ARCHIVED - Fisheries and Oceans Canada 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

There is an accountability framework, but it does not specifically address official languages (OL). The Deputy Minister (DM) wishes to refocus efforts within the Department and intends to review the Framework.

OL accountability rests with the Deputy Minister and all departmental executives in bilingual regions, as indicated in their performance agreements. The DM is supported by the two champions and OL activities and programs are coordinated by the Corporate Senior OL Advisor, the Director of Learning and Recognition and regional OL advisors.

The Department does not currently have an OL action plan apart from the measures set out in the Annual Report on parts IV and V of the OLA. The Report does not identify responsible individuals, nor does it contain timetables or deal with parts VI and VII of the OLA. A departmental OL Action Plan is being developed with the intent of submitting it to the HR Departmental Management Committee in 2005.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

The 2004 Departmental Performance Report makes reference to the Department's commitments regarding the promotion of OL within the Institution and the creation of a workplace free of discriminatory barriers. OL are not mentioned in the Report on Plans and Priorities.

Audits that included OL were conducted in 1995 and 1997. OL are not, however, systematically integrated into internal audits, although telephone surveys to monitor the quality of services are conducted.

The Executive Committee discusses OL on average four times a year. There are two co-champions: an assistant deputy minister and a regional director general, who represent the majority viewpoint, as 90.0% of staff are located in the regions. There is excellent coordination between the champions and those responsible for the various parts of the Official Languages Act.

One of the champions sits on the ADM Advisory Group on Language Training and Testing.

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c) Complaints

Pursuant to the memorandum of understanding with the Commissioner of Official Languages on the procedure for settling complaints, complaints are sent to the regional managers or sector in question to take the necessary corrective measures. A follow-up is conducted to ensure the recommendations pursuant to complaints are implemented.

Despite certain improvements, OCOL indicated that there are still serious deficiencies in the training provided by the Coast Guard College and at-sea practicums, which are not always available in French.

The new Director of the College, appointed in January 2004, is placing much emphasis on advancing the OL within the College and intends to improve the situation.

The conversion of the Coast Guard to a Special Operating Agency on April 1, 2005, will affirm the commitment to results, combined with increased accountability focussed more strongly on the delivery of services to Canadians.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

Designated offices are listed in Burolis and the Blue Pages. Signs and advertisements are in both OL.

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information system (PCIS) indicated that 84.2% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public met the linguistic requirements of their position.

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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 60.0% of cases; active offer was made by staff in 30.0% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 70.0% of cases.

The telephone service audit conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency showed there was an active offer from staff 71.8% of the time and on telephone answering systems 85.5% of the time, while service in both languages was available in 86.3% of cases.

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

The contracts unit prepares contracts and DFO Legal Services is charged with ensuring that contracts are in accordance with legislation.

Discussions are currently under way between Legal Services and Contracting to include a clause on the provision of services in both OL in all third-party service contracts.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

Employees offering service to the public are informed of their responsibilities in this respect, and there are reminders.

DFO carries out telephone audits to ensure that the services provided are of satisfactory quality. Complaints also serve as indicators of the quality of services. The results of these audits are forwarded to the regions and presented in the annual report. Audits are performed at least once a year. No examples of monitoring to ensure the quality of services offered in person were provided.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) indicated that 80.9% of EXs and 78.8% of supervisors who must communicate with their staff in both languages in bilingual regions are bilingual.

The Institution does not have its own language of work policy, but support measures do exist, including tools to raise employee awareness, information on the Intranet, and articles in the newsletter Au courant/In the Loop. A new language school has also opened in the Central and Arctic Region (Sarnia, Ont.) to help employees improve their knowledge of their second language. Four people have just completed their studies and four more have been accepted.

Although the regions are relatively independent in terms of day-to-day compliance with directives, they work in close partnership with the federal councils on the issue of language of work.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

In order to promote a workplace conducive to the use of both OL, the DM announced in 2000 that all supervisory positions in bilingual regions would have a CBC language profile. Moreover, employees in unilingual regions required to supervise employees in bilingual regions would also have to have a CBC language profile so they could supervise in the employees' language of choice.

An intranet site available to everyone has been created to provide relevant information and reminders appear regularly in the weekly electronic newsletter "Au Courant/In the Loop."

The Parlons project initiated in the Newfoundland and Labrador region encourages employees to use their preferred language in communication with their co-workers or in meetings. The initiative also helps employees who have completed language training to maintain their proficiency. A CAP participant in the Pacific Region was provided with training through the "All Ears" program, designed to meet the needs of Anglophones with listening, comprehension and pronunciation problems.

For a long time, English was the only, or almost the only, language used at senior management meetings. However, positive measures have been taken to ensure a good balance in use of both OL on a regular basis. The Deputy Minister strongly encourages this practice.

In order to provide effective corporate services in the language of choice, all HR services for the Coast Guard College are now provided by the Gulf Region office located in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The survey conducted by the Public Service-wide Employees Survey in 2002 found that 74.6% of Francophone respondents in bilingual regions of New Brunswick, Ontario and the NCR completely agree or mostly agree with the language of work regime in the workplace. In Quebec, 82.6% of Anglophones completely agree or mostly agree with the language regime in the workplace.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) indicated that 21.0% of the Department's employees are Francophone.

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) indicated that 2.0% of the Department's Quebec employees are Anglophones.

A Fisheries and Oceans manager who is a member of the Quebec Federal Council's network of managers played a considerable role in developing a project submitted to the Treasury Board under the Innovation Fund; the Project's objective is to increase the participation and recruitment of Anglophones in the Public Service of Canada in Quebec. As part of the project, a meeting was recently held with Anglophone managers to identify the challenges and opportunities they see in the Public Service.

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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

Fisheries and Oceans is in regular contact with the communities and works with them to define their needs and determine the role the Department can play in promoting their development. As an example, through the Interdepartmental Partnership with Official Language Communities (IPOLC), DFO and Canadian Heritage are making a joint effort to increase employment and training opportunities in fishing communities and create aquaculture service centres.

A group within the Department is responsible for ensuring that advertisements comply with the government's new communications policy and appear in media outlets serving the Anglophone and Francophone minorities. For example, in Moncton, DFO pays for inserts in local French-language newspapers to reach Francophone fishermen.

DFO recently organized an awareness campaign on Part VII of the OLA. A presentation was made at all the sectoral and regional management tables. DFO plans to extend this campaign to increase awareness as much as possible among employees responsible for drawing up or implementing programs and/or initiatives to make them aware of the impact of their decisions on minority communities. Awareness documents were also distributed during the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie.

A DFO representative sits on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) committee for Quebec's Anglophone minority community and the one for the Francophone community living outside Quebec. DFO will soon join the government table of the national HRSDC committee.

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

The Department promotes linguistic duality to the communities it serves. An example of this is the language training that is offered to the Gaspé Anglophone community to help them improve or maintain their proficiency in spoken French.

DFO participates in the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and Public Service Week. In 2004, it participated in the 400th anniversary of Acadia and the 500th anniversary of Labrador. A number of activities or workshops to promote linguistic duality were also held in DFO's regional offices.

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Fact Sheet