2019–20 Departmental Plan

The original version was signed by:

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C, M.P.
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada

 

Message from the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada

Raymond Théberge

I am pleased to present my office’s Departmental Plan for 2019–2020.

The plan outlines our objectives and the results we hope to achieve in the coming year. These key objectives are vital to ensuring that official languages continue to be a national priority, that we have a lasting impact on language rights of Canadians, and that linguistic duality is promoted in Canada.

One of my priorities is to urge federal institutions to break down the barriers that are preventing the objectives of the Official Languages Act from being met.

The Official Languages Maturity Model, the new on-line tool we are launching this year, is tailored to the public service and will help federal institutions gauge their progress in meeting their obligations under the Act.

This Model will be the very first tool to focus on federal institutions’ ability to conduct a diagnostic review of their organization and reflect on its processes and systems. This will help them determine where they need to concentrate their efforts in order to comply with the Act.

I will also be working with the federal government and its partners to ensure that they take the necessary measures to achieve the expected outcomes of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future.

Because this five-year plan is critical to the advancement of official languages in Canada in areas such as justice, immigration and education, I have asked that strategies be put in place so that my office can monitor activities and be ready to intervene proactively if gaps are seen in the implementation of the government’s Action Plan.

Another priority will be to call on the federal government to effect a true modernization of the Act so that it reflects both the legacy and the future of official languages in Canada. The amended legislation needs to be structured so that it is cohesive and comprehensive. It needs to be relevant, dynamic and strong. Using these overarching principles, I will release a position document—with clear recommendations—in the spring of 2019.

In 2019, my office will also explore ways in which we can participate in the activities being planned by government departments and partners to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Act. We will also look at hosting an event in the fall.

With regard to the management of my office, I have a duty to Canadians to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and structure our work to optimize efficiency. I therefore plan on promoting a culture of continuous improvement, which will involve pooling our resources to capitalize on our skills and expertise, and leveraging technologies to streamline our work so that we can be more effective in meeting our objectives.

Lastly, I would like simply to state that federal institutions need strong leadership to ensure that language obligations are fully understood at all levels and that the Act is applied in its entirety. Working together to achieve this goal is in the best interests of all Canadians.

Raymond Théberge

Plans at a glance and operating context

Core Responsibility 1: Protection of rights related to official languages

  • The Office of the Commissioner intends to encourage federal institutions to eliminate barriers to achieving the objectives of the Official Languages Act.
  • The Office of the Commissioner will intervene with federal institutions and its partners to ensure that the Action Plan for Official Languages’ expected results are achieved.

Core Responsibility 2: Advancement of English and French in Canadian society

  • The Office of the Commissioner will provide ongoing leadership to ensure that the government truly modernizes the Official Languages Act.

In addition, the Office of the Commissioner is committed to fostering a culture of continuous improvement, cooperation and resource optimization within its organization.

Operational Context

In 2018–2019, Vision 2025 allowed the new Commissioner to develop a multi-year strategic plan that sets out the organization’s strategic priorities for the next few years. An action plan will be developed to respond to these priorities and include the following:

Official languages will be a key issue in the lead-up to the federal elections, which will culminate in fall 2019. Among other things, the government has committed to adopting its proposal for amending the Official Languages Regulations and modernizing the Official Languages Act.

Many of the Office of the Commissioner’s priorities are echoed in the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023, including providing funding to support development in education, justice and immigration. To this end, the Office of the Commissioner will monitor the implementation of the Plan to ensure that it responds to the concerns of official language minority communities.

The Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages will complete its study on the modernization of the Official Languages Act in 2019 and table a final report including a series of recommendations for the federal government. The Office of the Commissioner also intends to table a report setting out its position on the modernization of the Act in the spring.

In addition, 2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, and many celebrations will be held throughout the country and at various levels.

Furthermore, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, recently announced the reinstatement of the Court Challenges Program so that it will be in place to provide funding starting in 2019.

Finally, the Office of the Commissioner will provide select federal institutions with an Official Languages Maturity Model, a new organizational diagnostic tool intended to help institutions make continuous progress in official languages.

It is important to note that, as part of its strategic planning, the Office of the Commissioner conducted its annual risk management process and identified risks relating to the ability to meet its strategic and operational priorities as well as its reputation to support its mandate.

For more information on the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core responsibilities

Protection of rights related to official languages

Description

Take the appropriate steps, including complaints processing, audits and interventions, to ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act and language rights in Canada.

Planning highlights

The Office of the Commissioner will encourage federal institutions to eliminate barriers to achieving the objectives of the Official Languages Act by developing and initiating implementation of strategies for intervening with a select group of federal institutions in an integrated manner within the organization.

Also, the Office of the Commissioner will intervene with federal institutions and its partners to ensure that the Action Plan for Official Languages’ expected results are achieved. Therefore, the Office of the Commissioner will develop, also in an integrated manner within the organization, strategies for engaging with federal institutions for the benefit of Canadians and official language minority communities.

In addition, the Office of the Commissioner is focusing efforts on reviewing its processes to bring efficiencies, streamline and innovate, where possible. For example, the Office of the Commissioner is looking for opportunities to develop a strategy to address reoccurring complaints by helping organizations address these challenges, developing tools to help better support federal institutions, and continuing to build relationships with various institutions that are working on innovative ways to resolve reoccurring complaints and, in doing so, could help us improve our understanding of the environment and become more agile.

Finally, the Office of the Commissioner will provide select federal institutions with an Official Languages Maturity Model. This new organizational diagnostic tool will help federal institutions make continuous progress in official languages.

Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2017–18 Actual results
Rights related to official languages are protected Percentage of the Commissioner’s recommendations made in response to deficiencies identified through audit and investigation reports that have been implemented. 60% March 2020 This indicator was modified in 2018–2019. This indicator was modified in 2018–2019. This indicator was modified in 2018–2019.
Rights related to official languages are protected Percentage of complaints and inquiries processed within the timelines set out by the service standards. 70% March 2020 This indicator was modified in 2018–2019. This indicator was modified in 2018–2019. This indicator was modified in 2018–2019.
Canadians benefit from the Commissioner’s interventions before the courts. Percentage of remedies involving the Commissioner that had a positive impact on the interpretation or the application of the Official Languages Act or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 60% March 2020 57.5% 72% 75%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 Planned spending
7,588,107 7,588,107 7,491,164 7,491,164
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents
65 65 65

Advancement of English and French in Canadian society

Description

Raise awareness of issues related to the advancement of the equal status of English and French in federal institutions and Canadian society, while supporting the development and vitality of official language minority communities.

Planning highlights

To advance Canada’s linguistic duality, the Office of the Commissioner will:

  • Develop an approach for implementing the Action Plan for Official Languages, which will help assess the achievement of the expected results;
  • Attempt to influence the government on necessary reforms to the Act;
  • Maintain a dialogue with the various stakeholders to build a consensus around the vision for an up-to-date, dynamic and robust Act; and
  • Use the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act as an opportunity to make the modernization of the Act a top priority of the next elected government.
  • Work to develop intervention and engagement strategies to reach various stakeholders, including federal institutions and OLMC s, to better manage expectations and build constructive relationships.
Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2017–18 Actual results
Canadians know their language rights and those of official languages communities and they recognize the importance of linguistic duality and bilingualism. Number of Canadians who have been informed of issues related to the Official Languages Act. 20,000 March 2020 This indicator was added in 2018–2019. This indicator was added in 2018–2019. This indicator was added in 2018–2019.
Canadians know their language rights and those of official languages communities and they recognize the importance of linguistic duality and bilingualism. Percentage of public support for linguistic duality and bilingualism (measured every 5 years) 73% March 2021 This indicator was added in 2018–2019. This indicator was added in 2018–2019. This indicator was added in 2018–2019.
The Commissioner influences decision-makers in Parliament, government and communities on issues relating to the Official Languages Act. Number of parliamentary deliberations making reference to the Official Languages Act and/or reports and recommendations made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. TBD by March 2019 March 2020 This indicator was added in 2018–2019. This indicator was added in 2018–2019. This indicator was added in 2018–2019.
The Commissioner influences decision-makers in Parliament, government and communities on issues relating to the Official Languages Act. Proportion of recommendations from the annual report and research reports prepared by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages that were implemented. 60% March 2020 This indicator was modified in 2018–2019. This indicator was modified in 2018–2019. This indicator was modified in 2018–2019.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 Planned spending
7,154,501 7,154,501 7,063,097 7,063,097
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents
56 56 56

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communications Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Management Services
  • Materiel Management Services
  • Acquisition Management Services

Since legal remedies are set out in the Act, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Legal Services are excluded from its Internal Services and are an integral part of its Protection of Official Language Rights program. As well, given their specific mandate, its Communications Services are not included in Internal Services, but rather form part of its Advancement of Official Languages program.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending 2021–22 Planned spending
6,937,697 6,937,697 6,849,064 6,849,064
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents
44 44 44
Planning highlights

The Office of the Commissioner intends to foster a culture of continuous improvement, cooperation and resource optimization.

Therefore, the Office of the Commissioner will analyze how responsibilities are organized to better integrate work and results, thereby optimizing its resources.   

In addition, the Office of the Commissioner will promote employee engagement by focusing on the multidisciplinary skill set and encourage innovation and employee development in order to create a culture of continuous improvement and increased cooperation.

It will also be important for the Office of the Commissioner to leverage Workplace 2.0 and technologies that will enable it to better support its priorities and mandate while optimizing its resources.

The Office of the Commissioner will also continue to assess the impact of changes in operational priorities, processes and objectives, develop operational plans and realign resources, and/or take steps to seek new resources (if required) in order to address potential changes in the organizations’ priorities arising from the implementation of Vision 2025.

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Departmental spending trend graph
  2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Statutory 2,105,197 2,119,222 2,181,383 2,306,320 2,269,565 2,269,565
Voted 18,329,523 18,928,368 20,081,975 19,373,985 19,133,760 19,133,760
Total 20,434,720 21,047,590 22,263,358 21,680,305 21,403,325 21,403,325
Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016–17 Expenditures 2017–18
Expenditures
2018–19
Forecast spending
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
Protection of rights related to official languages 7,554,792 7,468,645 7,989,524 7,588,107 7,491,164 7,491,164 7,491,164
Advancement of English and French in Canadian society 6,638,658 7,403,591 6,951,705 7,154,501 7,063,097 7,063,097 7,063,097
Subtotal 14,193,450 14,872,236 14,941,229 14,742,608 14,554,261 14,554,261 14,554,261
Internal Services 6,241,270 6,175,354 7,322,129 6,937,697 6,849,064 6,849,064 6,849,064
Total 20,434,720 21,047,590 22,263,358 21,680,305 21,403,325 21,403,325 21,403,325

The difference between 2017-18 expenditures and the 2018-19 forecast spending is mainly due to investments in capital assets and the stabilization of OCOL’s workforce.

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016–17
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Forecast full-time equivalents
2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full‑time equivalents 
Protection of rights related to official languages 63 65 69 65 65 65
Advancement of English and French in Canadian society 54 53 56 56 56 56
Subtotal 117 118 125 121 121 121
Internal Services 41 41 41 44 44 44
Total 158 159 166 165 165 165

The increase from 2017-18 to 2018-19 is due to the stabilization of OCOL’s workforce.

Estimates by vote

For information on the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ organizational appropriations, consult the 2019–20 Main Estimates.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future‑Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management. The forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Future‑Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ended March 31, 2019 (in dollars)
Financial information 2018–19
Forecast results
2019–20
Planned results
Difference
(2019–20 Planned results minus 2018–19 Forecast results)
Total expenses 25,496,405 25,224,894 (271,511)
Total revenues - - -
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 25,496,405 25,224,894 (271,511)

Additional information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Commissioner:
Raymond Théberge
Enabling instrument:
Subsection 56(1) of the Official Languages Act
Year of commencement:
1970
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 reports directly to Parliament.

Raison d’être, mandate and role

Raison d’être

The Commissioner of Official Languages oversees the full implementation of the Official Languages Act, protects the language rights of Canadians and promotes linguistic duality.

Mandate and role

Information on the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ mandate and roles is available.

Reporting framework

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below:

Program Inventory: Departmental Results Framework
  • Protection of Official Languages Rights
    • Core Responsibility: Rights related of official languages are protected
      • Rights related of official languages are protected
        • Percentage of the Commissioner’s recommendations made in response to deficiencies identified through audit and investigation reports that have been implemented.
        • Percentage of complaints and inquiries processed within the timelines set out by the service standards.
      • Canadians benefit from the Commissioner’s interventions before the courts.
        • Percentage of remedies involving the Commissioner that had a positive impact on the interpretation or the application of the Official Languages Act or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Advancement of Official Languages
    • Core Responsibility: Advancement of English and French in Canadian society
      • Canadians know their language rights and those of official languages communities and they recognize the importance of linguistic duality and bilingualism.
        • Number of Canadians who have been informed of issues related to the Official Languages Act.
        • Percentage of public support for linguistic duality and bilingualism (measured every 5  years)
      • The Commissioner influences decision-makers in Parliament, government and communities on issues relating to the Official Languages Act.
        • Number of parliamentary deliberations making reference to the Official Languages Act and/or reports and recommendations made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.
        • Proportion of recommendations from the annual report and research reports prepared by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages that were implemented.
  • Internal Services

Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the Office of Commissioner of Official Languages’ Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information table is available:

Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

1. Context for the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Although the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is not bound by the Federal Sustainable Development Act and is not required to develop a full departmental sustainable development strategy, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages adheres to the principles of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) by implementing the Policy on Green Procurement.

The Policy on Green Procurement supports the Government of Canada’s effort to promote environmental stewardship. In keeping with the objectives of the policy, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages supports sustainable development by integrating environmental performance considerations into its procurement decision‑making process.

Federal tax expenditures

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 each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

For further information, contact us.

Appendix: de finitions

appropriation:
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three‑year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result
Any change that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework
The department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
evaluation
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
experimentation
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full‑time equivalent
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.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government;  A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non‑budgetary expenditures
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 Information Profile
The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.
performance reporting
The process of communicating evidence‑based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
plan
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.
planned spending
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts 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 Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
priority
A plan or project 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 Departmental Results.
Program
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
Program Inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s Core Responsibilities and Results.
result
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.
statutory expenditures
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
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.
voted expenditures
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
Date modified:
2019-04-11