Review on Official Languages 2015-2016

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

35.The following question was included in the Monitoring Section: “Activities are carried out throughout the year to measure the availability and quality of the services offered in both official languages (Part IV).”

If you answered “no” to this question, you may indicate “not applicable” below.

If you answered “yes” to this question, then please answer the following:

  • What types of activities are carried out? 
  • Does your institution currently have service standards that relate to communications and services in both official languages?
  • If your institution has service standards that relate to communications and services in both official languages, please provide us with a copy of the wording.
  • If your institution has service standards that relate to communications and services in both official languages, what are the results?  How do you currently report these results?

Not applicable. See the clarifications provided in the Monitoring Section.

36. 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 with and services to the public (Part IV) and b) language of work (Part V)?

Managers are responsible for organizing their resources and identifying the language requirements of positions objectively in view of ensuring that their work unit always has the ability to fulfill its linguistic obligations under Part IV and V of the OLA.

In order to facilitate this task, in August 2015, the department issued a new Directive on Language Requirements of Positions and Staffing of Bilingual Positions. This Directive was developed to ensure that the language requirements of all positions are established in a consistent and objective manner, and that positions are staffed in compliance with the OLA and PSEA, thus enabling the organization to fulfill its official language obligations to the public and to its employees.

Bilingual positions are filled by incumbents who meet the language requirements upon appointment. The Department has a vigorous approval process in place to ensure that non-imperative staffing can be used in exceptional circumstances only. Thus, non-imperative is very seldom used. When it must be used, language training is provided as soon as possible to enable the incumbent to meet the position language profile within the allotted timeframe.

The department provides non-statutory language training through various means to employees who wish to develop or maintain their language skills. Priority for non-statutory training is given to employees who need to meet the language requirements of their position because the language requirements have been raised.

An in-house non-statutory language training program is offered in the NCR to employees who wish to improve or maintain their second language skills. The department also offers a Language Pairing Program which pairs participants together for an informal conversation each week, as a means to practice and maintain their second official language.

In addition, the department has a “Competency Development Tool Kit for Communicating in Your Second Official Language” which is a guide for employees and their managers to assist them in choosing training and learning tools.

37. Describe your institution’s most important accomplishment and biggest challenge in the area of official languages this year.

Challenge (Part V):

As confirmed by the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey results, the Department still struggles to fully comply with its language of work obligations. The survey showed that the percentage of Francophone employees in bilingual regions who feel free to use the official language of their choice when preparing written material has decreased by 8% since 2011. Furthermore, the level of satisfaction of Francophone employees in bilingual regions is lower than that of Anglophones with regard to:

  • Feeling free to prepare written materials in the official language of their choice;
  • Feeling free to use the official language of their choice during meetings; and
  • The availability of work tools in the official language of their choice.

Accomplishment (Part V):

With a view to improve compliance in the area of language of work, the Co-champions for Official Languages, in collaboration with the Network of Sectoral and Regional Official Languages Champions, have launched an information campaign to remind managers and employees of their rights and obligations under Part V of the OLA. In 2015-2016, the following activities have taken place:

  • Developed and promoted a list of best practices for managers, pertaining to the creation of a bilingual work environment, entitled “Leadership in Official Languages - Manager and Supervisor Responsibilities”;
  • Promoted the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Leadership Competency Profile for Official Languages;
  • Distributed various material and tools during the 2015 Linguistic Duality Day event, including best practices, posters on bilingual meetings, charts on communications between regions, and language maintenance related tools;
  • Developed and issued a “Bilingual Meetings Brochure”, which provides a list of best practices for chairing a bilingual meeting as well as participating in one;
  • Issued various articles on JustInfo (the weekly departmental intranet news bulletin) pertaining to official languages, including language of work obligations.

In addition to the above, the Official Languages Website was updated and revamped, and the departmental OL policy suite was completed with the addition of the new Directive on Language Requirements of Positions and Staffing of Bilingual Positions.

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