Establishing agreements

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With the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada and the partners usually sign an agreement, sometimes during the bidding phase, that defines each party’s roles and responsibilities. Because of the federal government’s responsibilities regarding official languages, the agreement must contain language provisions that the organizing committee and other signatories are to comply with before, during and after the sporting event.

The agreement should, at minimum, provide for the following:

  • All communications with the public and participants will be provided simultaneously in both official languages (for example, signage, printed documentation, Web site, media kits, advertisements and technical manuals).
  • Services will be provided in both official languages at all times to the public and participants (athletes, coaches, officials, etc.), including safety and emergency services.
  • Both of Canada’s official language communities will be included and represented in the spoken and visual components of the ceremonies and of the cultural activities organized in conjunction with the sporting event.
  • The organizing committee will ensure active participation by members of the official language minority community and make sure that the community’s needs are taken into consideration.
  • The organizing committee will determine translation and interpretation needs.
  • A timetable for delivering progress and evaluation reports will be prepared.
  • In order to meet these requirements, the organizing committee will acquire sufficient bilingual capacity among its staff and volunteers, including the management team.


In addition to the initial agreement, other instruments, such as contribution agreements, are required to establish a framework for the activities for which the Government of Canada is providing funding. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that such agreements are clear, detailed and comprehensive so as to avoid any misinterpretation of the language provisions. The principles and values underlying language requirements should be included to help interpret the provisions.

The language provisions must be accompanied by expected results, performance indicators and reporting mechanisms, so that signatories are fully aware of their obligations arising from the principle of equality of official languages. The language requirements are the minimum standards that must be met: nothing prevents those requirements from being surpassed to better meet the needs of the two official language communities.

KEY QUESTIONS

Organizing committee

  • How will we inform our employees, partners and sponsors of our language obligations?
  • How will we ensure that they understand and comply with them?
  • Do we know whom to contact if we are unsure about how to interpret the language provisions?

Government of Canada

  • How will we ensure that agreements are clear and comprehensive with respect to official languages?
  • How will we check to determine whether any of the language provisions are confusing?
  • Will the language provisions contained in the agreements cover all of our expectations and responsibilities?
  • Will the agreements contain principles and values to help interpret the language provisions?
  • Will expected results, performance indicators and reporting mechanisms be included in the agreements?

With other partners

The organizing committee and federal institutions involved in the event will be called upon to sign other types of agreements.

- Collaborative agreement with official language communities
As early as possible in the planning stage, the organizing committee should focus on building strong relationships with key organizations in the official language minority community, as well as with national organizations representing this language group. To do this, the organizing committee could, for example, sign a collaborative agreement with these organizations to foster constructive dialogue. Regular meetings are extremely useful to plan and coordinate activities effectively.

- Agreements with service providers
When the organizing committee or a federal institution enters an agreement with a service provider to offer services to the public and participants on its behalf, it must ensure that these services are provided in both official languages. The committee or institution must clarify itsexpectations, propose solutions, and perform follow-ups and monitoring. Members of the public expect to receive service in the official language of their choice, regardless of who provides the service.

- Agreements with broadcasters
The guiding principle behind any broadcast agreement (television, Web, etc.) should be to provide equal access in both official languages. In the case of events broadcast across the country, the broadcasting rights holder must ensure, from the outset, that each and every citizen will be able to experience the event in the official language of their choice, regardless of where they may find themselves in the country. The Government of Canada should be proactive so that agreements enabling equal access can be easily reached with the broadcasting rights holder.

KEY QUESTIONS

Organizing committee and federal institutions

  • How will we encourage both of Canada’s official language communities to participate, and how will we build relationships with key organizations within the official language minority community?
  • How will we define the role of key organizations and how can we ensure that the expectations and roles of each are clear and well defined?
  • How will we clarify expectations and how will we perform follow-ups and monitoring to ensure that service providers acting on our behalf fulfill official languages requirements by providing services in both languages?

Broadcasting rights holder

  • What measures will we take to ensure that media access to the event is equal in both official languages?


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