Creating a structure

Page 7 of 14

As early as possible in the planning process, the organizing committee must set up an official languages unit whose role is to provide support and guidance to other units with respect to implementing the language provisions. The unit will also be tasked with raising awareness among partners and staff of the importance of official languages, and with establishing relationships with the official language minority community. For the unit to have a true impact on decision making, it must be given sufficient authority and resources. All of the organizing committee’s components must work closely with the official languages unit to ensure that all strategic and operational plans take official languages into consideration.

The organizing committee’s senior management must stay firmly committed to staging an event that reflects linguistic duality, even under difficult circumstances. To demonstrate the importance of official languages, the organizing committee should adopt an internal language policy that defines the way in which it intends to meet requirements. To implement the policy, senior management must demonstrate leadership and inform the entire committee and all partners of the importance it places on fulfilling language requirements to ensure the event’s success. Furthermore, the committee—and the management team in particular—must have a sufficient number of individuals who are bilingual or who understand the sensitivities of both language groups.

It would also be useful to set up an official languages advisory committee, composed of official languages experts and members of the various partner organizations. The advisory committee must include people with good credibility and a high level of authority. Key members of the official language communities should also sit on the committee. Representation from national and local Francophone organizations—or Anglophone organizations, if the event is being held in Quebec—should be a priority to ensure a variety of viewpoints.

KEY QUESTIONS

Organizing committee

  • How will we ensure that the official languages unit has the resources and authority it needs to do its job effectively?
  • How will our senior managers raise employee awareness of the importance of official languages for the event’s success?
  • Will we have a clear internal official languages policy that details how we intend to fulfill our language requirements?
  • Will our team have enough people who understand the sensitivities and cultural references of both official language groups?
  • How will we promote collaboration within the organizing committee to ensure a proper understanding of the impact of language requirements from an operational standpoint?
  • Will we establish an official languages advisory committee that includes members from national and local organizations representing both official language groups?


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