ARCHIVED - Canada Economic Development for Regions of Quebec 2007-2008

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 Report Card 2007–2008
Canada Economic Development for Regions of Quebec

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

The Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec has an accountability framework for the Official Languages Act (the Act) and a policy on institutional bilingualism. These documents describe all of the official languages (OL) roles and responsibilities for all sectors of the Agency, as well as coordination mechanisms and how responsible individuals are held accountable. The Accountability Framework specifies how obligations under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act are to be fulfilled.

The Action Plan, which has been approved by senior management, outlines the objectives to be achieved, planned activities, and timelines. The achievement of the Action Plan's objectives is assessed in the OL Annual Review submitted to the Canada Public Services Agency (CPSA) and signed by the President. The latter forwarded her strategic objectives to the Agency's senior executives. Priorities, expectations and desired results, which include OL, are set out in a performance agreement between the President and senior executives. The internal OL committee made up of directors coordinates and monitors the application of the OL Program within the Agency.

The Agency has a five-year evaluation and audit plan on the application the Official Languages Act (2006–2007 to 2010–2011).


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

One of the internal OL committee's roles is to ensure that the provisions regarding the OL Program are included in the various activities of the Agency's integrated management cycle. The 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities makes special reference to linguistic minorities. The 2006–2007 Performance Report devotes a section to section 41 of the Act. In March 2007, the Agency’s audit team presented the results of its audit, which specifically targeted the Community Futures Program.

The Corporate Management Committee discusses OL issues. The OL Champion is a director general and sits on the Management Committee. She meets regularly with the persons responsible for implementing Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act.


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

No complaints were filed against the Agency in 2007 with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL). Administrative guidelines on managing OL complaints are in place.

If a complaint is filed, a working group composed of a representative from the affected sector, the Human Resources Division Coordinator and Legal Services is set up to gather and analyze information and to develop a response strategy. OL coordinators, together with Legal Services, must ensure that corrective measures are taken and appropriate controls are implemented in order to prevent recurrences. Senior management is regularly informed of trends and problems that may have an impact on the Agency. The Agency reports on complaints received in its Annual Review to CPSA.




Service to the Public — Part IV (25%)

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

Designated bilingual offices are identified in Burolis, in the blue pages and on the Agency's Internet site.

A total of 95% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: Position and Classification Information System [PCIS], March 31, 2007).


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

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active visual offer was present in 91% of cases, an active offer by staff was made 27% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 91% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 86% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.


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

There is an OL clause that specifies the parties' obligations in contribution agreements. Program officers verify that this clause is included and check the content.

Complaints received and information in contribution reports are used to determine whether third parties deliver quality services in both OL.


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

The section dealing with the language of service to the public, which is included in the Institutional Bilingualism Policy, sets out the requirements for the delivery of bilingual services and communications. The policy statement and preamble outline the Agency's commitment to the equal status of English and French. Employees are kept up to date via the intranet site, internal communications, the G@zette, and Kaléidoscope, the employee newspaper. A regional OL tour conducted in the fall of 2007 helped raise employees' awareness and keep them informed. The issue of active offer was discussed.
The Agency conducts an annual survey and produces a report on the accessibility and quality of services offered in English to the Anglophone community. According to this survey, the Agency’s Anglophone clients are satisfied with its products and services, particularly in terms of the quality of written information (100%), service over the telephone (97.6%) and in-person service (97.4%).

In March 2007, the Agency finalized an audit to respond to the recommendations of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The purpose of the audit was to determine if community futures development corporations (CFDCs) and business development centres (BDCs) were providing adequate services in both official languages. In November 2007, a presentation was made to the Agency on the contractual obligations of CFDCs and BDCs regarding official languages.

The Annual Review to CPSA is another control mechanism.




Language of Work—Part V (25%)

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

The Institutional Bilingualism Policy includes a section on language of work, which sets out the obligations and rights relating to supervision, central and personal services, professional training and development, work instruments and computer systems, language of meetings and internal communications.

Employees are encouraged to discuss their language training or learning retention requirements with their manager and to record them in their learning plan. In addition to language training, the Agency offers language skills development sessions to help employees retain or develop their language proficiency. The Agency also ensures that the computer systems it acquires or produces complies with the requirements under the Act. A computerized learning management system has been implemented.

Expenses for second-language learning activities, whether for the purpose of maintaining or enhancing skills or for career development purposes, totalled more than $127,000. In total, 101 employees (22% of the workforce), took this training over the course of the year through different learning modes.

In total, 100% of senior management in bilingual positions are bilingual, while 91% of supervisors in bilingual regions meet the requirements of their position (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

Presentations given during the regional OL tour in the fall of 2007 reminded employees and managers of their obligations with respect to language of work. A presentation was given to the internal OL committee about language of work obligations.

A pamphlet entitled English and French in the Workplace is distributed to new employees as part of the Agency's integration strategy. Participants are reminded at the beginning of each meeting of their right to use the official language of their choice. Management committee meetings are held in both official languages, depending on the topics of discussion.

The Agency uses complaints received and the results of the Public Service Employee Survey to monitor the application of the language of work policy.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL showed that overall, 93% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR) "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. Due to the small number of Anglophone respondents in the bilingual regions of Quebec, OCOL was unable to use the results of the survey for this population.




Equitable Participation—Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 97.7% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 1.8% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).




Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality—Part VII (25%)


Common Points for Both Criteria

The Agency has produced an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act and produces an annual status report. The objectives of section 41 have been included in departmental planning and reporting documents. The Accountability Framework specifies that one of the responsibilities of the Director, Policy and Planning Branch, is to determine, at the onset, as part of its strategic planning, and strategy and policy development, whether there will be an impact on the vitality of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality, and if so, to specify the required action and expected results. The Program Activity Architecture, prepared by the Integrated Planning Directorate is the tool that helps ensure that OLMCs and the promotion of duality are taken into account. In addition, one of the roles of the internal OL committee is to ensure that the provisions on the OL Program are included in the various activities of the Agency's integrated management cycle. Furthermore, the purpose of a communication plan (internal and external) is to support the Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41 of the Part VII of the Act.

Further to the amendments made to the Act, at the last meeting of the Executive Committee, the OL Champion presented the new obligations for taking positive measures to enhance the vitality and support development of Francophone and Anglophone minorities in Canada and to support and assist their development. Discussions were then held on the issue. Another presentation on Part VII was given in October 2007 to the members of senior management in order to prepare the Agency’s next plan (2008–2013).

In addition to a national coordinator, the Agency has a team of coordinators in various business offices that are well known to OLMCs to liaise and share information internally. Furthermore, the internal committee ensures that information on OL is distributed within the branches of the Agency’s head office. Also, the regional tour helped continue to raise employees’ awareness and provided an opportunity to share information on OL and OLMCs.

The regional tour presentations on OL explained the Agency’s obligations in terms of Part VII of the Act to employees and managers.

Based on its mandate to ensure regional and community development, the Agency feels that its policies and programs help fulfill its commitment to support OLMC development. In cooperation with Legal Services, the Agency has revised its Accountability Framework and developed tools to train its regional and headquarters staff, and share information. The Agency is currently reviewing certain projects jointly with Industry Canada. These projects include distance entrepreneurship training and knowledge economy internships. The new programs and policies must be analyzed in order to take Part VII into account.

In 2006–2007, the Agency approved 76 new projects for Quebec's English-speaking community, worth a total of $16.8 million. As of March 31, 2007, the Agency had 296 projects in progress totalling $66.6 million in financial assistance and $238.7 million in investments.

The Institut national de la recherche scientifique has just completed on behalf of the Agency a study entitled “Socio-economic Profile of the Anglophone Community in Quebec and in the Various Regions of the Province”. The results of this study will help the Agency and all federal institutions in Quebec become more familiar with the socio-economic characteristics of the English-speaking community in Quebec as a whole, as well as the Greater Montreal Area and the other regions of the province. The study addresses the size of the English-speaking community, its geographic distribution, its age structure, its knowledge of other languages and its labour market situation.

A translation budget has been allotted to partner agencies under the contractual agreement between the Agency and community futures development corporations (CFDC), and business development centres that serve an Anglophone clientele (CEDECs). The Agency makes sure to include in its contracts with non-profit organizations a clause on official language requirements, when Anglophone clients are served under approved projects.

The Agency worked closely with the YES in developing the Opportunities Through Internships project, which consisted in providing 24 young Anglophones with a work experience that will help them in starting up a business or in their job search. After completing these internships with Anglophone partners and businesses in Montreal and the Eastern Townships region, 85% of these young people entered the labour market or went back to school. A second phase of 20 internships is in progress. Furthermore, several initiatives coordinated by the Community Economic Development and Employability Committee (CEDEC) on the Lower North Shore are in progress or will be initiated over the next few months in this predominately English-speaking area.

The Agency is also working with various federal agencies to expand and complete its offer of services for OLMCs. Agency representatives attend the meetings of national and regional coordinators responsible for section 41, which are organized by Canadian Heritage. On April 24, 2007, Agency representatives participated in consultations between the representatives of Quebec’s Anglophone communities and senior federal officials, which were organized by Canadian Heritage.

As set out in the communication plan, which aims to increase participation by Anglophones in the economic development of their community, the Agency participated in several formal and informal consultations and exchanges with Anglophone communities. The Agency also actively participated in organizing and holding sectoral consultations with the Anglophone community, in cooperation with Industry Canada. The Agency regularly attends the meetings of the National Committee for English Linguistic Minority Community Human Resources Development and co-chairs the Standing Working Group on Job Creation and Economic Diversification. The Agency also organized a series of meetings with representatives from the Community Table in order to explore avenues for cooperation.

The Agency holds regular discussions with the Community Economic Development and Employability Committees (CEDEC). Advisory committees (development and implementation of the vitality index and the social investment network) involving the Anglophone community have been put in place at the request of the Agency. The Agency has given a few ad hoc presentations to the members of the Anglophone community, depending on the work status, the progress made under certain pilot projects and the phases of the OL Action Plan. The Agency distributes the Status Report to the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) and the Community Roundtable and posts it on the Internet.


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


The Action Plan (2004–2008) describes the activities’ objectives, the expected results and the responsibilities. There are no specific performance indicators. The Action Plan is being revised and will take into consideration the needs identified by OLMCs.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)


Although activities and projects have been undertaken to promote linguistic duality, the current Action Plan does not set out any specific promotion measures. The Action Plan is being reviewed and will take into consideration the promotion of linguistic duality.

A section on the Agency’s Internet site provides information in both OL to the general public on how the Agency is implementing section 41 of the Act.

Internally, the Agency has been promoting linguistic duality in several ways, particularly during the regional training tour. Also over the last year, more than 20% of the Agency’s workforce has taken language training.