ARCHIVED - Canadian Forces 2007-2008

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Report Card 2007–2008
Canadian Forces

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

The roles and responsibilities for Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) are set out in the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Forces (CF) Official Languages (OL) Strategic Plan, now known as the National Defence OL Program Transformation Model, dated October 25, 2006.

According to this plan, the DND/CF OL program is better aligned with the requirements of the Act and DND administrative, organizational and operational requirements. Rather than taking a public service position-based approach to management, which is not specifically designed for DND/CF organizations, the CF will manage its OL program and obligations using an authorized functional team-based approach. The CF will manage and report its OL obligations on a unit or point of service functional basis. Commanding officers will take full responsibility and manage their OL program requirements in the same manner as they manage all requirements.

Approved by the Management Committee, the Transformation Model describes OL measures, identifies persons in charge and deals with performance measurement. It also establishes three specific objectives, along with activities to be carried out, which are ranked by priority. Senior managers are committed to OL, as reflected in the senior officers’ personal development reviews and by mandatory learning plans, in which they are required to establish OL performance objectives to achieve a CBC language profile.

The Transformation Model supports the action plan for the transformation of the OL program as well as related accountability mechanisms. Priority 1 activities, including the establishment of timelines and performance indicators, have been targeted in order to implement the Transformation Model in the medium term (2007–2012).

The Transformation Model assigns a larger role to OL coordinators in terms of performance measurement within their respective units or commands and makes them responsible, among other things, for performing OL audits.


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

The Transformation Model, the Chief of Military Personnel Human Resources Functional Guidance to Commanders, the Chief of Defence Staff and the deputy minister letter of October 15, 2007, reflect the objectives regarding the implementation of the OL program.

The 2006–2007 Performance Report and the 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities reflect the objectives of the OL program. While recent internal audit activities have not officially looked at OL, internal CF-wide studies and activities have and will include, as required, questions on OL, including questions on the quality of bilingual services. For example, the project to review unit language designations, functions and positions has been ongoing for several years. As well, the fall 2007 Your-Say regular forces survey included specific questions on OL.

The Transformation Model was also discussed at the Chief of Military Personnel orientation session on September 26, 2007, and was discussed at the base commanders’ forum on November 22, 2007.  

There are two OL champions: the Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources - Civilian) and the Chief of Military Personnel. The institution is also supported by a department-wide OL coordinators’ network (made up of approximately 60 civilian and military personnel) for which the Director of OL is the functional authority. Moreover, the institution is revitalizing the network by reinforcing coordinators’ duties and responsibilities to better align their support role with the recently announced transformation of DND’s OL program.

The two champions and the Director of OL work closely together since the latter is responsible for the implementation of all parts of the Act within DND and the CF. The Director of OL meets regularly with both champions to discuss the status of OL within DND and the CF. The second aim of the Transformation Model is to raise awareness, and to that effect DND has started an awareness campaign with articles in The Maple Leaf and the production of information pamphlets, posters, etc., to be distributed throughout 2008.


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

Complaints are received by the Director of OL and handled by an officer who is in charge of coordinating and following up on all complaints. The Assistant Deputy Minister and OL coordinators are also informed of complaints, and the appropriate managers are personally involved in determining lasting solutions.

Information on complaints is shared with the Management Team and members of the OL Coordinators’ Network. The latter raise matters of interest with their commanding officer and his or her staff to reduce the impact of systemic problems in a simple and practical manner.

DND is increasing the number of employees in its complaints resolution section to improve the tracking and reporting of complaint resolution activities. DND is also in the process of developing Defence Administrative Orders and Directives for the complaint process.




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

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

In the CF, 22 units in 72 locations have a mandate to communicate with and provide services to the public. Of these 72 offices, 66 are required to offer services in both OL. These offices are recruiting centers, search and rescue coordination centers, public affairs offices and the air traffic control tower at CFB Bagotville. The Canada Public Service Agency’s office codes are assigned for the purposes of tracking this objective.

Bilingual points of service are advertised in Burolis and in the blue pages of telephone directories. All changes are made as soon as the Director of OL has been informed of the change and the correction request has been approved.

The CF are unable to provide accurate statistical data on their bilingual capacity to serve the public at this time.


(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 94% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 6% of cases, and service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 78% 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 90% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 84% of cases.


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

Service contracts are developed in accordance with OL requirements. During the visits he conducted as part of the project to review the language designations of CF units, civilian positions and military functions, the Director of OL raised awareness among commanding officers (or their executive assistants) about the requirement to include a clause specifying the obligation of third parties to provide services in both OL, where required. To that end, an effective mechanism to ensure the compliance of third party service delivery must still be developed, since compliance relies on awareness.

The contracting authority is responsible for monitoring the quality of services provided in both OL. Internal complaints that are brought to the attention of the OL Coordinator or the Director of OL are the only factors that could serve as control mechanisms.


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

The initial segment of the project to review the language designations of CF units, civilian positions and military functions has resulted in a new list of designated units. The members of the office of the Director of OL are working on completing the civilian positions and military functions framework components necessary to complete this objective. This framework is expected by April 2008, and will be reviewed by senior management before it is announced by a general message addressed to all DND/CF personnel. The process will help raise employee's awareness of language requirements in terms of communications with and service to the public.

Until then, the Director of OL will continue providing instructions to personnel through a draft directive reiterating the obligations regarding the use of OL for communications with and service to the public.

The members of the office of the Director of OL and the OL Coordinators’ Network are currently developing a spot check program to be rolled out in 2008. This program will help accurately determine the ability of DND’s military and civilian personnel to coherently and consistently provide bilingual leadership, instruction and services, when and where required by the Act. In the meantime, internal or external complaints from the Office of the Commissioner serve as control mechanisms regarding the use of the public’s preferred official language.




Language of Work—Part V (25%)

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

Similar to the framework for communications with and services to the public, which addresses all requirements in this respect, the language of work framework will cover all requirements regarding language of work. The language of work is generally the language that predominates in the province or territory where the work unit is located. However, DND, the CF and the Director of OL have designated additional bilingual units in unilingual regions in order to provide employees with equal opportunities to work in their official language of choice and to advance in their careers, in accordance with Parts V and VI of the Act. For example, CF French-speaking members who do not work in Quebec or in regions that are designated bilingual have an opportunity to work in French in Nova Scotia in a French-language unit, HMCS VILLE DE QUÉBEC, which is located in Halifax. The recently completed project to review language designations has proposed an additional 35 bilingual units be created throughout Canada. This includes having bilingual units in non-prescribed regions, which is not required by Part V, but fosters CF compliance with Part VI of the Act.

The Director of OL is expected to provide a directive to the OL Champions by the end of April 2008. When approved, it will be announced by a general message, which will help raise awareness of the rights and obligations related to language of work.

There are tools in place to facilitate the use of both OL in the workplace, such as posters in conference rooms reminding people of their right to use the OL of their choice, and the Director of OL’s calendar, which is distributed to all personnel and includes key messages on the importance of using both OL in the workplace.

In addition, over the last year, more than $18 million was allocated to personnel language training and more than $20 million was allocated to translation services to promote the use of both OL.

As of February 28, 2007, the military senior EX group (Col/Capt(N) and above) shows an increase of 7% (from 55% to 62%) in the number of individuals who have achieved a linguistic profile of CBC (Source: information provided by CF, January 2008).


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

The initial phase of the project to review the language designation of CF units, civilian positions and military functions was completed and released in September 2007. This will be one of the pillars of the transformation of the OL program within DND/CF and contributes to the creation of a respectful workplace. Progress made by this project has been reported in an article published in the CF newspaper The Maple Leaf, on the CF Web site and internally. The purpose was to raise awareness among employees regarding the use of both OL in the workplace and the new OL program management methodology in the units.

Under the OL Awareness and Education Program, members of the office of the Director of OL have given presentations in bilingual bases and units on language of work to remind managers of their obligations and personnel of their rights in this area.

Management Committee meetings are conducted in both OL, but the use of English is predominant.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner showed that, overall, 36% of Francophone respondents in bilingual units in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario (National Capital Region excluded), New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the National Capital Region "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec (National Capital Region excluded), 56% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.

Particular problem (-5 points)
The lack of a sufficient number of bilingual military supervisors and military members capable of providing central and personal services in both languages adversely affects the creation of a workplace that is conducive to the effective use of both OL.




Equitable participation—Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 27.6% Francophone (Source: Position and Classification Information System [PCIS], March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 6.7% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).




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


This past year, the Chief of Defence Staff and Deputy Minister issued directives to senior commanders to ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the obligation to foster the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and to promote linguistic duality. Specific Defence Administrative Orders and Directives are being developed to address this issue.

In addition, the strategic management map for DND targets leadership and inclusiveness as strategic aims. The directives issued by the Chief of the Defence Staff and Deputy Minister specifically require commanders throughout the CF to plan, identify and support the CF’s obligation to foster the equal status of both OL.

The OL Directorate has developed and given a presentation for senior managers at the base commanders’ and base and wing chief warrant officers’ forum to increase awareness of the OL program. The presentation included a section on federal institutions' obligations and responsibilities stemming from Part VII of the Act. Discussions took place at the meeting of the OL Advisory Committee convened by the Director of OL in December 2007 in this regard. Senior management of the CF was briefed in December 2007 by the Commissioner of OL, who encouraged members to take the needs of OLMCs into account. Outreach activities have also been undertaken in the three branches (Army, Air Force and Navy) to raise their awareness of the OL program and to reinforce the requirement to integrate the needs of OLMCs into strategic planning and policy and program development.

OL coordinators at all levels of the organization regularly work with OLMCs in the areas around military bases. The linguistic minorities on the military bases are referred to local minority language groups through various social activities, such as the St. Jean Baptiste Day celebrations.
The OL Directorate also developed a presentation asking personnel to focus on the needs of communities in terms of Part VII of the Act. This presentation was distributed to the OL coordinators, who actively spread the message within their command sector to ensure that greater attention is paid to the needs of linguistic minority communities.

The CF have not begun reviewing their policies and programs to identity those that have an impact on the development of OLMCs and on the advancement of the equal status and use of English and French.

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




Military family resource centres compile and maintain records on local linguistic minority infrastructure and businesses. This positive measure facilitates access to health, legal and educational services by members of the OLMC on the base in their language of choice. It contributes to the development of local OLMCs, as well as of those on the bases, by maintaining links that help sustain and develop the infrastructure and businesses required for their sustainability and development.

The CF have drawn up an agreement with Emploi Québec to ensure the English-language program at the Valcartier Family Centre offers job search assistance to 70 people from Québec City’s Anglophone population and five people from the Chaudière-Appalaches region. The service is provided in the form of individual job counselling that meets the client’s needs. Workshops are also offered to support the employment process.

The CF remain committed to developing an action plan for the development of OLMCs in conjunction with other government departments, and attends OL committee meetings when this item is put on the agenda. Additionally, commanders and OL coordinators are instructed to develop plans, support initiatives and measure results.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

As an example of a positive measure, the Royal Military College regularly alternates between both OL, through its “language of the week” initiative. Thus, for the first two weeks of the month, French is used and spoken, while English is the language of choice for the rest of the month. The language of the week is clearly indicated in the student cafeteria to ensure the highest possible participation rate.

In Valcartier, a French-language immersion program with local Francophone families is offered to Anglophone residents on the base so that they can increase their knowledge and use of their second language. In Petawawa, a second-language training program is offered to military spouses at the base to help them integrate more successfully into the community and acquire second language competency.