ARCHIVED - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2004-2005

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2004-2005 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

To some extent, the document dated March 28, 2000, posted on the intranet, Official Languages Policy Review, describes the new framework for OL, i.e., links with organizational values, obligations of the Official Languages Act (OLA), role of vice-presidents and managers and implications for employees, etc. This document was subsequently supplemented by an Official Languages Policy (OLP) document, which was distributed to all organizational units and posted on the Intranet.

Accountability for the OLP is based on the organizational structure: officials in the 5 demographic regions submit an annual review of the situation, in consultation with officials at headquarters. The Director, HR & Org. Dev., is responsible for managing the entire Official Languages Program (OLP), policies, directives and other relevant documents; he or she is also responsible for communicating with central agencies. The Corporation has two OL Co-Champions who work closely with one another.

CMHC's Official Languages Action Plan - Phase II 2004–2008 was discussed and approved in September 2003 by the Human Resources Council (CMHC management committee). It focusses mainly on efforts to improve or maintain OL knowledge and on Part V responsibilities.

Monitoring of OL objectives is done by the line of authority, especially in the Annual Review of OL and during follow-up reports to the senior management committee.

Managers and employees are monitored on OL objectives in the context of their performance evaluation.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

CMHC's Annual Report, Opening Doors, deals with the Official Languages Program (pages 41 and 43 of the report). Furthermore, CMHC's action plan and document, Official Languages Policy Review, contain the elements of a vision document.

The Human Resources Committee of the Board of Directors studies OL issues at least once a year. There were major discussions about the OLP twice last year in the Human Resources Council (management committee). Since 2003, a full-time position of "second official language advisor" was created in each business office. This person plays a variety of roles as regards OL, such as attending all local management committee meetings, coordinating and promoting new OL initiatives locally, liaising with the OL policy centre at headquarters, etc.

A functional OL audit was conducted three years ago and internal audits contain an OL component. Regular reports are submitted to the Management Committee, which is chaired by the President of CMHC. The OL Champions sit on this committee.

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

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c) Complaints

The document Complaint Administration Process describes the process, involvement of managers and follow-ups. When 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?) 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 HQ OL officer does a check-up to ensure that corrective measures are still in place and that they are effective.

Institutional learning occurs due to the presence of the regional OL Advisors and their close integration into national affairs, through the OL policy centre at HQ.

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Service to the public - Part IV

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and adequate bilingual staff

Offices and bilingual points of service are identified in the government directory Burolis and on government electronic sites. In bilingual CMHC offices, a list of bilingual people is distributed to clients at reception points. However, while visiting service outlets in the fall of 2004, OCOL representatives noted that Burolis was not up to date-particularly with respect to point of service #12363 (in Montréal).

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b) Findings on active offer and service delivery

According to observations on in-person service made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the fall of 2004, active visual offer was present in 66.7% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 22.2% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 44.4% of cases.

The 2003 telephone service audit conducted by the Treasury Board Secretariat showed there was an active offer from staff 50.0% of the time and in voice mail greetings 100% of the time. Service was adequate 87.5% of the time.

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

CMHC has a typical clause on OL obligations in its contracts. Managers are responsible for checking compliance of third parties, and do. CMHC provides active support to many of its contractors, such as providing guides on how to deliver the service, verifying the contractor's staff's degree of bilingualism, and giving the contractor the TBS OL signs to post.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

Reminders about employee obligations are sent out every six months. Employees now have explicit OL elements 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. However, the results of OCOL's 2004 in-person observations exercise raise the question of whether the current controls in place are adequate or effective.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

According to Table L2 of CMHC's 2003–2004 Annual Review of Official Languages, 93.0% of supervisors in bilingual regions met the language requirements of their positions, as of March 31, 2004.

CMHC has its own language of work policy. 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 lot of information on OL, such as "RH en ligne/HR on-line/ Votre première source d'information/Your first stop for information," which includes a manager's kit.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

Reminders on the language of work policy are given to managers and employees every six months. Formal monitoring ensures compliance with the policy. 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. Senior level management committee meetings are held in both OL.

There are a lot of measures that have been put in place in the last few years to actively increase the use of the minority OL in the workplace. Examples are the imperative staffing policy; the sample language tests that employees can take on-line and in person when they feel they are ready to renew their formal language proficiency test results, before the expiry of those test results; and the creation of full time "second official language advisor" positions in all CMHC regional business centres. These advisors not only monitor employees' OL training progress and provide advice to employees and management, they play the role of animateurs linguistiques, sitting on management committees and pushing for OL initiatives. They are also the point of contact for the national OL policy centre and work closely and continuously with the headquarters people there. Also, at HQ, the HR Consultants (responsible for OL) sit in on sector management committees. (In CMHC, sectors typically have between 40 and 260 employees).

Given the extent of these measures, together with high levels of Francophone representation in the Corporation (33.0%) and the high rate of bilingualism of the supervisors (93.0%), it is not surprising, that CMHC would do extremely well in terms of the use of both languages in the workplace.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

According to Table P1 of CMHC's 2003–2004 Annual Review of Official Languages, on March 31, 2004, 610 of 1,855 (32.9%) CMHC employees in Canada were Francophone.

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

According to Table P1 of CMHC's 2003–2004 Annual Review of Official Languages, on March 31, 2004, 10 of 243 (4.1%) CMHC employees in Quebec (excluding the NCR) were Anglophone.

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

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada
a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of minority language communities

CMHC has established an inter-agency committee of 10 Crown corporations/agencies that is seeking new and innovative ways to fully incorporate Part VII concerns into their programming. For example, CMHC's central HR function organised what is essentially a gap analysis of all regional programming to determine what regional operations could do to develop new Part VII initiatives. At present the responsible team is looking at CMHC's mandate and partnerships to identify the potential for such opportunities. Thus the Corporation's mechanism for incorporating the development of minority language community development into strategic planning is still informal; however, a formal mechanism should be ready in 2005–2006.

Some consultation takes place. The needs of official language communities are identified and taken into account during 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 linguistic clauses.

CMHC released Advertising in the Minority Language guidelines that fully support the TBS policy on communications. CMHC informed OCOL that marketing officials and human resources staff are very aware of OL obligations.

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

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

Work on the development of a coordinating/integrative mechanism began in 2004-2005 and will continue into 2005-2006, i.e., CMHC has begun a review to identify new activities relating to its mandate that can enhance Canadian duality.

CMHC was heavily involved in the Jeux de la Francophonie. For example, a representative from CMHC worked on the organising committee, nationally. 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 5 à 7 in Halifax, an English reading club in Montréal, French language Scrabble tournaments in Toronto).

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