ARCHIVED - Environment Canada 2006-2007

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Performance Report Card 2006-2007
Environment Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

Note: Environment Canada is continuing to implement a new accountability structure that involves the use of national committees and horizontal departmental teams. Senior management has approved a set of recommendations developed by a special group mandated to ensure bilingual capability within the new structure. Once the pilot projects are completed, the group hopes to make its new set of tools available to every team. Such tools would include, for example, a presentation on the operating rules for work teams (made available through the intranet), along with guidance from a facilitator where needed. The Department also plans to develop a new policy to address service to the public and language of work.

Environment Canada's Official Languages Management Framework outlines a series of roles and responsibilities with regard to Official Languages (OL) and prescribes how the obligations under Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) are to be fulfilled. While the document is still in use, an updated version will better reflect the new horizontal structure, the coordination mechanisms, the manner in which those in charge are held accountable, and amendments to the Act.

In January of 2006, the Management Committee approved the Department's OL Strategy and Action Plan. The Department subsequently formed an Official Languages Committee to implement the Plan. The Committee hopes to update the Strategy in the next fiscal year so that it will be truly strategic, attainable, practical and properly communicated. The Action Plan includes objectives, describes activities, sets deadlines, identifies those in charge and establishes the appropriate performance indicators.

The Department takes the Action Plan's objectives into account in its annual report to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC) and during discussions with the Executive Management Committee.


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

The Performance Report refers to both the Strategy and the Action plan. The Report on Plans and Priorities, however, makes no mention of OL. While OL remains an objective for the Champion, it is not currently included in internal audits. The importance accorded to OL by the Department can be seen in its new, results-based management structure, as well as in its creation of results management teams.

Several discussions have been held in the past year at the Executive Management Committee regarding OL. More specifically, Part VII of the Actwas discussed, along with issues surrounding language of work. In addition to this, the project on bilingualism within the horizontal structure was presented to senior management in October of 2006, and again in January and February of 2007. The new OL Champion is an assistant deputy minister and is currently organizing a network of manager coordinators.


c) Complaints (5%)

The person responsible for OL within the human resources management team handles all OL-related complaints, while the relevant managers help develop sustainable solutions. Complaints are discussed during Departmental OL Committee meetings to provide information and follow-ups, and to prevent similar problems from recurring. More substantial complaints may be forwarded to the Champion. Executive Management Committee members have been informed of the internal measures taken in response to a complaint about language of work.




Service to the Public - Part IV (25%)

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (3%)

The Department's points of service are advertised in Burolis. Services listed in the blue pages are available in both OL. The Department's key services to the public are its local weather reports, made available through an automated telephone service. Significant changes at offices serving the public are advertised or posted online.

A total of 88% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements for their position. (Source: Position and Classification Information System (PCIS), March 31, 2006)


b) Observations on active offer and service delivery

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, visual active offer was present in 93% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 19% of cases and service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 94% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 49% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 56% of cases.


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

Environment Canada's Departmental Guideline on Service to the Public states that provisions regarding linguistic obligations for service to the public must be included in agreements signed by third parties on behalf of the Department. The Guideline also stipulates that review mechanisms must be in place to ensure that this commitment is fulfilled. Service contracts and partnership agreements are drafted using a template, which includes a standard clause that provides for the delivery of bilingual services where required. The manager responsible for the contract or agreement is also responsible for identifying the relevant OL requirements and doing quality control.



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

The Guideline on Service to the Public addresses all the obligations related to the subject, including active offer, signage, use of the media, national and international events and websites. The Guideline is available to all personnel through the Department's intranet site. Inquiries from managers provide the Human Resources Directorate with an opportunity to inform them of their obligations.

The Prairie and Northern Human Resources Services Directorate performs spot checks of active offer by those responsible for serving the public in both OL, of identification of bilingual counters and of voice messages that must be bilingual. Managers are alerted to upcoming checks and are informed of their responsibilities. Assistance is also given when corrective measures are needed. Quebec Region reviews its Burolis data biannually.




Language of Work - Part V (25%)

a) Language of work policy and adequate bilingual supervision (12.5%)

The Department uses the PSHRMAC's Language of Work Policy. This policy is complemented by sections of the OL Management Framework dealing with language of work.

The Department has offered second-language training for career development and has widened access to internal translation services. A reference tool for bilingual meetings and OL operating rules for departmental teams are also provided.

As of March 31, 2006, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) indicated that 93% of senior management and 91% of supervisors who must communicate with their staff in both languages in bilingual regions are bilingual.


b) Use of each official language in the workplace (12.5%)

Managers are reminded of their obligations regarding language of work as part of the implementation of the Department's new “horizontal” management structure. Acting as spokesperson for bilingualism within the horizontal teams, the OL Manager took part in the annual headquarters symposium. Close to 300 employees were in attendance. The Executive Management Committee is preparing to launch an initiative allowing over 200 management teams to function in both OL. Executive Management Committee meetings take place in both OL.

The Department sees complaints as a force for change and seizes opportunities to take action in situations where the language of work issue is neglected.

The Public Service Employee Survey showed that overall, 69% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region, in New Brunswick and in bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 70% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.




Equitable Participation  - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 29.2% Francophone. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2006)


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 9.4% Anglophone. (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2006)




Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality - Part  VII (25%)

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of official language minority communities (12.5%)

The OL Management Framework stipulates that the Director General of the Corporate Management and Review Directorate must incorporate the Department's commitment to enhancing the vitally of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) within the Department's planning process.

In December of 2006, Justice Canada, in response to a request from Environment Canada, gave a presentation to the Departmental Management Services Board. The presentation dealt with Part VII of the Act and the Department's obligations under Parts IV and V. It also generated a discussion of the issues.

The Champion and the Assistant Deputy Minister want to ensure that the Department meets its obligations under Part VII. Creating a network of OL champions therefore becomes an important first step in increasing employee awareness.

The Department has not yet begun developing an action plan promoting regional OLMCs. However, the OL Management Framework stipulates that managers must consult OLMCs in order to identify their specific needs. These needs must then be taken into consideration when planning or implementing programs and activities.


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

The OL Management Framework clearly states that managers must monitor the performance of their obligations in regard to promoting French and English within their respective programs.

In a December 2006 presentation to the Departmental Management Services Board, the Justice Canada addressed the obligations related to linguistic duality. Discussion of this issue followed.

Both the Champion and Assistant Deputy Minister want to ensure that the Department meets its obligations under Part VII. Creating a network of OL champions therefore becomes an important first step in increasing personnel awareness. The Department has not yet begun its review process to determine which programs or activities have an impact on the use of French and English.

As part of the June 2005 National Public Service Week, the Department's “The French Connection/Le Lien Français” group received the Award of Excellence from the Pacific Federal Council's OL Committee for organizing activities to celebrate and promote French culture. The Department's National Youth Network takes part in various activities, such as the regional “lunch and learn” sessions, which promote the use of French. Negotiations were also held between the Department and the managers of a building in Montréal so that communications with the building's occupants would be bilingual.

Environment Canada has not yet begun developing an action plan to promote linguistic duality.