directing.

The NFB reports that it engages in additional initiatives with OLMCs when the opportunity arises. For example, it communicated with representatives of New Brunswick’s Francophone community in 2013 to promote films on topics of interest to the community. E-mail messages are also sent periodically to Francophone library networks outside Quebec about new programming available for screening.

With its Rendez-vous de l’ONF en Acadie initiative, which includes the Francophone communities of Baie Sainte-Marie, Fredericton, Moncton, Caraquet, Edmundston and Bathurst, the NFB offers free screening of films in French as a way of celebrating Acadian cinema.

Responding to a need expressed by English-speaking OLMCs in Quebec, the NFB developed and signed an agreement to work with the English Language Arts Network and the Quebec English-Language Production Council. This agreement will form the basis of a framework for cooperation that will allow Quebec’s English-speaking communities to develop and enhance their contribution to the richness of Canadian culture.

To respond to the need for visibility expressed by English-speaking OLMCs, the NFB is updating its screening platform in line with their interests, which includes the possibility of viewing a range of films made by English-speaking artists from Quebec.

The NFB evaluated the Tremplin competition and reported that this program is being revised so that it adds something more to the experience of filmmakers. At the same time, the institution is keeping track of the number of screenings for OLMCs as well as productions created thanks to Tremplin. This will enable the NFB to plan the activities and films it provides through distribution networks, as well as DVDs and management of the on-line screening room, and to assess demand. However, according to the documentation provided, other initiatives put in place by the institution to support the development of OLMCs were assessed only summarily.

Regarding the issue of promoting linguistic duality outside the organization, the NFB worked with OLMCs to organize activities in French in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto, and in English in Montréal during the Get Animated! event, an annual celebration of animation.

On November 4, 2014, the NFB made available on-line a DVD box set commemorating the Royal 22e Régiment, to celebrate the centennial of this Francophone regiment, an important anniversary for the history of Canada. The NFB also contributes to Les Rendez-vous de la francophonie by providing content for Canada’s Francophone and Francophile communities.

In 2013, in collaboration with Canadian Heritage and the Université de Moncton, the NFB helped to create the interactive Web site Ta parole est en jeu!, which allows young people aged 13 to 16 to find out more about such things as French expressions, significant places in the Francophone community and the evolution of the French language in Canada.

Still with the aim of promoting English and French, CAMPUS, the NFB’s educational platform, gives educators access to a sizeable bank of educational resources and to Canadian media content that can facilitate learning. The NFB reports that a number of English-speaking institutions in Quebec and Francophone institutions across Canada already have licences to use CAMPUS and that the resource has been well received.

The NFB has an in-house celebration for Linguistic Duality Day. Employees are sent invitations to inform them of the activities that have been organized, one of which is the Commissioner’s dictation.

The NFB failed to demonstrate that it has a framework for measuring the impact of its initiatives on the promotion of linguistic duality both within and outside the institution.

Overall, the NFB performs well with respect to Part VII of the Act. In keeping with its mandate, it has taken appropriate measures to support the development of OLMCs. A number of initiatives have also been introduced to promote the equal status and use of English and French in Canadian society. The NFB did not, however, demonstrate that it used formal mechanisms to evaluate the impact of all the measures it takes. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages it to develop an evaluation framework so that it can monitor progress regarding the measures it takes. This will enable it to target its activities more effectively in order to achieve more tangible results.

Conclusion

The evaluation of compliance with the various aspects of the Act shows that the NFB is committed to meeting its obligations. The NFB’s performance was good overall in its report card. The Office of the Commissioner notes that the institution’s results for the telephone and e-mail observations are excellent. Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the DesRochers case, the NFB has assessed the need to adapt its services in accordance with the principle of substantive equality. Moreover, the NFB’s workforce is representative of the population, measures are taken to ensure the workplace is conducive to the effective use of both official languages and other measures foster the development of OLMCs and promote linguistic duality.

However, the report card shows the NFB does not always evaluate the impact of the measures it takes, whether for language of work, OLMC development or the promotion of linguistic duality. The Office of the Commissioner recommends that the NFB evaluate all of the measures it takes as this will allow it to monitor the progress related to these measures and to adapt them as required. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages it to develop an action plan for Parts IV, V and VI in order to continue to comply more effectively with its obligations under the Act.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

National Research Council Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
National Research Council Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for National Research Council Canada (NRC)’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

NRC is the government of Canada’s premier research and technology organization. Working with clients and partners, it provides innovation support, strategic research, and scientific and technical services.

NRC has an official languages policy. This policy has been in effect since 2007 and was updated in 2010. It provides managers and employees with directives on their rights and obligations with respect to Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act.

NRC’s 2015–2018 Official Languages Action Plan was approved in May 2015. It was reviewed and endorsed by the Consultative Committee on Official Languages (CCOL), the Official Languages Champion, the Vice-President of Human Resources and the Senior Executive Committee (SEC). Official languages were brought to the SEC on an as-needed basis by the Official Languages Champion and the Vice-President of Human Resources. Now, however, official languages are a standing item on the SEC’s agenda, and a formal structure is in place to track official languages progress. The SEC and the CCOL are made up of representatives from various regions and sectors, and will refer to the quarterly progress report to deal horizontally with questions related to Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act.

NRC’s Official Languages Champion is the Vice-President of the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). He has been NRC’s Official Languages Champion since February 2013. Given that all NRC committee structures, including the one for official languages, were dissolved in June 2012 for review purposes, the Official Languages Champion took charge of the review and update of the official languages terms of reference and solicited new members for the CCOL in 2014.

The Champion also participates in meetings of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions.

NRC undertakes an official languages analysis for Treasury Board submissions when required. For instance, when a new program is being created, NRC uses the Industry Canada Official Languages Filter. Intergovernmental Relations and Parliamentary Affairs coordinates submissions to Treasury Board and ensures that the Official Languages Filter checklist is completed by the business line, program or portfolio, and by the Human Resources Branch, and is in compliance with the legislative requirements of the Act. Once completed, the Official Languages Filter becomes part of the submission.

NRC collaborates fully with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the investigation process.

Overall, NRC has made improvements since its last report card in 2010–2011. The current official languages management framework and action plan define objectives to address shortcomings, including those identified in previous report cards, such as lack of standard and systemic procedures. While many of these improvements are fairly recent, continued commitment from management will be key in ensuring compliance with the Act.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between May and July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 89% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 9% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 79% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 82% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 94% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 4.3 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 81%.Footnote 1

After the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DesRochers case, NRC provided documentation that demonstrates that it assessed the need to adapt IRAP, which led to a commitment to enhance outreach to OLMCs. However, it did not demonstrate that programs other than IRAP were also assessed with a view to ensuring services of equal quality.

NRC obtained good results when the Office of the Commissioner conducted observations of active visual offer. The results of the observations for its service to the public in person were fair. Regarding the telephone observations, the results of its active offer were good, and the ones for its service availability were exemplary. Concerning NRC’s e-mail service to the public, the results demonstrated that its response rate in both official languages was exemplary. However, the time delay for responses to e-mails in French, compared with those in English, was very poor. The Office of the Commissioner suggests that NRC put in place a mechanism to ensure that French-speaking Canadians receive service by e-mail within timeframes comparable to those for English-speaking Canadians.

The results demonstrate the need for NRC to take action to improve its active offer in person, which was very poor. NRC is encouraged to use the results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations for ensuring that the institution offers services to the public in both official languages at all times. Although NRC reported fully assessing the need to provide the public with services of equal quality in both official languages for IRAP, the Office of the Commissioner encourages NRC to ensure that this assessment covers all its important service-delivery programs.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) D

NRC managers and supervisors must enroll in and complete the on-line course Management 101. The course’s module on human resources includes a section dedicated to official languages. NRC had been monitoring completion rates monthly for this mandatory course, but since a cyber intrusion in July 2014, reports are no longer available.

Until July 2014, NRC had an official languages tool to inform employees of their rights and obligations. Since the cyber intrusion, Human Resources has been meeting with new employees to inform them of their rights and obligations. NRC also has a personnel information directory that indicates the official language of preference for all employees.

NRC offers in-house courses in both English and French, such as retirement workshops and project management training sessions. NRC also offers language training and maintenance to satisfy both statutory requirements and the professional development needs for its employees.

NRC informed the Office of the Commissioner that official languages issues and complaints are brought to the attention of management through an internal process.

NRC also informed the Office of the Commissioner that managers supervise their employees in the official language of their choice and that all annual evaluations are completed in the employee’s language of choice, regardless of whether they are located in a region designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

In the event that managers do not meet their language requirements when hired on a non-imperative basis, particularly in the scientific and engineering fields, language training and administrative measures are put in place for the first two years.

NRC has used an e-poll, sent to all employees, as a means to sporadically evaluate the impact of some of the official languages measures by asking, for example, if employees were able to work in the official language of their choice. Although the institution indicated that results are compiled and discussed at executive meetings and that they are shared with management, the Office of the Commissioner did not receive documents demonstrating that these results were discussed.

Overall, although NRC has put in place some measures to ensure its employees’ rights in terms of language of work, the Office of the Commissioner strongly encourages the institution to develop new tools to replace the ones that were affected by the cyber intrusion. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages NRC to develop a formal evaluation process for assessing the effectiveness of its initiatives regarding this part of the Act.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating NRC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the National Capital Region, 4.1% of NRC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the National Capital Region represents 34.5% of the total population. In the National Capital Region, 27.3% of NRC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the National Capital Region, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the National Capital Region, 22.1% of NRC’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Statistics Canada and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, March 31, 2014.)

Overall, NRC’s workforce has good representation of the French-speaking population outside Quebec and in the National Capital Region, and the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the National Capital Region. However, the institution needs to improve its French-speaking population representation in the National Capital Region through appropriate measures. NRC stated that this matter will be brought to the attention of senior management and that appropriate strategies will be considered. The Office of the Commissioner looks forward to seeing the results of NRC’s efforts to improve the participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) D

NRC’s IRAP offers an opportunity for regional and national organizations to connect, collaborate and build partnerships with individuals and organizations that support the development and commercialization of technologies by small and medium-sized enterprises. Although the institution reports that the Vancouver IRAP office meets periodically with the OLMCs that participate in the Official Languages Committee of the British Columbia Federal Council, the institution did not demonstrate how it consults with OLMCs and takes their needs into consideration in its decision making.

Although NRC described the activities carried out within IRAP as being positive measures enhancing the vitality of OLMCs, the institution was not able to demonstrate what initiatives or projects it was referring to. No documentation was provided to the Office of the Commissioner in this regard.

In terms of assessing the impact of the measures taken for the OLMCs, NRC informed the Office of the Commissioner that it was using an on-line survey in which IRAP partners could inform the institution of any challenges related to official languages during the projects. NRC did not provide the required documentation on this matter, nor did it demonstrate how this questionnaire was focusing on the potential impact of the initiatives taken under IRAP, or even how it was related to Part VII of the Act.

Although NRC explained that its efforts to promote linguistic duality are mostly internally focused, such as the organization of activities and kiosks for Linguistic Duality Day, it provided no information with regard to promoting the equal status and use of English and French in Canadian society and assessing the measures put in place.

Overall, NRC did not demonstrate how it supports OLMCs across the country. Also, efforts toward promotion of linguistic duality need to include promotion of English and French in Canadian society. The Office of the Commissioner urges NRC to reflect on what positive measures it could take for all aspects of Part VII of the Act and put in place mechanisms to evaluate those measures. To this end, NRC is encouraged to engage in discussions with other federal institutions with a similar mandate about the measures that they take to enhance OLMCs’ vitality and to promote linguistic duality in Canada.

Conclusion

With respect to its official languages program management, NRC has made improvements since its last report card in 2010–2011: its official languages management framework and action plan now define objectives to address shortcomings. Even though NRC obtained good results in terms of visual active offer and active offer over the telephone, the institution needs much improvement in terms of the delay for responses to e-mails in French and in-person active offer, which received very poor results. In terms of language of work, although NRC has taken some measures to ensure its employees’ rights are respected, the Office of the Commissioner urges the institution to take action in developing more measures and establishing formal evaluation procedures for assessing the effectiveness of its measures regarding this part of the Act. When it comes to participation of both English- and French-speaking Canadians, the Office of the Commissioner encourages NRC to implement appropriate measures to increase the representation of its French-speaking workforce in the National Capital Region. In terms of development of OLMCs and promotion of linguistic duality, the Office of the Commissioner urges NRC to take positive measures and to put in place mechanisms for evaluating those measures and their impact.

Overall, the fact that NRC has made improvements regarding its program management is a basis for developing and improving other aspects of the Act. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes the challenges that were involved in recovering from the 2014 cyber intrusion. Nonetheless, it is essential for NRC to put in place measures and assessment tools that will ensure better compliance with the Act in its entirety. The Office of the Commissioner urges NRC to address the identified gaps in this report card promptly.

Overall Rating D

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Natural Resources Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation

NRCan is an economic, science-based department with a mandate to promote the sustainable development and responsible use of Canada’s mineral, energy and forest resources.

NRCan has official languages policies and guidelines related to parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. Official languages are included in the Department’s operational strategy and are among the organisational priorities in the NRCan Integrated Business Plan for 2013–2016.

When data was being collected, NRCan had a complete, up-to-date action plan for 2011–2014, in which objectives, key results, persons responsible and timelines were clearly set out. Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act, as well as official languages program management, were covered in the action plan. It also contained targeted measures, such as creating a governance and accountability framework, to address the shortcomings identified in the 2009–2010 report card and annual report. Activities and initiatives that were not completed in the 2011–2014 action plan are to be incorporated into the 2015–2018 action plan.

The Deputy Minister reviews and approves the action plan. The official languages team reviews it twice a year, and the documentation provided to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages indicates that achievements and progress of the action plan are presented to the Executive Committee.

According to documents provided during data collection, official languages matters are added on the Executive Committee agenda as required. NRCan created an Official Languages Action Group, which meets every month to discuss official languages matters and to provide support for the implementation of the action plan.

The two NRCan Official Languages Champions hold senior management positions in the Department. Official Languages Champions were also appointed at the sector level. They have a guide that provides various tools and advice on the implementation of the action plan in their respective sectors. Regional coordinators are appointed to oversee the implementation of Part VII activities and initiatives. The two Champions and sector Champions are members of the Official Languages Action Group.

The Department’s structure enables it to take official languages into account in planning its activities and in important decision-making processes. The governance and accountability model specifies the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the Deputy Minister, Champions, those in charge of official languages within the Department, Assistant Deputy Ministers, managers, and the Official Languages Action Group. During data collection, NRCan representatives pointed out that the governance model is based on a dynamic approach that brings together all sectors, managers and employees, and this leads to positive, long-lasting results. Each person has roles and responsibilities in ensuring compliance with the Act.

The Department has put together a guide to take into account the impact on official languages when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. The guide is provided to employees responsible for developing policies and programs. NRCan also complies with the Guide to Preparing Treasury Board Submissions.

NRCan representatives collaborate with the Office of the Commissioner on resolving complaints. The Department provides the information requested within the agreed deadlines.

In short, NRCan has implemented several initiatives to comply with the Act. The action plan is solid, covers several parts of the Act, and is an integral part of the Department’s operational strategy. A governance and accountability structure allows the Department to better oversee the implementation of the various initiatives, including the development of sectoral plans and the creation of the working group to implement Part VII. The Office of the Commissioner encourages NRCan to continue its efforts to effectively manage its official languages program.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) D

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between December 2014 to February 2015, indicate that an active visual offer was present in 85% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 7% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 81% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September to December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 87% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 76% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 70% for e-mails sent in English and 45% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 38.4 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 44%.Footnote 1

On the basis of the analysis grid that the Treasury Board Secretariat developed following the Supreme Court decision in DesRochers, NRCan concluded that its programs and services to the public are not subject to the principle of substantive equality. NRCan did not, however, provide any documents to support that conclusion. In short, during the Office of the Commissioner’s observations on active offer in person and its e-mail observations, the results were very low and low respectively. NRCan is encouraged to take measures to ensure that staff provides active offer at all times and that English- and French-speaking Canadians obtain equitable service when they contact the Department by e-mail. The overall results of anonymous observations by telephone were good. Lastly, NRCan is encouraged to put in place permanent, robust mechanisms to ensure that programs take into account fully the principle of substantive equality.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, NRCan takes measures to create an environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

Employees are given information sessions on their rights regarding language of work. Reminders are also sent out every two months on TVAds, which are departmental in-house communications tools. Approximately four departmental messages about language of work are sent to all employees every year. Official languages are addressed in orientation sessions for new employees. A register of each employee’s preferred language is also available. This enables the Department to check employees’ preferred official language when sending them documents and messages. In addition, posters and banners are put up in offices to remind employees of their rights regarding language of work.

All NRCan employees have access to language training adapted to the Department’s context and realities. The language school reports to the NRCan Language Services Unit and offers, according to the Department, various programs and learning methods designed to create a bilingual workplace and foster continuous learning of the second official language. Employees have access to self-learning tools and a buddy program, among other things. Employees and their supervisors draw up a learning plan at the start of language training. Progress is monitored throughout training, and employees sign a return-to-work agreement that will help them maintain and use their second official language.

Other measures have been taken to raise managers’ awareness. These include information sessions on conducting bilingual meetings, brainstorming sessions on the challenges of Part V, and information sessions on determining the language requirements for positions and the linguistic profiles for bilingual positions.

NRCan is aware of the challenges related to language of work. Following an analysis of the results of the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey, the official languages team met with managers to discuss the challenges they were facing and possible solutions to improve the situation.

NRCan uses various indicators to measure the impact of these measures, in particular the number of internal complaints and the results of the on-site observations done by the official languages coordinator during team meetings. NRCan explained that there were no formal mechanisms to systematically evaluate the impact of the measures, but that one of the priorities of the 2015–2018 action plan is to establish more concrete performance indicators.

The Office of the Commissioner acknowledges that NRCan has taken a number of measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of work purposes. It nevertheless encourages NRCan to prioritize the development of a formal assessment framework, as called for in the 2015–2018 action plan, to verify the effectiveness of its measures.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) B

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating NRCan’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada except for Quebec and the NCR, 4.3% of the NRCan workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 31% of the NRCan workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, is 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 11.6% of the NRCan workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

NRCan has participated in job fairs at universities in official language minority communities (OLMC) across Canada. Information sessions on job opportunities in the Department were given at those universities.

In short, the statistics reveal good representation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in the Department. The Office of the Commissioner encourages NRCan to continue taking measures to promote job opportunities in OLMCs to ensure and maintain good representation of both language groups within the Department.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Following the 2009–2010 report card, NRCan tackled the issues related to the implementation of Part VII of the Act and defined the means to fulfil its obligations in that regard, taking into account its mandate and mission. Subsequently, the Department hired an external consultant, who made recommendations on implementing Part VII. A working group was then set up and a regional action plan drawn up.

The working group established a regional network of official languages champions made up of representatives of each sector in the regions. The Regional Champions Network’s mandate is to promote, facilitate and coordinate the implementation of Part VII at the regional level. The working group set up specific partnerships in the regions and has taken concrete action.

The working group also developed a strategic framework for Part VII based on NRCan’s mandate and priorities. Members of the working group drew up a map showing the location of OLMCs that depend on natural resources, such as mining and forests, in relation to the location of NRCan offices. NRCan regional official languages coordinators met and consulted OLMCs in their regions to determine their needs and discuss various opportunities for collaboration. Organisations consulted include the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, the Quebec Community Groups Network, the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario du grand Sudbury, Laurentian University, Collège Boréal, and the Carrefour francophone.

Following these discussions, several positive measures were taken for the development of OLMCs, including two pilot projects. One of the projects was the creation of a directory of scientists and professionals to inform OLMCs about departmental activities in their communities. The other project focused on the development of training modules on popularizing scientific findings. Those initiatives meet the needs expressed by French-language post-secondary institutions in the Sudbury area.

Assessment mechanisms to measure the impact of the projects will be developed as the pilot projects progress. For now, NRCan assesses the progress of the projects through feedback from OLMCs and surveys. Discussions will be held with OLMCs to establish performance indicators. At the time when the data was collected, no date had been set for those discussions.

Several positive measures have been taken to promote linguistic duality. NRCan made efforts to promote the use of French in the Department. For example, through an activity called Livres en cavale, employees in all sectors and regions exchange books written in French in order to spread the word about Francophone scientific culture.

The Department also promotes science in French at French-language and French-immersion educational institutions. During the National Science and Technology Week that was held from October 20 to 25, 2013, presentations on science and technology were given in French to students at Ontario French-language and French-immersion schools, such as Lycée Claudel, All Saints High School, and Henry Larsen Elementary School. Several similar presentations were given in both official languages. NRCan has no formal mechanism to evaluate the impact of these measures on linguistic duality, but it rates the success of the activities based on participants’ feedback.

The Office of the Commissioner acknowledges NRCan’s work in developing OLMCs. The working group in charge of Part VII planned and carried out various concrete activities, such as creating a directory of scientists and professionals and popularizing scientific findings. The positive measures to promote linguistic duality are also noteworthy. The Office of the Commissioner encourages NRCan to develop formal monitoring tools to assess the impact of its measures on the development of OLMCs and promotion of linguistic duality. The Department and OLMCs would benefit from this.

Conclusion

The results of the evaluation of NRCan’s compliance with the various aspects of the Act show that it is determined to fulfil its obligations. This evaluation has revealed considerable progress in official languages program management since the last report card, which was in 2009–2010. This sound program management has contributed to the overall rating, which is good.

In response to the shortcomings identified in the 2009–2010 report card, NRCan undertook several initiatives to meet its obligations under the Act. The Department obtained good ratings in the following areas: Part V, language of work; Part VI, equitable representation in the Department of English-speaking employees in Quebec and French-speaking employees across Canada; and Part VII, development of OLMCs and promotion of linguistic duality.

However, there is room for improvement regarding service to the public in terms of active offer in person and equitable e-mail services for English- and French-speaking Canadians. The Department is also encouraged to develop formal assessment mechanisms regarding language of work and positive measures for the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality.

The Office of the Commissioner would like to highlight NRCan’s efforts to comply with the Act.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) D

The data for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

NSERC is the federal funding agency that promotes and supports post-secondary-based research and research training in the fields of natural science and engineering. NSERC programs are delivered through large-scale national competitions to provide funding through grants or scholarships. NSERC shares a number of services with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), including its human resources and auditing and evaluation services. They are nevertheless two separate federal institutions.

NSERC has had a policy for Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act since March 2011, as well as official languages directives covering many aspects, such as communications with and services to the public, language of work, language training and Part VII. They were adopted in 2010 and 2011. The institution also has Part VII guidelines, developed in 2013. Review work was being conducted at the time of the evaluation by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the fall of 2014, with the aim of creating a single, common policy for NSERC and SSHRC.

NSERC adopted an official languages action plan after the publication of its last report card, in 2010–2011. The plan covers Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. It lists annual deliverables, but does not specify who is responsible for them. A follow-up on the measures contained in the plan was only conducted for Part VII. Integration of this plan into SSHRC’s was under way in the fall of 2014, at the time of the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation for this report card.

A new SSHRC and NSERC joint official languages committee was being formed in October 2014. This committee plans to meet four times per year. NSERC did not previously have an official languages committee.

The quarterly information bulletin that the shared human resources services sends to NSERC senior management includes, as needed, a section on official languages. The institution was able to provide evidence of senior management’s approval of key documents. It also provided evidence of presentations made to senior management at appropriate times, such as the approval of the directive on Part VII in 2013. However, NSERC could not demonstrate, in the information sent to the Office of the Commissioner, senior management’s commitment to an overall vision in terms of official languages, nor how senior management planned to take official languages into account in its strategic planning. The institution did not provide documentation demonstrating how the official languages champion is active in the institution, besides sending periodic messages to staff, similar to those sent at SSHRC.

Issues related to Parts IV, V and VI of the Act are handled by the human resources team. The Policy and International Relations Division is responsible for coordinating the implementation of Part VII, as is stated in the Policy on Official Languages. According to NSERC, issues related to the impact of policies and new programs usually go through this division, which enables the division to take them into account. An analysis grid is available as a tool for managers to measure the impact of their program with regard to Part VII obligations. The institution stated that it complies with the requirement to complete an analysis grid to show the impact of official languages in its submissions to Treasury Board. However, NSERC did not demonstrate that it used formal mechanisms to take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. NSERC did not demonstrate, for example, that it was monitoring or had put in place performance measurements to take into account this impact.

NSERC provides the necessary information during investigations at the Office of the Commissioner’s request and collaborates in resolving complaints.

Many items assessed were present during the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation; that is, policy instruments and a complete action plan, as well as good collaboration during investigations. However, the institution had only just formed an official languages committee. In addition, key aspects were missing from the information the institution sent: a demonstration of senior management’s commitment and active leadership in taking official languages into account and integrating them into its strategic planning, as well as formal mechanisms to assess the impact of official languages when adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs.

Regarding the impact of official languages, NSERC is encouraged to conduct an in-depth review of the exact nature of post-secondary institutions’ obligations as set out in Parts IV and VII of the Act. SSHRC, NSERC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research have given universities responsibility for administering applications and awarding students certain bursaries that they fund. The documentation states that the post-secondary institutions must have mechanisms to review applications in English and in French, but the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation found some shortcomings regarding the analysis of repercussions on official languages with this new operating procedure. It is important for NSERC to ensure that these obligations are clarified with the institutions in question and to implement appropriate formal official languages oversight and monitoring mechanisms.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between December 2014 and February 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 6% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases. Given that SSHRC and NSERC share in-person points of service, this criterion was evaluated jointly.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 68% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 89% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 85% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 6.7 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 68%Footnote 1.

The report card also evaluates whether institutions have assessed the need to tailor their services to the public to meet the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs) following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the DesRochers case. The documentation submitted by NSERC demonstrates that the institution has conducted an assessment. It did not demonstrate that a permanent mechanism was in place.

NSERC obtained excellent results during the Office of the Commissioner’s observations for visual active offer and the availability of service in person. The availability of service on the telephone was good. However, the results for verbal active offer by staff were very poor, and the results for active offer on the telephone were poor. NSERC is therefore encouraged to take significant steps to correct this situation so members of the public immediately know that they can be understood and served in the language of their choice. While the response rate for e-mails in French was good and for e-mails in English was exemplary, the difference in timeframe between English and French requests leaves room for improvement. French-speaking members of the public would benefit from quicker response rates when they contact NSERC by e-mail.

NSERC assessed whether it needed to adapt its services to the public in order to comply with the principle of substantive equality. However, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to establish a permanent mechanism in this regard. It should be noted that NSERC now plans, for its funding applications, to distinguish between the language of an application and the first official language of a candidate, which can differ. The goal is to distinguish the language preferences of members of the public from the realities and constraints of science and engineering research in Canada, where research in English is predominant. This practice should be encouraged.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

At the time the data was collected, efforts were underway with SSHRC to integrate NSERC’s official language program with respect to language of work. However, the two organizations have shared human resources services for a number of years, which explains their very similar results for this part of the Act.

NSERC has a number of directives related to language of work, staffing and second-language evaluation. Tools are available on the institution’s intranet site to guide employees and managers—for example, to help managers determine whether they are meeting their obligations and to help employees with second-language learning. The new-employee orientation kit contains information on official languages. The institution takes into account the preferred language of employees.

In 2012 and 2013, the institution held a managers’ forum on official languages to identify language-of-work needs. As another ad hoc measure, a twinning program and info-lunch on learning languages, in collaboration with SSHRC, resulted in a language training session. However, the documentation submitted to the Office of the Commissioner indicates that the institution’s investments in training and development are relatively low.

NSERC states that it has few unilingual positions, since most of the workforce may have contact with the public. As a result, according to the institution, the recent workforce reduction exercises had a minimal impact on the institution’s ability to provide services in both official languages and maintain a work environment conducive to the use of both languages.

With respect to assessing the impact of measures to create and maintain a bilingual work environment, NSERC indicates that it measures satisfaction levels regarding official languages when conducting exit interviews, which are not systematic. The institution also specifies that the human resources dashboard sent to senior management indicates the linguistic designation of positions, as well as employees’ preferred official language and first official language. However, NSERC did not demonstrate that it was formally monitoring or evaluating the effectiveness and use of language-of-work tools. In 2014, NSERC participated in the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) for the first time.

In short, NSERC has taken targeted measures, but has not used formal and systematic mechanisms to evaluate their effects. NSERC’s participation for the first time in the PSES presents an excellent opportunity for senior management to develop a specific and targeted plan to correct all the shortcomings identified, particularly whenever the survey results show differences between the satisfaction levels of Anglophones and Francophones. The Office of the Commissioner encourages NSERC to continue measuring first official language and preferred official language of work separately. It could then use this data to find, as needed, opportunities to promote the effective use of both official languages, without discouraging employees from one language group who choose to work in the other official language.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating NSERC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 52.6% of NSERC’s workforce is French-speaking.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Due to the very small number of NSERC employees working outside of the NCR, the representation criteria for the English-speaking minority of Quebec outside of the NCR and the French-speaking minority outside of Quebec and the NCR were not evaluated.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

NSERC has a definition of OLMCs adapted to its mandate. That is, it mainly targets the community of researchers and students from OLMC post-secondary institutions, including the English-language institutions of Quebec, the French-language institutions outside Quebec and bilingual institutions. Beyond the academic community, NSERC indicated that it has not specifically targeted OLMCs to determine their needs. This is because, according to the institution, OLMCs are part of the general public, which NSERC occasionally consults as part of its regular activities. NSERC had made contact with organizations representing the post-secondary institutions of OLMCs, but those discussions did not result in any concrete collaboration at the time of the evaluation.

As part of its regular activities, NSERC goes beyond the ability to communicate with the public in both official languages by ensuring that the composition of its review committees for funding applications, consisting of researchers, reflects linguistic duality and that discussions are held in the language of the application. This supports the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society, by promoting scientific activity in each official language across the country, including in OLMCs. It also provides better service to OLMCs in their language.

As part of the Discovery Grants Program review conducted every five years, NSERC asked respondents whether they faced language barriers during the process. The results were still being analyzed at the time of the review. NSERC’s PromoScience program provides financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to increase their understanding of science and engineering. NSERC indicates that many applicants identified OLMCs in certain provinces as one of the clienteles that they targeted for activities that promote science at schools.

To formally evaluate positive measures to support the development and enhance the vitality of OLMCs, NSERC collects data and information to monitor the support provided to OLMC institutions and groups. It was able to provide data on support to OLMC institutions and research and to report on the composition of committees that evaluate funding applications. However, the Office of the Commissioner notes shortcomings in the definition of needs, as mentioned above.

To promote linguistic duality, NSERC participates in the Part VII working group for scientific institutions, headed by Natural Resources Canada. Internally, NSERC promotes Linguistic Duality Day, which is an annual event. Despite this, NSERC did not demonstrate that it conducted a structured exercise to determine how it could take positive measures to promote linguistic duality within Canadian society beyond its existing obligations related to communications with and services to the public and related to language of work.

NSERC has internal mechanisms to monitor support for researchers and universities by preferred official language, in both the minority and majority communities. The institution measures the success rates of funding applications by preferred language. These practices should certainly continue. However, the data collection did not clarify how NSERC would address any gaps or imbalance identified between the two language communities regarding support for research activities.

NSERC is not an institution designated to produce an action plan and an annual report on Part VII to Canadian Heritage. In addition, it is not directly part of NSERC’s mandate to support research on subjects related to OLMCs and linguistic duality. The institution noted these distinctions to partially explain why its Part VII activity component is less developed than it could be.

Certain adjustments to practices seem to be required to improve NSERC’s compliance. Each institution must specifically consider OLMCs’ needs in order to take measures that, after analysis, it reasonably believes will contribute to the development and vitality of OLMCs. Since it may be difficult to identify what measures within its regular activities support OLMCs, NSERC would benefit from expanding its exercise on defining the needs of OLMCs beyond post-secondary institutions and aim for a formal, targeted exercise in this regard. Stating that members of OLMCs are by definition members of a community in general is not adequate. In order to promote linguistic duality, NSERC should take advantage of the Part VII working group discussions for scientific institutions headed by Natural Resources Canada to further reflect on positive measures. Because of the prominence of English in natural sciences and engineering research, NSERC would benefit from identifying opportunities to promote science in French across Canada. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the institution to reflect on the appropriate language clauses to include in its contribution agreements for its programs, such as PromoScience, by considering factors such as the scope of the recipient organization’s activities that affect OLMCs. This involves not only encouraging, but closely monitoring the implementation of the clauses. The work undertaken with SSHRC and the internal reflection observed at NSERC on its Part VII obligations demonstrate that, at the time of the evaluation, the institution was on the right track.

Conclusion

NSERC faced significant challenges concerning official languages governance during the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation for this report card. It received varying results on the different aspects of service to the public. NSERC has enacted many targeted measures to promote the use of both official languages in the work environment, but it would benefit from evaluating their impact more systematically. NSERC took certain positive measures under Part VII of the Act and has monitoring mechanisms for its measures, but it should reflect further on the implementation of this part of the Act in order to comply with it better. It will be interesting to see, a few years from now, the results of the integration of NSERC’s official languages program with that of SSHRC. Already, at the time of the previous report card, in 2010–2011, both institutions shared human resources services and official languages functions. Both institutions are increasing their integration by working on joint official languages plans and committees. The Office of the Commissioner welcomes these efforts, since they create a synergy between these two institutions that have similar mandates and share many programs, in spite of the differences in their realities resulting from their respective mandates.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

NAV CANADA
2014–2016 Report Card
NAV CANADA
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for NAV CANADA’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

NAV CANADA, the second largest provider of air navigation services in the world, is a private company responsible for planning and managing the Canadian civilian airspace. It provides a range of civil air navigation and traffic control services. NAV CANADA is subject to the Official Languages Act pursuant to a provision of the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act of 1996.

NAV CANADA has an official languages policy that establishes responsibilities, including those of senior management, and the major objectives with respect to the different parts of the Act. The policy is reviewed annually. The institution has guidelines for employees and managers that deal with the obligations related to the different parts of the Act. NAV CANADA also has an official languages action plan for 2011–2015, which was still in effect when data collection started, since NAV CANADA’s fiscal year ends in August. The person responsible for official languages, who is the Manager, Legislated Programs, ensures that the action plan is reviewed in collaboration with the different directorates. The action plan takes into account the recommendations of the previous report card, from 2008–2009, and deals with Parts IV to VII of the Act.

The institution has a structure that enables it to take official languages into account as part of its activity planning and major decisions. The data collected demonstrated the commitment of the Official Languages Champion and Co-Champion. The institution states that the choice of champions was strategic: the Champion’s leadership has an effect on a large portion of the staff through his duties as Vice-President of Operations, whereas the Co-Champion exercises internal and external influence as Director of Communications. Both are members of the executive committee, as is the vice-president to whom reports the person responsible for official languages (in the human resources unit), and bring official languages issues to the attention of the other members of the executive committee, as needed. The Champion and Co-Champion are also members of the institution’s official languages committee, which is made up of, in addition to the human resources manager responsible for Parts IV, V and VI, the communications manager responsible for Part VII and the person responsible for language training. Meetings are held as needed, but the institution demonstrated regular interactions of this ad hoc team.

With regard to tools and procedures to take official languages into account when adding, changing or eliminating policies or programs, NAV CANADA has procedures in place to ensure that official languages are an integral part of the prerequisites when new software applications are being developed, and that technical terminology is validated in both languages. The institution must use a large number of collaboration tools and specialized software applications, specifically for airspace navigation, monitoring and management. For example, the institution took official languages into account in the new controller pilot data link communications system, which replaces oral communication between the control tower and the plane for routine communications. In addition, to demonstrate the importance of official languages as a structuring element of its activities, NAV CANADA included content on the importance of official languages in its operational plan, which affects the majority of employees, as well as in its code of conduct, which all employees must periodically certify that they have read.

The institution was not evaluated on the criterion of cooperating with investigations, since only one complaint has been received since its last report card in 2008–2009.

NAV CANADA showed excellent performance in official languages program management. The institution has an official languages governance framework in line with its operational and technical mandate. The people responsible for official languages, as well as the Champion and Co-Champion, are proactive and engaged. The institution has included official languages in corporate structuring tools—the operational plan and the code of conduct—in order to demonstrate their importance. The current structure works well because of the strong commitment of the people responsible for official languages; implementation problems might arise, however, if there is staff turnover. The institution is therefore encouraged to implement measures to record this corporate knowledge and sustain current practices.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

In accordance with the rules set out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations, NAV CANADA must provide air radio communication services in English and French in Quebec and in the National Capital Region (NCR), and in English in the rest of the country. These separate rules required a different approach for this section of the evaluation. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages conducted a short survey of pilot schools in Montréal and Ottawa to measure pilots’ degree of satisfaction with the service provided in French by control tower staff at Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport and Montréal–Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. Although there were not enough respondents for the results to be statistically valid, the Office of the Commissioner notes that, when the pilots who responded asked to be served in French, they always received service in this language, as stipulated in the Regulations.

In-person service to the public was observed between May and July 2015 at the NAV Centre, a conference and accommodation centre in Cornwall, Ontario. This is the institution’s only office open to the public without an appointment. The results of the observations indicate an active visual offer was present in 88% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 30% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 80% of cases.

The observations of service to the public on the telephone and by e-mail followed the same methodology as that used for other federal institutions and were made at different points of service. The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations on service to the public on the telephone, from May to July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 94% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 85% for e-mails sent in English and 85% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in English took, on average, 0.5 hours longer in than those in French. This represents a difference of 4%.Footnote 1

As part of the report card exercise, the Office of the Commissioner also reviews how the institution evaluated the need to provide the public with services of equal quality in both official languages, taking into account the nature and purpose of the services, based on the Supreme Court of Canada decision in DesRochers in 2009. NAV CANADA demonstrated that it had summarily evaluated the need to adapt its services, and that the analysis determined that they did not have to be adapted. The institution says that this can explained by the fact that services to the public are either very tightly regulated (in terms of air navigation services) or are services that do not need to be adapted to the specific needs and characteristics of official language minority communities (OLMCs) because of the nature of these services. However, even though the institution stated that it periodically reviews the grid, it did not demonstrate that it had fully analyzed all its interactions with its client groups, which go beyond the strict framework of regulated air navigation activities.

NAV CANADA obtained good or excellent results on the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service in person, except for active offer in person at the NAV Centre, which was very poor and merits increased attention. The institution demonstrated that it had summarily evaluated the need to adapt its services to the public based on the principle of substantive equality, but NAV CANADA would benefit from looking more closely at its interactions with its client groups to see if adaptation is required.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

NAV CANADA has taken a number of measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of English and French in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. NAV CANADA has guidelines for employees and managers, which explain language obligations, including those related to language of work, to staff. The institution has an internal mechanism for resolving language-of-work complaints, under which the manager responsible for official languages receives complaints, checks the facts and makes recommendations to senior management, as needed. This mechanism is formally set out in the organization’s code of conduct. NAV CANADA adopted guidelines on the use of official languages on the Web, the intranet and internal collaboration platforms used by employees. NAV CANADA says that it ensures that all of the material on computer systems is available in English and French, including instruction manuals, release notes and training manuals. According to the institution, while it is true that this was not always the case in the past, the institution now ensures that software applications are available in English and French before they can be used by staff. The institution gave an example from 2014, when, as a result of an internal complaint, it withdrew a software application available in English only when it was being developed. NAV CANADA has its own translation and terminology service, which, according to the institution, provides unique expertise on technical aeronautics terminology in English and French. The institution makes its translation service available to staff without requiring pre-approval. It has a full internal language training program, which it plans to continue developing. NAV CANADA also has a language teacher for priority language training (for example, incumbents with supervisory responsibilities), as well as a French self-learning portal developed based on needs and an English self-learning software application in order to provide development opportunities to all staff.

NAV CANADA has implemented various means to evaluate the impact of measures taken to foster the use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. In 2012, the institution led consultation groups with the Champion and Co-Champion together with its Anglophone and Francophone employees in Montréal and its Francophone employees in Ottawa. NAV CANADA says that it incorporated the results of this consultation into its official languages action plan. The institution included four questions on official languages in its periodic employee satisfaction survey, which deal with supervision, training and work tools in the preferred language. The institution achieved good or excellent results on the four questions, even though it did not demonstrate that it had conducted a detailed analysis by language group, occupational group or region, for example. NAV CANADA also periodically evaluates user satisfaction with its translation services. The person responsible for official languages also stated that she regularly observes the compliance of the institution’s personal and central services, even though the institution provided only summarized results as supporting evidence.

In summary, the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation for this report card shows NAV CANADA’s exemplary performance in terms of language of work. In addition to a range of tools and initiatives to foster the effective use of English and French, the institution has taken concrete measures to evaluate their effectiveness.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) D

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating NAV CANADA’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the NCR represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 2.1% of NAV CANADA’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 17.7% of NAV CANADa’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 8.1% of NAV CANADA’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

A slight under-representation of Francophones outside of Quebec and the NCR was noted, as well as a more significant under-representation of Anglophones in the institution’s workforce in Quebec and Francophones in its workforce in the NCR. To address the representation gaps, NAV CANADA indicated that it used Google AdWords technology to ensure that air controller recruitment ads geographically target communities with a larger proportion of OLMC members, since these ads are linked to a bilingual recruitment site. As part of the activities it carries out to comply with its obligations set out in other statutes, NAV CANADA uses a service that distributes its job offers to organizations that serve the designated groups. The institution demonstrated that this distribution included OLMC organizations in different parts of the country, and therefore that the measure also addresses this part of the Act. However, NAV CANADA is encouraged to make equitable representation one of its major priorities in its next official languages action plan and to continue to implement measures to increase the number of applicants from the minority language group.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

NAV CANADA has taken concrete measures to implement Part VII of the Act. The institution demonstrated that it had identified OLMCs across the country. However, it did not demonstrate that it conducted systematic consultations to learn about the needs of different OLMCs before determining what measures to take. NAV CANADA says that, among the stakeholders, it prioritizes non-profit organizations that provide community services free of charge or at low cost, or groups, associations and foundations located where NAV CANADA is present. NAV CANADA said that it made the strategic choice to build and maintain long-term support and expertise-sharing relationships with specific organizations rather than spreading its support among a variety of organizations. According to the institution, these relationships enable NAV CANADA to become aware of OLMC needs where these organizations are located and to adjust its support, as needed, thanks to feedback and ongoing discussions.

The NAV Centre is a complex that offers a variety of conference services, which includes accommodation, restaurant services and recreational facilities. NAV CANADA states that, since its last report card, it has consistently supported the Centre culturel de Cornwall, which is active in the area’s Francophone community and offers children’s programming. NAV CANADA supports the organization through financial contributions and by offering them free access to its NAV Centre offices and facilities for activities. The institution, whose head office is in Ottawa, contributes in different ways, including funding, to the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale, which is a group of Francophone businesses. By doing so, NAV CANADA, a private company active in the country’s various business communities, would like to strengthen ties and its networking with Francophone companies in the NCR. In the past few years, NAV CANADA has also been an associate partner of the annual gala of the Association de la presse francophone, a network of minority French-language newspapers and magazines in Canada. NAV CANADA has also contributed financially to the Fondation franco-ontarienne, which sets up scholarships and donations in support of projects that contribute to the development of French-speaking Ontario.

In terms of the English-speaking communities in Quebec, NAV CANADA’s official languages champion and a number of employees actively support the activities of Montréal’s West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped every year. NAV CANADA provided the Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre, an English-speaking Montréal organization, with access to its English-to-French translation services to make its collections more accessible in both official languages in a context where aeronautics vocabulary is specialized. This is an example in line with the institution’s mandate, where there is support for an OLMC and for the advancement of both official languages in Canadian society.

As another measure to promote linguistic duality, the Terminav system, which is NAV CANADA’s aeronautics terminological database available to the public, displays in both official languages the results of all searches conducted in English and French, thereby promoting the use of the appropriate term in each language. NAV CANADA promoted Terminav at colleges that offer aviation programs in Quebec and in the NCR and is currently looking to refine its strategy to promote the tool. The Canadian Aviation Regulations stipulate that air navigation services must be provided in English and French in Quebec and in the NCR, and in English only elsewhere in the country. However, NAV CANADA affirmed that its collaborative flight planning system, which enables pilots and dispatchers to manage flight plans on-line, is available in English and French for users across the country. Even though this measure falls more under Part IV of the Act, it also promotes the use of both official languages in Canadian society.

Internally, NAV CANADA promotes among its staff the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, organized on the International Day of La Francophonie held every year on March 20, in addition to contributing financially to the Rendez-vous as a partner company. The institution showed that, through its employee contribution program, it makes donations to community organizations (including in OLMCs) on its staff’s recommendation.

With regard to the evaluation of positive measures, NAV CANADA showed that it had regular contact with the organizations that receive its support and that it followed up with them a few times a year, which leads the institution to adjust its measures, as needed. NAV CANADA did not demonstrate that it had formal mechanisms to evaluate positive measures. With respect to Terminav, NAV CANADA recognizes that it could follow up better on the use of this tool.

NAV CANADA’s performance on Part VII is good and represents significant progress that should be maintained. However, some areas for improvement were noted that should be prioritized to ensure the measures taken by the institution are more systematic. Data collection showed that NAV CANADA understands the importance of its support to OLMCs and that the institution takes concrete action to provide its resources and expertise. NAV CANADA’s approach seems to align with the company’s philanthropic philosophy rather than with that of concerted action based on the needs expressed during consultations with community representatives or socio-demographic data sources. Although it has established the link between its mandate and some positive measures, NAV CANADA would benefit from more systematically consulting representatives of the different OLMCs in the country before it takes measures. With regard to measures to promote linguistic duality, NAV CANADA asserted, during data collection, that it made a significant contribution to the promotion of Canada’s linguistic duality through the creation and maintenance of a comprehensive aeronautics lexicon in English and French and bilingual interfaces for planning flights beyond Quebec and NCR airspace in an industry where English plays a dominant role internationally. The Office of the Commissioner shares this view and encourages the institution to increase the efforts it has made over the past few years in this regard, while making sure to measure the impact of the measures taken.

Conclusion

On the whole, NAV CANADA achieved good performance on this report card. The institution ensures excellent management of the official languages program. This is related to the strategic choice of the people responsible for the file, who perform functions in the organization that can maximize the impact of the actions taken, and who are proactive and have developed significant expertise over the years. It will be important to maintain this aspect in the future. The institution has a sometimes informal approach that works well at this time, but implementation might be vulnerable if there is a staff turnover. There is a real need to improve active offer in person at the NAV Centre. However, the results for the other components of service to the public range from good to excellent. The institution had exemplary performance for language of work due to the range of measures taken and the efforts made to evaluate the impact of these measures. The shortcomings in the representation of minority official language groups in its workforce merit particular attention, and NAV CANADA is encouraged to continue its efforts to ensure full compliance in this regard. Lastly, NAV CANADA showed good performance in the promotion of English and French. The institution supports the OLMCs of some key regions and looks to establish long-term support relationships that allow for continuity between consultation and feedback. However, NAV CANADA would benefit from strengthening its strategic approach to finding out OLMC needs in advance. The institution also takes measures to promote the status and use of French in the air transportation industry, since English dominates internationally in this field. For all of the measures taken for Part VII of the Act, NAV CANADA would benefit from continuing to use ongoing feedback, while somewhat formalizing its approach. Overall, the Office of the Commissioner congratulates this private company subject to the Act for its commitment to meeting with its obligations and encourages it to continue to strive for excellence.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter P

Public Health Agency of Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
Public Health Agency of Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

PHAC is a federal institution within the Health Portfolio. PHAC helps protect the health and safety of Canadians through its various activities, including promoting health, preventing and controlling chronic diseases, and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

Through a shared services partnership agreement signed in 2012, PHAC and Health Canada share the same official languages program. The program, which is administered by Health Canada’s Corporate Services Branch, has a mission to coordinate the implementation of the commitment of PHAC and Health Canada to comply with their obligations under the Official Languages Act. However, each institution is responsible for implementing Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act within its own organization.

PHAC has its own official languages implementation framework, which lists the institution’s commitment to complying with its obligations under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. In addition, the institution has developed official languages directives, primarily for Parts IV and V of the Act. The official languages implementation framework and the official languages directives were approved by the PHAC Executive Committee in the fall of 2015. They replaced the official languages policy that PHAC and Health Canada had shared since 2007.

PHAC developed an official languages action plan for 2015–2018, which includes a strategy to implement its commitment to comply with its official languages obligations. The strategy has three phases. First, PHAC will strengthen leadership and the monitoring of its governance of official languages issues. Then, it will implement the infrastructure and tools that will allow for targeted action within the branches and regions. Lastly, it will assess its performance in order to prepare its next action plan. The 2015–2018 action plan lists measures that cover Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. In addition, the action plan clearly identifies the desired outcomes, performance indicators, responsibilities and delivery timeframes. Moreover, an action plan implementation report has been developed and allows PHAC to monitor progress for the action plan’s activities. This responds primarily to the shortcomings identified in PHAC’s 2013–2014 report card. The action plan has been approved by the Executive Committee.

Since the Executive Committee became aware of the results of PHAC’s 2013–2014 report card, official languages has regularly been on its agenda, primarily to approve the official languages action plan. Moreover, one of the activities of the 2015–2018 action plan involves submitting a progress report on its implementation to the Executive Committee twice a year.

PHAC has an Official Languages Champion: the Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy, Planning and International Affairs. The Champion is a member of the Executive Committee and PHAC’S official languages network. The network’s mandate is primarily to promote official languages and monitor the implementation of official languages directives and practices within the organization. The network comprises representatives from the branches, the regions and the official languages program. Network members meet four times a year.

In terms of the tools and procedures for taking official languages into account when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs, PHAC relies on the official languages program team, which evaluates and comments on all Treasury Board submissions, including memoranda to Cabinet, to ensure that they comply with the institution’s obligations under the Act.

PHAC cooperates fully with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the complaint resolution process.

PHAC has been successful in its numerous efforts to improve the management of its official languages program since its 2013–2014 report card. Currently, PHAC has its own official languages management framework and a structure for taking official languages into account when planning its activities and making major decisions. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates PHAC for its efforts.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, from May to July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 78% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 10% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 88% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, from May to July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 65% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 87% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service, between May and July 2015, resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 90% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in English took, on average, 24.4 hours longer than those in French. This represents a difference of 43%.Footnote 1

In response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in DesRochers, PHAC assessed the need to adapt its services to the public in 2013 in order to meet the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs). PHAC evaluated 69 programs and services using the Treasury Board Secretariat’s analytical grid for substantive equality. This evaluation concluded that PHAC’s programs and services were adapted to the needs of OLMCs.

Overall, PHAC obtained average results during the observations of service to the public conducted by the Office of the Commissioner. Although it obtained good results regarding the availability of service to the public in person, by telephone and by e-mail, PHAC needs to increase its efforts to improve the active offer of service to the public in person and by telephone, as well as improve the response time between the two official languages for service to the public by e-mail. PHAC has evaluated the requirement to adapt its services to the public to the needs of OLMCs.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, PHAC takes measures to create and maintain a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

PHAC developed an official languages accountability framework that defines the rights and obligations of managers and employees regarding language of work. In addition, the institution has established directives regarding language of work and language training.

For tools to promote the effective use of both official languages in the workplace, PHAC encourages employees to use the official language of their choice during meetings, primarily through a protocol on holding bilingual meetings. Work tools, such as standardized operating lab procedures and administrative procedures, are also available in both official languages. PHAC also ensures that new employees are aware of language of work through an orientation session that introduces employees to the organization’s official languages program and informs them of their rights and obligations under the Act. Lastly, PHAC’s MySource intranet includes a section on official languages, which provides helpful information and tools to employees and managers to better understand the implementation of the Act within the organization.

In terms of language training, PHAC has had access to training services, jointly with Health Canada, since 2011. The Single Window Access to Language Training (SWALT) provides PHAC with a range of language training services, such as procurement of full-time and part-time one-on-one training in English and French, and informal language evaluations to help employees assess their strengths and weaknesses and develop language learning plans to guide their training. SWALT supports employees in developing their skills in their second official language by offering practical services and professional advice regarding training and access to language training. In the regions, PHAC, in cooperation with the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, has established service loans and language internships with Acadian and Francophone organizations in a minority setting. This involves "lending" PHAC employees who want to improve their second official language skills to these organizations for a specified period.

To assess the impact of these measures, PHAC uses the results to questions about language of work from the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES). In the context of the 2014 PSES, PHAC analyzed its results, and the recommendations from the resulting report were integrated into the 2015–2018 official languages action plan. However, the institution’s analysis covers only the overall results.

The single-window system produces progress reports twice a year, which allow management to monitor second-language training within the organization.

PHAC also benefits from writing its review on official languages for the Treasury Board Secretariat and Canadian Heritage, which involves reviewing all the actions taken to create and maintain a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages. Although, technically, this activity is not an impact assessment, it nonetheless allows the organization to monitor its efforts to comply with its obligations under Part V of the Act.

PHAC has taken numerous actions to create an environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. In addition, PHAC uses the PSES results to assess the impact of these actions. However, the Office of the Commissioner notes that PHAC only conducts an analysis of the overall results. An analysis of the detailed results, primarily those dealing with the first official language used in the various bilingual regions for language-of-work purposes, would contribute to better targeting the aspects of language of work that require specific action. As a result, it would be appropriate for the institution to analyze the results obtained in a more detailed manner to be able to take action to specifically target the shortcomings identified in the PSES. The Office of the Commissioner encourages PHAC to conduct a detailed analysis of PSES results regarding language of work in order to maintain its level of excellence.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) B

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating PHAC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 3.1% of PHAC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 22.5% of PHAC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 10.7% of PHAC’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Based on the data from the Treasury Board Secretariat, the representation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians in PHAC’s workforce outside Quebec and the NCR mirrors the presence of both official language communities in Canada. However, there is room for improvement in the workplaces in the NCR and in Quebec (excluding the NCR). PHAC is aware of these shortcomings and has included measures in its 2015–2018 action plan to improve the participation of French-speaking in workplaces in the NCR. However, there are no measures to improve the participation of English-speaking in workplaces in Quebec (excluding the NCR).

Although the workplaces in Quebec (excluding the NCR) have fewer than 100 employees and the challenges are greater as a result, the Office of the Commissioner encourages PHAC to also take action to improve the participation of English-speaking Canadians in this region. The Office of the Commissioner looks forward to seeing the results of PHAC’s efforts to improve the participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

PHAC has developed of list of OLMCs that it has identified as being of interest in the context of its mandate. This primarily includes regional community organizations in the health field that support OLMCs, such as Quebec’s community health and social services network and the Société Santé en français (SSF) in the rest of Canada. PHAC is in contact with these organizations through its regional offices, which are responsible for implementing the organization’s programs in the regions. These regional offices organize meetings in which community organizations are informed of the PHAC programs that are relevant to them and the organizations have an opportunity to share their needs. For example, the Atlantic regional office held meetings in April and May 2015 with representatives from Réseau Santé—Nouvelle-Écosse, which is the SSF branch in Nova Scotia. In addition, interdepartmental meeting platforms, such as the Health Portfolio Senior Management Committee and the Ontario Federal Council, allow PHAC to participate in joint awareness campaigns that are geared toward OLMCs in certain cases.

In the context of its grants and contributions programs, PHAC has taken positive measures to encourage the development of OLMCs. These measures involve OLMCs in Quebec, as well as in the rest of the country. For example, PHAC funds the project Franco-accueil in Alberta, which is led by the Société des parents pour l’éducation francophone. The purpose of this project is to promote the health of children aged 0 to 6 through home visits and services, such as organizing support groups for parents from the most vulnerable families. The project also seeks to create links with regional organizations and government institutions to ensure that services are provided in French to the region’s French-speaking population. Another example is PHAC’s contribution to the project Mamans, papas et bébés en santé in Yukon, which was launched by Les EssentiElles, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of French-speaking women in Yukon. The project, which is part of the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program, helps to offer free services in French to expecting mothers and their families.

In terms of the promotion of linguistic duality in Canadian society, through the initiative involving the adaptation and translation of French-language scientific research and articles produced by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and Quebec researchers in the area of public health, PHAC enables English-speaking partners and networks in Quebec and across Canada to access this research. Through the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network, which distributes these scientific articles and research, the initiative contributes to promoting French-language research across the country. Within the organization, PHAC actively participates in Linguistic Duality Day. For example, for the 2015 edition, PHAC organized an activity jointly with Health Canada that invited participants to share their linguistic duality experiences with employees of both institutions.

PHAC does not have formal mechanisms to assess the impact of actions taken to encourage the development of OLMCs and promote linguistic duality. However, its official languages action plan indicates that the institution will review the process of awarding grants and contributions so that they take into account OLMC organizations. In addition, the institution will identify and implement other positive and concrete measures to promote linguistic duality.

In the context of its mandate, PHAC has identified and consulted OLMCs to understand their needs and has implemented positive measures to encourage the development of OLMCs and promote linguistic duality. Although the institution does not have formal mechanisms to evaluate these actions and it has no means for understanding their impact, the Office of the Commissioner notes nonetheless that PHAC’s action plan includes measures to address this shortcoming.

Conclusion

Overall, PHAC’s 2014–2016 report card indicates a good performance and concrete efforts that reveal the institution’s clear commitment to comply with its obligations under the Act. PHAC has obtained commendable ratings in two of the five sections evaluated (official languages program management and language of work). In addition, PHAC has taken measures to address the shortcomings identified in its previous report card, primarily by creating a detailed action plan that addresses Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. The institution has also obtained a good rating for the participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce and for the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality.

PHAC has obtained a better overall rating this year, compared with its previous report card in 2013–2014. However, there is still room for improvement regarding service to the public and formal mechanisms to evaluate the impact of measures taken for Part VII, in particular. The Office of the Commissioner encourages PHAC to continue its efforts to address the shortcomings identified.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response times for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Public Safety Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for the Public Safety Canada (PS) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

PS ensures coordination across all federal departments and agencies responsible for national security and the safety of Canadians. Its mandate is to keep Canada safe from a range of risks such as natural disasters, crime and terrorism.

PS applies the Treasury Board’s official languages policy instruments. Since 2014, the institution has also had guidelines on language training and a guide for second official language learning and retention. These documents are available on its intranet. The institution does not have a policy or guidelines on Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

PS implemented an action plan for 2013–2015, which is a continuation of its 2010–2013 action plan and includes the objectives and activities that were not carried out during the previous plan or are under way. The 2013–2015 action plan was approved in April 2013 by the Departmental Management Committee. This plan sets out strategic objectives, priorities, expected outcomes, indicators, persons responsible and timelines. This plan also provides for monitoring and reporting activities.

As for Part VII of the Act, the 2013–2015 action plan contains activities related to the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs), including participation in committees and consultations. The action plan does not address the promotion of linguistic duality. The official languages coordinators of the regional offices developed a regional annual action plan on the implementation of Parts IV and VII of the Act. Activities and objectives focus on PS’s participation in meetings with OLMCs.

The institution’s 2013–2015 action plan has not been updated, but the Official Languages Committee presented the Departmental Management Committee with a semi-annual report that describes the progress made and the next steps. For the regional action plans, the regional coordinators fill out an evaluation grid on Parts IV and VII to record the measures taken and the issues identified for each activity. They present the progress on these activities to the Official Languages Committee.

PS has a structure that enables it to take official languages into account in activity planning and decision-making. The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Emergency Management and Programs Branch is the Official Languages Champion; the Regional Director of the Quebec Region is the Co-Champion. The Official Languages Champion and Co-Champion sit on the Departmental Management Committee. Official languages are sometimes on the Departmental Management Committee’s agenda, especially when official languages issues arise or to present progress on the action plan. In 2013, a presentation was given to the Departmental Management Committee on the linguistic designation of positions at PS.

The Official Languages Committee meets at least four times a year to discuss issues related to Parts IV, V and VII of the Act. The Official Languages Committee includes the Official Languages Champion and Co-Champion, representatives from Legal Services and the Human Resources Branch, as well from different levels, sectors and regions of the Department. According to the Committee’s terms of reference that were provided, the Champion and the Co-Champion are responsible for ensuring that senior management takes official languages into account during decision-making.

PS created a departmental policy development framework that takes official languages into account and complies with the TBS guide for the implementation of a program when the TBS requires submissions for authorizations and approvals. The Department did not, however, concretely demonstrate how the development framework and the TBS guide are applied.

In the context of investigation, the people responsible for official languages provide the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages with documents within the requested timeframes.

PS took some measures to guide its official languages program management, such as developing an action plan focusing on certain parts of the Act and a guide for second official language learning and retention. It would be beneficial if the institution updated its action plan so that its objectives and desired outcomes reflect the next steps. It would also be beneficial if PS developed formal tools to evaluate the impact on official languages of adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages PS to review its action plan to design concrete measures for the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

Given the small amount of data obtained during the observations of service in person, the results will not be published. As a result, PS is not evaluated on this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, from September to December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 96% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 82% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 95% for e-mails sent in English and 80% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 6.5 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 24%Footnote 2.

The institution did not demonstrate how the Supreme Court of Canada’s DesRochers decision was taken into account to evaluate the need to provide the public with service of equal quality in both official languages based on the nature and purpose of the service. PS indicated that no service is directly provided to the public in person, but that some programs and services are accessible to the public.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations on active offer to the public by telephone are exemplary and the results for service in the language of the minority are good, as are the results of the e-mail observations. However, the comparable response times in both official languages demonstrated that Francophones do not receive equitable service when they contact the Department by e-mail. PS is therefore encouraged to implement the necessary measures to ensure an equivalent response time for e-mails in English and in French. Finally, the Office of the Commissioner suggests that PS evaluate the need to provide the public with service of equal quality in both official languages by taking into account the nature and purpose of the service.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, PS takes measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages. These measures include: the creation of the “Official Languages / Langues officielles” electronic mailbox, which is used by employees and managers to obtain information and file complaints on official languages; workshops for PS employees and managers on chairing effective bilingual meetings; segments on official languages that are broadcast on televisions on each floor in all regions; and access to language training. The institution provides official languages tools for employees on its intranet, such as the Dare! Osez! video, as well as links to the Language Portal of Canada and the Canadian Heritage guide Making Your Organization Bilingual.

PS implemented an internal mechanism to monitor e-mails and documents that are sent to employees. The official languages team follows up with the persons involved when an incident occurs. However, there are no formal mechanisms in place to ensure that corrective measures are taken.

Employee satisfaction is evaluated using the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) and complaints received by the Office of the Commissioner and internally. However, at the time of this evaluation, PS did not demonstrate how it formally evaluates the impact of measures taken, and does not have an action plan related to PSES results.

Although PS has taken targeted measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in its offices located in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, the impact of these measures is not evaluated. PS is therefore encouraged to develop a formal evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of these measures in order to make improvements, if necessary.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating PS’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 8.7% of PS’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 36.6% of PS’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 11.1% of PS’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

PS has not developed measures to ensure the equitable participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians within its workforce, because it has good results in this regard. However, the Office of the Commissioner notes that the participation of English-speaking Canadians at PS in Quebec, although close to the percentage of the English-speaking population in the province, requires some attention. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages PS to implement measures to ensure better representation of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec within the Department.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) D

The national coordinator responsible for the implementation of section 41 of the Act is a member of the National Network of Resource Persons for Section 41 of the Official Languages Act and the Network of Stakeholders Working in the Field of Justice and Security (Justice and Security Network). One of the points discussed during the meetings of these networks is the identification of OLMCs and their issues and needs. As part of the activities of these networks, meetings to identify potential projects were held with OLMC organizations, such as the Fédération des associations de juristes d’expression française de common law inc. and the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada.

In 2013–2014, the Justice and Security Network, of which PS is a member, developed the regional cell project aimed at bringing together regional and territorial coordinators from federal institutions to create working groups to share information and practices on justice and security under Part VII of the Act, as well as to design shared mechanisms for engaging OLMCs. One of the goals of the project is to learn about the realities of each region and territory to establish activities for the development of OLMCs. Project participants provide feedback by sharing their needs and issues of concern. The information provided by the institution did not, however, demonstrate PS’s level of participation in these committees and meetings.

Some projects funded as part of the Department’s grants and contributions programs indirectly target OLMCs. For example, the institution mentioned the Allié program’s En partenariat sur la route project, aimed at increasing the social and conflict resolution skills of students with behavioural problems in New Brunswick. PS complies with the TBS’s Policy on Transfer Payments to evaluate and follow up on projects funded under grants and contributions programs.

For the promotion of linguistic duality, activities were organized during Linguistic Duality Day and the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, such as discussion groups on how to work in your second language and candy-gram activities where employees buy candy for colleagues and write a message in their second official language. Communications are sent out by the Official Languages Champion and Co-Champion to all employees to promote the different activities during Linguistic Duality Day and the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. PS also published, in both official languages, the Emergency Management Vocabulary, which contains more than 200 terms and definitions frequently used in emergency management. The purpose of this publication is to facilitate collaboration and the standardization of emergency management terminology across the federal government.

In summary, PS is a member of the Justice and Security Network and participated in the development and implementation of the regional cell project. Although some projects funded under grants and contributions programs indirectly address the development of OLMCs, the Office of the Commissioner encourages PS to consult OLMCs to identify their specific needs in order to define programs that meet these needs. Furthermore, the Office of the Commissioner encourages PS to develop formal mechanisms to evaluate the impact of these initiatives on the development of OLMCs. Through various activities, PS promotes linguistic duality within the institution. The Office of the Commissioner encourages PS to also implement initiatives to promote linguistic duality outside the institution, as well as to develop formal mechanisms to measure the impact of these initiatives.

Conclusion

The evaluation of PS’s compliance with the different parts of the Act demonstrates that the Department has implemented some measures to comply with the Act in terms of official languages program management, service to the public and the equitable participation of Anglophones and Francophones within the Department. However, PS needs to make some improvements in terms of service to the public, language of work, development of OLMCs and promotion of linguistic duality. PS would also benefit from developing formal tools to evaluate the impact on official languages of adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. Furthermore, the Office of the Commissioner encourages PS to implement concrete initiatives, as part of its mandate, for OLMC development and the promotion of linguistic duality in Canadian society, and to implement formal mechanisms to measure the impact of these initiatives on OLMCs. Both PS and OLMCs will surely benefit.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

Public Service Commission of Canada

Public Service Commission of Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Public Service Commission of Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Public Service Commission of Canada’s (PSC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The PSC is an independent agency reporting to the Parliament of Canada. Under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), the PSC is responsible for appointment policies, regulations and guidance that enable public service organizations to respect the PSEA and the Official Languages Act in their appointment processes.

The PSC applies Treasury Board’s official languages policy instruments that deal with Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. The institution also oversees the application of its own set of policies and regulations on official languages in appointment processes in the federal public service.

The 2014–2017 Official Languages Action Plan (OLAP) addresses official languages program management and outlines objectives, activities and deadlines to ensure compliance with Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. The Executive Management Committee (EMC) reviews and approves its OLAP annually. While some monitoring activities are mentioned in the action plan, formal mechanisms for monitoring and performance measurement indicators are not specified. To be effective, the action plan should include these elements in order to ensure that measures taken are evaluated and adjusted if necessary.

The PSC has a structure that enables it to take into account official languages in planning its activities and in important decision-making processes. The EMC meets weekly, and the Official Languages Champion, who is the Vice-President, Staffing and Assessment Services, is an active member. The institution indicated to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages that official languages are an important part of the execution of staffing functions across the public service and that they are on the agenda of the EMC.

The PSC corporate governance process is a mechanism by which the action plans, reports and accountability framework are revised, modified and approved. The process involves the Resource Management Committee, the Official Languages Committee and the EMC. The PSC has implemented an Official Languages Accountability Framework, which it revised in July 2011 and 2013. This framework addresses the PSC’s commitment and obligations under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act, and also defines its roles and responsibilities. The review of the Official Languages Committee, which is chaired by the Champion, is composed of directors general and directors from all branches. That committee meets on a quarterly basis. The Official Languages Accountability Framework and the accomplishments of the 2011–2014 OLAP and the proposed 2014–2017 OLAP were presented to the EMC by Human Resources Management Directorate (HRDM) in June 2014.

The PSC has tools and procedures for taking into account official languages when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. These tools include the Official Languages Accountability Framework and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS)’s analytical grid. In addition, the PSC has developed a toolbox for consulting with official language minority communities (OLMC). This helps the PSC to carry out its responsibilities under Parts IV and VII of the Act by explaining how to identify and consult OLMC groups and implement positive measures.

The PSC has co-operated fully during the Office of the Commissioner’s investigations since its last report card, in 2009–2010, and has promptly provided documentation that the Office of the Commissioner has requested for its investigations.

Overall, the PSC’s program management reflects its commitment to official languages. It has an action plan for 2014–2017 that the EMC revises and approves annually. Since its last report card, the PSC has taken into account the Office of the Commissioner’s suggestion and revised its Official Languages Accountability Framework. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the PSC to implement formal monitoring and performance measurement indicators to ensure that measures are implemented and their impact is evaluated.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

Given the small amount of data obtained during the in-person observations of service to the public, the results will not be published. Therefore, the institution is not evaluated for this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in English and 100% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, the response rates were similar for e-mails sent in English and those sent in French.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DesRochers case, the PSC uses the TBS’s analytical grid to ensure that its services to the public are of equal quality in both official languages. The analysis is done annually, and each branch is asked to review its services and programs using the analytical grid. The HRDM compiles the Branch results and presents a report on the implementation of the analysis to the EMC.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations on service to the public on the telephone and by e-mail are exemplary. Since the PSC’s last report card, in 2009–2010, results have greatly improved for observations regarding active offer and service availability in both official languages on the telephone, as well as for observations of e-mail service. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates the PSC for continuing to provide services of equal quality to the public in both official languages.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes, the PSC has taken targeted measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages. These measures include provision of a human resources Web portal related to official languages that provides information on language of work, tips for holding bilingual meetings and other content related to official languages. In addition, information related to official languages is highlighted in the PSC’s electronic news bulletin, which is sent to all staff. Employees also have access to training materials via the PSC’s official languages intranet page. Training on official languages that addressed Part V has been given to employees. The PSC’s internal telephone directory indicates each employee’s official language preference, and supervisors and human resources staff can use this tool to ensure that they provide supervision and various work documents in each employee’s preferred official language. Employees can directly update their information, including their preferred official language, in the internal telephone directory.

In 2013, several work objectives were integrated into the performance agreements of all employees and executives to ensure compliance with official languages obligations and to promote a bilingual work environment. The 2014–2015 performance agreements for executives have been modified to include measures to actively demonstrate how they meet their obligations under the Act when carrying out their supervisory functions.

Following the PSC’s last report card, in 2009–2010, the Human Resources Management Directorate analyzed the bilingual capacity of management and providers of personal and central services. The study determined that senior managers’ and service providers’ linguistic profiles are at the CBC level or higher, and that the PSC has the linguistic capacity to fulfill its obligations under Part V of the Act.

To evaluate employee satisfaction regarding official languages, the PSC used its internal Employee Engagement Survey and the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), and it also tracked complaints received by the Office of the Commissioner. Following a suggestion made in the 2009–2010 report card, the PSC added a question on official languages to the Employee Engagement Survey. That question asked whether immediate supervisors encourage employees to use their preferred official language when preparing e-mails or other written materials. The results of the last employee engagement survey were presented to the EMC in 2011. The PSC has also done a comparative analysis of the 2008 PSES and the 2011 PSES. The results were presented to the EMC in April 2011.

The PSC has indicated that it does not have a formal internal mechanism to address internal complaints, since the issues that staff have raised are not recurrent. Employees who wish to submit a complaint internally use the PSC’s Intercom site to find a point of contact and then submit their complaint. The PSC tracks its internal complaints informally.

Overall, the PSC provides many tools to its staff and management to inform them of their official languages rights and obligations. The Office of the Commissioner acknowledges the PSC’s efforts to maintain a working environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. However, to improve its performance, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the PSC to develop a formal mechanism to address shortfalls and thus ensure that measures are taken.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the PSC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 34.5% of the PSC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 61.2% of the PSC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 30.6% of the PSC’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

The institution has identified and consulted several OLMC educational organizations for outreach purposes. The PSC then conducted several subsequent outreach activities, based on those consultations. The PSC is also part of various OLMC committees, including the Official Languages Committee of the Quebec Federal Council, the Ontario Region Interdepartmental Official Languages Network and the Network of National Section 41 coordinators.

These outreach activities include train-the-trainer sessions for presentations to the public on how to apply for jobs in the public service; a new Second Language Evaluation (SLE) test, including pilot questions; promotional materials; and career fairs in the Atlantic and Quebec regions to promote the recruitment of bilingual candidates.

Based on identified needs, train-the-trainer sessions on how to apply to the federal public service and on the recruitment of bilingual candidates, as well as information on specialized recruitment programs, have been given to OLMC groups in Southwest Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. To promote employment for members of OLMCs, PSC regional offices also carried out activities such as career fairs in OLMC academic institutions, as well as presentations and information sessions for community organizations about PSC recruitment programs and systems. The aim of these information sessions is to increase the number of bilingual applicants from OLMCs to PSC employment programs, such as the Federal Student Work Experience Program and the Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program. These outreach activities are measured through questionnaires administered at the end of each session.

The PSC introduced pilot questions in the SLE test. The institution developed these questions after conducting a comparative analysis of French-speaking and English-speaking communities. During the creation of these questions, OLMCs participated in equivalency workshops that have been regularly conducted with the collaboration of bilingual psychologists, language consultants, and assessors or item writers representing both official language groups. This process reviews and ensures the equivalence of French and English items targeting the same proficiency level. The PSC indicated that, due to the complexity of the data, it has no formal mechanism to evaluate the impact of OLMC participation on the new SLE test.

The institution has conducted a number of activities to promote linguistic duality within the PSC. These include hosting a bilingual book exchange, posting a linguistic duality banner on the PSC intranet and sending a communiqué to all staff to promote Linguistic Duality Day. For the 2014 Linguistic Duality Day, the PSC’s official languages champion hosted a round-table discussion on topics related to bilingualism and official languages. The institution does not have a formal mechanism to assess the impact of the measures it takes to promote the equal status and use of both official languages within the organization.

The PSC has also indicated that it promotes linguistic duality outside of the organization by participating in career fairs to promote the maintenance of bilingualism and to inform students about opportunities for bilingual candidates in the public service. However, the PSC did not demonstrate how it promoted linguistic duality through these career fairs.

Overall, the PSC has implemented measures, in line with its mandate, to foster the development of OLMCs and meet the expressed needs of OLMCs by offering information sessions on how to apply to the federal public service and by introducing pilot questions in the SLE test. Formal means to evaluate the effects of OLMCs’ participation in updating the SLE test would be beneficial. The PSC has also identified and implemented measures to promote linguistic duality within the institution. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the PSC to develop and implement formal mechanisms to assess the impact of the positive measures it has taken to foster the development of OLMCs and to promote the equal status and use of both English and French in Canadian society. The PSC and the OLMCs would benefit from the findings of this evaluation.

Conclusion

This assessment of the PSC’s compliance with various aspects of the Act reveals that the institution is committed to meeting its obligations. It has tools and measures in place to ensure compliance with the Act. Its efforts in the area of official languages resulted in an overall good rating. The PSC’s official languages program management reflects its commitment to official languages. The PSC has shown exemplary performance in providing service of equal quality in both official languages to the public and in ensuring equitable participation for English-speaking Canadians in Quebec and for French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec.

Certain areas need improvement. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the PSC to develop formal mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and assessing the impact of its measures related to the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality. These evaluation mechanisms will enable the PSC to address shortfalls and adjust its actions when necessary.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for the Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWSGC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

PWGSC plays a role in the daily operations of the Government of Canada as a key provider of services for federal departments and agencies. PWGSC’s mission is to deliver high-quality services and programs that meet the needs of federal organizations and ensure sound stewardship on behalf of Canadians.

PWGSC has a departmental policy on official languages and linguistic duality, which has been in effect since 2007. This departmental policy was updated in 2011 following the policy update request from the Treasury Board. The policy is for all PWGSC employees and defines the roles and responsibilities of the Deputy Minister, the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Human Resources Branch (HRB), managers, human resources specialists and employees. The institution also has guidelines on Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act as well as official languages guidelines for human resources management. These guidelines are approved by the Assistant Deputy Minister of the HRB.

The HRB is responsible for the implementation of the official languages programs within the Department. At the time of the evaluation for this report card, the 2011–2014 Strategic Action Plan had been implemented and was scheduled to end in December 2014. The 2014–2017 Strategic Action Plan was approved in August 2014 and includes many of the strategic objectives in the 2011–2014 plan. An annual operational activities plan accompanies each strategic objective. The operational activities plan is updated annually and reports on the progress of activities. This update is presented to the Official Languages Governance Committee (OLGC) and the Executive Committee. An annual progress report on the strategic action plan is used to review the action plan’s short-term objectives.

The strategic objectives of the 2014–2017 Strategic Action Plan were based on the Commissioner of Official Languages’ recommendations in his 2012–2013 annual report, on the observations made by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) in its annual review and on complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

PWGSC has a governance structure that enables it to take official languages into account in its business planning and when making important decisions. This structure includes two official languages champions, the HRB, the Official Languages Directorate, the OLGC and the Network of Official Languages Coordinators. The two champions, the Director of Official Languages, and representatives from each region and branch are active members of the OLGC. These members are appointed by the assistant deputy ministers of the branches and the regional director generals. The OLGC meets six times per year and plays a strategic role to ensure that official languages are taken into account in the Department’s activities and projects. The Network of Official Languages Coordinators discusses operational issues related to official languages within the Department, such as the complaint resolution process and the distribution of tools and communications documents. The Network also meets six times per year.

The official languages champions hold management positions and are active in the Department. They provide the Deputy Minister, the Associate Deputy Minister and the PWGSC Executive Committee with regular feedback on the Department’s performance. They also ensure that the Department takes official languages into consideration when making decisions and implementing new programs and services.

PWGSC has procedures to take official languages into account when creating, eliminating or modifying policies or programs. A review of services and programs is conducted each time a submission is made to the Treasury Board.

PWGSC cooperates with the Office of the Commissioner in order to resolve complaints. When it has proved difficult to obtain all the necessary information to conduct an investigation, PWGSC informs the Office of the Commissioner.

PWGSC has tools and procedures in place to ensure its compliance with the Act. The official languages champions and OLGC members hold management positions and, based on the documentation obtained, official languages are taken into account during the decision-making process. The Office of the Commissioner encourages PWGSC to continue in its efforts to ensure sound management of its official languages program.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

Given the small amount of data obtained during observations of in-person services, the results are not being published. Consequently, PWGSC is not evaluated on this criterion.Footnote 1

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between September and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 87% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 84% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service, between September and December 2014, resulted in a response rate of 80% for e-mails sent in English and 70% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in English took, on average, 3.8 hours longer than those in French. This represents a difference of 14.5%.Footnote 2

To review the services and programs offered to the public, the Department used the TBS’s analytical grid on substantive equality, developed following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DesRochers case. The review of programs and services is presented to representatives from every branch and region of the Department.

The results of observations by telephone and those related to active offer are good. With respect to availability of service by e-mail, the results are also good. However, the response time for e-mails sent to PWGSC in English is slightly longer than for e-mails sent in French. The Office of the Commissioner acknowledges PWGSC’s efforts to provide the public with services of equal quality in both official languages.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

Since PWGSC’s last report card in 2009–2010, the Department continues to implement targeted measures to create and maintain a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages in its offices located in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

PWGSC has created a form to collect information on the official language of choice of new employees. This form enables the Department to record this information and ensure that communications and documents are sent in the official language of choice of each employee.

PWGSC, through its official languages team, has created an electronic mailbox for official languages. Employees and managers use this mailbox to submit requests for information or complaints.

All employees can participate in language training. To do so, they must complete a request and sign an agreement with their respective manager using the Language training Agreement form. When the language training is complete, employees and managers receive After Language Training, a document that explains the responsibilities related to their language training and provides advice to employees to help them retain their skills.

In addition, the PWGSC In the Know newsletters enable the official languages team to send official languages messages not only to employees but also to managers to raise awareness about their rights and obligations under the Act. The Official Languages Directorate also publishes official languages-related articles in the Did You Know bulletins on the HRB intranet site, which are addressed to employees.

PWGSC indicated that it evaluates the effectiveness of these measures based on the results of the Public Service Employee Survey, the number and type of complaints received, and the number of times the official languages intranet site and the PWGSC In the Know articles are consulted. In addition, an official language monitoring framework and an active evaluation framework have been developed to ensure the follow-up and evaluation of service quality provided in both official languages. The monitoring framework is a tool to monitor the centralized services and personnel services provided to employees in designated bilingual regions. Monitoring by telephone and by e-mail is conducted once per fiscal year. The active audit framework on official languages, implemented in June 2014, audits linguistic profiles, in accordance with section 91 of the Act. Following these audits of linguistic profiles, the Official Languages Directorate prepares an annual report that includes its observations and recommendations to the Assistant Deputy Minister of Human Resources.

In short, the Department has concrete measures in place to ensure an environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. The Office of the Commissioner notes the good audit tools in place and encourages PWGSC to continue to promote these tools that will contribute to improving its compliance with the Act.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating PWGSC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 21.8% of PWGSC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 58.5% of PWGSC’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 5.6% of PWGSC’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The data show good representation of French-speaking Canadians outside of Quebec and in the NCR. In terms of the representation of English-speaking Canadians in the Quebec Region, PWGSC identified the recruitment of this population as its biggest issue. A regional action plan is in place for 2014–2016 to increase the participation of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec. The two-year regional action plan will be reviewed annually. The action plan aims to implement strategies for recruitment and support for official language minority communities (OLMCs) for external clients, as well as strategies for the retention of staff through the creation of an inclusive workplace promoting the use of either official language in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. Some recruitment initiatives listed in the action plan consist of promoting employment opportunities and raising employee awareness about the importance of providing bilingual service.

In addition, since the centralization of pay service centres, PWGSC continues its recruitment and communication efforts to hire employees with good language skills, which allows for better service delivery in the language of choice of its clients across Canada. Twenty-eight information sessions were held in Montréal, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and in the Maritimes. These information sessions informed potential candidates from OLMCs in these regions about the federal government’s hiring process.

In short, PWGSC is aware that the data reveal an under-representation of English-speaking Canadians in its Quebec offices. This under-representation earned the Department a fair rating for Part VI for this report card. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes PWGSC’s efforts to correct this situation. Its creation of an action plan to address this issue will certainly be beneficial. The Office of the Commissioner encourages PWGSC to continue its recruitment and promotion strategies to ensure the equitable participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians within the Department.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Within PWGSC’s Official Languages Directorate, the Official Language Minority Communities Secretariat is responsible for the coordination between branches, regions and OLMCs, as well as the development of a departmental action plan for section 41 of the Act and the production of reports on annual results. In addition, the Secretariat supports the branches in the preparation of Treasury Board submissions and analyzes the impact of new policies and programs on official languages.

The Secretariat has identified and consulted OLMCs. Meetings continue to be held with the following organizations: the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité (RDÉE) Canada, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA), the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC) and the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). In response to the consultations and positive feedback of the OLMCs, national and regional initiatives related to the development of OLMCs continue to be implemented. Each sector and region has implemented positive measures related to its services and programs. These measures include the Hotel Card Program, the Translation Support Program and the partnership agreement between the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and CEDEC.

Briefly, the Hotel Card Program allows employees from OLMC organizations to benefit from the same reduced rates for accommodation as the federal government during business trips. At the time of data collection, this program had been renewed for 2014–2015 at the request of the OLMCs. PWGSC will assess the impact of this program annually by obtaining information provided by the OLMCs on the number of nights used in participating hotels.

Translation services are provided by the Translation Bureau to the national OLMC umbrella organizations, such as RDÉE, the FCFA, CEDEC and QCGN. The agreement established with these organizations helps cover a portion of their translation costs.

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises entered into a partnership agreement in 2011 with CEDEC. This agreement involved the collaboration of the two parties in organizing training sessions and workshops on doing business with the Government of Canada, which are provided to organizations in the regions served by CEDEC.

For the promotion of linguistic duality, the Department encourages commercial tenants of PWGSC-managed buildings in the NCR to provide service to the public in both official languages as well as ensure their signs are in both official languages. A language kit is provided to tenants with their leases.

The Department also took positive measures to promote linguistic duality internally. Various activities were conducted throughout the Department during the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and the Journée internationale de la Francophonie. For example, in March 2014, during the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, PWGSC had an information booth on the Canadian francophonie, which recommended official languages tools to employees. In addition, a message on linguistic duality was sent to all of the Department’s employees.

The Office of the Commissioner recognizes PWGSC’s continuing efforts and initiatives to encourage the development of OLMCs. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the Department to continue its consultations with OLMCs to identify complementary positive measures that could be added to the existing initiatives and further contribute to the development of these communities. The Department has taken positive measures to promote the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society both inside and outside of the institution. However, PWGSC does not have a formal mechanism to evaluate the impact of the positive measures it has taken, in terms of OLMC development or promotion of the equality of status and use of English and French in Canadian society. The Office of the Commissioner therefore encourages the Department to develop formal tools to evaluate the impact of its positive measures and to use the results to modify the measures as needed.

Conclusion

The evaluation of PWGSC’s compliance with the various aspects of the Act indicates that the Department is determined to meet its obligations. PWGSC effectively manages the official languages program, and this sound management has earned the Department an exemplary rating in this section. For Part IV (service to the public), PWGSC also showed exemplary performance. However, some criteria evaluated are in need of improvement, specifically related to Part VI. PWGSC obtained a fair rating in this section, but is aware of the issues and has implemented measures to address them. In addition, in relation to Part VII, PWGSC is encouraged to develop mechanisms and tools to fully and formally assess the impact of its positive measures, and take into account their impact in order to modify them as needed. The Office of the Commissioner congratulates PWGSC for its continued efforts in its compliance with the Act.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table tnote 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter R

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
2014–2016 Report Card
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The RCMP is an agency of the Public Safety portfolio and is Canada’s national police service. It provides a total federal policing service to all Canadians and provides policing services under contract to the three territories, all provinces except Ontario and Quebec, more than 150 municipalities, more than 600 Aboriginal communities and three international airports. Its mandate includes preventing and investigating crime; maintaining peace and order; enforcing laws; contributing to national security; ensuring the safety of state officials, visiting dignitaries and foreign missions; and providing vital operational support services to other police and law enforcement agencies within Canada and abroad.

The RCMP has an official languages policy that covers Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. The policy was approved by the Director General of Workforce Programs and Services. It was reviewed and approved in October 2014 and posted on Infoweb, the RCMP’s intranet, in January 2015.

The RCMP has an official languages action plan for 2015–2018 that covers Parts IV, V and VII of the Act, and outlines the objectives, expected results, performance indicators, persons responsible and timelines. The 2015–2018 official languages action plan was approved by the Chief Human Resources Officer. The institution also implemented a complementary action plan that focuses on measures not included in the 2015–2018 official languages action plan to address shortcomings identified by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the RCMP’s 2013–2014 report card. These measures include improving compliance with Part IV, developing a formal assessment framework to evaluate the effectiveness of language-of-work initiatives and developing a recruitment strategy of English-speaking Canadians in its Quebec offices.

The institution has a structure that enables it to take official languages into account in planning its activities and in important decision-making processes. The Directorate of Official Languages is responsible for overall management of the official languages program at the national level and the Director, Diversity and Official Languages, provides biannual updates on official languages to the Senior Executive Committee (SEC). The RCMP has an official languages committee that meets monthly and is chaired by the manager of the official languages program. Committee members include national and regional official languages coordinators.

The Official Languages Champion is the Chief Strategic Policy and Planning Officer. The role of the Official Languages Champion is to promote the use of English and French in the organization and to ensure that senior management takes official languages into account in the institution’s decision-making processes.

The RCMP has developed a tool to take into account the impact of decisions on official language minority communities (OLMCs) when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. This tool for meeting Part VII obligations is a working document that defines the RCMP’s approach when conducting consultations with OLMCs and/or official languages key players to ensure that their concerns and needs are taken into account, and positive measures are implemented. This document also defines the procedures to be taken before, during and after consultations. The Directorate of Official Languages and the Divisional Official Languages Coordinator have to be informed, along with Communications Services and Legal Services, when consultations with OLMCs are conducted. The RCMP does not have similar tools to take into account the impact of decisions on Parts IV, V and VI of the Act.

With regard to investigations, the RCMP cooperates fully with the Office of the Commissioner. In cases where the documentation cannot be provided within the given timelines, the regional coordinators are proactive and inform the investigators of delays.

The RCMP’s program management reflects its commitment to official languages. The RCMP has taken into account the Office of the Commissioner’s suggestions in the 2013–2014 report card and implemented an action plan that addresses the shortcomings identified. There are, however, no direct links between the 2015–2018 official languages action plan and the action plan addressing shortcomings identified in the 2013–2014 report card. To adopt a coherent approach, the Office of the Commissioner suggests integrating both action plans to ensure a complete overview of the situation and implementation of corrective measures. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages the RCMP to develop formal tools and procedures to take into account Parts IV, V and VI of the Act when policies or programs are added, eliminated or changed. Overall, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the RCMP to continue in its efforts to ensure sound and effective official languages program management.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) C

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between May and July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 69% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 26% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 68% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 71% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 65% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between May and July 2015 resulted in a response rate of 65% for e-mails sent in English and 55% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in French took, on average, 7.6 hours longer than those in English. This represents a difference of 26%.Footnote 1

After the Supreme Court ruling in the DesRochers case, the RCMP used Treasury Board Secretariat’s analytical grid to analyze its programs and services in light of the principle of substantive equality. The SEC decided, in 2012, that the Directorate of Diversity and Official Languages would take the lead on the review of RCMP programs and services in collaboration with the affected service lines. The RCMP has identified several services and programs that are required to be adapted to the needs of OLMCs. While it has assessed the need to adapt its services and identified programs in response to the DesRochers decision, the RCMP has not demonstrated how these have been adapted or that services and programs have been systematically reviewed, when necessary, since then.

Observations made by the Office of the Commissioner show overall poor results for in person, telephone and e mail services to the public in both official languages, as well as very poor results for active offer in person. The RCMP is encouraged to implement a strategy that includes specific and concrete measures to ensure that an active offer is made systematically and that service is available in both official languages at all times. Although the RCMP used the analytical grid to review its services and programs in 2012, it would greatly benefit from an internal formal mechanism of review to ensure that the identified services and programs are adapted to the needs of OLMCs.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Since the RCMP’s 2013–2014 report card, the institution has continued to implement targeted measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

These measures include a fact sheet given to managers that informs them of their responsibilities toward their employees in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes with regard to supervision, communications, meetings and training; a handout for the National Division on chairing and participating in bilingual meetings; and various working tools on the Infoweb with regard to language-of-work communications.

All employees are provided with an official languages kit that includes tools such as a language-of-work communications chart, a contact list of official languages coordinators and persons responsible for official languages at the Directorate of Diversity and Official Languages and overall information about official languages. Employees have access to these tools, including official languages policies and directives, on the Infoweb.

Several second official language training programs continue to be available. These include a 13-week accelerated English-language training program for unilingual Francophones and Standard Operating Procedures for English as a Second Language training for new Francophone members. While some language training programs are specifically geared to Francophones, there are none tailored to Anglophones learning French as a second language. In addition, some second-language tools and training are available on the Infoweb.

The RCMP Commissioner’s One RCMP, One Voice newsletter addresses issues as well as any updates on official languages. The RCMP Commissioner encourages managers to have formal discussions with their staff about issues relating to official languages.

To evaluate the impact of its measures related to language of work, the RCMP uses the results of the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), as well as the RCMP’s internal language-of-work survey. The internal language-of-work survey is administered every two years and employees in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes are strongly encouraged to complete it. The RCMP uses the results of the internal survey to ensure language-of-work rights are respected. The analysis of the results of both surveys are presented to the SEC and published on the Human Resources Infoweb portal. For example, some issues related to bilingual meetings identified in 2014 were addressed in the 2015–2018 action plan. The analysis of the PSES results is based on the overall satisfaction of all employees. The Office of the Commissioner notes, however, that analyzing PSES results based on a respondent’s first official language the RCMP would be able to identify other language-of-work issues. For example, applying this method of analysis could identify possible issues with second-language training for Anglophones in offices located in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

The RCMP has developed tools and procedures and implemented some measures to create a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages. It could make further progress by analyzing its PSES results by a respondent’s first official language and by region in order to identify specific issues regarding language of work and to implement measures targeting these issues.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) C

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the RCMP’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 6.8% of the RCMP’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 43.4% of the RCMP’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 6.8% of the RCMP’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Statistics show a good representation of French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec and the NCR, as well as in the NCR. The data also shows an under-representation of English-speaking Canadians in the Quebec region excluding the NCR.

The RCMP has taken measures to encourage equitable participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in its workforce. Several recruitment activities have taken place in each province where the RCMP is located. To address the under-representation of English-speaking Canadians in the Quebec region, the RCMP targeted educational establishments such as universities and colleges.

The Office of the Commissioner encourages the RCMP to continue its targeted recruitment strategies to address the under-representation of English-speaking Canadians in the Quebec region in its workforce.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

The RCMP has identified and consulted several organizations representing the interests of OLMCs. It has established formal national round tables with various OLMCs. Organizations representing these communities at the round tables include the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta, the Manitoba Francophone Affairs Secretariat, the Association of Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities and the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise. The RCMP is also part of the working group with the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada and is an active member of the Justice-Security Network. The purpose of these round tables and networks is to identify the needs of these communities and implement measures, in line with the RCMP’s mandate, to foster their development.

The Justice-Security Network has a 2014–2017 work plan that identifies specific objectives, activities, timelines and persons responsible. The RCMP participated in the implementation of several objectives through the Justice-Security Network. One of the objectives for 2014–2017 is to develop a coordinated and effective communications approach between Justice-Security Network members and various partners both inside and outside the public service.

Since its 2013–2014 report card, the RCMP has maintained the welcome package initiative for new employees in various regions who speak the official language of the linguistic minority. This initiative was developed in collaboration with OLMCs and includes OLMC resources and activities to help employees and their families integrate in the community. The RCMP evaluates the impact of this measure through a survey for employees and their families. The RCMP indicated that the feedback received could be used to adjust the measures taken. However, OLMCs are not surveyed and therefore the impact of the measures on their vitality is not evaluated.

The RCMP is also taking part in the 2015–2016 pan-Canadian training program initiated by the Centre canadien de français juridique inc. The RCMP is offering French legal training and presentations to judges, police forces, private sector jurists and others working in the justice field. The goal of this training program is to improve access and the ability to provide justice in French across the country. The first training session is scheduled for January 2016.

With regard to linguistic duality, the RCMP organizes several internal Linguistic Duality Day activities that are promoted on Infoweb. Employees are encouraged to participate in activities such as Celebrating Bilingualism in Canada: Inspirational Stories and the Commissioner of Official Languages’ dictation. The RCMP also promotes the Our Heritage, Our Advantage awareness campaign that highlights the importance and value of both official languages within the institution.

The RCMP promotes internally the Office of the Commissioner’s guide Celebrating Canada—A Guide to a Successful Bilingual Event, which encourages the organization of bilingual events. The RCMP must develop its own concrete initiatives to promote the equal status and use of both English and French in Canadian society. The RCMP should also establish a formal assessment framework to evaluate the impact of the measures taken for the promotion of linguistic duality.

Since its last report card in 2013–2014, the RCMP has continued to implement measures to foster the development of OLMCs and is active in the Justice-Security Network. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the RCMP to continue its consultations and national round tables with OLMCs and with the Justice-Security Network to identify additional positive measures to support the vitality of OLMCs. With respect to linguistic duality, the RCMP identified some ways it promotes linguistic duality internally. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the RCMP to reflect on how it could promote linguistic duality in Canadian society as a whole, in addition to its efforts within the organization. Furthermore, the RCMP should implement formal assessment frameworks to evaluate the impact of the measures it has taken for both the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality, and should use the results of these assessments to adapt the measures as needed.

Conclusion

This assessment of the RCMP’s compliance revealed an overall fair performance. The institution continues to demonstrate its commitment to comply with the Act and has taken a number of measures to address shortcomings identified in its last report card.

The RCMP obtained a good rating with respect to its official languages program management. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes the RCMP’s efforts and commitment in ensuring sound and effective official languages program management. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the RCMP to develop formal tools and procedures to take into account Parts IV, V and VI of the Act when policies and programs are added, eliminated or changed. These tools and procedures will enable the institution to fully evaluate the impact of its decisions on official languages.

With respect to service to the public, the RCMP needs to implement a strategy that ensures active offer in person is made by staff systematically and service is available at all times in the official language of the linguistic minority in person, by telephone and by e-mail.

The RCMP obtained a good rating with respect to language of work. Although some improvements are required, the Office of the Commissioner notes the measures implemented by the RCMP to ensure a work environment that is conducive to the use of both English and French in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

With regard to equitable participation, the RCMP has a strategy in place to address the under-representation of English-speaking Canadians in its Quebec offices. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the RCMP to continue its efforts to address this gap.

Finally, the Office of the Commissioner recognizes the RCMP’s initiatives and efforts to systematically consult OLMCs and identify their needs with the objective of implementing positive measures that aim to foster OLMC development. The Office of the Commissioner encourages the RCMP to implement measures to promote linguistic duality in Canadian society and to implement formal mechanisms to systematically assess the impact of its measures on the development of OLMCs and on linguistic duality.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response times for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter S

Service Canada
2014–2016 Report Card
Service Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for Service Canada’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) portfolio includes Service Canada and the Labour Program. Service Canada’s mandate is to provide Canadians with access to the Government of Canada’s services and programs through service in person, by telephone and on-line.

Since 2008, ESDC’s official languages responsibilities have been shared among three branches. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in 2009 outlines the official languages roles and responsibilities of each branch, which are in line with each branch’s mandate. Service Canada’s Citizen Service Branch (CSB) is responsible for Part IV of the Official Languages Act; the Human Resources Service Branch is responsible for Parts V and VI and section 91 of the Act and the Strategic and Service Policy Branch is responsible for Part VII of the Act. The MOU also specifies the overall official languages governance structure, which involves cooperation and coordination among all branches to ensure ESDC carries out its official languages responsibilities effectively and efficiently.

Service Canada implements ESDC’s official languages policies, directives and action plans that cover Parts V, VI and VII of the Act, as well as its own official languages policy, directives and action plan that cover Part IV. It has developed the Policy on Services to the Public in Both Official Languages at Service Canada, which describes the roles and responsibilities of unilingual and designated bilingual offices. In December 2011, Service Canada implemented the Directive on Official Languages Obligations in Unilingual Service Canada Offices. It is currently drafting the Directive on Official Languages Obligations in Bilingual Service Canada Centres and Scheduled Outreach Sites, which will replace the directive on active offer and provide guidance to employees in the delivery of services of equal quality in both official languages.

Service Canada developed the document entitled Official Languages: At the Heart of Service Excellence – A Framework and Action Plan for 2011–2014 to guide it on the implementation of Part IV of the Act. This document includes an accountability framework that defines Service Canada’s obligations under Part IV of the Act and its official languages performance measurement strategy. As indicated in the title, the document also includes the official languages action plan addressing the recommendations made by the Commissioner of Official Languages in his December 2010 report, Audit of the Delivery of Bilingual Services to the Public by Service Canada. Service Canada also implements ESDC’s official languages action plan for 2014–2017 that covers Parts V and VI and section 91 of the Act, as well as ESDC’s official languages action plan for 2014–2017 for Part VII of the Act.

Service Canada’s overall structure enables it to take official languages into account when planning its activities and in important decision-making processes. Service Canada’s representatives sit on the Employment and Social Development Canada Official Languages Steering Committee (ESDC-OL Steering Committee). The committee, which ensures the proper implementation of the MOU meets every quarter and is chaired and supported by the Service Canada director general responsible for implementing Part IV of the Act. Committee members are at the director and director-general levels, and represent all three branches as well as the College@ESDC, the Labour Program and the regions. Service Canada is also part of the ESDC Integrated Official Languages Network; it co-chairs this discussion forum on Parts IV and VII of the Act for ESDC official languages coordinators. Members meet every two months. Service Canada’s participation in the steering committee and network reflects ESDC’s governance structure, enabling a horizontal and strategic approach to official languages in the Department.

A national official languages champion and co-champion are appointed at the ESDC departmental level. Official languages champions and official languages coordinators are also appointed at the regional level, and branch official languages coordinators are appointed by Headquarters. The national official languages champion, the national co-champion and the regional champions are members of the ESDC-OL Steering Committee. In the fall of 2014, Service Canada’s assistant deputy minister for the Quebec region was appointed the national official languages champion. The co-champion is the director general of the Workplace Partnerships Directorate at the Skills and Employment Branch. A departmental structure has been established to ensure the knowledge of the official languages program is effectively transferred to newly appointed champions. The three ESDC branches responsible for official languages briefed the national champion on the official languages program and on the role of the national champion. In January 2015, the national champion chaired a nationwide conference call to consult regional official languages champions and regional official languages coordinators on current official languages challenges and priority issues. After briefings and consultations were conducted, the national champion and co-champion were tasked with developing an engagement strategy to outline the roles of champions, annual priorities, upcoming planned activities and completed activities.

Official languages initiatives, projects and action plans are presented to and approved by the Service and Program Integrated Executive Committee (SPIEC). After SPIEC approval, they are presented for discussion and approval at the Service Management Committee (SMC), and/or the Corporate Management Committee (CMC), the highest-level executive committees at ESDC and Service Canada. Official languages were also integrated in the SPIEC priorities for 2015–2016 as well as in Service Canada’s CSB 2014–2015 priorities. As specified in the MOU, the three assistant deputy ministers are responsible for implementing the official languages program at ESDC and for providing overall functional direction and leadership.

Service Canada has tools and procedures for taking official languages into account when adding, eliminating or changing policies, programs or services. For instance, following the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ 2010 audit report, the Official Languages Minority Community Integrated Consultation Framework was developed to ensure that official language minority communities (OLMCs) are consulted on and informed of changes to departmental programs and services and of new initiatives before a final decision is made. Also, in certain instances, case studies are undertaken to ensure that official languages issues, obligations and impacts are clearly understood by management when decisions are made: for example, when determining how proposed changes to Service Canada’s points of service could affect OLMCs. Service Canada also commissioned the University of Ottawa to analyze how OLMCs could be affected by the replacement of service delivery to the public with digital self-service delivery.

With regard to investigations of complaints, Service Canada always fully cooperates with the Office of the Commissioner. However, in some instances, it has had difficulty providing the documentation requested by the Office of the Commissioner within the given timelines.

Overall, Service Canada has tools and procedures in place to ensure its compliance with the Act and it plays an important role in ESDC’s official languages governance structure. With a solid and dynamic governance structure, Service Canada is able to take into account official languages in its activities and in important decision-making processes. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Service Canada to continue its efforts to ensure sound and effective official languages program management.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between May and July 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 98% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 77% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 85% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

Service Canada does not correspond with the public by e-mail. Therefore, the Office of the Commissioner did not evaluate Service Canada on this criterion.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DesRochers case, Service Canada reviewed its programs and services in 2011 using of Treasury Board Secretariat’s analytical grid. The results were presented to the Program and Service Delivery Committee and a plan was created to ensure that program and service delivery meets OLMC needs. The Official Languages Service for Citizens division (Partnerships Development and Management Directorate) and the Corporate Planning and Management Directorate are responsible for implementing the plan to ensure systematic review of all new policies, programs, Treasury Board submissions, memoranda to Cabinet and transfer payments. In 2012, an update on the implementation of the DesRochers decision and the resulting service review within Service Canada was presented to the SMC.

The observations made by the Office of the Commissioner show overall good results for in-person service and exemplary results for service given on the telephone. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes Service Canada’s efforts to ensure that service is provided in both official languages. Service Canada needs to continue these efforts to ensure that in-person active offer is made at all times and service in the official language of the linguistic minority is available at all times in person. The Office of the Commissioner also encourages Service Canada to continue to ensure substantive equality is achieved in the delivery of its programs and services.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Service Canada takes targeted measures to create and maintain a work environment conducive to the use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

Service Canada follows ESDC’s language-of-work strategy, as well as implements ESDC’s 2014–2017 official languages action plan for Parts V and VI and section 91. Service Canada also uses various tools for managers developed by ESDC, such as articles, reminders and on-line training courses to inform employees of their rights and responsibilities and to ensure management respects its official languages obligations. The 2014–2017 official languages action plan addresses shortcomings and recommendations made by the Office of the Commissioner in an investigation report in 2013 and the 2010 Audit of the Delivery of Bilingual Services to the Public by Service Canada.

The tools for managers are intended to remind them of their obligations and to help them ensure not only that their employees are well informed of their rights and responsibilities, but also that language-of-work rights are respected. Examples of these tools include the following: fact sheets on managers’ responsibilities for language of work, one for bilingual regions and one for unilingual regions; official languages self-assessment guides for managers on language of work, again, one for bilingual regions and one for unilingual regions; and key guiding principles in documents on official languages and human resources planning and staffing activities, and a fact sheet on the distribution of documents within designated bilingual regions for language-of-work purposes.

In addition, on-line training courses on official languages are available for Service Canada employees and managers through ESDC’s on-line campus training. These on-line courses include “Exercising My Leadership in Official Languages” for directors, managers and team leaders, and “Official Languages and Me” for employees.

Service Canada employees can find official languages information in the InfoHR Bulletin and the Intersection newsletter. Managers are responsible for distributing these publications to their employees.

Service Canada does not assess the impact on its employees of the measures implemented. A comparative analysis of the 2014 and 2011 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) results is carried out at ESDC and focuses on the overall satisfaction of all ESDC’s employees.

Overall, Service Canada implements ESDC’s policies and directives relating to language of work. The Office of the Commissioner acknowledges that Service Canada implements a number of measures developed by ESDC to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes. Nevertheless, the Office of the Commissioner encourages Service Canada to develop an evaluation framework to systematically evaluate the impact of the measures implemented. As part of the evaluation of the PSES results, Service Canada would benefit from examining the data specific to its employees in order to identify potential language-of-work issues that require attention.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%)

Data on the participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians in federal institutions is provided by the Treasury Board Secretariat. However, Service Canada cannot differentiate its data from ESDC data; therefore the organization was not evaluated on this criterion.

Service Canada demonstrated that it monitors its employees’ first official language on a quarterly basis using ESDC’s People Management Dashboard. The equal participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians are part of both the language-of-work strategy and the 2014–2017 official languages action plan on Parts V and VI and section 91.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

Service Canada works with ESDC to implement the five-year action plan for the implementation of section 41 of Part VII of the Act. The action plan requires cooperation and coordination between the Strategic and Service Policy Branch, the official languages champions and the Integrated Official Languages Network.

Service Canada participates in dialogue sessions with the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA) and the Quebec Community Group Network (QCGN). The purpose of the sessions is to discuss OLMC issues and needs, and to share Service Canada and ESDC’s consultation and action plans.

Service Canada also helps implement several initiatives of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Community. Three ESDC-led initiatives are funded under the Roadmap: Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities; Official Language Minority Communities Literacy and Essential Skills Initiative; and Social Partnership Initiative in official-language minority communities. In line with these initiatives, community-led projects that meet the needs of OLMCs and that foster their development have received funding or are in the process of receiving it. More specifically, under the Enabling Fund, not-for-profit organizations can receive funding for their community projects that aim to support the economic and human resource development of OLMCs. The Literacy and Essential Skills initiatives focus on funding community projects that aim to help adults in both English- and French-speaking minority communities gain the essential skills they need to obtain and/or maintain employment. Under the Social Partnership Initiative, which is currently in the development phase, eligible organizations will receive funding for community projects that target youth and family issues of both English- and French-speaking minority communities and that encourage OLMCs to find new revenue sources to develop community-based activities that address the social and economic issues that affect them. Service Canada works with OLMCs to help them develop their projects and initiatives in line with funding requirements to give them a better chance to receive funding under these initiatives.

Service Canada uses various formal mechanisms to assess the impact of measures and projects on the development of OLMCs funded under those initiatives. For example, the transfer payment guidelines require funding recipients to report at the end of their projects on the benefits and impacts of their activities in their community. Service Canada takes the results into account to adjust the funding of future projects as needed.

Service Canada promotes linguistic duality within the organization through several activities during Linguistic Duality Day and the Rendez-vous de la francophonie.For example, for the 2015 Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, Service Canada held a Web rally, which was an educational on-line game on official languages issues. The national and regional official languages champions and co-champion promote these activities by sending corporate messages to all employees. Service Canada evaluates the success of these activities by using a participant feedback survey. The results of the surveys are taken into account to adjust the activities as needed.

Overall, Service Canada has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at supporting the vitality of OLMCs through the Roadmap as well as through consultations with the FCFA and QCGN. Service Canada also implemented several activities to promote the use of both English and French in the organization. The Office of the Commissioner invites Service Canada to reflect on how it can promote linguistic duality in Canadian society through its programs and services, and to develop an assessment framework to evaluate the impact of its activities and initiatives in that regard.

Conclusion

This assessment of Service Canada’s compliance revealed an overall good performance. Service Canada’s coordinated efforts within ESDC, as well as its commitment to provide excellent service in both official languages to the Canadian public, have been demonstrated throughout this report card.

Some improvements are required with regard to Part IV (service to the public) and Part VII (promotion of linguistic duality). With respect to Part IV, improvements are needed in terms of in-person active offer and availability of service in the official language of the linguistic minority. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Service Canada to continue its efforts to ensure that an active offer in person is made at all times and that service in the official language of the linguistic minority is also available at all times in offices designated as bilingual for service to the public. With respect to promoting linguistic duality, the Office of the Commissioner encourages Service Canada to reflect on how it can promote linguistic duality in Canadian society through its programs, services and mandate, and to develop formal means of evaluation.

Nonetheless, the Office of the Commissioner recognizes Service Canada’s commitment and active involvement in the official languages program as shown through its dynamic governance structure and initiatives by integrating official languages in its activities and its decision-making processes. Its excellent rating on service to the public is particularly noteworthy given Service Canada’s mandate. The Office of the Commissioner encourages Service Canada to continue its strong performance.

Overall Rating
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

2014–2016 Report Card
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) A

The data for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

The SSHRC is the federal funding agency that promotes and supports post-secondary-based research and training in the fields of social sciences and the humanities. SSHRC programs are delivered through large-scale national competitions to provide funding through grants or scholarships. SSHRC shares a number of services with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), including its human resources and auditing and evaluation services. They are nevertheless two separate federal institutions.

SSHRC has had a policy for Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act since March 2011; its policy on Part VII of the Act dates from June 2012. These two policies were approved by SSHRC’s governing council. At the time that the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages conducted its evaluation for this report card, SSHRC was in the process of reviewing these policies to consolidate them and create a common policy for SSHRC and NSERC. SSHRC also shares essentially common directives with NSERC on official languages covering a number of issues, including communications with and services to the public, language of work, language training and Part VII.

SSHRC had two action plans in effect at the time of the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation in the fall of 2014. The 2011–2014 action plan for Parts IV, V and VI contains a number of measures and annual deliverables. The 2012–2015 action plan, which focuses on Part VII, was approved by the Management Accountability Committee on July 10, 2012. This detailed, wide-ranging plan clearly specifies the timelines, responsible parties, and performance measurements. The institution has an internal version of the plan, complementary to the public version, that contains additional information regarding its implementation.

At the time of the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation, SSHRC was in the middle of its three-year review process and updating its official languages policies and action plan. After some reflection, the institution had created a new official languages committee. While this can be considered an achievement, the documentation shows, that the 2012 dissolution of the only official languages committee in place, the Part VII working group, without any planning for its replacement, resulted in challenges in the monitoring of implementation and put additional pressure on the resources needed for reporting to the central agencies. The SSHRC Management Accountability Committee approved the mandate and terms of reference of the new SSHRC/NSERC joint committee on official languages in October 2014. The committee is scheduled to meet four times a year. The action plans for Parts IV, V, VI and VII will be amalgamated into a single plan. The institution showed it had a project framework that sets out milestones, timelines, those responsible and how progress will be measured. SSHRC notes that having a common official languages committee does not necessarily mean that both organizations have the same ways of doing things across the board.

SSHRC is governed by a governing council and a number of committees, each with a specific mandate. The institution demonstrated that official languages are on the agenda of the appropriate management committee according to the issue in question. The institution also fully demonstrated that the official languages champion, who is the Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Performance, is proactive and brings official languages issues to senior management as needed.

SSHRC management is of the opinion that responsibilities set out in the governance framework enable it to ensure that the organization takes official languages issues into consideration when it adds, modifies or eliminates programs. The Champion, along with the human resources team (which is a service shared with NSERC), monitors this matter. Following publication of its last report card, in 2010–2011, SSHRC reviewed its official languages management practices to evaluate the situation and to clearly define how it could better support official language minority communities (OLMCs) and research on official languages through its programs.

SSHRC provides the documentation required to resolve complaints within the Office of the Commissioner’s deadlines and fully and proactively cooperates during complaint resolution.

Despite a few shortcomings to overcome, SSHRC has an official languages management framework that enables the achievement of significant results. Senior management is committed to an overall vision in terms of official languages. Policies and action plans are in place. Significant renewal efforts were underway at the time of the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation, including the creation of a new official languages committee. The drafts submitted showed that work was progressing well. It will be important for the institution to ensure that it has a continuous working group in place that actively monitors progress on its action plans for all parts of the Act, which has not been the case since the last report card, in order to help the institution account for the progress it has made.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, between December 2014 and February 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 6% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases. Given that SSHRC and NSERC share in-person points of service, this criterion was evaluated jointly.

Given the small amount of data obtained during the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone between September and December 2014, the results will not be published.Footnote 1 Consequently, SSHRC was not evaluated on this criterion.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 100% for e-mails sent in French and 95% for e-mails sent in English. In terms of comparable timeframes, reponses in English took, on average, one hour longer than those in French. This represents a difference of 12%.Footnote 2

With respect to SSHRC’s needing to adapt its programs to comply with the principle of substantive equality following the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in DesRochers, SSHRC explained that, following the publication of the 2010–2011 report card, official languages management practices were reviewed to take stock of the situation and to more precisely define how it could better support OLMCs and research on official languages through its programs. The Part VII action plan covers certain points under Part IV of the Act, because it allows for adjustment of its programs based on discussion and consultation with OLMCs.

SSHRC obtained excellent results during the Office of the Commissioner’s observations for visual active offer, availability of service in person and service to the public by e-mail. However, the results regarding verbal active offer by staff were very poor. SSHRC is encouraged to take significant steps to correct this situation so members of the public immediately know they can be understood and served in the language of their choice. Furthermore, even though the institution demonstrated that it had given thought to the adaptation of its programs to comply with the principle of substantive equality, it is encouraged to adopt permanent mechanisms, because this is an ongoing obligation.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

At the time the data was collected, efforts were underway with NSERC to integrate SSHRC’s official languages program with respect to language of work. However, the two organizations have shared human resources services for a number of years, which explains their very similar results for this part of the Act.

SSHRC has a number of directives related to language of work, staffing and second-language evaluation. Tools are available on the institution’s intranet site to guide employees and managers—for example, to help managers determine whether they are meeting their obligations and to help employees with second-language learning. The new-employee orientation kit contains information on official languages. The institution takes into account the preferred language of employees.

As an ad hoc measure, a twinning program and info-lunch on learning languages, in collaboration with NSERC, resulted in a language training session. However, the documentation submitted to the Office of the Commissioner indicates that the institution’s investments in training and development are relatively low.

SSHRC states that it has few unilingual positions, since most of the workforce may have contact with the public. As a result, according to the institution, the recent workforce reduction exercises had a minimal impact on the institution’s ability to provide services in both official languages and maintain a work environment that is conducive to the use of both languages.

With respect to assessing the impact of measures to create and maintain a bilingual work environment, SSHRC indicates that it measures satisfaction levels regarding official languages when conducting exit interviews, which are not systematic. The institution also specifies that the human resources dashboard sent to senior management indicates the linguistic designation of positions, as well as employees’ preferred official language and first official language. However, SSHRC did not demonstrate that it was formally monitoring or evaluating the effectiveness and use of language-of-work tools. In 2014, SSHRC participated in the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) for the first time.

In short, SSHRC has taken targeted measures, but has not used formal and systematic mechanisms to evaluate their effects. SSHRC’s participation for the first time in the PSES presents an excellent opportunity for senior management to develop a specific and targeted plan to correct all the shortcomings identified, particularly whenever the survey results show differences between the satisfaction levels of Anglophones and Francophones. The Office of the Commissioner encourages SSHRC to continue measuring first official language and preferred official language of work separately. It could then use this data to find, as needed, opportunities to promote the effective use of both official languages, without discouraging employees from one language group who choose to work in the other official language.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating SSHRC’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 51.4% of SSHRC’s workforce is Francophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

The institution has no offices outside the NCR.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

SSHRC has a definition of OLMCs adapted to its mandate. That is, it mainly targets the community of researchers and students from OLMC post-secondary institutions, including the Anglophone institutions of Quebec, the Francophone institutions outside Quebec and bilingual institutions. After the publication of its last report card, in 2010–2011, SSHRC reviewed its official languages management practices to have an overview of the situation and define how it could better support OLMCs and research about official languages through its programs. In the winter and spring of 2012, SSHRC carried out a targeted consultation of people in the OLMC research and teaching community on the policy statement regarding section 41. This led to the adoption of the detailed action plan for Part VII.

SSHRC states that it supports social sciences and humanities research on issues related to linguistic duality and OLMCs, both Anglophone and Francophone, by reason of its mandate. The management review and consultation conducted by SSHRC revealed that the best way for the institution to support OLMCs is through its regular programs. SSHRC’s policy on Part VII provides for increasing institutions’ research capacity as a means for enhancing the vitality of OLMCs. SSHRC goes beyond the ability to communicate with the public in both official languages by ensuring that the composition of its review committees for funding applications, consisting of researchers, reflects linguistic duality and that discussions are held in the language of the application. This supports the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society, by promoting scientific activity in each official language across the country, including in OLMCs. It also provides better service to OLMCs in their language. Furthermore, SSHRC states that it regularly promotes research work by researchers affiliated with OLMC institutions. SSHRC also promotes linguistic duality internally, through, for example, the organization of Linguistic Duality Day and reminders from the Champion.

After each competition, SSHRC draws up a list of research on official languages, linguistic duality and OLMCs. This list supports formal monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for positive measures. In addition and further to the official languages management practices review conducted in 2011, SSHRC collects data and information to monitor the support provided to OLMC institutions and groups, as well as to projects related to linguistic duality. It was able to provide data on support to OLMC institutions for their research and to report on the composition of committees that evaluate funding applications. SSHRC also developed a performance measurement framework that contains expected results and outcomes regarding implementation of section 41, as adapted to its various programs. However, according to the documentation provided, this framework was still at the draft stage at the time of data collection and mainly focused on OLMC support.

SSHRC is encouraged to conduct an in-depth review of the exact nature of post-secondary institutions’ obligations as set out in Parts IV and VII of the Act. SSHRC, NSERC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research have given universities responsibility for administrating applications and awarding students certain bursaries that they fund. The documentation states that post-secondary institutions must have mechanisms to review applications in English and in French, but the Office of the Commissioner’s evaluation found some shortcomings regarding the analysis of repercussions on official languages with this new operating procedure. It is important for SSHRC to ensure that these obligations are clarified with the institutions in question and to implement appropriate formal official languages oversight and monitoring mechanisms.

SSHRC’s overall performance with respect to Part VII of the Act is remarkable, because its current development and monitoring process allows for the integration into its programs of objectives related primarily to enhancing the development and vitality of OLMCs, but also to promoting linguistic duality. These practices, which have many commonalities with NSERC’s practices, are exemplary. Because SSHRC implemented or reviewed most of them following publication of the last report card in 2010–2011, the institution’s efforts in this area should be acknowledged. In terms of areas for improvement, the Office of the Commissioner notes that SSHRC’s positive measures are mainly directed at OLMCs, an essential component of Part VII. However, these measures should not overshadow those taken to better support progression towards the equality of status and use of English and French in the social sciences in Canadian society.

Conclusion

SSHRC is managing its official languages program very effectively. The review and integration of official languages plans and policies seem to be well planned and well underway, but ongoing monitoring of implementation of the plans is still important. Despite shortcomings observed regarding in-person active offer, SSHRC obtained exemplary results for service to the public. The institution took a number of targeted measures to promote the use of both official languages in the workplace, but would benefit from assessing their impact more systematically. SSHRC knows how it can fully contribute to enhancing the development and vitality of OLMCs through its regular activities, and it systematically measures the effectiveness of its positive measures. It will be interesting to see, a few years from now, the results of the integration of SSHRC’s official languages program with that of NSERC. Already, at the time of the previous report card, in 2010–2011, both institutions shared human resources services and official languages functions. Both institutions are increasing their integration by working on joint official languages plans and committees. The Office of the Commissioner welcomes these efforts, since they create a synergy between these two institutions that have similar mandates and share many programs, in spite of the differences in their realities resulting from their respective mandates.

Overall Rating B

Table notes

Table note 1

Various reasons explain why the Office of the Commissioner did not have sufficient data for some observations. In person: too many service points did not provide service to the public without an appointment; too many service points were not accessible to the public (e.g., doors were locked and entry was by access code only, observers were recognized and their anonymity was compromised); too many service points had a commissionaire monitoring access to the offices, and observers had to wait for an employee to come to the commissionaire’s desk to answer questions. By telephone: too many observers’ calls were routed to voice mail.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Table note 2

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 2 referrer

report cards beginning with the letter T

Transport Canada

Transport Canada

2014–2016 Report Card
Transport Canada
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) C

The data for the Transport Canada (TC)’s report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2014. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

TC is responsible for the Government of Canada’s transportation policies and programs. The Department conducts activities dealing with legislative and regulatory frameworks and ensures the oversight of transportation. It conducts its activities in support of or in partnership with the public and private sectors and with international organizations.

TC applies the Treasury Board’s official languages policy instruments, but it has its own policy, guidelines and directives for managers, mainly with regard to language of work, staffing and service to the public. These internal instruments, updated after the Treasury Board’s new official languages instruments came into force in November 2012, had not yet been approved by senior management when the data was collected for this report card in the fall of 2014. According to the Department, that work was to have been completed in 2013, but it was delayed due to workforce reduction and restructuring exercises.

TC has an official languages action plan for 2012–2015, which it intends to review when it expires and into which a separate plan for Part VII of the Official Languages Act for the 2011–2014 period was integrated as-is. The 2012–2015 action plan, which was approved by the Department’s executive committee, takes into account shortcomings that the previous report card by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (published in 2009–2010) identified. Though the plan is specific and clearly identifies those responsible, the information that the Department provided did not demonstrate that it was monitoring the plan’s implementation. The action plan on Part VII for 2011–2014 is more comprehensive, but at the time when data for this report card was being collected, the Department indicated that a reassessment was necessary in order to identify the activities that could not be implemented for this part of the Act. A new section, specific to Part VII, was to be developed in 2013, but according to the Department, priority had to be given to workforce reduction and restructuring exercises.

The Department’s structure allows it to factor in official languages when planning activities and making important decisions. Official languages are not systematically on the agenda of the Department’s executive committee, but the Official Languages Champion is a member of the committee, and ensures that the topic is addressed as necessary. Six examples of detailed presentations that were made at key moments were provided to this effect.

In 2012, TC merged its Official Languages Champions Committee, which consisted of the sectors’ official languages champions and the Advisory Committee on Part VII, to create the TC Advisory Committee on Official Languages. This advisory committee has existed in this form since then. According to the Department, this merger has been a success, since this single committee provides a better overview. The Committee has representatives from each of the Department’s groups and regions. Since the responsibility of Part VII’s implementation is shared by the various sectors of the Department (unlike Parts IV, V and VI, which are the responsibility of Human Resources), the Committee’s members act as leaders for the employees in their region or group.

TC’s official languages champion at the time of data collection was the Regional Director General for the Quebec Region. His predecessor led the merger of the committees, in addition to liaising with senior management. However, with regard to personnel, examples of the former champion’s activities demonstrate that he was most active within his region. Institutions need to ensure that the measures taken by the Champion have an effect across the entire Department.

As for the tools and procedures that take into account official languages when adding, eliminating or modifying policies or programs, TC has produced the Guide to Official Languages in Transfer Payment Programs, which was approved by senior management and distributed as a best practice to other federal institutions. Produced in 2012 and intended for program managers, the Guide promotes a systematic analysis of official languages obligations and their impact on transfer payment program activities.

With regard to programs, the Department stated that, for each Treasury Board submission, it completes the analytical grid with regard to the impact on official languages for each part of the Act. TC’s protocol for financial submissions to the Treasury Board clearly states that each part of the Act must be taken into account. However, the references to tools used to account for official languages in the protocol were not up to date.

Since its 2009–2010 report card, TC has been providing requested documentation without delay and fully cooperating in investigations. The Department has a procedure for resolving complaints filed to the Office of the Commissioner, which senior management approved in 2013.

TC has several elements to ensure that its official languages program is successfully managed: a detailed action plan, a committee that provides an overview of the application of the Act, and tools that employees can use to take official languages into account. Despite some differences in the interpretation of obligations, the Office of the Commissioner wishes to emphasize the quality of the Guide to Official Languages in Transfer Payment Programs, which was presented as a government best practice at the Official Languages Good Practices Forum.

However, since 2012, follow-up has been lacking in the renewal of the guidelines and the execution of the action plan, especially regarding Part VII. During data collection, the Department recognized that Part VII remains difficult to define. It appears that this is due to a lack of clarity in the responsibilities for implementing Part VII. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes the time and energy the Department had to spend on workforce reduction and the Official Languages Act Regulations – Communications with and Services to the Public implementation exercise that takes place every 10 years. Nevertheless, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the Department to renew its efforts based on the previous action plan’s objectives and to develop a concrete strategy to move beyond the reflection stage to achieve the intended results.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) B

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of in-person service, conducted between December 2014 and February 2015, indicate an active visual offer was present in 95% of cases, an active offer in person was made by staff in 13% of cases and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 81% of cases.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, conducted between September and December 2014, indicate an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 85% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 85% of cases.

The Office of the Commissioner’s observations of e-mail service between September and December 2014 resulted in a response rate of 85% for e-mails sent in English and 90% for e-mails sent in French. In terms of comparable timeframes, responses in English took, on average, two hours longer than those in French. This represents a difference of 8%.Footnote 1

As part of the report card exercise, the Office of the Commissioner also examines how the institution has assessed the need to make services of equal quality available to the public in both official languages, taking into account the nature and purpose of the services in light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the DesRochers case in 2009. In 2010 and 2011, TC hired a consultant to review its programs and services. Based on that review, the Department concluded that none of the programs examined needed to be adapted to meet the requirements of substantive equality. The Office of the Commissioner notes that the Department has not provided for permanent mechanisms to periodically reassess its programs in terms of substantive equality. However, in its review, the Department excluded the transfer payments programs from the exercise. TC notes that the process in place for the transfer payments programs provides for program managers to meet with the Transfer Payments Centre of Expertise. In their opinion, this enables them to comply with the requirements.

According to the Office of the Commissioner’s observations, TC showed good performance in terms of service to the public. However, some improvements are required, especially in the provision of in-person active offer, since results in this area were very poor. Although the availability of service in the minority language was good, it should be noted that the service should be offered in both official languages at all times, both in person and on the telephone. The results relating to service by e-mail are exemplary in terms of response times. As for the need to adapt the services according to the principle of substantive equality, TC could benefit from a permanent mechanism that consistently includes all of its programs.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) B

TC provided information on its efforts to promote the effective use of both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

The Department provides its employees with various practical tools related to language of work and to second-language learning and retention. The guidelines for managers contain links to tools to help them to ensure that their employees possess the language skills and behaviour needed for providing services in both official languages, both internally and externally. The Department provides training in the National Capital Region on how to chair bilingual meetings effectively.

New employees must identify their preferred official language; this information is kept in the institution’s electronic human resources management system. TC conducts detailed monitoring of all its bilingual positions. Vacant supervisory and management positions whose linguistic profile is intermediate are brought to management’s attention in order to raise the profile, where possible. Although the institution has identified issues and challenges with respect to raising the profiles, the Official Languages Unit has followed up with senior management regarding those difficulties. Furthermore, the workforce management plan in the context of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan mentioned official languages as an element to be taken into account when making workforce reduction decisions.

Until December 2012, TC funded a departmental language training program for professional development purposes. The program was not renewed due to budget restrictions. Since then, investment in language training has been significantly cut; access to that training is now based on resources available and the manager’s discretion.

With respect to how the Department assesses the impact of its actions regarding language of work, it states that official languages are part of senior managers’ performance evaluations. A document reminding senior managers of their official languages obligations is available. Like other departments, TC is evaluated on certain key indicators related to official languages using the Management Accountability Framework.

Through its analysis of the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey, the Department identified shortcomings regarding the language used to draft documents, where English predominates. The Department indicates that emergency situations, in particular, often result in internal documentation being written in English only. However, it ensures that it fulfills its obligation to inform the public in both official languages. That being said, the Department did not specify how it planned to correct the identified shortcomings. At the time the report card data was being gathered, the Department was developing an initiative to encourage employee feedback regarding language of work.

In short, TC is taking steps to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes. Although it evaluates several aspects of these measures, it does not do it systematically. The Department is encouraged to continue to work toward giving its employees sufficient and equitable access to language training. It is also encouraged to fully assess the mid- and long-term impact on succession of the elimination of its developmental language training program. In addition, the Department is encouraged to offer its training on chairing bilingual meetings beyond the National Capital Region and to implement practical solutions to prevent one of the two languages from becoming more official than the other during collaboration across regions.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating the Department’s performance in terms of the participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population outside Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR) represents 2.4% of the total population. In all of Canada, except for Quebec and the NCR, 6.7% of the institution’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 39.4% of the institution’s workforce is Francophone.

According to the 2011 Census, the English-speaking population of Quebec, excluding the NCR, represents 13.4% of the total population. In Quebec, excluding the NCR, 11.3% of the institution’s workforce is Anglophone.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

In Quebec, outside of the NCR, the Department’s English-speaking employees tend to reflect their demographic weight. The Department is aware of the slight gap and so is participating, through the Quebec Federal Council, in an interdepartmental body that shares information, including with the Quebec Community Groups Network, to facilitate English-speaking Quebecers’ access to jobs in federal departments.

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) D

TC is having difficulty identifying, consulting and considering the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs). Although TC has statistical data on the communities, the information that it submitted demonstrates that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish OLMCs from the general public, especially with regard to regulatory activities.

As for taking positive measures for the development of OLMCs during the evaluation period, TC conducted consultation meetings when an Atlantic navigable waters program was abolished. Furthermore, in British Columbia, the Department contacted Francophone associations to disseminate an offer of temporary employment to assess the demand for services in both official languages in regional airport facilities under its responsibility. As well, following an investigation by the Office of the Commissioner, TC indicated that it was using its influence to negotiate with the management of the Institut maritime du Québec, the only organization that offers mandatory training for TC’s marine-sector exams in French, about reserving 10% of the places for Francophones outside Quebec.

With regard to positive measures for promoting linguistic duality, TC releases weekly bulletins on both official languages, titled Lingo Wednesdays, in the Greater Moncton area to a network of federal and community stakeholders. Internally, the institution promotes Linguistic Duality Day.

Another positive measure noted by the Department is the list of civil aviation medical examiners posted on its Web site that indicates the official language in which each of the health professionals can carry out the examinations required for pilot certification. However, the Department did not demonstrate how this measure fulfills its Part VII obligations.

The Department acknowledged that it did not assess the impact of its positive measures, but it is aware that its next action plan must include measurable objectives to enable assessment of their impact.

The Department has identified ways it may improve its implementation of Part VII. The Department indicates that it will need to continue working on identifying and consulting with people and organizations active in official languages in the context of regulatory programs. It recognizes the need to better identify the capital investment and programs that affect OLMCs, for example, the ports that some OLMCs in particular rely on for their vitality.

The Department also recognizes that it must better identify opportunities to contribute to the objectives of Part VII through its activities. In this regard, the Office of the Commissioner notes that, because of its national mandate, TC would probably benefit from expanding some of the measures that it takes regionally (such as those in the Atlantic Region and British Columbia, as described above) to the national level. Such a country-wide approach should take into account communities’ particular needs, where appropriate.

The Office of the Commissioner would like to note that although the elements mentioned in this section are intended to promote linguistic duality or the vitality of OLMCs, many of them, particularly the information on language of service provided by the civil aviation medical examiners, could fall entirely or partly under the Department’s obligations with respect to communications with and services to the public (Part IV of the Act). As a result, TC would do well to conduct a comprehensive review of the obligations of its various programs and pay particular attention to the distinction between Parts IV and VII of the Act in cases other than transfer payments, a subject that is already well covered in the departmental tools evaluated in the section on official languages program management. The Department would also benefit from finding out whether the training for other certifications it requires is available in the same manner to both official language communities across the country, as it did in the case of the Institut maritime du Québec.

Finally, since many of the initiatives in the 2011–2014 action plan on Part VII seem not to have been implemented, the Office of the Commissioner encourages the Department to renew its efforts based on the objectives in the previous action plan and to develop a concrete strategy to move beyond the reflection stage and achieve the results expected in this plan. Responsibilities and monitoring of the results regarding Part VII must be clarified and strengthened, because concretizing the obligations of this part of the Act is complex, requiring leadership and rigorous internal monitoring. However, frank discussions between the Office of the Commissioner and TC during the data collection show that the Department’s thinking is on the right track. It is therefore reasonable to assume that more institutional maturity will be seen in this regard and that an action plan on official languages that better incorporates Part VII will be put in place over the next few years.

Conclusion

Overall, TC achieved good results on this report card, but the overall rating should not exclude the need for improvements in official languages program management and regarding Part VII of the Act. With respect to program management, TC did demonstrate strengths, including its Guide to Official Languages in Transfer Payment Programs.

However, the result that the institution obtained in the area of program management is due to the existence of policy instruments that had not yet been approved, a lack of follow-up on the implementation and renewal of the Part VII action plan and the apparent fragmentation of responsibilities for Part VII. As well, the case of the civil aviation medical examiners points out the need for a comprehensive analysis of the nature of language obligations, whether at the design stage or during program renewal, so that the language requirements adequately reflect the Department’s obligations, both in serving the public and in promoting linguistic duality, beyond transfer payment programs (which are covered in the Guide).

TC performed well in terms of service to the public. Desired improvements include the active offer in person and the need to implement a permanent mechanism with regard to substantive equality. With respect to language of work, the Department needs to more systematically evaluate the measures taken. As for equitable participation, there is a slight gap with regard to Anglophone representation in Quebec, but the Department appears to be proactive in this regard. With respect to Part VII, TC is having difficulty taking systematic and appropriate positive measures to deliver on its mandate. The Department needs to fully assess the effects of its programs on linguistic duality and on OLMCs. It may be appropriate to combine these efforts with those aimed at establishing a permanent mechanism to evaluate programs according to the principle of substantive equality. This is because these two efforts share elements, even though the obligations are not the same. Nevertheless, discussions with the Department regarding Part VII indicate that the institution seems to be on the right track in terms of making improvements in this area.

Overall Rating C

Table notes

Table note 1

This represents a proportional difference, calculated according to the average response time for English e-mails and French e-mails from each institution. The smaller the proportional difference is, the more comparable the average response time. For more information on the methodology used for the observations, see the Office of the Commissioner’s Web site.

Return to table note 1 referrer

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
2014–2016 Report Card
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Evaluated Section Rating
Official Languages Program Management (10%) B

The data for the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) report card was collected in the summer and fall of 2015. Any organizational changes that took place after this period were not taken into account during this evaluation.

TBS’s mandate is to support the Treasury Board of Canada, particularly in terms of policies, directives, regulations and program expenditure proposals with respect to the management of the government’s resources. TBS fulfills Treasury Board’s statutory responsibilities as a central government agency, including official languages responsibilities and duties as defined in Part VIII of the Official Languages Act. This is the responsibility of the Official Languages Centre of Excellence (OLCE) of the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, a TBS entity. This report card looks at TBS’s implementation of its obligations under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act as a federal institution, which is the responsibility of TBS’s Human Resources Division (HRD). However, these two responsibilities overlap, as is shown in this report card.

TBS has an official languages policy, approved by its executive committee in 2010, that addresses Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. A policy overhaul was under way at the time of data collection. As the document had not yet been approved, it remained unofficial. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages was able to consult the draft policy, which also addressed Part VII. There is also a human resources delegation instrument that defines the duties and responsibilities of each level of management, including several related to official languages.

TBS has a complete and up-to-date official languages action plan. It had a separate action plan for Part VII for 2011–2014, which was combined with the 2012–2015 action plan on Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. The 2012–2015 plan contained a series of measures, with priorities established annually. TBS demonstrated that the plan had been updated regularly and that its official languages committee was committed to reviewing the plan. It presented a good overview of the initiatives of the official languages unit, but information about who was responsible in other sectors was relatively imprecise. The 2011–2014 Part VII action plan set out various internal awareness and interdepartmental relations measures, but the timelines and, in some cases, people responsible, were broadly drawn. TBS's 2015–2018 action plan, which now covers Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act, was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury Board in April 2015. It was posted on the institution’s intranet and promoted to employees. In developing its most recent action plan, TBS took into account the shortcomings revealed in the previous action plan cycle. The 2015–2018 plan defines responsibilities, contains measures about which individuals or groups are responsible and identifies timelines, but the monitoring, review and update mechanisms are defined rather vaguely.

The institution demonstrated that official languages were on the agenda of meetings of the Executive Committee or senior management committees for key times, like the adoption or renewal of official languages action plans or the approval of a centralized language training program in 2011. When adopting the 2015–2018 action plan, official languages representatives committed to presenting more frequent updates to the Executive Committee.

TBS has an official languages advisory committee, coordinated by HRD and composed of representatives of the different sectors, including directors. It meets regularly and has led a contributive process for the overhaul of the official languages policy and action plan.

The Champion at the time of data collection, the Assistant Secretary for the Social and Cultural Sector (and therefore a member of the TBS Executive Committee), was active, like her predecessors since the previous report card in 2010–2011. The champions have participated actively in the work of the institution’s official languages committee. The Champion also promotes official languages to staff, particularly in the institution’s newsletter.

TBS has tools and procedures to take official languages into account when adding, eliminating or changing policies or programs. The Management Accountability Framework enables TBS to gather data from multiple institutions that are part of the core public administration based on key indicators, including how well the institutions are fulfilling their obligations in terms of service to the public and language of work. TBS also plays a dual role in Treasury Board submissions. First, while institutions are responsible for the content of their Treasury Board submissions, TBS analysts must review the analysis of their impact on official languages as well as the measures taken to consider and fulfill the obligations set out in the Act. Second, TBS stated that it is subject to the same requirements as the other federal institutions with regard to its own Treasury Board submissions. The contents of Treasury Board submissions are considered Cabinet confidences; however, TBS did not provide evidence on how it ensures that official languages are taken into account consistently and comprehensively in the process. TBS also stated that it takes the impact of official languages into account in the Treasury Board’s multi-year policy instrument review initiative. Again, TBS provided the template to be used but did not provide a detailed explanation on the process and monitoring mechanisms used.

In most of the cases since the previous report card, which was issued in 2010–2011, TBS cooperated fully with the Office of the Commissioner’s investigations and promptly provided the documents requested.

TBS demonstrated good compliance with regard to its official languages program management. There is a complete official languages plan, developed based on the contributions of the Official Languages Committee. The draft of the new policy contains several improvements, including the incorporation of Part VII. The current champion, like her predecessors, is active and will also no doubt contribute to the commitment to presenting updates on official languages issues to senior management more frequently. With regard to tools for taking official languages into account when creating, eliminating or changing programs or policies, TBS did not sufficiently demonstrate that its tools and procedures for taking official languages into account are applied systematically when making important decisions. It is important for TBS to find ways to demonstrate, without compromising Cabinet confidentiality, how it takes into account the impact of its programs and activities—and those of federal institutions seeking Treasury Board authorization—based on different aspects of the Act, and how it helps mitigate any negative impact. Monitoring and quality assurance processes for impact assessment could be useful.

Service to the Public – Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%) A

TBS’s service points are only accessible to the public by appointment. Consequently, the Office of the Commissioner did not evaluate service to the public in person.Footnote 1 In addition, members of the public cannot contact TBS via a general e-mail address. Therefore, TBS was not evaluated for service by e-mail.

The results of the Office of the Commissioner’s observations of service on the telephone, between May and July 2015, indicate that an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, and service in the official language of the linguistic minority was available in 100% of cases.

During the report card exercise, the Office of the Commissioner also examines how the institution has assessed the need to make services of equal quality available to the public in both official languages, taking into account the nature and purpose of the services in light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2009 decision in the DesRochers case. TBS stated that it has done this since 2010 and provided a copy of a review of its programs conducted in the spring of 2015. TBS also stated that obligations related to substantive equality are taken into account in the Treasury Board submission process. TBS said that none of its services had to be adapted following its review, since they are provided in its capacity as a federal central agency and they are either transactional services or do not involve the participation of the public or consideration of regional characteristics. This is indeed the case for many of TBS's programs. However, based on the information provided, the institution’s analysis of its services was very high level and did not seem to consider the full range of activities of different programs. For example, the TBS-led Open Government initiative requires the active participation of the public. When TBS reviewed its programs, it did not identify the umbrella program for the Open Government initiative, Management Policies Development and Monitoring, as requiring active participation of the public. In fact, TBS should have taken the nature of the program and its clientele into consideration in its analysis and identified the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs) to determine whether the program needed to be adapted.

During its observations of service to the public, the Office of the Commissioner was able to analyze only the service provided by TBS by telephone, for which the institution received a perfect rating. As for the review of its programs to assess the need to adapt them to the needs of OLMCs, TBS is encouraged to conduct a more in-depth analysis to ensure that it takes all aspects of its programs into consideration, particularly when carrying out activities that involve the public’s participation.

Language of Work – Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%) A

TBS stated that it has taken a number of measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages. All of the institution’s offices are located in the National Capital Region (NCR), which is designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes.

According to TBS, employees holding a bilingual position or whose work can be done in either official language are supervised in the official language of their choice. They have access to personal and central services, work instruments and training in the official language of their choice. In 2013, TBS conducted a validation of employees’ first official language and preferred language in all sectors as part of the implementation of the PeopleSoft human resources management software.

With respect to supervision, TBS said that its objective is for all supervisory positions to be identified as bilingual at an advanced level (CBC profile). Following the results of the internal language-of-work survey conducted in 2013, TBS implemented a strategy in this regard for succession groups and supervisors who are not part of senior management.

TBS has published a guide for managers on official languages in human resources management that outlines steps, obligations and resources. It has developed other tools as well, such as fact sheets on service-to-the-public and language-of-work obligations under the Act, posters and tent cards about bilingual meetings that have been placed in meeting rooms, and examples of bilingual out-of-office messages. As part of its 2015–2018 action plan, the institution implemented a communications strategy to promote tools for its employees. The Champion frequently publishes messages to promote a bilingual workplace in TBS In-Brief,an employee newsletter posted on the intranet.

The institution also mentioned its centralized language training program. Since 2012, HRD has centralized the entire language training process with a view to greater efficiency, which enables the institution to better monitor the program. About 500 employees participate in this program each year. TBS has also been testing the Rosetta Stone self-study language learning software since December 2014.

Since 2013, TBS has offered an informal official languages evaluation service to executives whose language test results are expiring. This service provides support and training in the run-up to Public Service Commission of Canada tests.

Regarding the systematic assessment of the impact of measures to create and maintain a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages, TBS surveyed employees in 2013 about their satisfaction with respect to language of work, using a sample from different occupational groups and levels in all sectors. In addition to questions similar to those of the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), the TBS employee survey contained questions on language skill retention. TBS also analyzed the 2011 and 2014 PSES results, measuring progress since the 2008 PSES. It analyzed the results of the 2014 PSES by language group, occupational category, occupational group and service-to-the-public profile. TBS used these exercises to inform its action plan. The courses of action it contains address issues related to the language employees use when writing, the use and maintenance of the second official language, and specialized vocabulary in both official languages. As a result of its assessment, TBS plans to work toward changing, during the next period, the perceptions—sometimes misperceptions—and behaviours that contribute to the fact that not everyone feels comfortable using their preferred official language.

TBS uses comments from participants in the centralized language training program to adjust the program and regularly produces demographic reports on employees’ first official language and whether they meet the language requirements of their position.

The Office of the Commissioner believes that every federal employee who works in a region designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes has the full range of rights set out in Part V of the Act, regardless of the linguistic identification of their position. However, Treasury Board policy instruments on official languages state that the extent of an employee’s language-of-work rights are dependent on whether the employee’s position is identified as bilingual. Despite this divergence of interpretation with TBS, the Office of the Commissioner applauds the variety of measures taken by the institution, especially with regard to the exemplary ways in which it systematically assesses impact. TBS recognizes shortcomings and works to remedy them, which is exactly the approach that the Office of the Commissioner likes to see institutions take.

Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians – Part VI of the Official Languages Act (10%) A

The results of the 2011 Census—specifically, those for first official language spoken—have been used as an indicator for evaluating TBS’s performance in terms of equitable participation.

According to the 2011 Census, the French-speaking population of the NCR represents 34.5% of the total population. In the NCR, 41.9% of TBS’s workforce is Francophone.

TBS does not have offices outside the NCR.

(Source: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, data as of March 31, 2014.)

Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality – Part VII of the Official Languages Act (25%) C

Each federal institution must purposefully consider the needs of OLMCs as well as the status and use of English and French in Canadian society so that it can analyze and take measures that it reasonably believes will contribute to the development and vitality of these communities or to the promotion of linguistic duality. The Office of the Commissioner recognizes that particular reflection is required to determine how TBS can implement Part VII obligations, since the institution’s mandate is such that it mostly looks inward on the federal administration. TBS can, however, greatly contribute to taking OLMC needs and realities into account and promoting English and French by virtue of its mandate. TBS plays a key role in developing government-wide policies, in providing advice, in supporting and in reviewing federal institutions in terms of the management of public funds, information and human resources. TBS must therefore take into account its Part VII obligations when interacting with federal institutions. In its 2011–2014 Part VII action plan, TBS committed to fully integrating Part VII obligations and OLMCs’ perspective into the policies and programs for which it is responsible. This commitment served as a reference for the purposes of this assessment.

TBS promotes linguistic duality internally by actively participating, since 2009, in the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and Linguistic Duality Day. As part of its activities, TBS has organized conferences of key OLMC representatives to present their perspectives, as well as performances by OLMC artists. It has also organized talks with TBS leaders or other guests who share how they experience or promote linguistic duality on a daily basis. The institution’s official languages committee is very active in organizing these activities.

For the identification of OLMCs and their needs, TBS identified the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada and the Quebec Community Groups Network as key OLMC organizations. It expects the organizations to relay information to communities of interest, as needed. HRD is on both organizations’ distribution lists and said that it takes the information it receives from them and circulates it internally, although the data collected revealed that this internal dissemination was very limited in scope. TBS said that it consulted both organizations a few times, including in September 2014 when developing its 2015–2018 action plan. It then shared the plan with them after it was adopted. In terms of government-wide measures, HRD said that it conducted internal follow-ups to relay concerns expressed by a community representative organization on the review of the Policy on Evaluation; however, the data collected revealed that the institution conducts follow-ups only in response to concerns raised, rather than proactively, and did not demonstrate how these concerns influenced its decision-making process. The other documents provided by TBS at the time of data collection did not clearly demonstrate that it upheld its commitment to take the needs of OLMCs into account systematically.

Even though coordinating the implementation of Part VII in federal institutions is the responsibility of Canadian Heritage, TBS’s central agency function leads to opportunities for discussion with other federal institutions. OLCE personnel and the Champion, in particular, contributed to organizing interdepartmental meetings and forums, such as the Network of Official Languages Champions Good Practices Forum and the Annual Conference of Official Languages Champions. These meetings are an opportunity to raise key issues for OLMCs. However, TBS did not demonstrate how its decision process took into account the information on OLMC needs that emerged from these meetings.

TBS is a leader for other federal institutions through its role in the governance of the public administration. It said that the new tools launched in 2014 for preparing Treasury Board submissions have a better explanation of which cases require the institutions to conduct an official languages impact analysis and identify the types of impacts, whether for policy instruments, programs or transfer payments. In recent years, HRD, in partnership with OLCE and Canadian Heritage, has developed a training workshop for analysts who work on Treasury Board submissions. The workshop raises their awareness of the importance and parameters of the official languages impact analysis that institutions must conduct. However, TBS has not demonstrated that this training was delivered systematically to its staff.

TBS also said that its Web site and its intranet contain information on the implementation of Part VII. TBS cited as a measure the fact that its guide for deputy heads, intended for senior leaders of small federal agencies, explains official languages responsibilities, including those related to Part VII. The deputy heads’ guide gives basic information about the Act, along with a myriad of other obligations. Unfortunately, this cannot be considered a positive measure, because the information given would be incomplete without this mention and therefore does not in itself contribute to the development and vitality of OLMCs or to the promotion of linguistic duality, contrary to the tools mentioned above.

TBS only partially demonstrated how it assessed the impact of the measures it takes under Part VII. TBS stated that it evaluated the positive measures taken to enhance OLMC vitality and promote linguistic duality through the report that it submits annually to Canadian Heritage, an exercise during which it receives feedback from the department responsible for coordinating the implementation of Part VII.

Even taking into account TBS’s specific mandate, the Office of the Commissioner noted significant shortcomings in TBS’s compliance with Part VII, essentially because it does not seem to have been able to fulfill the commitment it made in its 2011–2014 action plan to fully integrate Part VII obligations and an OLMC perspective into the policies and programs for which it is responsible. Although it stated that it did so, TBS did not demonstrate that it systematically held in-depth consultations with OLMCs when developing or reviewing government-wide policies. The data collected did not show that all parts of the institution had the reflex of consulting OLMCs before major initiatives. In addition, the data collected did not establish that TBS had conducted a review of all the policies, programs and functions to determine their potential for taking positive measures to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society.

Nevertheless, TBS’s reflection on incorporating Part VII into the Treasury Board submission process, which consisted of developing documents to guide the people writing the submissions and organizing training sessions for analysts, demonstrates that positive work was carried out in this regard. Also, the fact that the 2015–2018 action plan continues to require the TBS decision-making process to take linguistic duality and OLMCs into account is a step in the right direction. The Office of the Commissioner believes that the work carried out to date can and must be continued in greater depth to ensure better compliance. TBS has a direct influence on the development of government-wide policies and on what federal institutions submit in their Treasury Board submissions. It is therefore crucial for its staff to be particularly well equipped to fully grasp how TBS and other institutions can contribute to the vitality of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality and, especially, to identify any measure that could hinder them. In the same spirit as what has already been said in the section on official languages program management in the context of the application of the Act as a whole, TBS would benefit from finding ways to report, without compromising Cabinet confidentiality, on how its interventions have enabled institutions to better measure the impact on OLMCs and linguistic duality or to mitigate any negative effects.
Conclusion

The assessment of TBS’s compliance in this report card revealed many strengths, as well as some significant areas for improvement. TBS did very well for most elements of official languages program management. The official languages action plan review process was exemplary. For service to the public, TBS received a perfect rating for observations of service by telephone. It also had an exemplary performance for language of work, essentially with regard to how it assesses the impact of the measures taken to promote a bilingual work environment. TBS is fully aware of its shortcomings and is working to remedy them. In terms of improvements, TBS would benefit from finding ways to report on the processes surrounding tools and procedures for taking official languages into account when making important decisions, as w