Review on Official Languages 2012-2013

Questions from Treasury Board Secretariat

3. Communications with and Services to the Public in Both Official Languages.

In offices designated bilingual for Communications with and Service to the Public purposes.

Indicator 1 – Effectiveness of measures in place to ensure the availability and quality of communications and services in both official languages to members of the public by offices and facilities designated bilingual.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) Services are offered simultaneously in both official languages and are of equal quality.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A 

b) Oral and written communications are in the official language chosen by the public when the office is designated bilingual.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

c) All material is produced in both official languages and is simultaneously issued in full in both official languages when the material comes from a designated bilingual office.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

d) The English and French versions of Web sites are simultaneously posted in full and are of equal quality.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

e) The English and French versions of electronic communications to the public are simultaneously sent in full and are of equal quality.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

f) The institution has adapted its programs and services in light of the analysis grid provided by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on Caldech/Desrochers.

X Yes 

No 

N/A (Explain) 

Clarifications

Having reviewed the grid for analysing federal services and programs in light of the principle of substantive equality, the services provided in the region do not appear to be affected. However, this may require further investigation on a broader scale.

Indicator 2 – Effectiveness of measures in place to ensure the active offer of communications and services to the public in both official languages in offices and facilities designated bilingual.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) Signs identifying the institution’s offices or facilitites are in both official languages at all locations.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

b) Appropriate measures are taken to greet the public in person in both official languages.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

c) Appropriate measures are taken to greet the public by telephone in both official languages.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

d) Appropriate measures are taken to greet the public in both official languages using recorded messages.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A 

Clarifications

When updating the existing OL plan, the development of monitoring mechanisms will be considered for implementation regarding communications and services to the public in both official languages.

Indicator 3 – Effectiveness of measures in place to ensure that official languages obligations for signage that includes words, written notices and standardized public announcements inside or outside the institution’s offices or facilities regarding the health, safety and security of members of the public are respected.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) All the institution’s signage regarding the health, safety and security of members of the public is in both official languages.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

b) All anouncements regarding the health, safety and security of members of the public are in both official languages.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A 

Clarifications

Monitoring of signage and announcements regarding the health, safety and security of members of the public to ensure that they are in both official languages will be considered when updating the existing OL plan.

Indicator 4 – Effectiveness of measures in place to ensure that third parties acting on behalf of offices or facilities designated bilingual respect the linguistic obligations of those offices or facilities.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) Contracts or agreements with third parties include clauses setting out the office or facility’s linguistic obligations with which the third party must comply.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

b) Measures are taken to verify if these clauses are respected.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

c) The institution has taken into consideration the analysis grid for the implementation of the Caldech/DesRochers decision in its service contracts and agreements with third-parties.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A 

Clarifications

In concrete terms, all Justice Canada transfer payment programs were assessed using the analysis grid. This assessment did not reveal any risk of not taking into consideration the principle of equality in the Department’s programs and services.

Indicator 5 – Effectiveness of measures in place to ensure that offices or facilities designated bilingual use media effectively and efficiently to communicate with members of the public in the official language of their choice.

Measurement Criterion Measure
Your institution selects and uses media that reach the targeted public in the most efficient way possible in the offical language of their choice.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A 

Clarifications

When sharing announcements electronically or posting hard-copy notices, the information is provided in both official languages.

4. Language of Work

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes

Indicator 1 – Effectiveness of measures in place to encourage the use of both official languages in the work place as a means of creating an maintaining a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) Senior management communicates effectively in both official languages with employees.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

b) Senior management encourages employees to use their preferred official language in the workplace.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

c) Incumbents of bilingual or either/or positions are supervised in their preferred official language, regardless of wheter the supervisors are located in bilingual or unilingual regions.

X Nearly always

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

d) Employees obtain personal and central services in their preferred official language even when these services are provided by unilingual regions.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

e) Employees obtain training and professional development in their official language of choice.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

f) Meetings are conducted in both official languages and employees may use their preferred official language during meetings.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

g) Documentation and regularly and widely used work instruments and electronic systems are available in the preferred official language of employees.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

h) It is possible for employees to write documents in their official language of choice.

Nearly always 

X Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A 

Clarifications

In regions designated bilingual for language-of-work purposes

Indicator 2 – Effectiveness of measures in place to ensure that Web sites intended for employees are available simultaneously in both official languages.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) The English and French versions of the Web sites intended for employees are simultaneously posted in full and are of equal quality.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A

b) The English and French versions of electronic communications sent to employees are of equal quality and are available simultaneously in full.

X Nearly always 

Very often 

Often 

Sometimes 

Almost never 

N/A 

Clarifications

In unilingual regions

Indicator 3 – Effectiveness of measures in place concerning language of work in unilingual regions.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) The language of work is the one that predominates in the province or territory where the work unit is located.

X Nearly always

Very often

Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

b) Regularly and widely used work instruments are available in both official languages for employees who are responsible for providing bilingual services to the public or to employees in bilingual regions.

X Nearly always

Very often

Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

Clarifications:

5. Human Resources Management

Indicator 1 – Effectiveness of measures in place concerning human resources management.

Measurement Criterion Measure
a) Overall, the institution has the necessary resources to fulfill its linguistic obligations related to services to the public and language of work.

X Entirely agree

Some shortcomings

Many shortcomings

Not really agree

N/A

b) Administrative measures are put in place to always ensure that the bilingual requirements of a function are met in order to offer services to the public and to employees in the official language of their choice when required by Treasury Board policies.

X Nearly always

Very often

Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

c) The language requirements of bilingual positions are enstablished objectively. The linguistic profiles reflect the duties of employees or their work units as well as the obligations with respect to service to the public and language of work.

Nearly always

X Very often

Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

d) Bilingual positions are staffed by candidates who are bilingual upon appointment.

X Nearly always

Very often

Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

e) Employees who take language training to meet the language requirements of their position do so before assuming their duties or as soon as possible thereafter.

Nearly always

X Very often

Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

f) Language training is granted for career advancement.

Nearly always

Very often

X Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

g) The institution provides working conditions conducive to the use and development of second-language skills of employees returning from language training and, to that end, gives employees all reasonable assistance, particularly by ensuring that they have access to the tools necessary for learning retention.

X Nearly always

Very often

Often

Sometimes

Almost never

N/A

Total cost of language training Total: $629,646
Number of employees targeted by these costs Employees 984
Clarifications

There are at times concerns as to whether linguistic profiles of positions accurately reflect the duties of the position As part of the 2013-2014 OL Plan, this will be examined to the extent possible by launching a linguistic profile review project.

In terms of language training for career advancement, this is not a concern in the NCR, however, in the regions, full-time language training is rarely offered for developmental purposes. Part-time opportunities are provided within divisions as budgets permit. Funding is also available for French courses offered by private suppliers, universities and colleges through tuition reimbursement.

6. Other questions related to Parts IV, V and VI of the OLA

Q1 In the implementation of the coordinated approach to official languages reporting and of the new policy instruments, how do you ensure your organization’s official languages function adequately meets the governance requirements as outlined in the Policy on Official Languages? What measures are you taking and what are the results (or expected results)?

A1 As per the governance requirements outlined in the TBS Policy on Official Languages, the Department of Justice has a well established and dedicated Corporate OL Unit (COLU) headed by a senior level OL Advisor responsible for the institutions’ OL program. The COLU works in collaboration with three other OL divisions; namely the Office of la Francophonie (Part VII), Justice in OL and Legal Dualism and the OL Law Section.

The Department also has an OL Champion who chairs the Department Steering Committee on Official Languages and Co-Champion who chair the Network of Sectoral and Regional Official Languages Champions. They support the Deputy head in developing an integrated vision for the Department’s OL program and promote OL.

As reported above, in the 2012-2013 performance agreements for executives and managers, under Excellence in Human Resources Management, one of the expected results was:

Concrete actions taken to demonstrate leadership in ensuring compliance with Acts, policies and directives relating to bilingualism as well as developing and encouraging initiatives to make the Department a model across government which reflects Public Service values

Q2 How do you monitor your institution’s official languages program in the context of the implementation of the 2012 budget and of workforce adjustment and what measures does your institution take to ensure that its linguistic obligations are met?

A2 As part of the annual Human Resources Planning Initiative, language requirements of positions are  always considered when determining current and future organizational needs Due attention is given to such requirements as well as other organizational needs during periods of downsizing and workforce management Over the course of the past year a Workforce Management Board has scrutinized staffing and organizational needs.

When an employee occupying a bilingual position is/was impacted by workforce management activities, alternative measures were put in place to ensure that the linguistic requirements of the affected area were met and that services were not diminished.

Q3 As a follow-up to the review of your services and programs in light of the Caldech/Desrochers decision, what steps has your institution taken to ensure the necessary changes are being made to reflect the principle of substantive equality in its existing programs and services and in any new ones?

A3 Since the last report, the Department has continued to implement its internal strategy. Further, the Department has ensured that the reference to the decision is an integral part of the strategic management tools: a reference to the Caldech decision and the implementation tools was inserted in the Common Policy Considerations Checklist and Reference Chart. These documents are tools intended for those responsible for the development of policies and programs in the Department of Justice and their purpose is to ensure that factors relevant to the preparation of Memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions have been considered.

Q4 What measures has your institution put in place to encourage the use of both official languages in the workplace as a means of creating and maintaining a work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages? What were the results of these measures on your institution’s performance in implementing its Part V obligations?

A4 Above and beyond the many features on the Department’s OL site, as well as messages from the OL Champion that call upon the senior management cadre to continue to create and maintain a workplace that is conducive to the use and promotion of both official languages:

In the Atlantic Region there are a number of activities in place to encourage the use of both OL in the workplace as well as activities which help in the retention of French as a second language. For instance, a Cinélunch and a French language practice group – the latter for lawyers & paralegals – have been established;

The Prairie region has started an Official Languages Working Group (OLWG) headed by the OL Sectoral Champion. This working group: provides learning events; launched an OL SharePoint site; conducted OL Policy information sessions to employees in all of their regional offices; and supports the ongoing Cinélunch program and Rendezvous Francophonie events;

A weekly ‘Lunch in French’ session is also hosted, and is open to all employees free of cost The Prairie region also just completed a round of French Juralism workshops for counsel and legal staff who require familiarity with legal French terminology; and,

In British Columbia OL Coordinators lead a French discussion group on the first Tuesday of every month during lunch hour to encourage French conversation amongst employees who wish to retain their bilingual capacity and build technical vocabulary. The number of participants varies from month to month, but has included up to 7 employees per session Events highlighting French festivities and important achievements of French Canadians are promoted within the region, and employees are encouraged to participate fully in these events In addition, employee pursuit of French Language training is also encouraged by providing them with information on how to become eligible for the training in accordance with the Language Training Directive.

On a national level, the Department offers orientation sessions for all new employees (including managers) which include OL components. The COLU also offers, upon request, training and information sessions on OL. These sessions provide employees with information on their OL rights and obligations, with emphasis on Part V (language of work).

There is also a very comprehensive OL site, on the HR and You page of the Justice Intranet, which is maintained by the Corporate OL Unit and is both instructive (e.g. provides access to and explains the many aspects of OL including its policies, guidelines, strategies, programs, plans and tools) and interactive, e.g. invites employees to share best practices. The website enables employees to become better informed and more engaged and respectful of both OL The OL site and the aforementioned activities serve to increase awareness of and sensitivity to - and ultimately the creation of - a workplace that is more conducive to the use of both OL

Q5 How does your institution ensure that it has the capacity (as defined in the Directive on Official languages for Communications and Services) to fulfill its linguistic obligations related to a) communications and services to the public and b) language of work? How does your institution ensure its capacity to fulfill its linguistic obligations is not impacted during any strategic or operational review (e.g. Budget 2012 reduction measures)?

A5 a) All positions involving communications with and services to the public are evaluated objectively in order to ensure that the required linguistic profile is embedded in the Statement of Merit Criteria. Language training is provided as required to enable the incumbent to meet the linguistic profile (within the allotted time if non-imperative).

b) See response provided in A2 re: Workforce Management Board.

Q6 Does your institution use Web 2.0 tools to communicate and/or offer services to the public? If so, what tools does your institution use? How do you promote participation in English and French on all platforms? How do you ensure that information is published simultaneously and of equal quality in both official languages?

A6 Effective February 29, 2012, Justice employees were given access to Web 2.0 tools and services, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Yammer, Flickr, Wordpress, Blogspot, Tumblr, GovLoop, Quora, and blogging in general. All of these tools and services are available in both OL, for example there are two separate accounts, one in English and one in French for the Department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts Both Twitter and Facebook, reference OL in their terms of usage

The internal Web 2.0 Handbook for Justice Employees specifically states that all Web 2.0 activities need to respect the Official Language Act, the Justice Official Languages Policy and Directives and Justice’s information management obligations. Employees are encouraged to use the OL of their choice when using these tools and/or participating in on-line activities. As such all information is translated and available in both official languages prior to posting.

Q7 What measures has your institution adopted, in the management of its workforce, to ensure that the principale of equitable participation (Part VI of the OLA) is respected and maintained?

A7 English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians have equal opportunities to obtain employment and advancement, as our appointment processes are merit-based, fair, and transparent. Where possible, assessment boards strive to appoint individuals that are representative of the population. Applicants are informed of their right to receive correspondence or complete assessments in the official language of their choice.

All external selection processes are advertised in a bilingual format and our language requirements reflect the participation of both language groups to the extent required for delivery of services to the public.

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