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Performance Report 2006-2007

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

Note: NAV CANADA is a private-sector monopoly. Its core business is the provision of air navigation services to the aviation community, including air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, flight planning, flight advisory services, and other support such as aeronautical information. These services are provided in both official languages throughout Quebec and the National Capital Region (NCR), in accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). The provision of these services is subject to regulation by Transport Canada, which regularly conducts audits and inspections of NAV CANADA facilities and operations.

Elements of an accountability framework for official languages (OL) exist. The policy manual sets out NAV CANADA's commitment to, and general policy on, OL. It describes the OL responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Management Committee (EMC). The Manager's Handbook and the Employee's Handbook 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). Part VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act)is not mentioned. All of these documents are posted on the intranet.

A  2005-2008 OL action plan with objectives, dates and the responsible “office of primary involvement” (OPI) has been prepared. It was developed in conjunction with the managers who are responsible for implementing it, discussed and approved by the EMC, and distributed to managers. It is being followed.

Mechanisms exist to measure the extent to which the OL action plan objectives are being met. For example, where elements of the Action Plan are included in managers' annual performance objectives, payment of the annual bonus and performance assessment are affected by progress made against the Plan. More generally, on a yearly basis, managers are reminded of OL during the annual signing of the NAV CANADA Code of Conduct, which specifically includes OL. Although there is no structured approach for the EMC to review NAV CANADA's Official Languages Action Plan, it discusses elements as required. Furthermore, because the human resources (HR) function is highly centralized in NAV CANADA, and because it is the unit that monitors the implementation of NAV CANADA's Official Languages Action Plan, the Legislated Programs Division is able to play an oversight role on all OL issues (e.g., staffing, training, bilingual communications, job position creation and classification) and it does play such a role. The continued ability to meet the bilingual requirements of their position is part of the annual performance review assessment of operational employees such as air traffic controllers in bilingual positions.


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

NAV CANADA is a private-sector monopoly that generates its own revenue. No mention of the Corporation's OL objectives is found in either the 2005-2008 Business Plan or the 2005 Annual Report.

As a result of the new obligations created under the Ontario Securities Commission legislation, NAV CANADA would include as part of its audit process the identification of any issues associated with OL that might be considered “material risks.” Other than this, after 10 years of existence, OL has not been the subject of an audit.

The EMC discusses OL approximately three times a year. The Champion is the Director of Communications, who is a member of the EMC.

The Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources is in charge of OL matters, and there is a good dialogue between him and the OL Coordinator, who reports to him. As well, the Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources accompanies his vice-president to meetings that deal specifically with OL. The Champion is kept apprised of significant OL issues on a regular basis. Active lines of communication are maintained between the OL Coordinator, the Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources and the OL Champion.  In 2006-2007, NAV CANADA continued to look at ways to meet its Part VII obligations. This work is happening within the HR division at headquarters that is responsible for the other parts of the Act. As a result, Parts IV, VI and VII stand to benefit from having a single integrated approach.


c) Complaints (5%)

NAV CANADA's OL complaint resolution process appears to be effective—complaints are dealt with quickly, the responsible manager is involved and specific complaints do not reoccur. Indeed, OCOL no longer receives many complaints about NAV CANADA (only eight since April 1, 2002). Because NAV CANADA now gets so few complaints, they are all brought to the Champion's attention. If he deems them to be significant, he shares them with the EMC.




Service to the Public - Part IV (25%)

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (3%)

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 appears in both languages in the Ottawa-Gatineau white pages.

NAV CANADA does not yet have the capacity to electronically capture full information about the linguistic skills of employees who serve the public, but it is working on developing such a capacity as part of a major software upgrade to its HR systems. However, only partial information was available by December 2006; full functionality and all the data fields will not be populated until September 1, 2008. Nonetheless, NAV CANADA was able to manually identify 545 bilingual positions with an element of "service to the public." Of those positions, at least 440 employees (or 81%) meet the language requirements of their position. These data are valid as of January 23, 2007.


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

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, an active visual offer was present in 75% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 25% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2006, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 50% of cases.


c) 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 and uses a standard language clause. Once contracts are signed, each division is responsible for monitoring compliance with the language clause as well as all other clauses.

The Corporation contracts with private-sector organizations for the operation of its employee assistance program, its disability management program and others. Such services are made available in the language of choice for NAV CANADA employees. Although there are no specific central OL monitoring mechanisms (audits, internal or external surveys of users, etc.), contract compliance issues that are raised by users are immediately reported to Contracting and Procurement, and dealt with quickly. A good example of this would be the shortcomings NAV CANADA experienced at one point with its third-party recruiter regarding advertising in the minority language press. These issues were identified and quickly corrected.


d) Policy on service to the public and bilingual services quality monitoring (5%)

Note: The Treasury Board's official language regulations exempt air traffic control service points outside the NCR and the province of Quebec from the Act's general requirement to offer service in both official languages at locations where there is significant demand for bilingual service. For this reason, NAV CANADA does not have any points of service offering service in both languages to pilots outside Quebec or the NCR.

Both the OL Guidelines for Employees and the OL Guidelines for Managers contain a policy statement on customer service for the NCR and bilingual offices. In addition to setting out requirements regarding communications and bilingual service delivery, both documents contain a sentence that says, “NAV CANADA is committed to the equal status of Canada's two official languages.”

For the most part, NAV CANADA employees do not provide service to the general public. Instead, air traffic controllers and flight service specialists deal only with airplane pilots. To become an air traffic controller, recruits must go through an extensive training program. Those who will offer services in both languages get formal and practical training at that time, including how to offer the service in both languages. Later, all controllers go through a placement before assuming full responsibility in their work location. During the placement, those offering bilingual services receive on-the-job coaching from another experienced employee. 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 external professionals to assess the language proficiency of its controllers.)

The provision of service to pilots from designated bilingual flight towers is subject to several controls. Since 2002, the Corporation has had a complaint and ombudsman service for virtually anything that it does that directly affects the public (e.g., issues related to safety, service and billing, and technical enquiries). In the case of a complaint from a pilot, the Corporation can retrieve the audiotapes of the exchange and ensure that the appropriate procedure was followed. Moreover, NAV CANADA managers and supervisors providing or overseeing the provision of bilingual service must be capable of providing supervision and direction in English and French. This is, in fact, a fundamental job requirement in those facilities that provide bilingual service in accordance with the CARs.




Language of Work - Part V (25%)

a) Language of work policy and adequate bilingual supervision (12.5%)

The Manager's Handbook and Employee's Handbookset out in point form the Corporation's policy on language of work in bilingual regions. Among other things, the policy states that: (i) widely used work instruments; (ii) supervision of employees in bilingual positions; and (iii) professional training and development should (but not must) be available in the employee's language of choice in offices that have been designated bilingual for purposes of language of work. A reminder was sent out on February 22, 2006, by the Corporation's Chief Human Resources Officer on the subject of bilingual communications between regions.

Some support measures exist to facilitate the use of the minority official language in bilingual workplaces, e.g., translation and revision services, and tools such as TermiNav (which contains specialized terminology in both languages), but NAV CANADA does not have any language retention measures.

NAV CANADA does not yet have the full capacity to electronically capture information about the linguistic capabilities of managers who supervise employees in bilingual positions in bilingual regions, but it is working on developing such a capacity. Only partial information was available by December 2006, with full functionality for all the data fields anticipated by September 1, 2008.

In the meantime, NAV CANADA has completed a position language profile review for 40% of bilingual positions and assembled information regarding each individual's associated ability to provide bilingual supervision. Specifically, NAV CANADA has completed detailed position language profile reviews for all positions, including both supervisory and non-supervisory positions, located in North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Saint John and Fredericton. It had commenced detailed work on supervisory and non-supervisory positions located in Dorval and Mirabel.


b) Use of each official language in the workplace (12.5%)

Managers are not reminded consistently of the need to create a workplace that is conducive to the use of both official languages.  Management does not regularly remind employees to use their preferred OL in the workplace.

However, management does consistently provide corporate management documents and employee information notices and updates in both official languages. The Corporation's electronic bulletin service, its employee newsletter and annual report, a host of special publications, its operational and technical manuals, and training materials are produced and distributed in English and French.

Even though there is bilingual capacity within the EMC, the proceedings tend to be conducted in English. The Corporation provides an interpretation service at its Annual General Meeting and at senior managers' meetings where required.

Although NAV CANADA itself has not yet conducted any employee satisfaction surveys, audits or special reports on OL, it did participate in the OCOL survey conducted in the fall of 2006 by Statistics Canada. This survey concerned employees' ability to use their preferred official language in the workplace. Beyond this, NAV CANADA relies on complaints from employees to monitor language use and to identify the need to send out reminders to managers. Because of its strategic placement in the organization and its mandate, NAV CANADA's Legislated Programs Division does some monitoring of how managers are fulfilling their language of work obligations by checking staffing actions, receiving OL complaints, etc.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL showed that overall, 53% of Francophone respondents in the NCR, New Brunswick and bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 72% of Anglophone respondents "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.




Equitable Participation  - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 18.4% Francophone (Source: OLIS II, December 31, 2005.)


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 8.5% Anglophone (Source: OLIS II, December 31, 2005.)




Development of Official Language Minority Communities and Promotion of Linguistic Duality - Part  VII (25%)

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of official language minority communities (12.5%)

Based on the nature of NAV CANADA's business and the fact that it does not develop public policies and programs like government departments, strategic planning activities have not historically taken into account the social and economic development of official language minority communities (OLMCs). For this reason, no mechanism to achieve that objective has been put in place in the Corporation's strategic planning or policy and program development functions, nor have consultations been held with OLMCs.

NAV CANADA does not produce memoranda to Cabinet or Treasury Board submissions. The Corporation is not a government agency or a Crown corporation. It is a private-sector monopoly with a stakeholder board of directors. NAV CANADA customers include airlines operating in Canadian airspace, and the owners and operators of aircraft. These customers pay service charges to the Corporation on the basis of principles established by legislation. There is no government funding. Nonetheless, if there were to be a change in the level or kind of service offered to a local community, such as happened recently with the flight service stations in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Roberval, Quebec, the Corporation's representatives would meet with local commercial customers and other users, nearby airport authorities and other aviation-related stakeholders to discuss the change. Meetings would be conducted in a bilingual format as required by the customer/stakeholder group. Although OLMC representatives would not be specifically targeted, members of OLMCs would, in most cases, be included in the forums.

In April 2006, both the Executive Management Committee and the Board of Directors were briefed on the November 2005 changes to the Act, especially regarding the need for consultations with OLMCs. No one in the Corporation has yet been identified to conduct that consultation, or to provide ongoing liaison with OLMCs. Due to the nature of its business, there are no plans to systematically review NAV CANADA's operations to determine what impacts the Corporation might have on OLMCs, beyond NAV CANADA's practice of purchasing space and time in OLMC media.

NAV CANADA has not taken any positive measures to enhance the development of OLMCs.


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

Based on the nature of NAV CANADA's business and the fact that it does not develop public policies and programs like government departments, strategic planning activities have not historically taken the promotion of linguistic duality into specific account.

Senior managers have been made aware of their obligations flowing from the amended Official Languages Act. The Manager of the Legislated Programs Division has been designated to explore what can be done in this regard and is sensitive to the need to take positive measures.

The Corporation's only clientele—apart from a few telephone and walk-in enquiries at its national headquarters—is composed exclusively of airplane pilots and the companies that employ most of these pilots. NAV CANADA's in-flight communications with pilots is carried out by radio in strict accordance with established, very specific protocols and procedures that drastically limit free-flowing verbal exchanges. In light of the very limited opportunities to promote the two official languages, the Corporation has no plans to review its policies and programs to identify any that might have an impact on the advancement and use of English and French.

Nonetheless, through NAV CANADA's modest grants and contributions program to aviation industry groups such as the Associationquébécoise des transporteurs aériens, the Townshippers' Award that it supports, and, internally, Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, the Corporation does make some efforts to promote linguistic duality. It is looking at ways to expand this program in keeping with its role as an essential service provider to the aviation community. Additional aviation groups in the OLMCs that NAV CANADA serves may be appropriate candidates for reasonable annual contributions, subject to further research into their goals, objectives and activities.

NAV CANADA has not started developing any action plan to promote linguistic duality, nor examined how to assess its current or future efforts in this regard.