ARCHIVED - Canadian Forces 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

The Canadian Forces 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 (OL). The Minister of National Defence articulated five key commitments in the Strategic Plan.

The OL Strategic Plan provides an integrated strategic orientation to guide the effective implementation of the Official Languages Act (OLA) at DND and in the CF by bringing OL objectives and activities together in a single document and by establishing an accountability framework. The accountability framework assigns responsibility for the implementation of each of the activities included in the Strategic Plan and sets specific deadlines.

The Plan was distributed to all group chiefs and commanders, to all those with responsibility for the implementation of activities and to the OL co-ordinators at all levels (commands, groups, bases, wings, garrisons, units). The OL co-ordinators are responsible for following up on the implementation of activities in their respective organizations. To ensure that progress is made on the five key objectives of the OL Strategic Plan, DND and the CF developed a tool (database) to evaluate the progress in the implementation of the five objectives and to measure the progress on OL.

Senior military officers are accountable for the implementation of OL objectives in their performance appraisals.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

OL are specifically mentioned in strategic documents such as the Report on Plans and Priorities and in the Performance Report.

There was an OL review in 1995. A follow-up to this review was completed in summer 2004. The follow-up identified the causes of certain weaknesses in OL performance and recommended ways to correct them. OL are not however systematically integrated into internal audit.

The institution has two champions, one who represents the civil component (DND) and one who represents the CF. 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 raised at monthly meetings and as needed. OL have also been the subject of a number of discussions between the DND champion, the CF champion, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Deputy Minister. The OL Director attends meetings of the DMC and the AFC when invited.

Co-ordination among all the OLA parties is excellent. There is a direct link between the two champions and the OL Director.

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c) Complaints

All complaints are handled by the OL Director, who assigns an individual on a full-time basis to co-ordinate complaints. The co-ordinator forwards the complaints received to the relevant managers, who must resolve them and take the required corrective measures. When necessary, the coordinator will provide advice to the managers on the implementation of the Official Languages Act and will bring to the OL Director's attention any situations requiring particular attention. The lessons learned are shared with the group and command co-ordinators, who, in turn, inform their members.

The Office of the Commissioner of Official languages has identified very serious systemic problems with regards to language of work, the language in which training is provided and practices in assigning military officers and the ratio of incumbents of bilingual positions who satisfy the language requirements of their positions.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

Bilingual services are advertised in the Blue Pages of telephone books and listed in Burolis.

The DND/CF 2003–2004 Annual review on official languages, indicates that 41.0% of military members in bilingual positions for serving the public meet the linguistic requirements of these positions.

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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 50.0% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 8.3% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 58.3% of cases.

The telephone service audit conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency showed there was an active offer by staff 64.0% of the time and in voice mail greetings 78.0% of the time, while service in both languages was available in 85.0% of cases. (NB: These data take account of the adjustments requested by the CF to exclude the eleven Emergency Preparedness Canada offices now under the responsibility of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.)

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

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 on-site contract representative to inform the appropriate contracting authority of any infractions. Managers, commanders and project officers can also ask for advice from the OL coordinator of their respective organization when preparing the statement of work.

The DND and the CF have drawn up 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 language of choice.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

A directive for all CF members and DND employees promotes active offer in internal and external communications and in the delivery of services to the public.

Articles dealing with services to the public have appeared in the internal publication OL Express and on the intranet site. The network of group, base and unit co-ordinators is responsible for raising awareness among the staff in their respective organizations.

The Official Languages Directorate (OLD) currently does little quality control of services to the public. However, it should be possible to improve monitoring, as the OLD plans to increase the number of staff.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

When the Minister of National Defence appeared before the Standing Committee for OL in June 2003, he confirmed the CF's commitment to increasing the proportion of military personnel who meet the language requirements of their position by 5.0% a year from 2003 to 2006. However, according to the 2003–2004 Annual Review, for the CF as a whole, only 32.0% of military personnel with supervisory functions in bilingual positions meet the linguistic requirements of these positions.

The language of work policy, DAOD 5039-2, is still in draft format. The information is however available to all staff on the Intranet. Support measures such as language training and translation services are also available.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

There are posters to encourage use of both official languages in meeting rooms and articles on this topic will occasionally appear in the OL Express.

As an example of reminders, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Deputy Minister sent letters to all personnel reminding them to use the official language of their choice. There were also letters sent by the various group heads (ADM level and equivalent) to their personnel and a letter from the Minister of National Defence informing all personnel that OL remain a ministerial priority.

The two executive committees, the Armed Forces Council (AFC) and the Defence Management Committee (DMC), adopted rules encouraging the use of French during meetings and members do in fact speak their preferred official language. The summaries used at these meetings are completely bilingual and there is a rule that at least one third of presentations must be made in French.

Senior officers (colonels and up) are accountable for the implementation of OL and their performance evaluations reflect this.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

In the CF, 27.4% of military personnel are Francophone while 72.6% are Anglophone. (NB: The CF adopted a national representation model in the early 1970s to reflect the national representation group ratio. Because military members are highly mobile, 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.)

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

See previous comments on using national data for the CF.


Development of minority language 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

The CF/DND Official Languages Strategic Plan has objectives relating to the vitality of linguistic minorities (e.g., assess the quality and quantity of services provided in the minority language and the provision of language training to military families to facilitate their integration into the community). This, however, does not ensure that strategic planning as a whole and policy and program development take into account the development of the official language minority communities.

The document Advancement of English and French by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces is a reference document (available on the intranet) that explains the requirements of Part VII of the OLA. It suggests measures to be taken to promote the development of the official language minority communities (e.g., taking minority communities into account when awarding local contracts to service providers and considering minority community print and electronic media when awarding advertising contracts.) Treasury Board submissions also take OL into account.

Employees are informed of the needs of these communities by their OL coordinators and are aware of the provisions of the DND and CF policy - Services to military families.

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

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

There is no formal mechanism to ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take account of linguistic duality.

However, some internal activities, such as OL day, serve to promote the two OL within the institution. The language training offered to military families to facilitate their integration into their host communities and the presentations made by commanders of certain units help to promote linguistic duality outside the CF.

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