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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

Elements of an OL responsibility framework exist. The policy manual sets out NAV CANADA's commitment to, and general policy on, official languages (OL). It describes the responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Management (EMC). The Manager's Guide and the Employee's Guide set out the respective responsibilities of managers and employees regarding service to the public, language of work and equitable participation, as well as administrative procedures (e.g. staffing of bilingual positions, and complaints from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL)). Those documents are posted on the Intranet. Because the human resources (HR) function is so highly centralized in NAV CANADA and because it is the unit that monitors the implementation of NAV CANADA's OL action plan, the Legislated Programmes Division is able to play an effective oversight role on all OL questions (e.g. staffing, training, bilingual communications, job position creation and classification) and does play such a role.

A 2003-2006 OL action plan with objectives, dates, deliverables and specific actions to be undertaken was prepared with the managers who are responsible for implementing it, discussed and approved by the EMC, and distributed to managers. It is being followed. The Plan was reviewed and updated in December 2004 by NAV CANADA's HR Services. Although there is no structured approach to review NAV CANADA's OL action plan by the EMC, elements are discussed at the EMC as required.

As a result of a major software upgrade, NAV CANADA can now capture new information about different OL characteristics for each position in the organization. (Examples are: whether the position is unilingual or bilingual; its linguistic profile; and whether the position has supervisory responsibilities.) Once the current review of all bilingual positions in the organization is completed and the data banks are populated, the system will result in significantly improved OL statistical reporting concerning bilingual capacity. NAV CANADA is hoping to have its current work completed by the end of calendar 2006.

The continued ability to meet the job's bilingual requirements is part of the annual performance review assessment of employees such as air traffic controllers.

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

As a private-sector company that generates its own revenue, NAV CANADA does not make Cabinet submissions and does not receive funds from Treasury Board. The Policy Manual sets out the Corporation's commitment to Canada's linguistic duality. The most recent Annual Report (for the year ending August 2005) makes reference to NAV CANADA's Code of Conduct, which contains the company's commitment to "ensure respect for the language rights of its employees, customers, and all those with whom it does business."

After nine years of existence, the internal audit cycle has not yet included OL. The EMC discusses OL approximately three times a year. The champion is a vice president who is a member of the EMC. As well, the Director of Human Resources (a senior manager at a level equivalent to director general in the Public Service) who is in charge of OL accompanies the Vice President to meetings that deal specifically with OL. The HR manager is actively involved in OL matters and there is a very good ongoing dialogue between her and the OL coordinator. In 2005-2006, NAV CANADA began looking at ways to start meeting its Part VII obligations. This new work is happening within the HR Division at headquarters that is responsible for the other parts of the Official Languages Act. As a result, Part VII and Parts IV to VI stand to benefit from having a single integrated approach.

c) Complaints (5%)

Although NAV CANADA incurred a number of OL complaints after the company's creation in late 1996, OCOL no longer receives many complaints about NAV CANADA (only 11 in the past 4 1/2 years).  Nonetheless, to signal to employees management's willingness to deal with OL concerns, NAV CANADA developed a procedure for internal OL complaints in September 2003. That procedure has now been communicated to stakeholders and the Manager's Guide and the Employee's Guide were updated in 2004.

NAV CANADA's complaint resolution process appears to be effective—complaints are dealt with quickly and the responsible manager is involved, OCOL has not identified any outstanding systemic OL problems.

Service to the public –Part IV

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (4%)

NAV CANADA's bilingual points of service are listed on the BUROLIS Web site. Also, NAV CANADA's bilingual Web site lists a series of 1-800 numbers where callers can get weather briefings in both languages. A list of its main headquarters- and Ottawa-based services also appears in both languages in the Ottawa-Gatineau White Pages.

NAV CANADA does not yet have the capacity to electronically capture information about the linguistic capabilities of employees who serve the public but they are working on developing such a capacity as part of a major software upgrade to their HR systems. However, only partial information will likely be available by May 2006, with full functionality and all the data fields being "populated" only by December 2006. Nonetheless, NAV CANADA was able to manually identify 2,356 positions with an element of "service to the public". Of those positions, at least 2,210 (or 94%) of the incumbents meet the language requirements of their position. These data are as of December 20, 2005.

b) Findings on active offer and service delivery (15%)

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer to the public was present in 100% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the OL minority was adequate in 100% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 33% of cases, while service in the language of the OL minority was adequate in 89% of cases.

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

The contracts unit is exclusively responsible for preparing contracts. The unit uses a standard language clause. Once contracts are signed, each department is responsible for monitoring compliance with the language clause as well as all other clauses.

There do not seem to be central monitoring mechanisms to ensure service quality in both OL (e.g. audits, internal or external surveys of users, etc.), but any contract compliance issues are immediately reported to Contracting and Procurement and dealt with quickly.  A good example of this would be the shortcomings NAV CANADA was experiencing with its third party recruiter regarding advertising in the minority language press.  These issues were quickly identified and corrected.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

Currently controllers and "flight service specialists" hired for bilingual positions are tested for language proficiency when they are hired and annually thereafter as a condition of employment. (The organization uses the services of professional outsiders to assess the language proficiency of its controllers.)

To become an air traffic controller, recruits must go through an extensive training programme at NAV CANADA's Training Institute (NCTI). Those who will offer services in both languages get formal and practical training at this time, including how to offer the service in both languages. Later, all controllers go through a placement before assuming full responsibility in their control tower. During the placement, those offering bilingual services receive on-the-job coaching from another experienced employee.

Since 2002, the Corporation has had a complaint and ombudsman service for virtually anything that the company does that directly affects the public (e.g. issues of safety, service, billing, and technical enquiries). In the case of a complaint from a pilot, the company can retrieve the audiotapes of the exchange and ensure that appropriate procedure was followed. Other than this, it is unclear how much other active monitoring of the quality of bilingual services by management takes place. Nonetheless, managers are expected to take corrective measures when problems are brought to their attention. After the Treasury Board Secretariat conducted its 2003 telephone survey, e-mail reminders were sent to employees. As part of its Legislated Programs Communications Plan, NAV CANADA continues to provide follow-up e-mail reminders about the importance of actively offering service in both OL.

Language of work – Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy (12.5%)

NAV CANADA was not able to provide data regarding the number of supervisors qualified to carry out their duties in both languages and has not reported this information to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada for at least two years. As already noted above, as part of its OL action plan, NAV CANADA is working on developing the mechanisms necessary to fully permit this reporting capability by the end of 2006 and has made good progress so far in this regard.

The Manager's Guide and Employee's Guide set out in point form the Company's policy on language of work in bilingual regions. That policy is to "endeavour" to provide employees: (a) a conducive work environment; (b) access to internal services and common work instruments (and widely used technology systems); (c) professional training and development in the employee's language of choice; (d) encouragement to employees to use the official language of their choice in meetings and to receive the minutes of those meetings in the employee's chosen OL; and (e) supervision in the employee's OL of choice, if the employee occupies a bilingual position.

Some support measures exist, e.g. translation and revision services are available and tools such as TermiNav (which contains specialised terminology in both languages).

b) Establishment of an environment conducive to both official languages (12.5%)

Because of its strategic placement in the organization and its mandate, NAV CANADA's Legislated Programmes Division is able to monitor how managers are fulfilling their language of work obligations. More generally, NAV CANADA relies on complaints that may come from employees to monitor language use. Management does not regularly remind employees to use their preferred OL in the workplace. Nor has NAV CANADA yet conducted any employee satisfaction surveys on the subject of employees' ability to use their preferred official language to verify the application of the policy.

Even though there is bilingual capacity within the EMC, the proceedings tend to be conducted in English.

Equitable participation – Part VI

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

Francophones account for 18.2% of NAV CANADA's workforce as a whole. (Table P1 of NAV CANADA's 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages)

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

Anglophones account for 9.1% of NAV CANADA's workforce in Quebec. (Table P1 of NAV CANADA's 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages)

Development of official language minority 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 (12.5%)

Development of the OL minority communities has not been a consideration in NAV CANADA's corporate philosophy so far. No mechanism to achieve that objective has been put in place in the company's strategic planning or policy and program development nor have consultations been held with OL minority communities. However, in 2005-2006, NAV CANADA began looking at ways to start meeting its Part VII obligations. The company will likely seek opportunities to promote the two official languages outside its walls by looking at the possibility of financial sponsorships of minority language Francophone community events outside Quebec, and of an English reading programme for Francophones inside Quebec. While nothing has been determined yet, EMC may be offered some options for approval of sponsorship agreements before March 31, 2006. Thus, some planning for promotional activities has begun. Even so, Part VII is not an integral part of strategic policy planning and program development.

NAV CANADA's practices in terms of the purchase of space and time in OL minority language community media comply with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada.

Employees do not seem to be well informed of the needs of the OL minority communities served by NAV CANADA.

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

Historically, strategic planning and the development of policies and programs have not taken into account the promotion of linguistic duality. However, recently NAV CANADA has begun exploring what it could do to promote linguistic duality in Canada. The company's only clientele—apart from a few telephone and walk-in enquiries at its national headquarters—is composed exclusively of airplane pilots. NAV CANADA's in-flight communications with these pilots is carried out by radio in strict accordance with established, very specific protocols and procedures that drastically limit free-flowing verbal exchanges.