ARCHIVED - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) does not have a formal accountability framework as such, but other documents and mechanisms serve this purpose. The document dated March 28, 2000, posted on the Intranet, Official Languages Policy Review, describes the new framework for official languages (OL), i.e. links with organizational values, obligations of the Official Languages Act, role of vice-presidents and managers and implications for employees, etc. This document was subsequently supplemented by an Official Languages Policy document, which was distributed to all organizational units and posted on the Intranet.

CMHC's Official Languages Action Plan - Phase II 2004-2008 was discussed and approved in September 2003 by the Human Resources Council (one of the main CMHC management committees). It focuses mainly on efforts to improve or maintain knowledge of OL and on Part V responsibilities. This action plan is updated and reviewed by the senior management committee at least once a year. CMHC has developed a new work plan to resolve the problems identified by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) in its 2004-2005 Report Card. Among other things, these changes affect the points of service that OCOL identified as problematic during its in-person service observations. The Corporation also used this opportunity to include more detailed objectives for language of work and section 41 of the Act.

Monitoring of OL objectives is done by the line of authority, especially in the Annual Review of OL and in follow-up reports submitted to the senior management committee. In addition, as of 2003, a full-time second official language advisor position was created in each regional business centre. These advisors not only monitor employees' language training progress and provide advice to employees and management, they also play the role of animateurs linguistiques [language organizers], sitting on local management committees and pushing for official languages initiatives. They are also the point of contact for the national OL policy centre and work closely and continuously with headquarters employees. In addition, at headquarters, the Human Resources consultants (responsible for OL) also sit on sector management committees. In this way, these consultants coordinate and promote new OL initiatives locally and liaise with other people in charge of OL. The presence of these individuals in the organizational structure therefore plays an important role in OL governance at CMHC.

Accountability for the Official Languages Program (OLP) is based on the organizational structure: officials in CMHC's five geographic regions submit an annual review of the situation, in consultation with officials at headquarters. The Director, HR and Organizational Development (HROD), is responsible for managing the entire OLP, policies, directives and other relevant documents; she is also responsible for communicating with central agencies. The Corporation has two OL co-champions who work closely with one another. Every six months, the Director, HROD, reports to CMHC's HR Council on progress in implementing the action plan. This committee is composed of the president, vice-presidents and each of the five managers of CMHC's regional business centres.

Managers and employees are monitored on OL objectives in the context of their performance evaluation. Although CMHC is not one of the institutions required to report to the Department of Canadian Heritage, objectives relating to Part VII had already begun to be explicitly included in the performance appraisal process for some managers in 2005.

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

While the Summary of the 2004-2009 Corporate Plan mentions official languages, the CMHC's 2004 Annual Report, Leading the Way Home, does not.

The HR Committee of the Board of Directors (to which the President reports for HR matters) studies OL issues at least once a year. The Senior Management Committee (made up of the President, sectoral Vice Presidents and the General Managers of the five regional business centres) meets four times a month and deals with OL at least two or three times a year. The OL champion and co-champion are members of the committee. The Human Resources Council (i.e. the Senior Management Committee meeting in special session to discuss only HR matters) held discussions on OLP twice in 2004-2005.

A functional OL audit was conducted four years ago and other internal audits contain an OL component. Regular reports are submitted to the Senior Management Committee.

The two champions and the national OL Director work closely together on the various parts of the Act, including Part VII, and have demonstrated that they are well aware of the objectives.

c) Complaints (5%)

The document Complaint Administration Process describes the process, managers' involvement and follow-ups. As soon as OL complaints are received, the OL officer responsible at headquarters checks to see whether there have been complaints on the same subject in the last three years. If so, he or she analyses the complaint and the previous response(s) to see why there is a new complaint (e.g. same office? same subject?, etc.). Managers are responsible for reviewing and following up on complaints. The OL officer also sends copies to the local OL advisor. As well, over the course of the following 12 months, the headquarters OL officer checks to ensure that corrective measures are still in place and that they are effective. HROD informs the CMHC President of all OL complaints received (internal complaints and those from OCOL).

Institutional learning occurs due to the presence of the regional OL advisors and their participation in national affairs, through the OL policy centre at HQ.

Service to the public - Part IV

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (4%)

Bilingual offices and points of service are identified in the government directory BUROLIS and on government Web sites. At bilingual CMHC offices, a list of bilingual employees is distributed to clients at the reception desk of points of service. However, during the course of our observations of service in-person and on the telephone in the fall of 2005, OCOL representatives noted that BUROLIS was not up to date, particularly in the case of office no. 12372.

89% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: CMHC's HR Planning, Policy and Organizational Development, December 31, 2004)

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

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 88% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 13% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 50% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 64% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 46% of cases.

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

CMHC has a standard clause on OL obligations in its contracts. Managers are responsible for ensuring that third parties comply. CMHC provides active support to many of its contractors, such as providing guides on how to deliver service, verifying the contractor's staff's degree of bilingualism, and giving the contractor the Treasury Board Secretariat's (TBS) OL signs to post. In 2006, CMHC will review its contract monitoring protocols and plans to ensure that a component on bilingual services is included in these protocols.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

CMHC informed OCOL that reminders about employee obligations are sent out every six months. Employees now have explicit OL components in their annual performance objectives and are assessed on this in their annual performance appraisal. Monitoring of the quality of bilingual services is an integral part of managers' responsibilities; they are expected to take appropriate measures when there are problems. For the points of service that OCOL specifically identified as problematic last year, CMHC has set up a process for monitoring these points of service from the regional business centre in question. However, the results of OCOL's 2005 telephone and in-person observations raise the question of whether the current controls in place in other locations are adequate or effective.

Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy (12.5%)

91% of supervisors in bilingual regions who are required to supervise their employees in both official languages are capable of doing so. (Source: Table L2 of CMHC's 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages)

CMHC has a language of work policy, as well as measures in place to support it. A list of support measures is posted on the Intranet (Ways to Maintain and Improve Knowledge of the Second Official Language).

The Intranet contains a great deal of information on OL, such as "RH en ligne/HR online/Votre première source d'information/Your first stop for information," which includes a manager's kit.

b) Establishment of an environment conducive to both official languages (12.5%)

A number of steps have been taken in the last few years to increase the use of the minority official language in the workplace. Examples include the imperative staffing policy (which predates the Public Service policy); the sample language tests that employees can take online and in person when they feel they are ready to retake the language proficiency tests before the expiry of their test results; and the creation of full-time second OL advisor positions at all CMHC regional business centres.

Reminders on the language of work policy are given to managers and employees every six months. CMHC informed us that all its management meetings, not only senior management committees, are conducted in both official languages.

During their performance appraisal, managers are explicitly evaluated on their support for the OLP, i.e. what they did to promote the language of work policy among their employees. CMHC also participated in the language of work survey of employees of eight federal Crown corporations organized by OCOL and published in 2005, which provided information on employees' perceptions on the use of both OL in the workplace.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 32.9% of CMHC's workforce as a whole. (Source: Table P1 of CMHC's 2005-2006 Annual Review of Official Languages, December 31, 2004)

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

Anglophones account for 5.2% of CMHC's workforce in Quebec. (Source: Table P1 of CMHC's 2005-2006 Annual Review of Official Languages, December 31, 2004)

Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality - Part VII

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of minority language communities (12.5%)

In 2004, CMHC established an inter-agency committee of 10 Crown corporations/agencies that are not required to report their Part VII activities to Canadian Heritage, but that are nonetheless seeking new and innovative ways to fully incorporate Part VII concerns into their programming. Although this committee did not meet in 2005, the Corporation is nonetheless pursuing a number of initiatives previously identified by the committee.

Incorporating the development of official language minority communities is now part of the strategic plan and corporate planning for the year that began on January 1, 2006. Presentations on CMHC's responsibilities and role in terms of its participation in the development of the communities are scheduled for 2006 at the CMHC offices that are responsible for working closely with official language minority communities.

Some consultation has taken place. The needs of official language communities are identified and taken into account during the consultations that CMHC holds with representatives of minority communities as part of their marketing campaign. CMHC has reached a number of federal-provincial agreements; they all contain language clauses.

CMHC released Advertising in the Minority Language guidelines that fully support the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada. CMHC informed OCOL that marketing officers and human resources staff are very aware of their obligations related to the purchase of space in media serving the official language minority communities.

Some CMHC employees are made aware of community needs by participating in various shows sponsored by CMHC. Marketing and communications officers, in particular, attend these meetings.

b) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

In 2004, CMHC announced that it intended to create a coordination/integration mechanism for greater promotion of OL in all the Corporation's programs and activities. Part VII is included in the strategic plan and planning for the year that began on January 1, 2006 and greater attention is being given to the promotion of both official languages. Presentations on CMHC's role and responsibilities in this area are scheduled for 2006 at the CMHC offices that are responsible for working closely with official language minority communities. CMHC has identified new activities relating to its mandate that can enhance linguistic duality.

Internationally, CMHC makes significant efforts to project the image of linguistic duality in their numerous projects overseas, especially in Francophone countries. Internally, CMHC sponsors various social and cultural activities across the country (e.g. a Francophone cocktail hour in Halifax, an English reading club in Montréal and French-language Scrabble tournaments in Toronto).