ARCHIVED - Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2007-2008

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Report Card 2007–2008
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has an accountability framework that sets out the roles and responsibilities for official languages (OL), particularly in regard to the OL Champion, managers and employees. The roles and responsibilities of the functional authority for OL are set out in the section concerning the Human Resources Branch. The coordinator for Part VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) works at the Corporate Planning and Reporting Directorate at CIC. The accountability framework describes the manner in which responsibilities under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act are to be carried out, and includes coordination mechanisms and information on how the persons responsible are held accountable. The Executive Committee approved the framework in 2002.

CIC has an action plan (2006–2009) for the implementation of Part VII and an action plan (2007–2010) for Parts IV, V and VI that was approved by the Executive Committee on July 4, 2007. The plans contain objectives, activities, timelines and status information.

CIC uses various mechanisms to measure the achievement of objectives under the action plan for Parts IV, V and VI. CIC uses PeopleSoft and Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) reports, as well as the Human Resources Balanced Scorecard to better understand the overall status of OL in the organization.

The management agreements for senior managers include OL objectives. In order to avoid breaches or inconsistencies in meeting the performance objectives by executives, CIC conducts semi-annual performance reviews.

Annual reports submitted to the Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA), the Public Service Commission and Canadian Heritage also contribute to better awareness of the status of OL. The 2007–2010 Human Resources Planning Guide takes OL objectives into account and provides information on progress monitoring.


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

OL objectives are taken into account during the integrated human resources strategic planning. Given CIC’ mandate, developing an OL and diversity communications strategy is a priority. This strategy requires the Department to update its intranet site and develop a calendar of awareness-building sessions. CIC also has a 2006–2009 employment equity diversity program of which OL is a component.

CIC integrated branches and business lines to draw up business plans that take OL into account.

The 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities links the successful integration of newcomers and the promotion of Canadian citizenship to the federal government's strategic objective of creating a diverse society that fosters linguistic duality and social inclusion.

The Department’s 2006–2007 Performance Report addresses the accomplishments stemming from the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities. In particular, it underlines the activities of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada-Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee (CIC-FMC Steering Committee) as well as the progress on positive measures to encourage immigration to minority French-speaking communities.

OL considerations are integrated into internal audit activities. This year, OL criteria are scheduled to be included in the audit examining CIC’s compliance with legislation on human resources management. The audit will begin by the end of 2007–2008 and will continue into 2008–2009. In addition, an OL analytical framework has been incorporated into the audit criteria for local offices and foreign missions.

OL are a regular topic of discussion for the Executive Committee, the Management Accountability Committee and the CIC Management Committee. This year, discussions dealt with reinforcing OL at CIC, language training and the new role of the Canada School of Public Service.

CIC is currently looking at appointing a new OL Champion. This person will most likely be at the assistant deputy minister level and will sit on every management committee at CIC. The Co-Champion is the Director General, Human Resources, and she also acts as the OL Champion for the human resources community of the public service.

The OL Champion, the team responsible for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, the coordinator for Part VII of the Act and other colleagues who deal with OL meet to develop the annual reports submitted to the CPSA and Canadian Heritage, prepare for the report card interview with the Office of the Commissioner and prepare for the appearances of the Minister, Deputy Minister and OL Champion before the House of Commons. Additional meetings with these participants are arranged when required.

The national OL Coordinator (Parts IV, V and VI) sits on the Consultation Committee on OL and has been one of the participants from the Executive Committee for the OL Dashboard since November 28, 2007. This work has helped in the development of CIC’s human resources management dashboard, in which OL is an indicator. It is now available to all managers and has been available on the intranet since November 2007.

Moreover, in order to ensure continuous visibility of OL in all regions, the national OL Coordinator (Parts IV, V and VI) and her regional OL coordinators have bi-monthly teleconferences every two months to share new information, best practices and complaints. During 2007–2008, there were four teleconferences: in May, August, September and November.

There were three OL information booths set up this year on Parts IV, V and VI: one at the EX conference that took place in Ottawa on September 11, 2007, and two at the national headquarters in Ottawa on December 11 and 13, 2007.


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

The respective coordinators for the different parts of the Act deal with OL complaints. They contact the managers and directors directly involved in the dispute to collect and analyze the information and determine corrective measures. Responses to complaints are shared with managers and directors for approval. Managers and directors are then responsible for implementing the corrective measures required to remedy the situation that gave rise to the complaint. Senior management is always informed of complaints, and is asked to contribute to and approve the responses and corrective measures.

Managers participate in solving problems, in accordance with the OL accountability framework and the CIC/Office of the Commissioner cooperation agreement.

In October 2007, CIC produced draft guidelines for the resolution of complaints that detail the roles and responsibilities of every person involved in the process. The guidelines were developed at the request of managers and regional coordinators in order to increase accountability, efficiency and information sharing among managers and senior management to prevent recurrences. The complaint reports are shared among managers, but do not include the implemented corrective measures.

OL representatives from headquarters and the regional offices hold bi-monthly teleconferences to discuss any new information available, best practices, complaints received and corrective measures adopted to avoid a recurrence of similar problems. In addition, CIC prepares trend profiles of the complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner, which are then submitted to the Executive Committee.

When trends are identified, a note is prepared for the assistant deputy minister of the sector to highlight the trend and an offer is made to provide awareness sessions in order to integrate a preventive approach for the future.
The Office of the Commissioner issued a series of recommendations for designated medical practitioners in January 2007 and CIC has just finalized the production of the official action plan for their implementation.




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

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

CIC’s bilingual offices are listed in Burolis, and the blue pages contain a 1-888 number where service is offered in both OL. In offices that are designated bilingual for the purposes of service to the public, signs, posters and other written notices are in both OL and are visible to the general public. The Treasury Board symbol is displayed in offices that are designated bilingual. The voice messaging systems are bilingual.

When an office changes location, the information is conveyed to the Human Resources Branch, which sends the information to the CPSA so it can be updated in Burolis. In order to ensure that the public is aware of the new locations of offices, the automatic voicemail system announces the changes to bilingual services in the regions.

In total, 95% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

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 95% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 22% 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 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 96% of cases.


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

OL clauses are included in contribution agreements for settlement and resettlement programs in order to clarify the obligations of service providers.

CIC’s corporate OL functional authority has followed up to ensure that the guidelines are still relevant. The Department is still planning to review their implementation to assist regional and local offices in selecting service providers that are able to offer settlement and resettlement services in both OL, based on the amended language provisions. Tools are distributed as required to service providers to support them in promoting the availability of services in both OL.

Where the supplier is required to provide a product in both OL, this requirement is identified in the statement of work prepared for the supplier.


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

Although the Department does not have its own policy or guidelines on service to the public, the OL accountability framework briefly covers the responsibilities of support and front-line staff who deliver services to the public.

The Department posts the CPSA’s policy on the use of OL for communications with and services to the public on its intranet site. The Department is also developing a generic policy on service delivery, which will cover all aspects of service delivery, including OL. It is the opinion of the Department that, by including OL in the wider operations of employees providing services to the public, OL requirements will be better understood and implemented.

Occasional reminders are sent to employees who provide service to the public on how to offer and deliver services in both OL. For example, in May 2007, employees in the Quebec region received an e-mail reminding them of their obligations pertaining to active offer and external communications. In September, an awareness session on OL was provided to the Client Services Unit in the Human Resources Branch. The session focused on the Department’s obligations to communicate with and serve members of the public in their preferred OL.

To verify the availability and quality of services to the public in the official language of the linguistic minority, the regional coordinators and managers conduct spot checks of service in person and service on the telephone. The trend report on complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner also helps the OL Coordinator identify regions and sectors of activity where awareness and reminders could be required.

Furthermore, to ensure bilingual services during citizenship ceremonies, CIC worked in partnership with the office of a senior judge to develop a bilingual CD-ROM of the judges’ and clerks’ speeches. A copy of the speeches and the CD-ROM was distributed to all judges during their retreat in November 2007.




Language of Work—Part V (25%)

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

Although the Department does not have a policy or guidelines on language of work, the OL accountability framework identifies employees’ right to work in the language of their choice. The Department also posts the CPSA’s language of work policy on its intranet site. In addition, CIC has a management framework that covers language training. CIC thus continues to make language training more accessible to employees and to implement measures to ensure that employees retain their second language. Moreover, the language profile review management framework requires a CBC language profile for all EXs and supervisory positions in bilingual regions. This framework helps CIC meet the statutory language requirements and take measures to strengthen its linguistic capacity and optimize the use of both OL.

The Department has put into place various language of work measures in regions that are designated bilingual to promote the use of the official language of the linguistic minority in the workplace. In addition, one of the Deputy Minister’s priorities is to promote bilingualism within the Department. Employees are encouraged to acquire and retain new language skills using various tools, including the TERMIUM® terminology database and subscriptions to French-language newspapers and publications. Learning tools are also available at learning centres, including French self-instruction CD-ROMs, videos, cassettes and books. CIC has prepared a draft of a document titled A Look at OL in CIC, which deals with such subjects as the rights of employees and the duties of supervisors. This document will be used at orientation sessions for new employees in regions designated bilingual for the purposes of language of work.

In December 2007, the Learning and Development Division at CIC launched its new intranet site, which included new official language training initiatives. The Division also carried out a pilot project from June 18 to July 27, 2007, on telephone coaching in French with managers from different regions to verify and evaluate the need for this learning approach.

In total, 96% of executives holding bilingual positions are bilingual, while 91% of supervisors in bilingual regions meet the requirements of their respective positions (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

Managers and employees receive occasional messages reminding them of their OL obligations. During a Management Committee meeting, the OL Coordinator in the Atlantic region reminded managers of their OL obligations. In May 2007, employees in the Quebec region received an e-mail regarding rights and obligations related to language of work and internal communications.

In order to increase awareness among managers and employees about OL, the Strategic Resourcing Division and the Learning and Development Division are preparing a joint communications strategy to promote each person’s OL roles and responsibilities.

CIC continues to deliver orientation sessions during which new employees are informed of their rights in terms of language of work. During meetings, managers encourage participants to communicate in the official language of their choice.

Management Committee meetings are conducted in both OL and the minutes of every meeting are prepared in both OL.

To monitor the application of the language of work policy, CIC uses the annual report submitted to the CPSA to verify the status of the implementation of the OL action plan. OL coordinators use conference calls to share ideas on best practices for language of work. The Department also uses the results of the language of work survey conducted on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner to validate and align their priorities for the implementation of the OL action plan.

Finally, as a participant in the Best Practices Forum, the national OL Coordinator shares information with CIC’s OL network.

The Public Service Employee Survey showed that, overall, 72% 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, 59% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.




Equitable participationPart VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 31.9% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 18.4% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).




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

The Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2007 refers to the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities and to the activities of the CIC-FMC Steering Committee. The Strategic Plan aims to promote the immigration, integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers in French communities outside Quebec. This plan was published in September 2006.

The CIC-FMC Steering Committee, which was set up in 2002, serves as a permanent mechanism to ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the obligation to foster the development of Francophone minority communities. The Steering Committee submits an annual progress report to the Minister.

In addition, CIC uses the three-year (2006–2009) action plan for the implementation of section 41 and its accompanying annual status report, both submitted to Canadian Heritage, as an ongoing monitoring mechanism.

Templates used for the preparation of memoranda to Cabinet and submissions to Treasury Board include criteria for the development of OLMCs and for the promotion of linguistic duality.

In its accountability framework, which is organized by program, CIC reflects the number of landed residents who integrate into Francophone minority communities.  

A new branch was created in April 2006 to manage and coordinate the federal/provincial-territorial agreements as well as the agreements with service providers and other third parties and partners to ensure that OL obligations are taken into account and to assess their impact.

In 2007, the Operational Management and Coordination Branch  delivered presentations to employees in the Atlantic region to inform them of their obligations with regard to contribution agreements.

In order to raise awareness about Part VII, in June 2007, a presentation on the Canadian Heritage document Guide for Federal Institutions: Official Languages Act – Part VII was made to the Management Committee. Subsequently, a message was sent by the Deputy Minister to all employees on the Guide and the obligations under the Act. In March 2007, the Executive Committee discussed the impact of the amendments to the Act and the overall OL situation at CIC.

The action plan on section 41 is largely based on the Strategic Plan and includes the outcomes of the consultations with Francophone minority communities and key organizations. CIC plans include positive measures to contribute to the development of Francophone minority communities in the regions and to promote linguistic duality within the organization, across Canada and abroad. The Department established an assessment mechanism for its action plan, which includes performance indicators.


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


The OL regional coordinators ensure liaison with Francophone minority communities. Representatives from these communities, selected by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA), are part of the CIC-FMC Steering Committee, which facilitates liaison with Francophone minority communities and advocacy associations.

Because of their participation in the CIC-FMC Steering Committee, director generals from various branches are aware of the impact of their programs and policies on the development of Francophone minority communities.

CIC consults with the CIC-FMC Steering Committee and the FCFA to identify the needs of Francophone minority communities. For example, at the Steering Committee meeting held in September 2007, the FCFA described the situation of local immigration networks and provided recommendations to the Committee. The Committee is analyzing the recommendations and the situation, and plans to respond to the FCFA on this matter. Regular consultations are organized to discuss priorities and next steps. CIC also informed Francophone minority communities of the development and improvement of communications tools for their members.

In 2007, new regional committees and networks were created across Canada to find out more about needs and priorities in relation to the implementation of the Strategic Plan and to ensure that Francophone immigration to minority communities is coordinated in such a way as to contribute to the communities’ development.

In the course of the last year, CIC has taken various positive measures to contribute to the development of Francophone minority communities. The Strategic Plan Implementation Committee was established in January 2007 to ensure the joint implementation of the plan with regional and local networks, and federal, provincial, territorial and community partners. The Committee works in consultation with all regions and meets at least twice a year.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)


In March 2007, CIC organized a celebration for the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. During the event, the Deputy Minister spoke of the importance of the contribution of Francophone newcomers and of section 41 of the Act. In July 2007, the Deputy Minister sent the Canadian Heritage document Guide for Federal Institutions: Official Languages Act – Part VII to all employees. In his message, he highlighted the importance of OL and of CIC’s OL obligations.

In November 2007, CIC participated in a wide-scale promotion activity for Francophone minority communities called Destination Canada, which stopped in Paris, Nice and Brussels. Provincial and association representatives participated in the event to promote working and living in Canada to prospective French-speaking immigrants.

In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and  Francophone minority communities, CIC also carried out many promotional activities to increase the recruitment of qualified immigrants and students across the country. The Department held awareness sessions in Francophone minority communities and developed and improved its information and tools for these communities. In addition, CIC provided financial support for the creation of a guide for newcomers. This document is adapted to the reality of the north-west region of New Brunswick and provides information to help newcomers to the area. The guide is available in both OL.

From a globalization and human capital standpoint, CIC continues to take positive measures to foster the full recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society through the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program. LINC provides basic language training to adult newcomers in one of Canada’s OL. Designed to facilitate social, cultural and economic integration into Canadian society, LINC courses are provided, either on a full- or part-time basis, by school boards, colleges, community organizations and workplaces or in community settings. The Program also provides information that helps acquaint participants with the Canadian way of life. CIC is committed to focusing on the French-language component of the Program in order to increase the current level of service. As such, CIC financed two additional LINC projects in French, in Ottawa and Moncton.

In 2005–2006, CIC provided funding for the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks to perform a review of the lexical semantics and syntax of the French version of the Canadian Language Benchmarks. The new document, entitled Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens 2006, was validated in 2006–2007.

Through special initiatives to facilitate integration into the labour market, CIC promotes the development of skills and human resources to improve the labour market outcomes of immigrants. The Enhanced Language Training (ELT) initiative benefits both newcomers and employers and has shown that it can facilitate the integration of newcomers into the Canadian labour market. The initiative has helped immigrants improve their language, pronunciation and workplace skills, as well as improve their self-confidence through a variety of bridge-to-work activities and services. Three years after the launch of ELT, over 246 projects have been completed or are underway, providing services to an estimated 9,000 skilled newcomers. In 2006–2007, La Cité collégiale, Collège Boréal and the Ontario College of Teachers received funding under ELT to provide enhanced language and labour market training specifically to French-speaking immigrants.