ARCHIVED - Environment Canada 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

Note: Environment Canada (EC) is in the process of establishing a new accountability structure featuring national committees and horizontal departmental teams. It is expected that the changes will be implemented throughout the Department over the coming year.

Questions have been raised about employees' ability to operate effectively from a language point of view within the new structure of national committees and horizontal groups. The Executive Management Committee has therefore established a special official languages group with a mandate to develop an action plan for implementing language of work guidelines and activities. Last January, this group submitted to the Executive Management Committee a set of recommendations for ensuring effective and efficient bilingual capability in the new structure. These recommendations were ratified by the departmental Management Services Board. Aside from a review of the language designation of all positions as well as their language profiles, other measures will be implemented in 2005-2006 to ensure solid language capability. These initiatives will be implemented gradually over the next three years.

The Department has a management framework for official languages (OL) setting out its obligations under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act). The Department has an OL strategy and action plan that contains objectives, measures and timetables. EC's Strategy for People articulates a comprehensive human resources strategy for carrying out the Department's mandate and mission. It provides for high-quality service delivery to the public in both OL, the establishment and maintenance of a workplace conducive to the use of both OL which respects the employees' language of choice, while providing Anglophones and Francophones with equal opportunities for employment and advancement.

To make personnel aware of the impact of the April 2005 changes to OL policies, EC developed information sheets dealing with topics such as staffing of bilingual positions and access to language training. The Department also developed guidelines for non-imperative staffing of bilingual positions.

To make its commitments to improved employee access to second-language learning and to spending appropriate amounts of money on this priority more concrete, the Department published, in January 2005, guidelines on second-language training for purposes of professional development. The guidelines set out criteria for accessing language training for these purposes, while balancing operational requirements with employees' career aspirations.

In December 2005, the Department recruited a new human resources officer at headquarters assigned to the implementation of the OL Program. When the second officer is hired in April 2006, the Department will have doubled the number of human resources advisors assigned to OL matters.

The OL champion for the Department is an assistant deputy minister. He is supported by a network of champions throughout the Department. There is a network of coordinators alongside the network of champions. The networks consult each other regularly. It is anticipated that management contracts for executives who direct departmental teams will include OL clauses.

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

OL are mentioned in the Report on Plans and Priorities and in the Performance Report. OL are also an important aspect of EC's Strategy for People and they are specifically mentioned in the Departmental Human Resources Delegations Instrument.

Internal audit activities do not integrate OL. However the Human Resources Branch performs periodic reviews of the language requirements of positions, of linguistic levels and of staffing of bilingual positions. The results of the telephone service audit conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC), published in 2004, were conveyed to senior management and to regional human resources directors, with a view to facilitating corrective action and follow-up by managers. An evaluation of the language capacity of employees and positions is planned in order to identify locations where increased efforts may be necessary with respect to service to the public or to language of work.

The champion is a member of the Executive Management Committee. The Chief of Official Languages is occasionally invited to attend these meetings. OL are discussed regularly.

There is very good coordination among the parties involved in OL.

c) Complaints (5%)

The Department works closely with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) to resolve complaints. The managers participate in finding solutions and in following up. Every complaint that could have an impact on the Department as a whole, or on the other regions, will be brought to everyone's attention in order to share lessons learned.

OCOL is of the view that the problem at the Ice and Marine Branch, where the work environment is not conducive to the equal status of both official languages, has still not been resolved.

Service to the public - Part IV

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

The Department's points of service are clearly identified in BUROLIS and in the Blue Pages.

During the course of our observations of service on the telephone performed in the fall of 2005, OCOL representatives noted that BUROLIS was not up to date, particularly in the case of office 2760.

86% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the linguistic requirements of their position. (Source: Position and Classification Information System (PCIS), March 31, 2005)

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

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 78% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 44% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 67% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer of service was made by staff or by an automated system in 49% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 49% of cases.

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

Service agreements with third parties contain a clause on the provision of services in both OL. This responsibility is also addressed in EC's accountability framework. Managers are aware of this requirement. Complaints are the only mechanism for monitoring whether services are provided in both OL.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

The institution has a directive on service to the public which states that designated service points and offices must provide service in both OL, that these services must be of comparable quality and that employees must be informed of their responsibilities in this respect. The directive also states that services must be actively offered in both OL. Employees and managers are informed of their responsibilities regarding service to the public through OL awareness sessions. The information is available on the Intranet site.

Aside from complaints, there is no system for monitoring language of service to the public. The evaluation of the Department's language capacity will reveal whether resources assigned to service to the public at designated bilingual offices are adequate and will allow for the identification of locations where measures need to be taken.

Language of work - Part V

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

91% of incumbents of EX positions and 90% of supervisors in bilingual positions in bilingual regions meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

The Department has a language of work policy that is distributed to all employees and the information is available on the Intranet site. There are supporting measures such as translation and language training (provided in a variety of timetables and available to employees who are not in bilingual positions but wish to learn their second OL for professional development purposes). The Department published guidelines in this regard.

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

Reminders about language of work were issued to all personnel. For example, the Department published an article entitled, It's Ok to Cultivate a Bilingual Workplace which addressed language of work. A document entitled, Chairing Bilingual Meetings: Checklist, a tool to encourage the use of both OL, was distributed to all personnel. It is also available on the Intranet.

Posters encouraging employees to use the OL of their choice at meetings were put up in meeting rooms in the NCR and in bilingual regions. The follow-up on the results of the PSHRMAC telephone audit distributed to senior managers and regional human resources directors also enhanced awareness of respecting language of work.

The OL awareness sessions include language of work. Executive Management Committee meetings are held in both OL.

EC's Strategy for People, indicates that the degree of satisfaction of employees with their ability to work in the OL of their choice will be one of the measures of an empowering workplace. To date, the analysis of the results of the Public Service Survey is the only means used by the Department to that effect. However, EC plans to conduct, in 2006-2007, an internal survey to measure the degree of satisfaction towards human resources and OL.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 28.3% of EC's workforce as a whole. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

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

Anglophones account for 10% of EC's workforce in Quebec. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2005)

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%)

There is no formal mechanism to ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the development of OL minority communities. However, the Official Languages Management Framework states that managers must consult with the OL communities and take into consideration their development and vitality when preparing their business plans.

The institution has no separate communication policy. However, the Official Languages Management Framework specifies the need to select media that reach both communities. Advertisements are in fact placed in compliance with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada and the Department uses media that reach OL minority communities.

Employees are informed of the needs of OL minority communities during OL awareness sessions. Also, through the K-Stream video, employees in the Pacific and Yukon Region are made aware about OL in general, about active offer of service and about OL minority communities in particular.

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

One of the key elements of EC's Strategy for People is respect for diversity, including OL, and the creation of an empowering work environment. The Official Languages Management Framework states that the Department is committed to fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.

The champion's presentations promote linguistic duality. The K-Stream video helps promote linguistic duality in the Pacific and Yukon Region. EC encourages employees to take language training for professional development purposes and a variety of timetables are available. Articles promoting both OL are published on Infolane.

EC's Strategy for People and Inclusiveness Strategy clearly and strongly articulate the critical importance and priority of linguistic duality for the Department. The institution did not provide examples of initiatives promoting linguistic duality in Canadian society other than the fact that it ensures that services to the public are provided in both OL.