ARCHIVED - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2006-2007

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Performance Report 2006-2007
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) does not have a formal accountability framework as such, but other documents and mechanisms serve this purpose. The Official Languages Policy Review, which was published March 28, 2000 and is still posted on the human resources intranet site (“HR On Line”), describes the framework for official languages (OL), including how it relates to corporate values, obligations under the Official Languages Act (the Act), the role of vice-presidents and managers, and the implications for employees. A policy on OL added afterwards and distributed to all organizational units is also 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 (the senior management committee that meets as a special committee to deal exclusively with human resources issues). It was then supplemented by a decision document adopted by the Committee on February 26, 2007 that includes objectives with timeframes and measures to be taken. The action plan is, and will be, updated and reviewed by the Senior Management Committee (SMC) at least once a year.

Monitoring of OL objectives is carried out through the line of authority, especially the Annual Review on Official Languages and the follow-up reports submitted to the SMC (the SMC is made up of the President, the sectoral vice-presidents and the five managers of CMHC's regional business centres). In addition, a full-time second official language advisor position was created in each regional business centre in 2003. These advisors not only monitor employees' progress on language training and provide advice to employees and managers, but also serve as language facilitators, sitting on local management committees and arguing in favour of OL initiatives. They are also the national OL policy centre's points of contact and work closely and continuously with employees at the national office. In addition, the human resources consultants (who are responsible for OL) at the national office sit on sector management committees. This allows them to coordinate and promote new OL initiatives locally and liaise with other people involved in OL. The presence of all these individuals in the organizational structure therefore plays an important role in OL governance at CMHC.

Accountability for the Official Languages Program is based on the organizational structure: the heads of CMHC's five geographic regions submit an annual status report in consultation with officials at the national office. Four times a year, the human resources services report on the progress that has been made on their action plan, including OL. Some of those reports go to the SMC. Moreover, there is an incentive for good performance: the Board of Directors can pay performance bonuses totalling up to 3% of the payroll. For managers, this bonus is in addition to the personal bonus payable for satisfactory performance (which includes implementation of the OL Program). Every six months, the Director of Organizational Effectiveness reports to CMHC's Human Resources Council on the progress that has been made on the action plan. Managers' and employees' achievement of OL objectives is monitored through their annual performance evaluations, as there is a “commitment to OL” component of the performance evaluation that must be met.


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

OL objectives are taken into account when creating internal CMHC planning documents. Specifically, the 2006-2010 Corporate Plan refers to OL, but public progress reports such as the CMHC's 2005 annual report, Proud Past. Bright Future, do not.

The Board of Directors' Human Resources Committee (to which the President reports) studies OL issues at least once a year. (It should be noted that this Committee is separate from the Human Resources Council, which is the SMC sitting as a special committee to deal with human resources issues.) The Human Resources Council discusses OL occasionally throughout the year.

OL are part of the internal audit cycle. A functional audit of OL was conducted five years ago, and other internal audits contain an OL component.

CMHC has two OL co-champions who work closely together. The co-champion for Part VII is a member of the SMC. The other co-champion, the Director of Organizational Efficiency, coordinates the overall management of the OL Program, policies, directives and other related documents. He is also responsible for communications with the central agencies. The two champions ensure good coordination of OL.


c) Complaints (5%)

An effective mechanism for handling OL complaints is in place.  The Complaint Administration Process document describes the complaint process, managers' involvement and follow-ups. As soon as a complaint is received, the OL officer at the national office checks to see whether there have been any complaints on the same subject in the past three years. If there have, the officer analyzes the complaint and any previous solutions to determine why a new complaint has been filed (e.g., same office? same issue?). In all cases, the manager responsible for the sector involved must review the complaint, identify the necessary corrective measures and ensure a follow-up. The OL officer also sends a copy of everything to the local OL advisor, and over the following 12 months, the national OL officer ensures that corrective measures are still in place and that they are effective. The Organizational Effectiveness Directorate informs CMHC's president of all OL complaints that have been filed, both with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) and internally.

Information on the nature of the complaints and the corrective measures that were taken is not shared with the entire SMC. However, this information is shared with regional and sectoral advisors.




Service to the Public - Part IV (25%)

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

Bilingual offices and points of service are identified in Burolis and on government Web sites. In bilingual CMHC offices, a list of bilingual employees is given to clients at the reception desk of points of service.

A total of 90% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Official Languages Information System II [OLIS II], December 31, 2005.)


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 2006, an active visual offer was present in 86% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 21% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 86% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 95% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 78% of cases.


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

There is currently no active monitoring of services provided by third parties on behalf of CMHC. CMHC has delegated some of its responsibilities to the Agency for Co-operative Housing, the new not-for-profit administrator of federal cooperative housing programs in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. It has also signed federal-provincial agreements on housing support with most of the provinces and territories.

This delegation of responsibility and these agreements create an obligation for the organizations that provide service to the public on behalf of CMHC to provide bilingual service. CMHC has included clauses on these OL responsibilities in their agreements and has also created an internal working group to review all agreements and practices involving third parties by April 2007. The goal is to recommend to the SMC ways CMHC can strengthen its monitoring of the bilingual services provided by these organizations.

CMHC includes a standard clause on OL obligations in its service contracts. Managers are responsible for ensuring compliance by third parties. CMHC provides active support to many of its suppliers, such as providing guides on how to deliver service, verifying the degree of bilingualism of the suppliers' employees and giving suppliers the Treasury Board Secretariat's OL signs to post in their offices.


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

CMHC has a policy on OL that deals with Parts IV, V and VII of the Act. The policy and its related guidelines make all staff aware of the institution's commitment to respecting the equality of English and French and establish the requirements for communications with and service to the public in both languages.

OL advisors in the regions and in branches at the national office remind employees how to handle requests for service in the other language over the telephone and in person. Reminders about employee obligations are sent out every six months. During employee orientation, the obligation to offer bilingual service to the public is addressed by the supervisor. Monitoring of the quality of bilingual services is an integral part of the managers' responsibilities; they are required to take appropriate measures when problems arise. The annual performance objectives of employees who are required to provide bilingual services include explicit OL-related elements that are reviewed during the mid-year and annual evaluation of employees by their supervisor.




Language of Work - Part V (25%)

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

CMHC has a directive on language of work that complies with the Act as well as measures in place to support it. A list of support measures is posted on the intranet, under the heading “Ways to Maintain and Improve Knowledge of the Second Official Language”.

Various measures have been put in place in the regions designated bilingual for language of work purposes to facilitate the use of the official language of the linguistic minority in the workplace (translation and revision services, training and skills retention, etc.). The intranet contains a great deal of information on OL, for example "HR online/RH en ligne/Your first stop for information/Votre première source d'information," which includes a manager's kit. The imperative staffing policy (which predates the public service policy and tends to increase the number of people who can speak both OL) and the creation of full-time second official language advisor positions in all CMHC regional business centres have the effect of creating work environments that are more conducive to the use of both languages.

A total of 93% of supervisors in bilingual regions who must supervise employees in both OL are able to do so. (Source: Data from OLIS II, December 31, 2005.)


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

Reminders about the language of work policy are sent to managers and employees every six months.

Senior management meetings are conducted in both OL.

CMHC management uses some 40 performance indicators each month to track its performance. Of these, two are related to compliance with the OL policy. The President uses another set of 15 indicators to evaluate the performance of vice-presidents and regional directors general, including one related to OL. As part of their performance evaluation, managers are specifically evaluated on the support they provide to the OL Program, in other words, what they do to ensure the language of work policy is respected.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada in 2006 on behalf of OCOL showed that 73% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region, New Brunswick and bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work policy. In Québec, 59% of Anglophone respondents were of the same opinion.




Equitable Participation  - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 34.0% Francophone. (Source: OLIS II, December 31, 2005.)


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

In Québec, the workforce is 6.3% Anglophone. (Source: OLIS II, December 31, 2005.)




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

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

Issues surrounding the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) are now part of the strategic plan and corporate planning for the year that started January 1, 2006. Section 41 obligations are now included in the corporate planning templates. By December 31, 2007, CMHC will have developed guidelines on “Memoranda to Management” (the CMHC equivalent of Memoranda to Cabinet in the Public Service) to ensure that OL and the effects on OLMCs are systematically taken into account.

In 2006, presentations on CMHC's roles and responsibilities in terms of its participation in community development were made to all management committees and those who work closely with OLMCs. The SMC was made aware of the issue, as it was discussed three times during the year.

CMHC has designated someone to be responsible for national liaison with OLMCs (the co-champion responsible for Part VII), and the associations involved will be systematically informed of the name of this person during the special marketing and contact campaign that CMHC has already planned for 2007-2008. In the regions, the general needs of OLMCs are usually determined and taken into account during consultations CMHC holds with community representatives during its regular marketing campaign. Each year, CMHC meets with former and new clients (credit unions and other associations) in an effort to increase its business. For example, in 2005, CMHC's Québec employees made 60 presentations to Anglophone groups in the not-for-profit housing sector.

Some CMHC employees are already aware of community needs because of previous contact with OLMC representatives at the various trade shows it sponsored. Local promotion and communications officers, in particular, attend these meetings. At the national office, employees who develop policies and programs that could have an impact on the communities have not yet been made aware of these needs.

CMHC has begun reviewing its policies and programs in order to determine which ones have an impact on OLMC development. The review will be completed before the end of the 2007 calendar year.

CMHC has taken positive measures to enhance the development of OLMCs. For example, 20% of the presentations made to community and business groups in Ontario in 2006 were for OLMCs. Moreover, through its asset securitization initiatives and venture capital offers to OLMC groups seeking to launch new housing projects, CMHC directly contributes to the development of these communities.

Senior management has started to discuss how to take the needs of OLMCs into account, including how to provide services, but the discussions are still in the early stages. In February 2007 the SMC approved an action plan to enhance the development of OLMCs in the regions but has not yet determined how to measure results.


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

Promotion of the equal status and use of English and French is now part of the strategic plan and corporate planning for the year that started January 1, 2006. Section 41 obligations are now included in the corporate planning templates. By December 31, 2007, CMHC will have developed guidelines on “Memoranda to Management.” The Part VII co-champion is the person responsible for implementing this part of the Act at the national level. He has already begun liaising with some OLMCs and will explore other possibilities for meeting and sharing information with them in the future.

In 2006, presentations on CMHC's roles and responsibilities in terms of its contribution to the promotion of both OL were made to all management committees and those who work closely with OLMCs. The SMC was made aware of the issue, as it was discussed three times during the year.

The Corporation has started to review its policies and programs in order to determine which ones have an impact on the promotion and use of English and French.

CMHC is taking a number of positive measures to promote linguistic duality. For example, CMHC is making considerable efforts at the international level to project the image of Canada's linguistic duality in its many projects abroad, particularly in countries that are members of La Francophonie. Internally, it sponsors various social and cultural activities across the country (for example, a Francophone cocktail hour in Halifax, an English reading club in Montréal and French-language Scrabble tournaments in Toronto).

CMHC's action plan this year contains elements designed to promote both OL, but it has not yet determined how to measure results.