ARCHIVED - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2007-2008

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Report Card 2007–2008
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 on March 28, 2000, and is still posted on the human resources intranet site (“HR On Line”), describes the relationship between official languages (OL), 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.

A complete OL action plan (covering Parts IV, V, VI and VII) was approved on February 26, 2007, by the Human Resources Council (the senior management committee that meets as a special committee to deal exclusively with human resources issues). The action plan included an update on the OL situation at CMHC as well as a decision document adopted by the Committee. The plan is reviewed on an ongoing basis and includes objectives with timeframes and measures to be taken. The action plan is updated and reviewed by the Senior Management Committee (SMC) at least once a year.

The template for memoranda to management will now include a component on OL and the consequences for official language minority communities (OLMCs).

Accountability for the OL 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, in 2007, CMHC added a third criterion related to OL to one of the performance bonuses. The Board of Directors can pay performance bonuses on top of the personal bonus payable for satisfactory performance (which includes implementation of the OL program). Every quarter, the Vice-President, Human Resources Sector, 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 planning documents. More specifically, the 2006–2010 Corporate Plan refers to OL, as does the draft of this same document for 2008–2012. Moreover, the 2006 Annual Report also addresses CMHC’s commitment to OL and OLMCs.

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 not the same as 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. An internal audit of OL was conducted in 1999 and 2002. CMHC’s OL program is part of the internal audits used in preparing the annual audit plan.

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 Effectiveness, 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.

Over the course of the past year, CMHC has developed an awareness campaign that is expected to be launched in 2008 in order to promote the benefits of respecting both OL; increase bilingual capacity, both in terms of language of work and service to the public; and improve CMHC’s workplace and organizational culture.


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

An effective mechanism for handling OL complaints is in place. The document Complaint Administration Process 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 the answer is yes, the officer analyzes the complaint and how it was resolved 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 all documents 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 and internally.

Information on the nature of the complaints and the corrective measures that were taken are shared with all members of the SMC as well as with all 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.

In total, 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, 2006).


(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 32% of cases, and service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 79% 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 96% 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%)

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, for example, by providing guides on how to offer service, by verifying the bilingualism levels of the suppliers' employees and by giving suppliers the Treasury Board Secretariat's OL signs to post in their offices.

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. All organizations that provide service to the public on behalf of CMHC must provide bilingual service. CMHC has included OL clauses in its agreements, including service delivery monitoring requirements. For example, CMHC reserves the right to monitor the services offered by the Agency for Co-operative Housing, while the agreements signed with the provinces and territories state the monitoring of language obligations is included in the annual audited statements. Moreover, an internal working group on the monitoring measures for service delivery by third parties is expected to be set up in the first quarter of 2008 to review all agreements and practices that affect these organizations. The goal is to recommend ways to the SMC that CMHC can strengthen its monitoring of the bilingual services provided by these organizations.


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

CMHC has an OL policy that deals with Parts IV, V and VII of the Act. The policy and its related standards of conduct 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 employee evaluation by their supervisor.

Moreover, in compliance with the OL action plan, CMHC conducts an evaluation every quarter of the active offer and delivery of service to the public in both OL. The directors general, executive directors and vice-presidents responsible for the areas where deficiencies have been observed must report to the Management Committee on the nature of the corrective measures and when they will be implemented.




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.” CMHC has also made new tools available to employees, including a self-evaluation sheet on language of work for employees and managers.

CMHC has developed the criteria that are used as part of the performance measurement and accountability program for competency management, which takes OL into consideration. The results will be communicated as soon they become available.

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 (translation and revision services, training and skills retention, etc.). The intranet contains a great deal of information on OL, for example on "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’s policy and aims 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 create work environments that are more conducive to the use of both languages.

In total, 97% of supervisors in bilingual regions who must supervise employees in both OL are able to do so (Source: Data from OLIS II, March 31, 2007).


(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 the organization’s 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 on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner showed that, overall, 67% 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. Due to the small number of Anglophone respondents in the bilingual regions of Quebec, the survey results for this group were not included.




Equitable participationPart VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 33% Francophone (Source: OLIS II, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 6.9% Anglophone (Source: OLIS II, March 31, 2007).




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

The OL action plan, adopted in 2007, encompasses issues surrounding the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality. Section 41 obligations are now included in the corporate planning templates. In 2007, CMHC developed guidelines on memoranda to management (the CMHC equivalent of memoranda to Cabinet in the public service) to ensure that OL and the impact on OLMCs are systematically taken into account.

Following a series of presentations on CMHC's roles and responsibilities in fostering community development and promoting linguistic duality, which were made in its offices in 2006, CMHC adopted a new complete action plan, which now includes the implementation of Part VII of the Act. The management committees and those who work closely with OLMCs attended the presentations. 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. This person met with association representatives at different times throughout the year. 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. In addition, in compliance with its action plan, CMHC has created a directory of OLMC stakeholders and groups that it deals with.

Some CMHC employees are already aware of community needs because of previous contact with OLMC representatives at the various trade shows CMHC has 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 been made aware of community development and the promotion of linguistic duality, particularly through the Commissioner of Official Languages’ speech to CMHC employees in December 2007.

As part of the process of developing its new action plan, CMHC has reviewed its policies and programs in order to determine which ones have an impact on OLMC development.


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


CMHC has taken positive measures to foster the development of OLMCs. For example, in 2007, it provided the Quebec Community Groups Network with information on seniors’ housing needs for the purposes of a consultation organized by the provincial government. CMHC also initiated discussions with representatives of the Cité collégiale in Ottawa in order to develop a college-level construction program and to train the trainers.

Senior management has started to discuss how to take the needs of OLMCs into account and to explore opportunities for cooperation. In February 2007, CMHC approved an action plan to enhance the development of OLMCs in the regions but has not yet determined how to measure results.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)


CMHC is taking a number of positive measures to promote linguistic duality. For example, it sponsored the first Sommet des communautés francophones et acadiennes. One of the themes of the event, which took place in Ottawa from June 1 to 3, 2007, dealt with the place of Canada’s Francophonie on the international scene. CMHC also welcomed delegates from Tunisia who were participating in the Sommet to its offices. 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. In addition, it sponsors various social and cultural activities across the country (for example, a Francophone cocktail hour in Halifax, an English book club in Montréal and French-language Scrabble tournaments in Toronto). At the request of community organizations, CMHC has participated in various activities, including two events in Halifax: the Vitrine communautaire francophone and the Foire à l’emploi francophone et bilingue at Université Sainte-Anne.

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