Departmental Performance Report 2013-14

The original version was signed by:

The Honourable Denis Lebel
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Foreword

Departmental Performance Reports are part of the Estimates family of documents. Estimates documents support appropriation acts, which specify the amounts and broad purposes for which funds can be spent by the government. The Estimates document family has three parts.

  • Part I (Government Expenditure Plan) provides an overview of federal spending.
  • Part II (Main Estimates) lists the financial resources required by individual departments, agencies and Crown corporations for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Part III (Departmental Expenditure Plans) consists of two documents. Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) are expenditure plans for each appropriated department and agency (excluding Crown corporations). They describe departmental priorities, strategic outcomes, programs, expected results and associated resource requirements, covering a three-year period beginning with the year indicated in the title of the report. Departmental Performance Reports DPRs) are individual department and agency accounts of actual performance, for the most recently completed fiscal year, against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in their respective RPPs. DPRs inform parliamentarians and Canadians of the results achieved by government organizations for Canadians.

Additionally, Supplementary Estimates documents present information on spending requirements that were either not sufficiently developed in time for inclusion in the Main Estimates or were subsequently refined to account for developments in particular programs and services.

The financial information in DPRs is drawn directly from authorities presented in the Main Estimates and the planned spending information in RPPs. The financial information in DPRs is also consistent with information in the Public Accounts of Canada. The Public Accounts of Canada include the Government of Canada Consolidated Statement of Financial Position, the Consolidated Statement of Operations and Accumulated Deficit, the Consolidated Statement of Change in Net Debt, and the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flow, as well as details of financial operations segregated by ministerial portfolio for a given fiscal year. For the DPR, two types of financial information are drawn from the Public Accounts of Canada: authorities available for use by an appropriated organization for the fiscal year, and authorities used for that same fiscal year. The latter corresponds to actual spending as presented in the DPR.

The Treasury Board Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structures further strengthens the alignment of the performance information presented in DPRs, other Estimates documents and the Public Accounts of Canada. The policy establishes the Program Alignment Architecture of appropriated organizations as the structure against which financial and non-financial performance information is provided for Estimates and parliamentary reporting. The same reporting structure applies irrespective of whether the organization is reporting in the Main Estimates, the RPP, the DPR or the Public Accounts of Canada.

A number of changes have been made to DPRs for 2013−14 to better support decisions on appropriations. Where applicable, DPRs now provide financial, human resources and performance information in Section II at the lowest level of the organization’s Program Alignment Architecture.

In addition, the DPR’s format and terminology have been revised to provide greater clarity, consistency and a strengthened emphasis on Estimates and Public Accounts information. As well, departmental reporting on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy has been consolidated into a new supplementary information table posted on departmental websites. This new table brings together all of the components of the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy formerly presented in DPRs and on departmental websites, including reporting on the Greening of Government Operations and Strategic Environmental Assessments. Section III of the report provides a link to the new table on the organization’s website. Finally, definitions of terminology are now provided in an appendix.

Message from the Commissioner of Official Languages

Graham Fraser

I am pleased to present our 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report, in which you will find a summary of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ accomplishments for this fiscal year.

At the beginning of my second mandate of three years, we launched a strategy on the integration of linguistic duality into major sporting and cultural events, to ensure that organizing committees, especially those that receive federal funds, fully respect Canada’s linguistic duality. This strategy, which is being implemented over several years, focused in 2013-14 on the initial preparations for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, and on community planning activities for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto and the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke.

We developed an intervention strategy with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and other key actors involved in recruiting and integrating newcomers into official language communities. We launched a study on the bilingual capacity of the superior court judiciary, which proposes changes to the judicial appointment process in order to guarantee Canadians’ language rights before the courts.

Our investigations, which lead to recommendations for federal institutions, get results, especially this year. The reversal of the decision to close the Québec City Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre is a direct result of perseverance during the investigation and follow-ups to the recommendations issued. Processing complaints within a reasonable timeframe remains an important objective. To achieve it, we have implemented a strategy to reduce the file backlog.

Our headquarters are now located in a new, modern, green building that also houses other agents of Parliament, thereby facilitating collaboration. The Office of the Commissioner has launched a new website to better inform Canadians of their language rights and the opportunities linguistic duality offers them, as well as to better meet the needs of the organization.

Graham Fraser

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Commissioner
Graham Fraser
Year established
1970
Main legislative authorities
Subsection 56(1) of the Official Languages Act
Other
The Commissioner of Official Languages is appointed by commission under the Great Seal, after approval by resolution of the House of Commons and the Senate. The Commissioner of Official Languages reports directly to Parliament.

Organizational Context

Raison d’être

The mandate of the Commissioner of Official Languages is to oversee the full implementation of the Official Languages Act,protect the language rights of Canadians and promote linguistic duality and bilingualism in Canada.

The President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada is responsible for tabling the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ (OCOL’s) administrative reports in Parliament, including the Report on Plans and Priorities and the Departmental Performance Report.

Responsibilities

Section 56 of the Official Languages Act states:

It is the duty of the Commissioner to take all actions and measures within the authority of the Commissioner with a view to ensuring recognition of the status of each of the official languages and compliance with the spirit and intent of this Act in the administration of the affairs of federal institutions, including any of their activities relating to the advancement of English and French in Canadian society.

Under the Act, therefore, the Commissioner is required to take every measure within his power to ensure that the three main objectives of the Official Languages Act are met:

  • the equality of the status and use of English and French in Parliament, the Government of Canada, the federal administration and the institutions subject to the Act;
  • the development of official language communities in Canada; and
  • the advancement of the equality of English and French in Canadian society.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

  • 1. Strategic Outcome: Rights guaranteed by the Official Languages Act are protected and linguistic duality is promoted as a fundamental value of Canadian society.
    • 1.1 Program: Protection of Language Rights
    • 1.2 Program: Promotion of Linguistic Duality
    • Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

In the 2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities, OCOL established four organizational priorities for areas in which significant progress had to be made over the next fiscal year in order to fully support the strategic outcome. The progress made on each of these priorities can be found in Section I of this report, while Section II lists other accomplishments.

Priority 1
Priority TypeFootnote 1 Strategic Outcome or Program
Intervene with the government and other key actors so that their actions towards linguistic duality reach Canadians. New This priority is linked to OCOL’s Strategic Outcome: Rights guaranteed by the Official Languages Act are protected and linguistic duality is promoted as a fundamental value of Canadian society.
Summary of Progress - What progress has been made toward this priority?
  • In 2013-14, OCOL launched a strategy on the integration of linguistic duality into major sporting and cultural events, to ensure that organizing committees, especially those that receive federal funds, fully respect Canada’s linguistic duality. This strategy, which is being implemented over several years, focused in 2013-14 on the initial preparations for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, and on community planning activities for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto and the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke. For example, OCOL participated in conferences organized by CBC/Radio-Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and VIA Rail Canada to launch a national discussion on the 150th anniversary of Confederation. OCOL also introduced, on GCconnex, a new platform for exchanging information on official languages and sporting and cultural events in Canada. It developed a guide for organizing major national and international cultural and commemorative events, which will be published in the first quarter of 2014-15.
  • OCOL participated in the consultations of the Estates General on Franco-Ontarian postsecondary launched by the Regroupement étudiant franco-ontarien in partnership with the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario and the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne. OCOL also developed and began giving a series of presentations in schools in the Atlantic Region and Manitoba on the importance of Canada’s linguistic duality. However, OCOL will not be pursuing its project to explore the availability of second-language programs in Canadian colleges. It was decided that this project is peripheral to the Commissioner’s mandate and that other organizations would be better able to meet this need.
  • Together with Statistics Canada, OCOL also carried out a statistical analysis of the linguistic landscape of Ottawa and Gatineau. The Commissioner intends to continue his meetings and to exercise his influence when he can in 2014-15 to support efforts to recognize English and French as the official languages of Canada’s capital.
Priority 2
Priority TypeFootnote 1 Strategic Outcome or Program
Conduct targeted interventions with the government and federal institutions to protect language rights in a context of budget restraint measures and service modernization. New This priority is linked to OCOL’s Strategic Outcome: Rights guaranteed by the Official Languages Act are protected and linguistic duality is promoted as a fundamental value of Canadian society.
Summary of Progress - What progress has been made toward this priority?
  • OCOL conducted a horizontal analysis of the findings of six investigations on public service budget cuts. The results of the analysis will be included in the 2013-2014 Annual Report.Monitoring has also been intensified, particularly with the regional federal councils, of the place of official languages in the federal government in the context of budget cuts. This makes it possible to identify trends surrounding the cuts and their impact on upholding language rights and advancing linguistic duality so that OCOL can then make effective interventions.
  • OCOL evaluated the extent to which nine key federal institutions fulfill their obligation to provide service to the public of equal quality in both official languages, in comparison with their past compliance, in order to measure the impact of the Commissioner’s interventions. The results of this evaluation will also be included in the 2013-2014 Annual Report.
  • OCOL maximized the Commissioner’s role before the courts by intervening or initiating court remedies to protect language rights and clarify the language obligations of certain federal institutions. See Section II for information on cases before the courts in 2013-14.
  • OCOL has begun gathering information from key parties (federal institutions, official language communities) affected by the revised language obligations of federal government offices following the 2011 census, in order to evaluate the impact and take appropriate measures. In January 2014, the Treasury Board Secretariat carried out the first update to the Burolis database and informed OCOL of the effects of the changes that were made as a result of the census. The changes have an effect on services in the regions and the way in which they might be mitigated. OCOL is continuing its work and plans to intervene with the Treasury Board Secretariat during the coming year.
Priority 3
Priority TypeFootnote 1 Strategic Outcome or Program
Intervene with the government and certain federal institutions to ensure that immigration has a beneficial impact on the vitality of official language communities. New This priority is linked to OCOL’s Strategic Outcome: Rights guaranteed by the Official Languages Act are protected and linguistic duality is promoted as a fundamental value of Canadian society.
Summary of Progress - What progress has been made toward this priority?
  • OCOL has developed an intervention strategy with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and other key actors involved in recruiting and integrating newcomers into official language communities. There is now an action plan for interventions related to immigration to Francophone minority communities. An action plan for immigration to English-speaking minority communities is being developed. In addition, a work committee composed of participants from OCOL offices in the Quebec Region and the National Capital Region, as well as from the Québec City government, is preparing an event on immigration to be held in September 2014.
  • In his 2012-13 annual report, the Commissioner recommended that Citizenship and Immigration Canada implement an initiative to follow up on the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities. The Commissioner met with the Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, after the launch of his annual report.
Priority 4
Priority TypeFootnote 1 Strategic Outcome or Program
Effectively manage a period of important transitions while fostering a healthy work environment. New This priority is linked to Internal Services.
Summary of Progress - What progress has been made toward this priority?
  • As Commissioner Fraser has accepted a second mandate of three years, the work already underway continued without interruption.
  • OCOL successfully moved its headquarters to 30 Victoria Street in Gatineau, Quebec—a site that also houses other agents of Parliament, which facilitates collaboration among them. The move took place on March 14, 2014, with minimum service interruption. A change management strategy was developed and implemented to facilitate the transition to Workplace 2.0.
  • Also in March 2014, OCOL launched a new website to better inform Canadians of their language rights and the opportunities linguistic duality offers them, as well as to better meet the needs of the organization.

Risk Analysis

The 2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities identified three strategic risks that were likely to influence OCOL’s performance during the year. The following table identifies each risk as well as the risk-response strategy or mitigating actions put forth to manage each risk. The narrative text that follows the table provides further context on the factors in OCOL’s operating environment that led to the risks.

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
1. Risk that OCOL will not have sufficient capacity to meet the expectations of parliamentarians, the public and federal institutions
  • The implementation of the strategy to reduce the investigation file backlog is ongoing. A review of business processes is underway to optimize operations and better meet expectations.
  • Service standards for complaint processing, responses to inquiries and quality of service are posted on OCOL’s website. An investigation dashboard provides a monthly report on how well standards have been met, allowing for close monitoring.
  • OCOL implemented a financial strategy to better use its resources, in particular for one-time needs.
  • To better equip employees and improve their productivity with better access to information, OCOL continued to use its new information management system by developing information management procedures for its business processes.
Strategic Outcome
2. Risk that the relevance of the Commissioner’s interventions and his influence are questioned
  • OCOL has developed and implemented a strategy targeting linguistic majorities. The strategy includes elements such as promotion of second-language instruction, creation of a workplace conducive to the use of both official languages and better acceptance of both official languages in the different aspects of life in the city of Ottawa. This work will continue in 2014-15.
  • Significant effort was made in 2013-14 to develop content for social media channels and improve the ability to reach priority audiences regarding the importance and value of linguistic duality. OCOL carried out an on-line campaign aimed at the travelling public and its language rights. The campaign ran from January to March 2014 and will be assessed in 2014-15.
  • OCOL has completed the implementation of the regional model to maximize the impact of its interventions across the country. The model specifically seeks to adopt a balanced approach between official language majority communities and official language minority communities as well as federal institutions. It consists of developing action plans corresponding to OCOL’s organizational objectives and collaboration between the different units of the organization.
  • OCOL continues to use legal remedies in a more proactive and strategic way than in the past. For example, the Commissioner has decided to file a joint appeal with the complainants, Mr. and Mrs. Thibodeau, before the Supreme Court of Canada, in an important case regarding the status of the Official Languages Act in the context of international flights. The Commissioner presented his arguments before the Court on March 26, 2014. OCOL is also conducting an analysis of the scope of the Commissioner’s investigation powers and will develop tools in 2014-15 to assist auditors and investigations analysts in maximizing the powers and intervention mechanisms at their disposal.
Strategic Outcome
3. Risk regarding safeguarding the Commissioner’s independence as an agent of Parliament
  • OCOL continues to manage this risk by actively participating in discussions on the independence of agents of Parliament through the Agents of Parliament Working Group. OCOL also proactively identified services and organizations of interest for the possible sharing of services.
  • OCOL takes every opportunity to clarify its independent status with key stakeholders, especially in the context of shared services (for example, when dealing with the Treasury Board Secretariat for accountability reports).
  • OCOL also uses every opportunity, in particular appearances before parliamentary committees, to express its concerns regarding the safeguarding of the independence of agents of Parliament when consolidating services among agents and federal institutions.
  • OCOL uses its Audit and Evaluation Committee as a mechanism to maintain independence. It not only discusses issues related to risks, audits and evaluations with the committee, but also informs the committee of activities related to the protection of language rights and the promotion of linguistic duality.
Strategic Outcome

OCOL’s successful delivery of its mandate may be affected by the above-mentioned risks, which are prompted by a number of factors:

  • An increase in the demand for OCOL’s services (namely complaints and requests for information) is anticipated as a result of easier access to OCOL’s services through the Web.
  • In a context of budget constraints, federal departments have challenges to overcome with regard to fulfilling their language obligations, while official language minority community organizations feel vulnerable and less inclined to ask questions about departments’ decisions that affect them.
  • The provisions of the Official Languages Act do not allow OCOL to investigate complaints regarding Treasury Board and Privy Council decisions, so certain highly publicized complaints were inadmissible. Complainants have questioned the use of the Commissioner’s investigative powers and are disappointed that the Act imposes these limits.
  • Bill C-520, the Supporting Non-Partisan Agents of Parliament Act,may have an impact on the Commissioner’s independence and ability to fulfill his mandate.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14 Main Estimates 2013–14 Planned Spending 2013–14 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013–14 Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Difference
(actual minus planned)
23,871,668 24,626,862 25,261,261 24,187,763 (439,099)
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents[FTEs])
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
163 167 4

Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)

Strategic Outcome 1: Rights guaranteed by the Official Languages Act are protected and linguistic duality is promoted as a fundamental value of Canadian society.

Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)
Strategic Outcome(s), Program(s) and Internal Services 2013–14
Main Estimates
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
Planned Spending
2013–14
Total Authorities Available for Use
2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2012–13
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2011–12
Actual Spending (authorities used)
Program 1: Protection of Language Rights 6,694,325 6,791,322 6,908,668 6,908,668 6,810,607 6,527,651 6,321,862 7,058,731
Program 2: Promotion of Linguistic Duality 6,527,005 6,958,643 7,223,981 7,223,981 6,662,367 7,033,889 6,494,480 6,537,097
Subtotal 13,221,330 13,749,965 14,132,649 14,132,649 13,472,974 13,561,540 12,816,342 13,595,828
Internal Services Subtotal 10,650,338 10,876,896 6,855,534 6,855,534 11,788,287 10,626,223 8,317,674 8,759,208
Total 23,871,668 24,626,862 20,988,183 20,988,183 25,261,261 24,187,763 21,134,016 22,355,036

Actual spending in 2013-14 was very close to what was planned. In 2013-14, within Internal Services, one-time funding was provided and used for the headquarters’ move to Gatineau, which cost approximately $2.8 million. This amount will be offset by future reductions to reference levels over a nine-year period. As such, to begin repayment, planned spending for 2014-15 and 2015-16 is reduced by $325,000 per year.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2013-14 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)

Strategic Outcome 1: Rights guaranteed by the Official Languages Act are protected and linguistic duality is promoted as a fundamental value of Canadian society.

Alignment of 2013-14 Actual Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)
Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2013-14 Actual Spending
1.1: Protection of Language Rights Government Affairs A transparent, accountable, and responsive federal government. 6,527,651
1.2: Promotion of Linguistic Duality Government Affairs A transparent, accountable, and responsive federal government. 7,033,889
Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 0 0
Social Affairs 0 0
International Affairs 0 0
Government Affairs 13,749,965 13,561,540

Organizational Spending Trend

Departmental spending trend ($ thousands)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Sunset programs 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total spending 22,355 21,134 24,188 20,988 20,988 20,988

Under normal circumstances, OCOL’s expenditures do not fluctuate greatly from one fiscal year to the next. In 2013-14, expenditures increased uncharacteristically due to the relocation of the headquarters to a new building at 30 Victoria Street in Gatineau. As explained above, OCOL was granted one-time funding of $2.8 million in 2013-14 through the reverse re-profile of funds to defray the cost of the move. This amount will be reimbursed over the next nine fiscal years.

Note also that expenses were higher in 2011-12, due primarily to the liquidation of a large number of severance payments during the fiscal year.

Estimates by Vote

For information on OCOL’s organizational Votes and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2014 on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome:

Rights guaranteed by the Official Languages Act are protected and linguistic duality is promoted as a fundamental value of Canadian society.

Program 1: Protection of Language Rights

Description

Through this program, OCOL investigates complaints filed by citizens who believe their language rights have not been respected, evaluates compliance with the Official Languages Act by federal institutions and other organizations subject to it through performance measurements and audits, and intervenes proactively to prevent non-compliance with the Act. As well, the Commissioner may intervene before the courts in cases that deal with non-compliance with the Official Languages Act.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14 Main Estimates 2013–14 Planned Spending 2013–14 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013–14 Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2013–14 Difference
(actual minus planned)
6,694,325 6,791,322 6,810,607 6,527,651 (263,671)
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference
(actual minus planned)
60 62 2

Performance Results

OCOL received 642 complaints (of which 476 were admissible) and 13 inquiries on the compliance of organizations subject to the Act.

Out of a total of 62 recommendations (of which two no longer apply), 53 were fully or partially implemented within two years of being issued, for a total of 88%.

Expected Results Performance Indicators
(Percentage of OCOL responses to complaints and inquiries delivered as per service standards related to:)
Targets Actual Results
Canadians’ language rights are respected through responses to their complaints and inquiries. Initial communication with the complainant within two business days of the file being transferred to the analyst; 90% 90%. In 2013-14, the standard was met 90% of the time, compared to 88% in 2012-13.
Investigations carried out using the facilitated resolution process within 90 business days; 75% 49%. In 2013-14, 130 out of 266 complaints handled using the facilitated resolution process were completed within 90 business days. In 2012-13, this standard was met 51% of the time.
Investigations carried out using the formal investigation process within 175 business days; 50% 12%. In 2013-14, 24 of 204 complaints handled using the formal investigation process were completed within 175 business days. In 2012-13, this standard was met 27% of the time.
Inquiries about federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Act within 30 business days. 80% 69%. Of 13 inquiries, OCOL responded to 9 within the service standard.
Federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Official Languages Act are fully aware of the extent of their linguistic compliance and what they need to do to fulfill their obligations under the Act. Percentage of the Commissioner’s compliance-related recommendations, issued two years ago,Footnote 2 that were implemented by federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Act in response to audits, the Commissioner’s annual reports and investigations conducted using the formal investigation process. 60% Audits: 91%. In 2013-14, OCOL followed up on two audits:
  1. Follow-up to the Linguistic Audit of the Individual Training and Education System of the Canadian Forces, Department of National Defence; and
  2. Follow-up to the Audit of the Management of the Official Languages Program at the Halifax International Airport Authority.
As part of these two follow-ups, OCOL examined a total of 35 recommendations. It concluded that eight recommendations had been fully implemented, 23 had been partially implemented, three had not been implemented and one no longer applied.
Annual Report: 56%. The follow-up of nine recommendations in the 2009-2010 Annual Report shows that five of them have been partially or fully implemented. The other four have not yet been implemented or have to be implemented in the longer term and require ongoing follow-up on OCOL’s part.
Investigations: 100%. OCOL followed up on nine investigation files from 2012-13. During these follow-ups, a total of 18 recommendations were examined. OCOL concluded that 17 of these recommendations had been implemented (16 fully and one partially) and one no longer applied.

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In general, performance in 2013-14 was similar to that of the previous year. Service standards for investigations were not met and the results are not as good as in previous years. This is partly due to the fact that a large majority of the investigations completed were part of the backlog at the beginning of the year. In addition, to improve its business processes, OCOL introduced a new information management system to which staff had to adapt, and it was not until the end of 2013 that all staff members had mastered it. In terms of the implementation of the Commissioner’s recommendations, the performance target was largely surpassed. Efforts will continue to be made to reduce the file backlog. Follow-up strategies have been put in place to accomplish this task. In addition, some correspondence is now being sent by e-mail. These changes will optimize OCOL’s business model and reduce timelines related to correspondence with federal institutions.

In addition to the accomplishments presented in the table of priorities in Section I of this report, OCOL:

  • implemented its strategy to reduce the investigation file backlog. In 2013-14, 130 files open for more than one year were completed, and there were 192 still open at the end of the fiscal year, which OCOL will examine during the first two quarters of 2014-15 while continuing to process new files.
  • conducted a survey of a sample of complainants and federal institutions that deal with OCOL in order to assess their satisfaction with how complaints are handled. The results of the survey indicate general satisfaction with the quality of the service received, but some discontent with the slowness of the process. Some respondents expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that institutions continue to not comply with the Act, and with OCOL’s limited power to force these institutions to change.
  • designed and launched a permanent quality assurance program for all of OCOL’s compliance assurance processes. This program enables OCOL to better understand its performance while making it more transparent and efficient.
  • continued to pursue the court remedy it initiated against CBC/Radio-Canadain 2010-11. The Commissioner submitted written observations to the Federal Court in 2013 to express his point of view on the reasons why the matter should be subject to a hearing on merits. The judge scheduled the hearing for June 2014.
  • served as co-appellant before the Supreme Court of Canada against Air Canada to clarify the status of the Official Languages Act with regard to an international convention incorporated in Canada’s Carriage by Air Act.
  • intervened before the Supreme Court of Canada in Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia. The Court issued a decision indicating that French documents without an English translation are inadmissible as evidence in British Columbia civil proceedings.

Program 2: Promotion of Linguistic Duality

Description

Through this program, OCOL works with parliamentarians, federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Official Languages Act, official language communities and the Canadian public to promote linguistic duality. OCOL builds links between federal institutions, official language communities and the different levels of government to help them better understand the needs of official language communities, the importance of bilingualism and the value of respecting Canada’s linguistic duality. As part of its promotion role, OCOL conducts research, studies and public awareness activities and intervenes with senior federal officials so that they instill a change in culture to fully integrate linguistic duality into their organizations.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14 Main Estimates 2013–14 Planned Spending 2013–14 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013–14 Actual Spending (authorities used) 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
6,527,005 6,958,643 6,662,367 7,033,889 75,246
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
59 58 (1)

Performance Results

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Parliament receives useful advice and information about the impact of legislation, policies and regulations on official languages. Number of references to the Commissioner's interventions on the formulation of evolving legislation, policies and regulations. 10 13 references. A total of 13 references to the Commissioner’s statements appeared in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages report Linguistic Duality During the 150th Anniversary Celebrations of Canadian Confederation in 2017.The Commissioner’s influence on Bill C-419 was also specifically mentioned by the bill’s sponsor during an appearance before the Committee on March 26, 2013.
Number of appearances before parliamentary committees. 3 9 appearances. Of these nine appearances, six were before House of Commons committees and three before Senate committees. The Commissioner stated his position on the following subjects: Bill C-419, on the bilingualism of agents of Parliament; the review of Part XVII of the Criminal Code (language of accused); the impact of recent changes to the immigration system on official language minority communities; and second-language instruction.
Inquiries from parliamentarians to which OCOL responded within the 30-business day standard. 80% 100%. OCOL received 24 inquiries from parliamentarians, to which it responded within 30 business days. The average response time was 25 days.
The public, key policy leaders, official language communities, the media, federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Official Languages Act are better informed of their official languages rights and the importance of linguistic duality in Canada. Number of promotional activities, including general inquiries and promotional tools. 270 2,128 promotional activities. These many promotional activities include the following:
  • A comprehensive communications strategy for OCOL (2013–2016) has been developed and implementation has begun, focusing on linguistic duality promotional activities. Promotional tools were presented at 35 booths during various events, both in the regions and at headquarters.
  • To promote Parts IV, V and VII of the Act and measures fostering community vitality and the promotion of linguistic duality, 147 presentations were given to federal institutions (including Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Service Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and the other agents of Parliament.
  • Official languages rights and obligations were promoted through proactive participation in 285 regional federal council activities, interdepartmental official languages networks, the Semaine nationale de la francophonie, National Public Service Week, the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign, the National Managers’ Community, Linguistic Duality Day, the annual general meetings of airport authorities, etc.
  • Continuing its efforts to raise awareness among federal managers and central agencies of the leadership role they must play in terms of language of work and promoting the Leadership Competencies Profile for Official Languages (designed and published by OCOL in 2011), OCOL worked closely with the Treasury Board Secretariat on the revision of the key leadership competencies, and the approach used was modified to reflect the comments provided.
  • To inform the public, key public policy leaders, official language communities, the media, federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Act of their official languages rights and obligations and the importance of linguistic duality in Canada, OCOL published 1,192 posts on Twitter (1,003) and Facebook (189).
Number of speeches delivered and interviews given to the media by the Commissioner. 40 The Commissioner delivered 61 speeches and gave 40 interviews to the media. The key themes of the interviews include the Statistics Canada study on bilingualism from 1961 to 2011 and OCOL’s study on the bilingual capacity of the superior court judiciary. The speeches provide OCOL with the opportunity to reach more people (between 5,000 and 7,000 each year). Posted on OCOL’s website, they are a rich source of information.
Number of recipients of OCOL studies and reports. 1,000 1,893 recipients. OCOL published three studies and made them available to members of official language communities, federal institutions, public servants and parliamentarians through mail, e-mail, booths and special events. To follow up on the publication of its studies, OCOL is called upon to give presentations in various forums to create opportunities to discuss these studies. For example, OCOL organized information and discussion sessions on the language training study in each Canadian province.

OCOL published the following studies and reports:

OCOL published the 2012–2013 Annual Report on November 7, 2013. A total of 823 copies were distributed by mail, by e-mail and in person at some 20 public events. In the two weeks following the release, the HTML version of the report on OCOL’s website was viewed in English by 3,922 visitors and in French by 3,417 visitors. The English PDF version was downloaded 962 times and the French PDF 507 times.

From this annual report, which provided an overview the Commissioner’s seven-year mandate, both English-language and French-language media primarily picked up on the concept of “erosion” used by the Commissioner to refer to a certain weakening of official languages in the public service and the decline in the rate of bilingualism among English-speaking Canadians. The issue of bilingualism of Supreme Court of Canada judges was also highlighted by several media outlets. The immediate reaction of parliamentarians was relatively low key.

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In 2013-14, OCOL concentrated its efforts on the area of promotion, notably by increasing the resources of its regional offices. All the performance targets were fully met.

In addition to the accomplishments presented in the table of priorities in Section I of this report and those in the table above, OCOL:

  • created social media activities to target Anglophone and Francophone youth and made significant strides in promoting linguistic duality through its social media accounts. Through the distribution of general-interest stories, news articles and the promotion of activities such as the Canada Games, OCOL saw a significant increaseFootnote 3 in followers of its Facebook and Twitter accounts. OCOL drafted a social media promotional plan. It is annexed to OCOL’s communications plan, which will be approved early in 2014-15.
  • established a dialogue with the organizing committees of major events, as part of the launch of its strategy to integrate linguistic duality into major sporting and cultural events (see in Section I, the 150th anniversary of Confederation). In addition to the 150th anniversary, the strategy focused, in 2013-14, on the Canada Summer Games (Sherbrooke 2013) and the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games (Toronto 2015).
  • reviewed the practices of the Privy Council Office related to Governor in Council appointments. The report will be published in 2014-15.
  • partnered with the University of Ottawa to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. This partnership led to a series of talks by the Commissioner and enabled Canadians to reflect on the historical evolution and contribution of key events that shaped and continue to shape Canada as a bilingual country.
  • evaluated the transition from the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-2013, which ended on March 31, 2013, to the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018. The new phase is focusing efforts on promoting official languages to official language minority communities in three priority sectors: education, immigration and communities. OCOL is satisfied with the continuity of the roadmap process, which ensures long-term funding.
  • published the study on language training in the public service to provide an overview of the current status of the issue and look more closely at a sample of federal institutions. This makes it possible to determine how language training is managed.
  • published, in partnership with the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick and the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario, a study on the bilingual capacity of the superior court judiciary in order to encourage the government to make appropriate changes to the judicial appointment process. The results of the study were presented several times and the Canadian Bar Association passed a resolution urging the government to implement the recommendations.
  • also worked closely with the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick on the issue of immigration, which is a priority for the three commissioners.
  • participated in several public events during National Francophone Immigration Week (November 3 to 9, 2013).

The Commissioner contributed to the creation of the International Association of Language Commissioners (IALC) and chaired the inaugural conference, which brought together language commissioners from nine regions and countries in Barcelona, Spain, on March 21, 2014. The participants discussed various subjects, including language rights and challenges in the era of globalization, the impact of minority-language education on the preservation and advancement of minority languages, and the impact of investigations conducted by commissioners’ offices on language rights. The next IALC conference will be held in Ottawa in the spring of 2015.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Given the legislated requirement to pursue court action under the Act, legal services are excluded from Internal Services at OCOL and form part of Program 1 – Protection of Language Rights. In addition, given its specific mandate, OCOL’s communications services are not included in Internal Services but rather form part of Program 2 – Promotion of Linguistic Duality.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2013–14 Main Estimates 2013–14 Planned Spending 2013–14 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013–14 Actual Spending (authorities used) 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
10,650,338 10,876,896 11,788,287 10,626,223 (250,673)
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2013–14 Planned 2013–14 Actual 2013–14 Difference (actual minus planned)
44 47 3

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The table of priorities in Section I of this report lists the key accomplishments in support of the fourth organizational priority (Effectively manage a period of important transitions while fostering a healthy work environment). In addition to these achievements, OCOL:

  • continued its participation in the development of a shared case management system for small and medium organizations. After a detailed evaluation of the products presented in the procurement process, Public Works and Government Services Canada awarded a contract for providing and supporting the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. OCOL approved the immediate use of the product for the development of the second module of the Integrated Enterprise Management Solution (IEMS) and acquired licences from Public Works.
  • adopted a strategy for migrating to the PeopleSoft software “My HR” (i.e., “My Government of Canada Human Resources”) for the next fiscal year after the Human Resources Information System replacement project is completed. The new system will be deployed at OCOL in the phase of the Government of Canada’s migration strategy that includes 30 small organizations.
  • moved, in March 2014, to 30 Victoria Street in Gatineau. The building meets the LEED certification gold standard and the Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 Fit-up Standards. Frequent communication with employees ensured they were well prepared for the move, and the welcome kit was easy to understand. Post-move surveys show that the move had a minimal effect on most employees’ ability to carry out their tasks.
  • worked with the other agents of Parliament located in the new building at 30 Victoria Street in Gatineau, Quebec, which resulted in:
    • the establishment of a shared space for a library for four agents (the sharing of support systems and personnel will be explored next year);
    • the sharing of some IT infrastructure;
    • the establishment of a common security system and joint governance;
    • the sharing of multi-purpose training facilities and increased exchanges of best practices, particularly regarding employee training and development.
  • carried out a pilot project with the Canadian Human Rights Commission for OCOL’s contract management services. It was concluded that OCOL’s needs would be better met with an internal resource person, who now has a position within the organization.
  • completed its internal audit of strategic communications and promotion as well as the evaluation of the annual report development process.

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Statements Highlights

In the previous sections, OCOL reports its actual spending based on government funding as presented in the Public Accounts of Canada. In the current section, the financial information is presented on an accrual accounting basis as used for the preparation of its financial statements.

Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position
For the Year Ended March 31, 2014 (dollars)
2013–14 Planned Results 2013–14 Actual 2012–13 Actual Difference
(2013–14 actual minus 2013–14 planned)
Difference
(2013–14 actual minus 2012–13 actual)
Total expenses 26,736,571 25,242,853 24,265,689 (1,493,718) 977,164
Total revenues 0 0 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 26,736,571 25,242,853 24,265,689 (1,493,718) 977,164
Departmental net financial position (406,791) 582,445 (1,434,126) 989,236 2,016,571

Compared to the previous fiscal year, total expenses have increased by $977,164 or 4%, which is mainly comprised of the following elements:

  • Professional and special services expenses have increased by $430,597 or 14%. The 2013-14 expenses were abnormally high due to non-recurrent costs associated with the headquarters’ move to Gatineau and the increase in costs to modernize OCOL’s IT infrastructure.
  • Salaries have increased by $566,763 or 3% due to regular salary increases and the staffing of vacant positions (some were staffed at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year).

Compared to planned expenses, actual expenses were lower by $1,493,718 or 6%. This is mainly due to two reasons. First, OCOL had expected to designate most of the cost associated with the move as an expense; however, a larger amount than planned was capitalized as leasehold improvements. Second, the move took place later than planned, which resulted in a lower amount recorded as amortization expenses.

Expense Breakdown

Expense Breakdown for fiscal year 2013-14 (total: $25.2 Million)
Salaries and employee benefits: $17.7 Million Professional and special services: $3.5 Million Accommodation: $1.9 Million Transportation and telecommunications: $0.8 Million Other Expenses: $1.3 Million
Percentages 70% 14% 8% 3% 5%
Condensed Statement of Financial Position
As at March 31, 2014 (dollars)
2013–14 2012–13 Difference
(2013–14 minus 2012–13)
Total net liabilities 3,488,766 3,236,950 251,816
Total net financial assets 1,762,659 1,420,304 342,355
Net debt 1,726,107 1,816,646 (90,539)
Total non-financial assets 2,308,552 382,520 1,926,032
Net financial position 582,445 (1,434,126) 2,016,571

OCOL’s net financial situation greatly improved in 2013-14, specifically by $2,016,571. This is due to the fact that OCOL spent a significant amount, $2,116,670, to acquire tangible capital assets in relation to the move of its headquarters to Gatineau.

Liabilities

Liabilities at March 31, 2014 by Type (total: $3.5 Million)
Accounts payable: $1.1 Million Accrued liabilities: $0.7 Million Vacation pay and compensatory leave: $0.8 Million Employee future benefits: $0.9 Million
Percentages 32% 19% 22% 27%

Assets

Assets at March 31, 2014 by Type (total: $4.1 Million)
Financial asset
Due from Consolidated Revenue Funds: $1.6 Million
Non-financial asset
Accounts receivable and advances: $0.2 Million
Non-financial asset
Tangible capital assets: $2.3 Million
Percentages 40% 4% 56%

Financial Statements

Audited financial statements.

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables listed in the 2013–14 Departmental Performance Report:

Internal Audits and Evaluations

Internal Audits and Evaluations

Internal Audits (2013-14)
Name of internal audit Internal audit type Status Completion date
Audit of Strategic Communications and Promotion Quality assurance Completed March 2013
Evaluations (2013-14)
Name of evaluation Program Status Completion date
Evaluation of the annual report development process Promotion of Linguistic Duality Completed March 2014
User Fees and Regulatory Charges

User Fees and Regulatory Charges

Performance results

In 2013-14, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages received 10 requests and 16 consultations under the Access to Information Act and no consultation under the Privacy Act.  No request under the Access to Information Act was late and one complaint was received under the Privacy Act.

2013-14 ($ thousands)
Forecast Revenue Actual Revenue Full Cost
0 0,1 94
Planning Years ($ thousands)
Fiscal Year Forecast Revenue Estimated Full Cost
2014-15 0 95
2015-16 0 85
2016-17 0 85

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

For further information, contact one of the following offices:

Headquarters

30 Victoria Street, 6th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0T8

Telephone: 819-420-4877
Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368
Fax: 819-420-4873
E-mail: information@clo-ocol.gc.ca
Twitter @OCOLCanada
Facebook.com/officiallanguages

Regional Offices

Atlantic Region

Moncton

Telephone: 506-851-7047
Toll-free: 1-800-561-7109
Fax: 506-851-7046

Québec Region

Montréal

Telephone: 514-283-4996
Toll-free: 1-800-363-0628
Fax: 514-283-6677

Ontario Region

Toronto

Telephone: 416-973-1903
Toll-free: 1-800-387-0635
Fax: 416-973-1906

Sudbury

Telephone: 705-671-4101
Toll-free: 1-888-272-3704
Fax: 705-671-4100

Manitoba and Saskatchewan Region

Winnipeg

Telephone: 204-983-2111
Toll-free: 1-800-665-8731
Fax: 204-983-7801

Regina

Telephone: 306-780-7866
Toll-free: 1-800-665-8731
Fax: 306-780-7896

Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories,
Yukon and Nunavut Region

Edmonton

Telephone: 780-495-3111
Toll-free: 1-800-661-3642
Fax: 780-495-4094

Vancouver

Telephone: 795-495-3111
Toll-free: 1-800-661-3642
Fax: 780-495-4094

Appendix: Definitions

appropriation:
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures:
Include operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Departmental Performance Report:
Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Reports on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.
full-time equivalent:
Is a measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
Government of Canada outcomes:
A set of 16 high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.
Management, Resources and Results Structure:
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.
non-budgetary expenditures:
Include net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance:
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator:
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting:
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
planned spending:
For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates. A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.
plans:
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
priorities:
Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).
program:
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
results:
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
Program Alignment Architecture:
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
Report on Plans and Priorities:
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Strategic Outcome:
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program:
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target:
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
whole-of-government framework:
Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR.

Return to first footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Recommendation follow-up is no longer done two years after the recommendations are issued, but rather within a set timeframe. The timeframe can vary depending on the compliance activity. This performance indicator has been changed accordingly, and the revised indicator will be published in the 2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

From 510 to 1,349 followers of its French Facebook account, and from 510 to 1,036 followers of its English account; and from 207 to 607 followers of its French Twitter account and from 130 to 584 followers of its English Twitter account.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Date modified:
2018-09-13