ARCHIVED - Canadian Forces 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data

Rating

Management

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

The Canadian Forces (CF) approved and adopted the CF/DND 2003-2006 Official Languages Strategic Plan, which integrates many elements of the government's Action Plan for Official Languages.

The OL strategic plan is the foundation of the Official Languages Program (OLP) at the Department of National Defence (DND) and the CF, and provides an integrated strategic orientation to guide the effective implementation of the Official Languages Act within the organization. It brings together OLP objectives and activities in a single document and establishes the accountability framework. The document sets out the methods and procedures for meeting the obligations and commitments under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act. In this plan, the Minister of National Defence set out five key official languages (OL) commitments aimed specifically at the CF. This accountability framework will remain in effect for the duration of the next 2007-2012 Strategic Plan, which is currently under preparation.

Responsibility for each objective of the Official Languages Strategic Plan is assigned to one or more Assistant Deputy Ministers or to the Chief of the Land Staff, Maritime Staff or Air Staff, or to the Director General concerned (or equivalent). These individuals are responsible for the implementation of these objectives, in accordance with the established timeframes, and each must submit an annual report on the progress made with regard to the objectives under their responsibility.

To ensure that progress is made on the five key objectives of the Official Languages Strategic Plan, DND and the CF have developed a database for monitoring their implementation. The information collected from the persons in charge is used to monitor a number of key performance measurement indicators, thus enabling the OL Director to identify any problems concerning implementation of the OLP and, if necessary, inform the Assistant Deputy Ministers and senior military officers.

The commitment to OL has also led to an increase in the human and financial resources at the OL Directorate. Between 2002 and 2005, the staff and budget of the Directorate have almost doubled.

The next Official Languages Strategic Plan (2007-2012) will include a smaller number of objectives, designed to facilitate implementation of the new Results-based Official Languages Strategy, which will serve as a framework for the OLP during the period in question.

Senior DND and CF officials are committed to improving the OL capacity of their respective organizations and this commitment is now part of their Performance Management Agreement.

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

OL are integrated in the strategic plan. There are a number of references to OL in the 2005-2006 Report on Plans and Priorities; however, OL were not mentioned in the last Performance Report.

Internal human resources audits regularly include questions on OL, such as language training for military personnel, civilian human resources planning and the performance appraisal process for military personnel. OL questions were also added to the CF Continuous Attitude Survey that regularly measures personnel attitudes and opinions on key issues.

At the request of the CF, Consulting and Audit Canada once again recently reviewed governance of the OLP in the institution. (An audit on this subject was conducted in 1995 by KPMG. Follow-up identified the reasons for certain OL performance weaknesses and recommendations were made for correcting them.) This review confirmed that improvements have been made since the last audit in 1995, and the final report (August 2005) sets out four recommendations, which have already been studied by the OL Director.

There are two OL champions, the Assistant Deputy Minister, Civilian Human Resources, and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Military Human Resources. The OL champion for the CF is a member of the Defence Management Committee (DMC) and the Armed Forces Council (AFC). He has direct access to the Deputy Minister and the Chief of Staff of Defence. OL issues are frequently discussed and the OL Director is invited regularly to DMC and AFC meetings.

Co-ordination among all parts of the Act is excellent. There is a direct link between the two champions and the OL Director.

c) Complaints (5%)

All complaints, internal or from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL), are received by the OL Director, who assigns an individual on a full-time basis to co-ordinate and follow up on all complaints. The responsible managers must resolve these complaints and take the required corrective action. Lessons learned are shared with the network of OL coordinators, who must bring any issues of concern to the attention of their Commander and members of their staff.

The OL Directorate plans to create an investigator position during the current year to ensure more effective resolution of complaints, especially systemic complaints. National Defence should be able to demonstrate results by the beginning of the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

Despite the actions taken and commitments made by the CF, the OtCOL still believes that there continues to be very serious systemic problems with regards to language of work, language of training, practices in assigning military officers and the proportion of incumbents of bilingual positions who meet the language requirements of their position.

Service to the public - Part IV

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

Note: In the CF, only the following units provide services to the public: recruitment centres, search and rescue coordination centres and public affairs offices.

Bilingual services are advertised in the Blue Pages of telephone directories and are listed in BUROLIS.

41.8% of military personnel in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages)

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

According to the observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 75% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 17% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 75% of cases.

According to the 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 73% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 47% of cases.

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

The requirement for third parties to provide service in both OL is clearly spelled out in the statement of work that results in the establishment of a contract for service delivery. It is the prime responsibility of the client to inform the appropriate contracting authority of any breaches. Managers, commanders and project officers can also get advice in this regard from the OL coordinator.

DND and the CF have developed a policy on services to be provided to families of military personnel in both OL. For example, agreements with Royal Lepage for the provision of relocation services to military members and their families specify that the services will be provided in the client's official language of choice.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

The orientation guide for new employees contains some information about OL and language of work. CF members and DND employees who provide service to the public have been reminded of the need to make an active offer.

Articles dealing with services to the public have appeared in the internal quarterly publication OL Express and on the Intranet site. The OL coordinators raise awareness among their staff about OL and service delivery to the public. The OL Director regularly gives presentations to new commanders to raise their awareness about major OL issues and to inform them about their roles and responsibilities in this area. For example, he has had discussions with the commanders of recruitment centres (who deal with the public), career managers (who participate in the selection of bilingual staff), new base commanders (who have numerous contacts with the local communities) and OL coordinators (who inform CF members about requirements for OLP implementation). There are also presentations to target audiences about service to the public and a reference card has been produced on active offer of services in both OL.

The OL Director's Official Languages Awareness and Education Program identifies communications with the public as a priority. However, there is no mechanism for quality control of bilingual services.

Language of work - Part V

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

Note: The coming year will be critical for implementation of the OLP in the CF. The cornerstone of the new 2007-2012 Strategic Plan (which is expected to be adopted in 2006) will be the implementation of a functional approach, whereby language requirements will no longer be determined based on the positions, as is currently the case, but rather on the units. Unit commanders currently have the flexibility to transfer personnel based on requirements within their unit in order to carry out their mission. The functional approach will make it possible to more accurately measure the units' ability to meet the requirements of the Act, while maximizing use of the bilingual human resources assigned to them. (However, some positions, such as single positions, will continue to be subject to specific linguistic designations.)

For the CF as a whole, 35.2% of military personnel with supervisory functions in bilingual positions meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages)

The orientation guide for new employees contains some information about OL and language of work.

All staff can consult the language of work policy, DOAD 5039-2, as it is accessible on the OLs Director's Web site. However, the document is currently available only in draft form. It is expected that the final revised policies will be published further to the development of the Results based Official Languages Strategy.

The institution allocates considerable resources to language training ($19.2 million in 2004-2005 for training for military personnel), and to translation and editing services ($15 million in 2004-2005). One of the incentives for military personnel to maintain their language profile has been the implementation (in February 2003) of a policy whereby the language profile of bilingual military personnel is re-evaluated every five years. However, because of the implementation of the functional approach, this policy is under review.

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

There are posters to encourage the use of both OL in meeting rooms and articles on this topic appear in the OL Express. The institution has enhanced its Official Languages Awareness and Education Program by producing a DVD on OL and language of work. Various policies and directives on language of work have also been prepared and revised to take into account the new policies of the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency.

Meetings of the two executive committees, the AFC and the DMC, are conducted in both OL. The documents and minutes of these committees are drafted in both OL.

The Review of the Linguistic Designation of Units and Military and Civilian Positions currently underway will provide more accurate data on the language of work situation. Implementation of the functional approach will have a major impact on language of work in the CF.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

27.5% of all CF staff are Francophone, while 72.5% are Anglophone. (Note: The CF adopted a national representation model in the early 1970s to reflect the national representation group ratio. Military members are highly mobile and their workplace normally differs from the region from which they were recruited. Consequently, throughout Canada, the representation of the two official linguistic groups will not correspond to the provincial ratio.)

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

Not applicable. (Use of national data only - see preceding paragraph)

N/A

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%)

The CF/DND Official Languages Strategic Plan has objectives relating to the vitality of linguistic minorities. This, however, does not ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the development of the OL minority communities.

The CF provide strong support for their members and their families. The CF/DND Official Languages Strategic Plan has a number of objectives relating to the vitality of OL minority communities (e.g. assess the quality and quantity of services provided in the minority language and provide language training to military families to facilitate their integration into the community).

The document Advancement of English and French by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces is a reference document (available to all staff on the Intranet) that explains the requirements of Part VII of the Act. It suggests measures to be taken to promote the development of OL minority communities (i.e. taking minority communities into account when awarding local contracts to service providers and considering minority community print and electronic media when awarding advertising contracts).

There are numerous contacts and consultations between base commanders and representatives of OL minority communities. For example, CFB Gagetown has established a committee mandated to facilitate relations between Francophones on the base and the Francophone community in Fredericton and the surrounding area; CFB Kingston and the Royal Military College of Canada maintain close ties with the local Francophone community, particularly concerning early childhood assistance; the OL coordinator at CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia is a member of the OL Committee of the Nova Scotia Federal Council; the Military Family Resource Centre at CFB Valcartier meets with a representative of the Voice of English-Speaking Quebec every week and maintains close ties with this organization; a Francophone volunteer from 12 Wing - Shearwater in Nova Scotia was honoured by the Conseil communautaire du Grand-Havre for her work with the local Francophone community and her participation in program development.

The requirement to purchase advertising space and time, in accordance with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, is specified in the policy on Communications with and Services to the Public. This requirement is clearly communicated to the OL coordinators and the staff at Public Affairs offices across Canada, the latter being the main users of advertising space and time in the media.

Employees are informed of the needs of these communities by the OL coordinators and are aware of the provisions of the DND and CF policy - Services to Military Families, particularly concerning the sharing of programs and services between the CF community and OL minority communities.

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

There is no formal mechanism to ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take linguistic duality into account. However, steps are taken to enhance the Official Languages Awareness and Education Program and the production of a DVD on OL are helping promote linguistic duality within the institution.

The language training offered to military families to facilitate their integration into their host communities and the presentations made by the commanders of a number of bases and units help to promote linguistic duality. A number of CF bases also participate in various local celebrations across the country to mark St-Jean Baptiste Day or Canada Day and in various military activities (CF Day, air shows), during which military personnel provide explanations to the public in both OL, thereby helping to promote linguistic duality.

OVERALL RATING