ARCHIVED - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 2005-2006

WarningThe Standard on Web Usability replaces this content. This content is archived because Common Look and Feel 2.0 Standards have been rescinded.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



a) An accountability framework, an action plan and accountability mechanisms are in place (5%)

The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) does not have a specific accountability framework for official languages (OL). However, further to discussions on the subject, a draft accountability framework is currently being developed.

An action plan is in place to ensure that the Official Languages Act is implemented. The plan, which was approved by the Executive Committee, specifies the objectives to achieve and their related timeframes, as well as the sector concerned. The plan and the status report are posted on the Department's Intranet site.

Accountability is ensured through management agreements, including those of all assistant deputy ministers, which contain performance objectives for the creation and maintenance of a workplace conducive to the use of English and French. Managers receive annual statistical data reports on the linguistic profile of bilingual positions currently staffed and the incumbents' level of language proficiency. In addition, regional site visits to the concerned human resources offices were instrumental in updating computer systems and correcting any identified errors. The Farm Financial Programs Branch also reviewed resources allocated to serving the Canadian public in order to ensure that services are provided in both OL.

Furthermore, every year, AAFC prepares an action plan and a status report on the implementation of section 41 of the Act. Under the direction of the co-champion, a departmental working group was established to report on any activities undertaken in this area.

b) Visibility of official languages in the organization (5%)

AAFC has implemented a strategic human resource framework called the People Framework. This framework defines an inclusive culture as being a bilingual workplace and highlights the importance of guaranteeing each employee's right to work in the official language of his or her choice in designated bilingual regions for the purpose of language of work.

The Report on Plans and Priorities deals with the importance of "preserving Canada's diverse cultural heritage, including our languages" and highlights the planned expenditures for projects supporting the development of OL minority communities. However, the Performance Report does not reflect the objectives of the OL Program (OLP).

OLP monitoring is the responsibility of the Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Deputy Minister and which deals with OL matters. The champion sits on the Executive Committee and holds an acting Assistant Deputy Minister level position. The co-champion also sits on the committee as an executive director. Every year, the Executive Committee sets aside a day to focus on OL and employment equity issues.

The Deputy Minister chairs the Inclusiveness Management Committee. This committee reviews departmental procedures and analyses issues in order to make improvements within the institution. It also surveys OL issues. Members are selected from the regions and from national headquarters and occupy various occupational groups and levels.

Coordination of the various stakeholders is provided by a governance structure that supports the action plan and Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. The OL governance structure is provided through a high-level intra departmental committee chaired by a champion responsible for Parts IV, V and VI, and co-chaired by a member of the committee. The OL co-champion and the national coordinator, who are accountable for Part VII of the Act, are also members of the committee. This committee meets annually to review OL issues.

c) Complaints (5%)

Complaint resolution is handled jointly by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL), the OL unit and the manager involved. This makes it possible to identify corrective measures in cases where complaints are substantiated.

The Department has not established a formal mechanism for handling complaints filed with OCOL and for benefiting from the lessons learned. However, if necessary, the AAFC Executive Committee is informed of any issues raised in the complaints and it then identifies any appropriate measures in the OL plan and implements them.

OCOL has not identified any systemic problems.

Service to the public  Part IV

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (4%)

86% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Position and Classification Information System (PCIS), March 31, 2005)

AAFC bilingual offices are advertised in BUROLIS, and the Blue Pages contain some toll-free numbers providing service in both official languages. The Human Resources Branch regularly forwards the BUROLIS list to the regional offices and to National Headquarters for review and correction, if necessary.

However, during their audit of telephone service and in- person service conducted in the fall of 2005, OCOL officials noted that BUROLIS was not up-to-date, specifically with respect to point of service no. 93346.

b) Findings on active offer and service delivery (15%)

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, an active visual offer was present in 61% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 32% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 63% of cases.

According to the observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, an active offer of service by staff or by an automated system was made in 35% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 43% of cases.

c) The service agreements delivered by third parties or in partnership provide for the delivery of bilingual services (2%)

OCOL was unable to confirm that service agreements provide for the delivery of services in both OL and that these services are monitored by the Department for the quality of the services delivered in both OL, in order to resolve any deficiency in this area.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

The Department uses the brochure Bilingualism at AAFC to remind personnel of their obligations regarding service to the public and other matters.

Reminders on the obligation of providing services in both OL are sent to all personnel. The Department uses meetings and its OL Intranet site to remind its personnel of the importance of respecting the OL rights of members of the public.

A management accountability agreement is in place at the Farms Financial Programs Branch, which specifies that managers must ensure that the Branch has the bilingual capacity required to deliver equal service in both OL.

There is no structured internal mechanism to assess the quality of bilingual services. However, the Governance Committee, chaired by a champion and co-champion, meets every quarter to discuss language issues and take any required corrective measures.

Language of work – Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy (12. 5%)

75% of EX incumbents and 85% of supervisors in bilingual positions in bilingual regions meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: PCIS, as of March 31, 2005)

Although the Department does not have an internal language of work policy, it follows the policy of the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC); in addition, it has developed its own guidelines on some issues, such as non-imperative staffing and its use. Furthermore, it has established guidelines on employee supervision within the Department.

In order to support the PSHRMAC policy, AAFC has developed a program to fund voluntary language training for employees in a unilingual position, called Our Bilingualism. This program funds employee language training in order to promote training in the second official language and increase the Department's bilingual capacity. One million dollars have been allocated to the program for the 2005-2006 period.

A recent software installation also helps employees to update their personal information and to identify their official language of choice. As a result, employees can get compensation information in their language of choice. The Department intends to pursue this initiative to ensure that a link is established between all central services to employees and their official language of choice.

b) Establishment of an environment conducive to both official languages (12.5%)

The Department has developed a brochure entitled, Bilingualism at AAFC, to inform and raise the awareness of both employees and managers of their rights and obligations regarding service to the public, the language of work and communication. This brochure was endorsed by the Executive Committee and was publicized to employees through a communiqué. It is posted on the Department's Intranet site.

The OL Intranet site contains reminders with regards to language of work in order to inform personnel about the OL rights and obligations.

OL are among the issues reviewed on a monthly basis at the Joint Labour-Management Committee meeting. OL are also the subject of communiqués in departmental information newsletters and the AgriCulture magazine. There is also an OL Web page on AgriSource, the Department's Intranet site.

Posters have been put up in meeting rooms in designated bilingual regions reminding employees that they are entitled to use the official language of their choice. At meetings, employees are reminded that they can use the official language of their choice.

The use of both OL is growing at management committee meetings.

With respect to "French Tuesdays" employees are invited, once a month, to participate in informal discussions in French to maintain the competency acquired in that language. To that end, a speaker gives a presentation, in French, on a specific subject, in order to start a discussion.

To monitor the application of PSHRMAC's language of work policy, yearly statistical reports on positions and their incumbents are sent to managers in February, so that they can ensure that the incumbents meet the language profiles of their position within the prescribed timelines. There is no other mechanism to monitor the application of the language of work policy.

Equitable Participation – Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada (5%)

Francophones account for 22.2% of AAFC workforce as a whole. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec (5%)

Anglophones account for 7% of AAFC workforce in Quebec. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality – Part VII

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of minority language communities (12.5%)

The Department is developing an action plan to implement Part VII of the Act for Canadian Heritage. It also uses the interdepartmental meetings of the national co-ordinators for Part VII, at which representatives of the OL minority communities are invited to share their comments and express their needs.

AAFC is one of the key departments at the federal table of the National Committee for Economic Development and Employability for Francophone Minorities and the National Human Resources Development Committee for the English Linguistic Minority Community. Through its participation, the Department is able to pursue a dialogue with the minority language communities of both language groups and to better understand their needs, thereby ensuring that these are taken into account during program development.

The Department does not have its own communication policy. However, it follows the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada and the purchase of space and time in the media include those serving the official language minority communities. To that end, it runs ads in both English- and French-language agricultural publications. Should no French-language agricultural magazine exist, the information is published in the newspapers of the Francophone minority press.

A presentation from the OL champion in 2004-2005, on the Status Report (section 41 of the Act) further raised the awareness of program managers and senior managers about the needs of Francophone and Anglophone minority communities.

Employees are informed of the needs of the OL minority communities through the action plan and the status report on Part VII, which are posted on the Department's Intranet site.

b) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

The Department ensures that memoranda to Cabinet and submissions to Treasury Board take into account the promotion of linguistic duality and the equal status of both OL, through the National Headquarters Human Resources Unit, which revises these documents, if required. The Department uses its interdepartmental meetings to collect comments and suggestions from participants, which include representatives of the OL communities.

The Department has undertaken initiatives to promote French and English both within the institution and among the Canadian public. To that end, AAFC hosted an interdepartmental meeting of the OL national co-ordinators for Part VII in the fall of 2005. Participants were able to discuss challenges and best practices applied within institutions and in Canadian society.

The Department also used the celebrations of Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie to promote linguistic duality. Posters advertising Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie were put up in the Department's main buildings. All employees were invited to take part in the festivities organized at headquarters. As part of the activities, a French menu was offered in the cafeteria at lunchtime. A musician also played a few French pieces. Furthermore, questionnaire and information brochures on La Francophonie were available. A speaker also gave a presentation on the contributions of Francophones to the development of Western Canada.