ARCHIVED - Health 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

The internal document titled Official Languages Act (OLA) sets out the principal responsibilities arising from various parts of the OLA and describes the roles of the Corporate Services Branch concerning Parts IV to VI of the OLA and of the Information, Analysis and Connectivity Branch concerning Part VII of the OLA. The document does not, however, describe the roles and responsibilities of the champion nor of the managers pertaining to each Part of the OLA.

The obligations arising from Part VII of the Act and expectations in this regard are described in the internal policy entitled Policy to Support Official Language Minority Communities, which came into effect on April 1, 2004. The Department produces an action plan and a status report on the implementation of section 41 of the OLA for presentation to Canadian Heritage.

The document Healthy People in a Healthy and Effective Organization: A Roadmap for Action within Health Canada, establishes that official languages are a priority within the Department in the context of the modernization of human resources. The plan describes certain official languages measures that will be taken and who will take them and sets out timeframes.

In March 2004, the management committee also approved an action plan for the implementation of the new official languages policies within the Department.

Accountability measures consist of follow-ups with official languages co-ordinators and annual updates provide information on what the various branches, regions and the Public Health Agency of Canada have achieved. Promotion of diversity, equity and official languages are among the list of performance indicators against which it is suggested to evaluate managers' performance.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

The Department's Report on Plans and Priorities provides information on the initiative regarding health care in official language minority communities ($89 million over five years). The performance report includes a section on the requirement to enhance the vitality and support the development of official language minority communities. It sets out the role of the two advisory committees in this regard and provides for $1.9 million to be invested to launch the networking initiative and for $3.8 million in funding for community projects to be carried out under the Interdepartmental Partnership with the Official Language Communities initiative.

OL are not integrated into the Institution's internal audit mechanisms. However, the Department is planning to conduct an OL audit in 2005.

The OL champion sits on the management committee. The management committee meets to discuss official languages matters about three times a year. The Executive Director and the Director responsible for OL meet with the two Assistant Deputy Ministers on a regular basis to discuss OL issues.

There is excellent co-ordination of the various parts of the OLA. A network of co-ordinators for Part VII of the OLA has been set up, and there is an OL co-ordinator in each of the six regions.

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c) Complaints

Complaints relating to OL are sent directly to the Deputy Minister, with a copy to the head of OL. The person responsible for handling complaints remains in constant contact with the manager responsible, who must resolve the complaint and follow up on the corrective measures put in place.

Complaints are recorded in a database for purposes of analysis; this information is used for preparing reports on service to the public and language of work. Best practices are shared; information on recurring complaints is brought to the attention of the official languages coordinators and to all staff. As well, this information is included in Health Canada News and discussed at the annual OL coordinators' retreat.

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has identified a systemic problem with access to health services in French; the problem is tied to the transfer of responsibilities to the Yukon authorities.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

All Health Canada offices offering services in both OL are listed in Burolis and in the Blue Pages of telephone books.

During their visits in the fall of 2004, the OCOL representatives found that Burolis was not up-to-date, specifically with regard to point of service 12822.

As of March 31, 2004, the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) indicated that 81.9% of incumbents of bilingual positions providing services to the public met the language requirements of their positions.

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b) Findings on active offer and service delivery

On the basis of the observations on service in person made by representatives of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the fall of 2004, it was determined that visual active offer is made in 79.0% of cases and active offer is made by employees in 25.0% of cases, while service in the minority official language was found to be adequate in 70.0% of cases.

Telephone checks to assess services provided over the telephone conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada revealed that an active offer is being made by employees in 62.2% of cases, on voice mail in 78.7% of cases, while service is available in 85.4% of cases.

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

Staff members involved in purchasing and services are informed of their OL obligations as part of mandatory training. The new policy on grants and contributions was developed with the input of those in charge of OL. Various tools are available on the Human Resources intranet site. Services delivered by third parties are one of the topics covered in the brochure on service to the public. Contracts with consultants contain a clause for the provision of services in both official languages where required. It is the contract authority who verifies that the services are provided in both OL.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

The orientation course for new employees includes information on services to the public. The Managing for Results workshop given to managers contains information on services to the public. An information session on the language designation of positions given to HR specialists also included information on services to the public.

The Department distributes a brochure on service to the public and the information is also available on the intranet site. Regular reminders are issued by OL co-ordinators and this topic is sometimes included in various communiqués sent out by Headquarters.

With regards to monitoring of quality of services, the Department also did a follow-up on the points of service where the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Public Service Human Resources Agency revealed that service was not adequate and requested that those responsible take corrective action and report on these actions. As well, there is the follow-up on complaints regarding service to the public. HC plans to conduct an OL audit this year which should cover service to the public.

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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 74.1% of senior managers and 80.5% of supervisors holding bilingual positions were in fact bilingual. In 2003, Health Canada surveyed applicants for future positions in bilingual regions. The Department is seeking to improve the bilingual capacity of supervisors holding bilingual positions by developing a language training policy for them.

Health Canada does not have its own policy on language of work. However, those in charge of OL take every opportunity to promote the policy of the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada. Support measures, such as translation services, language training, and the availability of a wide range of instructional material to assist second-language learners in each of the eight Health Canada learning centres, have been put in place.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

Tools are available to encourage and increase the use of both official languages. These include posters and brochures on language of work, posters on holding meetings in both official languages, communiqués on various topics issued each month, information in this regard posted on the Intranet, and a protocol for the holding of meetings in both official languages. As well, the rights and responsibilities with regard to OL are explained to new employees as part of the orientation course and are included in the curriculum for the course Managing for Results.

A mini-survey to determine employees' awareness of language of work issues was conducted in November 2002, and a follow-up to this survey was done in November 2003. The Department is planning to conduct an audit of the use of the two OL in the coming year.

Management committee meetings are held in both OL.

The results of the survey for the entire Public Service reveal that 67.0% of French-speaking respondents for the bilingual regions of New Brunswick, Ontario, and the NCR "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with measures relating to language of work. In Quebec, 59.8% of Anglophones "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with measures relating to language of work.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

According to the information contained in the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) as of March 31, 2004, Francophones made up 25.0% of the Department's workforce across the country.

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

According to the information contained in the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) as of March 31, 2004, Anglophones made up 4.0% of the Department's workforce in Quebec.

In order to increase the representation of Anglophones in Quebec, the Department sits on the Public Service Commission's regional interdepartmental committee on official languages.

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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

Health Canada has two OL co-champions, who are responsible for ensuring that the institution's policies, programs, and strategic planning support the development of official-language minority communities. As well, the Department develops an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the OLA and a status report for presentation to Canadian Heritage.

In addition, the Department has put in place a structure, the Official Language Community Development Bureau, which allows the institution to be more aware of, and receptive to, the needs of these communities and provides for consultation of these communities on new priorities, initiatives, policies, and programs. As well, a network of co-ordinators responsible for the implementation of Part VII of the OLA, at Headquarters and in the regions, has been set up. These coordinators raise awareness by taking part in meetings of executive committees in their respective regions as well as meetings of the federal councils.

As well, there is an advisory committee on French language minority communities and an advisory committee on English-speaking minority communities.

The policy entitled Policy to Support Official Language Minority Communities, which came into force on April 1, 2004, was designed to better tailor Health Canada programs to the needs of official-language minority communities.

A contribution program to improve access to health services for official-language minority communities and the Primary Health Care Transition Fund have been set up.

The Department has adopted a communication policy that is in keeping with that of the federal government. The marketing manager, in conjunction with the placement agency, ensures that ads are placed in both OL and that the publication media reach the official-language minority communities. To this end, the Department has worked with the placement agency to draw up a list of English language and French language national and community newspapers across the country. As well, the Department ensures that radio and television ads appear in both official languages and that all advertising in bus shelters and on billboards is bilingual.

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

The two co-champions attend all important meetings and ensure that strategic planning, policies and programs take into account linguistic duality. In addition, the Department submits an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the OLA to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

A number of initiatives and tools have been introduced to promote the two OL to employees. Examples include the following: the questionnaire game on the Francophonie; various activities to celebrate the Journée de la francophonie within the Department; communiqués from the OL champion to all employees and messages from the Deputy Minister; "French Wednesdays" observed by staff working on Government On-Line within the Information, Analysis and Connectivity Branch; and a banner for the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie.

Measures put in place to advance linguistic duality outside the Department include having the Corporate Services Branch - Human Resources hand out documentation on the values relating to diversity and linguistic duality at Health Canada at job fairs and as part of public recruitment activities. In early 2004, the Department also allowed one of the employees in its Information, Analysis and Connectivity Branch to become a member of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie national committee.

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