ARCHIVED - Business Development Bank of Canada 2007-2008

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Report Card 2007–2008
Business Development Bank of Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) does not have an official languages (OL) accountability framework. However, it has an OL policy that outlines the obligations of supervisors and managers under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act).

BDC does not have an action plan relating to Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. However, BDC has set out its planned activities for 2006–2007 in the Annual Review of Official Languages, which was submitted to the Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA). BDC states that it integrates OL into its daily operations, mandate and organizational priorities. BDC has an action plan to ensure the implementation of Part VII of the Act. A presentation on OL was given to the new president when he began his term, and ongoing presentations are made to new Board members as well as to new vice-presidents and area managers.

Accountability measures within the organization include internal OL audits, the performance appraisals of branch managers, the annual review submitted to the CPSA and discussions at senior management meetings.


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

The BDC Corporate Plan Summary 2008–2012 indicates that the “BDC respects the Official Languages Act, and its operations are in adherence to the regulations and policies implemented by the Treasury Board Secretariat, giving special attention to the economic and social development of minority official language communities.” The 2007 Annual Report refers to OL objectives. OL are integrated into internal audits.

The OL Champion is a senior executive and member of the Management Committee. The Champion attends Committee meetings, which are held every second Friday, and raises OL issues for discussion by the Committee, as needed. There is an ongoing dialogue between the Champion and the OL Coordinator.


(c) Complaints and follow-up (5%)

Together with the manager or vice-president of the branch concerned, the OL Coordinator is responsible for handling and resolving complaints concerning all parts of the Act. She plays a key coordinating role and informs the Champion as needed. The Coordinator ensures that information on the nature of complaints and the measures taken to avoid the same problems in the future are shared within the organization. BDC has not received any complaints on service to the public or language of work in the last two years.




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

(a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (3%)

Offices that are designated bilingual are listed in Burolis and the blue pages.

Although BDC has bilingual branches across Canada, it has not designated any of its positions as bilingual.

BDC reported that, as of December 2007, 4 out of 47 branches that are designated bilingual did not have bilingual resources on site. Employees in these branches are currently taking second language courses. Also, 16 of the branches designated bilingual have met the minimum requirement of one bilingual resource. To ensure that BDC has the necessary linguistic capability for the future, it encourages employees to take second language training.

In total, 41% of employees who work in branches designated bilingual are bilingual and able to serve the public in their language of choice.


(b) Observations on active offer and service delivery

According to observations of service in person made by the Office of the Commissioner between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active visual offer was present in 90% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 33% of cases, and service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 59% of cases.
According to observations of service on the telephone made by the Office of the Commissioner between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 98% of cases.


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

BDC requires that third-party service providers (e.g., for advertisements or employee assistance services) offer services in both OL. BDC also requires a letter from the third party confirming that an active offer of service is made to users and clients in both languages. BDC verifies that services are provided in both OL through its annual employee and customer satisfaction surveys.


(d) Policy on service to the public and bilingual services quality monitoring (5%)

BDC's OL policy contains a section on service to the public, which, in accordance with Part IV of the Act, sets out the requirements related to bilingual communications and service delivery and raises employees' awareness of BDC's commitment to respect the equality of English and French.

BDC implemented a training program for new managers. The program, which focuses on transitional leadership, touches on various areas of responsibility that new managers will encounter on a daily basis, including OL.

The new employee integration program includes an OL tip sheet. OL obligations are also posted on the orientation Web site for new employees.

Offices are reminded of the importance of greeting members of the public in both OL and of providing services in the client's language of choice. Employees are also kept up to date through the OL Corner of the BDC etc. newsletter, which is published six times a year. Supervisors are reminded that bilingual offices are required to have bilingual resources on hand in order to ensure that services are provided in both OL. In addition, most senior managers have been given a presentation on BDC's obligations under the Act, including service to the public obligations.

BDC conducts ongoing customer service satisfaction surveys, which include language of service, and reports the findings at the end of each fiscal year. Internal audit reports are forwarded to the managers responsible for follow-ups, and actions are taken as needed. The annual report to the CPSA is another control mechanism.




Language of work—Part V (25%)

(a) Language of work policy and adequate bilingual supervision (12.5%)

BDC's OL policy contains a section on language of work, which sets out the rights and obligations related to supervision, personal and central services, work instruments, internal communications, training and professional development. In order to support the policy, translation services are available. Language of work is addressed in the Transitional Leadership Program, which is provided to each branch manager. BDC also offers second language training to all employees, regardless of whether or not they work at a bilingual point of service. Some branches organize “info lunches” to encourage employees to improve their second language proficiency.

In total, 85% of supervisors in bilingual regions who must supervise employees in both OL are able to do so (Source: Data from the Official Languages Information System [OLIS II], March 31, 2007).


(b) Use of each official language in the workplace (12.5%)

Most senior managers have been given a presentation on OL. This presentation focuses on BDC's obligations in terms of language of work and equitable participation. To keep staff and senior managers informed, a section on the different aspects of OL appears in each edition of BDC etc.

Meetings to disseminate information to employees from both language groups are held in both OL. Participants are invited to use the official language of their choice. Generally speaking, local meetings are held in the language of the majority or are carried out in a bilingual format. Meetings of BDC's Management Committee are held in both OL. BDC conducts an annual employee survey and uses the results and comments to monitor employee satisfaction and take corrective action as needed.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner showed that, overall, 82% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region, New Brunswick and the bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 92% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.




Equitable participation—Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 38.6% Francophone (Source: OLIS II, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 12.8% Anglophone (Source: OLIS II, March 31, 2007).




Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality—Part VII (25%)


BDC prepares an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act and an annual status report. The Champion is involved in the organization's strategic planning. With its 90 branches, the BDC maintains an active presence in all communities across Canada, including official language minority communities (OLMCs) in rural and urban areas.

Following the amendments to the Act, the Champion presented, at a Management Committee meeting, the new obligations to take positive measures to enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minorities in Canada and support and assist their development. In 2007, an article titled “Developing Business with Minority Language Communities” was published in BDC etc.

The Coordinator is responsible for all parts of the Act. OLMC development is an integral part of the way BDC does business. Local BDC account managers establish networks of business customers and local organizations (including OLMC business groups) for potential business development.

Employees are kept apprised through articles in BDC etc. Under its mandate, BDC provides small and medium-sized businesses with flexible financial services, affordable consultation services and venture capital by supporting the needs of entrepreneurs at every stage of growth. BDC continues its efforts to partner with organizations that serve Francophone communities outside Quebec and Anglophone communities in Quebec through its partnership agreements with these organizations and Community Futures Development Corporations throughout the country.

Although BDC has not reviewed its programs and policies, it feels that it meets the requirement to support the development of OLMCs.

BDC sponsored the Lauriers de la PME Francophone awards competition organized by the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité and the national symposium of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise. BDC contributed $4,000 to the Young Entrepreneur Development Initiative, which was organized by the Corporations au benefice du développement communautaire and took place in the Madawaska region.

BDC has entered into partnerships with many organizations that serve OLMCs and regularly meets with representatives of OLMC organizations. BDC also sponsored the portal, which serves Atlantic Canada’s French-speaking population. 

BDC continues its targeted consultation of the Franco-Ontarian community and participates in meetings organized by Industry Canada with Francophone community representatives. BDC also sits on  the National Committee for Canadian Francophonie Human Resources Development, as well as on a number of its subcommittees. In areas where there is a sizable minority-language business population, formal plans are put in place at the local level in order to reach out to minority-language businesses. Consultations with the Association franco-yukonnaise regarding economic development among the youth are ongoing.

There is an ongoing feedback process and OLMC needs are integrated into local business plans. For example, in Manitoba, Francophone account managers have developed close relationships with the province's major Francophone business organizations (the Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba, the Chambre de commerce francophone de Saint-Boniface, the Caisses populaires du Manitoba, the Club des hommes d'affaires and the corporations de développement communautaire) by actively promoting BDC's services, participating in the organizations’ events and maintaining frequent contact.

BDC is continuing its partnerships with federal organizations and the private sector on activities to promote linguistic duality. The Ottawa branch is sponsoring a bilingual business plan competition, which is being organized by BDC and the National Bank of Canada and involves students from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and the Université du Québec en Outaouais.


(a) Development of official language minority communities (12.5%)

The Action Plan takes into account the needs expressed by OLMCs. The Plan includes positive measures to foster the development of OLMCs and describes the expected results, activities and performance indicators. BDC provides Canadian Heritage with an annual report on the results of its action plan.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

The Action Plan includes fostering the full recognition and use of both OL as one of its objectives.

BDC feels that, as part of its mandate and corporate activities, its policies and programs meet the requirement to foster the full recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society. It has not begun reviewing its policies and programs. The Champion promotes OL within the organization and attends the annual OL Champions' conference.

The Action Plan mentions that BDC applies Part VII of the Act in its daily operations in order to promote Canada's two OL as part of its mandate and organizational priorities. The Action Plan, which is currently being revised, sets out some positive measures to promote linguistic duality and describes the expected results, activities and performance indicators. An annual status report is submitted to Canadian Heritage.