ARCHIVED - CBC/Radio-Canada 2008-2009

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2008-2009 Report Card

Official Languages Program Management


CBC/Radio-Canada has an action plan for the implementation of the official languages program covering activities related to its obligations under Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act. In the plan, the institution included targeted measures directly related to internal audits and the shortcomings identified in previous report cards. The measures include an update to its strategic documents on the official languages program; an internal observation of services delivered in both official languages; an awareness campaign on active offer and service to the public in designated bilingual offices; an information campaign on employees’ language rights; an employee satisfaction survey on the language of work regime; and regular information on the official languages program and priorities for management committees and the board of directors.

It was noted, however, that the institution’s targeted measures to correct shortcomings in signage and greeting visitors, which were identified during an on-site audit in 2007–2008, had not been completely implemented as of the first quarter of 2008–2009.

Nonetheless, the timelines set out in the action plan to implement these measures are reasonable and supported by a corporate communications strategy. The action plan is submitted to the executive committee for approval, and the official languages champion presents the results obtained and progress made.

As an institution designated by Canadian Heritage, CBC/Radio-Canada is required to submit a specific action plan for fulfilling its obligations under section 41 of the Act. Although the action plan contains targeted measures for the development of French-speaking minority communities outside Quebec, there are few concrete initiatives promoting the development and vitality of the English-speaking minority community in Quebec.

It was also noted that the targeted action plan on the application of section 41 does not identify any specific measures for regional consultation on major changes in its activities or its workforce, or any improved practices for promoting regional representation of official language minority communities (OLMCs) on its two networks or to expand access to its signals, all of which were brought to the attention of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and communicated to the institution.

CBC/Radio-Canada raised the issue of jurisdiction over programming complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Despite some discussion between the Commissioner and CBC/Radio-Canada, the Corporation refuses to cooperate with the Commissioner’s representatives on investigations conducted on the Commissioner’s behalf regarding issues that, according to CBC/Radio-Canada, stem from programming decisions.

With respect to complaints that are not related to the dispute, such as signage in both official languages, the institution should implement more preventive measures to avoid complaints, and corrective measures could be implemented in a more timely manner.


Service to the Public-Part IV of the Official Languages Act (30%)

According to observations of service in person made by the Office of the Commissioner between June and December 2008, an active visual offer was present in 62.5% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 12.5% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was available in 91.7% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by the Office of the Commissioner between June and December 2008, 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 available in 90.9% of cases.

According to observations of service by e-mail made by the Office of the Commissioner between September and December 2008, the availability of service is comparable for both linguistic groups 70% of the time, and benefits Anglophones 30% of the time. However, the response time is, on average, 6.39 hours longer in French than in English.


Language of Work - Part V of the Official Languages Act (25%)

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner showed that, overall, 86.0% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR), New Brunswick and the bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 86.6% of Anglophone respondents were of the same opinion.

For both categories of respondents, the satisfaction rate by question is presented below.

Survey Questions

Anglophone Respondents

Francophone Respondents

The material and tools provided for my work, including software and other automated tools, are available in the official language of my choice.



When I prepare written materials, including electronic mail, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.



When I communicate with my immediate supervisor, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.



During meetings in my work unit, I feel free to use the official language of my choice.



The training offered by my work unit is in the official language of my choice.




Participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians - Part IV of the Official Languages Act (10%)

Overall, the workforce is 48.4% Francophone.

In Quebec, excluding the NCR, the workforce is 4.4% Anglophone.

(Source: CBC/Radio-Canada, December 21, 2008)


Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality - Part VII of the Official Languages Act (20%)

CBC/Radio-Canada uses a variety of tools to measure the impact of its activities on OLMCs and linguistic duality, including audience ratings; satisfaction levels extrapolated from comments by listeners, viewers and Web site users; targeted regional surveys on audience needs and satisfaction levels (Northern Ontario in 2007, and Acadia and Western Canada in 2008); regional consultation tours involving regional offices and OLMC representatives; and the regions’ panel for Radio-Canada’s various sectors and media. The regions’ panel discussions were enhanced in 2008–2009 with the integration of the three media platforms (radio, television and Internet) and the participation of program sector chiefs. However, according to situations brought to the attention of the Office of the Commissioner, it would be in CBC/Radio-Canada’s interest to integrate the needs identified by the communities into decision making regarding its activities.

Along with its communication, consultation and collaboration activities with OLMCs, Radio-Canada concluded its consultations and discussions with the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF) and Canadian Heritage, renewing the multi-party memorandum of understanding for the development of Canadian Francophonie arts and culture, under which CBC/Radio-Canada commits to promoting French-speaking artists across Canada and helping the FCCF promote its productions.

In spring 2008, Radio-Canada Musique decided to pre-launch its new music promotion initiative in OLMCs. CBC/Radio-Canada invited the FCCF and the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada to explain the goals of the initiative, consult them on the formats and content that could be adopted, and invite them to become key partners in these activities. The pre-launch produced tangible benefits that went beyond the targeted objectives, including the launch of a project in which the FCCF and network researchers meet to enhance regional content from the OLMCs in cultural programs.

In the Atlantic region, just a few months after changes were made to regional programming and the promotion of its shows, ratings went up among Francophone listeners.

All CBC/Radio-Canada regional stations serving OLMCs outside Quebec and in Quebec benefit from special funding from the president for regional television development and from funding for transcultural projects. The director general of regional services for Radio-Canada and the regional director general for English-language radio and television services in Quebec help determine eligibility criteria and funding allocations.

As for positive measures that contribute to the vitality of OLMCs and help promote linguistic duality, Radio-Canada has become a partner of the Francoforce festival, which promotes the Francophonie in Canada.

Within CBC/Radio-Canada, the president launched a corporate consultation program involving executives, employees and union members. The Challenge Us/Mettez-nous au défi program made it possible for the two networks to adopt a shared vision for improving service in the regions.


Overall Rating