Report on Results 2009-2010 Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act

A. Awareness (Internal activities)

Expected Result

Creation of lasting changes on federal institution organizational culture; employees and management are aware of and understand their responsibilities regarding section 41 of the Official Languages Act and official language minority communities.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

The Department's Official Languages Champions provided concrete support for the regional coordinators responsible for implementing Section 41.

Output

The champions communicated with each regional director on a few occasions to ask them to provide tangible support to the Section 41 coordinators, specifically by (1) designating their positions as bilingual, (2) providing all the necessary reference documents and other work tools and (3) regular discussions with them and follow up. The Associate Deputy Minister and Champion also spent time with the Section 41 coordinators during his visits to the regions.

Progress made in achieving the expected result

The coordinators are better supported and therefore more able to fulfill their role properly.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

The Official Languages Law Group continued to give presentations to the Department's senior management and employees regarding the statutory obligations under Part VII of the OLA.

Output

Members of the Official Languages Law Group participated in three of the Departmental Network of Section 41 Coordinators’ teleconferences and the Network’s annual meeting to explain the language cases before the court that have had an impact on how Part VII of the OLA is understood, interpreted and enforced.

Progress made in achieving the expected result

Department employees are better informed regarding the scope of their responsibility under Section 41 of the OLA.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

Dissemination of information to Justice Canada (JC) employees and senior executives regarding linguistic duality and the priorities and needs in terms of justice for official language minority communities (Communities).

Outputs
  • Bulletin 41-42 was distributed to the entire Department throughout the country via Justice Canada’s Departmental Network of Section 41 Coordinators.
  • Senior management received advice and guidance on issues affecting the Communities and linguistic duality.
  • New employee orientation programs included a section on official languages (including Part VII of the OLA).
  • In the Department’s regional offices, Section 41 coordinators promoted linguistic duality by organizing activities including conference lunches, as part of special days, such as “French Fridays”.
Progress made in achieving the expected result
  • Department employees are aware of the activities promoted by the various government institutions involved in implementing Section 41 of the OLA.
  • Senior management is aware of the issues affecting the Communities and linguistic duality and is taking concrete action to support them.
  • As soon as they arrive, new employees are briefed on the challenges of linguistic duality and the Department’s commitment in this area.
  • Regional personnel is more sensitive to the realities of Francophones in minority communities.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

The Office of La Francophonie, in collaboration with the Department's Communications Branch, organized activities as part of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and encouraged Department employees to participate in the Rendez-vous.

Outputs
  • Distribution of Rendez-vous posters and newspapers throughout the entire Department.
  • Screening of six French-language films produced by the NFB.
  • Teleconference with the regional coordinators responsible for coordinating the implementation of Section 41 of the OLA to discuss the various activities organized in the regions as part of the Rendez-vous.
  • Message from the Official Language Champion and Co-Champion via JustInfo (internal electronic newsletter) encouraging employees to take an active part in various activities in their regions as part of the Rendez-vous.
  • The Vancouver office’s regional coordinator for the implementation of Section 41 provided the public with information on Department initiatives that come under Section 41, at the information fair held during the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie celebrations at Library Square.
Progress made in achieving the expected result
  • Increased employee participation, including in the regions.
  • Active involvement of the Communications Branch.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

Organization of a day of conference to mark the 40th anniversary of the Official Languages Act.

Outputs
  • Quiz that featured the Department’s senior management.
  • Video recordings produced by the various regional offices on the implementation of the Official Languages Act and the attention devoted to the production in each region.
  • Interviews recorded with the first Commissioner of Official Languages Keith Spicer and Graham Fraser, the current Commissioner.
  • In the Manitoba regional office, the Section 41 coordinator organized a small conference to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the OLA and the 30th anniversary of the Forest case. The conference took place on December 14, 2009. Provincial Department of Justice and Justice Canada employees participated. The four guest speakers were Guy Jourdain, the Honourable Alfred Monnin, the Honourable Michel Chartier and Rénald Rémillard.
Progress made in achieving the expected result

In the regional offices, the Communities were invited to participate. The interviews with Mr. Spicer and Mr. Fraser were shared with the Communities. A video portrait of each region was presented. Over 200 Department employees from the National Capital Region participated in the conference and over 100 people from the regions were present in the regional offices.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

Continuation of the activities of the Departmental Network of Coordinators responsible for coordinating the implementation of Section 41.

Outputs
  • Annual Network 41 meeting held in Ottawa on May 20, 2009.
  • Organization of six Network teleconferences.
Progress made in achieving the expected result
  • The Network defined its priorities and expectations as a network responsible for implementing Section 41 of the Official Languages Act within the Department for the current year.
  • Strengthening ties between the program and policy coordinators and the regional coordinators by exchanging ideas and information on their roles and responsibilities under Section 41 of the Official Languages Act.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

Presentation of the Official Languages Champions awards.

Output

The first series of the awards involved the presentation of five awards in the NCR and in the regions.

Progress made in achieving the expected result

Encouraged employees by recognizing individual or collective achievements and highlighting official languages success stories within the Department.

Activity carried out to achieve the expected result

Created tools to formalize and institutionalize the role of the Departmental Network of Section 41 Coordinators.

Outputs
  • Created an organizational chart of those responsible for coordinating the implementation of Section 41 of the OLA.
  • Created a service chart clarifying the work of the Departmental Network of Section 41 Coordinators.
Progress made in achieving the expected result
  • Clarified the role of the Departmental Network of Section 41 Coordinators within the Department.
  • Improved communications within the Network and with colleagues who do not work on Section 41 files. This chart emphasizes the importance of working in the same context, having a concrete objective, relying on a support network and sharing values and common goals. If questions are asked about the role of the Departmental Network of Section 41 Coordinators, the chart is useful for showing that there is an official, governmental and legal framework for implementing Section 41.
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