ARCHIVED - National Capital Commission 2005-2006

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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%)

The National Capital Commission (NCC) does not have an official languages (OL) accountability framework but the document Integrated Management Framework of Our Human Resources does make OL one of the NCC's fundamental values. It describes measures to promote the use of both OL within the organization and in Canadian society. It deals, among other things, with the NCC's responsibilities with respect to OL, language training, equitable participation and internal communications. Its contents were endorsed by the Executive Management Committee (EMC). The Human Resources Memorandum of Understanding - Workplan 2004-2005- Implement the HR Management Integrated Framework sets out the OL champion's role and describes OL initiatives, and doubles as a corporate HR action plan, including OL measures.

The NCC presented an Annual Review of Official Languages on Parts IV, V, and VI of the Official Languages Act for 2004-2005. As well, an action plan for the implementation of section 41, Part VII of the Act, 2003-2006, and an Annual Report (action plan achievements) were again presented to Canadian Heritage this year.

In terms of accountability, there is a memorandum of understanding between the OL champion and the Chairman of the Commission. Performance appraisals of senior managers take into account human resources criteria, which include OL. The champion meets the Chairman, the Vice President and Executive Directors on a regular basis to discuss OL.

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

The following strategic documents mention official languages: the 2004-2005 Annual ReportóSetting Directions and the Summary of the Corporate Business Plan from 2005-2006 to 2009-2010; and the National Capital Act, which stipulates that the NCC is responsible for promoting the equal status of both OL in the National Capital Region (NCR). OL are not integrated into internal audits.

The OL champion reports directly to the Chairman of the NCC and is a member of EMC. The program officer responsible for OL participates in the OL discussions of the Executive Management Committee. The EMC discusses official languages on average twice a year. OL issues are integrated into daily management activities of each responsibility centre and the Chairman takes a real interest in OL. The same responsibility centres are in charge of applying Part VII of the Act. The individuals responsible communicate with each other when necessary.

In May 2005, the Commissioner of Official Languages awarded the Chairman of the National Capital Commission her prestigious "Leon Award". This award honours a deputy minister or agency head who has "shown outstanding leadership in promoting linguistic duality and implementing the official languages program in his or her institution."

c) Complaints (5%)

There is a procedure for handling complaints. The OL officer follows up on complaints; managers must analyse the complaints and propose corrective action. Because there are few complaints (16 in the past five years) it is hard to determine whether institutional learning does take place when they occur.

Service to the public – Part IV

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

NCC service points are advertised in the Blue Pages and in BUROLIS.

91% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: NCC's OL coordinator, March 31, 2005)

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

According to observations of in-person service made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 71% of cases, active offer was made by staff in 43% of the 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 in the fall of 2005, active offer of service 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 100% of cases.

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

Contracts with third parties contain a standard clause on bilingual services and on active offer. Minto Properties Limited is responsible for enforcing the language clause in leases on behalf of the NCC. In addition, the NCC conducts annual inspections as a means of monitoring.

As well, there is a checklist that must be followed for any submission to EMC. One of the items under HR components that managers must consider is the OL implications of the submission. Specifically, managers must have answered the following questions before making the submission: 1) "Are there any OL issues in this submission, be it service to the public, language of work, supervision or other?" and 2) "In the case of a contractor, have the [OL] obligations been clearly written into the request for proposal or the service contract?"

Pursuant to the recommendations of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the study on commercial leases, a new procedure was implemented starting in September 2004. The NCC's property management contractor now discusses the language requirements identified in the new Appendix A of the lease with each new tenant, and with existing tenants when renewing their leases. Subsequent to the adoption of this new procedure, tenants must sign at the end of the Appendix to confirm that they have read and accepted the identified language conditions. The process of verifying compliance among the commercial tenants has been formalized, the inspection methodology has been changed and verifications are taking place at least once a year.

The NCC has now supplied tools to all its tenants in the immediate Ottawa area to encourage them to offer services to their clients in both official languages (e.g. the Business Assistance kit provided by the City of Ottawa, offering low-cost translation services, oral communication workshops and assistance in recruiting bilingual personnel).

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

Employees are informed of their obligations with regard to service to the public during the new employee orientation program.

More specific briefing sessions are also offered to middle managers and to all employees (supervisor's role, active offer, etc.). Employees are also encouraged to wear a pin indicating that they can provide services to the public in both official languages.

The NCC uses comments it receives from the public during events for which it is responsible, such as the use of both official languages during Canada Day celebrations, to correct deficiencies. There are also periodic surveys to measure the public's satisfaction.

Language of work – Part V

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

87% of NCC supervisors who are required to supervise in both OL are able to do so. (Source: National Capital Commission's Annual Review of Official Languages 2004-2005, December 31, 2004)

A policy on language of work is in place; modified frameworks were adopted in November 2003 and in September 2005. The NCC signed a three-year agreement with a language school that offers on-site language training. The Chairman has set language training as a corporate priority. Second language training is offered on a part-time basis in the workplace and oral interaction sessions are also available during lunch hours.

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

Employees are informed of their rights and obligations during briefing sessions and through normal management channels. The Chairman meets all new employees at the new employee orientation session to personally talk to them about the NCC's values as an organization. He always emphasizes the OL aspect of those values.

Signs on holding meetings in both OL are posted in meeting rooms and the NCC has produced a guide on holding effective bilingual meetings.

The NCC exercises controls through in-house surveys. The last language of work survey was in 2003 and the next one will likely be in 2006. The results of the 2003 survey showed that the availability of work tools, such as software in French, must be improved. The results of the survey led to the development of an action plan, which is being monitored.

In 2005 employees were reminded by e-mail on at least two occasions of their language of work rights. Through those same e-mails, managers were reminded of their Part V obligations.

The EMC's deliberations take place in both official languages.

Equitable participation – Part VI

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

Francophones account for 54.3% of the NCC's workforce as a whole. All are located in the NCR. (Source: National Capital Commission's Annual Review of Official Languages 2004-2005, December 31, 2004)

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

All employees are located in the NCR.


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%)

In general terms, the OL champion ensures that strategic planning and program and policy development take into account the development of official language minority communities. Specifically, this element is taken into account by the NCC when the five-year marketing, communication and external relations plan is developed. The NCC has developed an Action Plan (2003-2006) for section 41 of the Act that serves as a mechanism to ensure that strategic planning takes into account the development of minority language communities. Moreover, each year, the NCC submits to Canadian Heritage a description of its achievements in relation to the implementation of section 41 (the NCC's annual Progress Report).

To better understand minority language community needs, the NCC participates in conferences and other events organized by representatives from minority cultural and social circles where artists and producers from the OL minority communities are present. NCC staff attending these meetings provide feedback to management, upon returning to the office. More generally, many of the NCC's staff come from minority language community backgrounds themselves and therefore understand the context and needs of those communities.

Advertisements are placed in both the English and French media outlets to reach official language minority communities in accordance with the government's communications policy.

Employees are made aware, in a general way, of the needs of minority communities during training and information sessions.

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

The OL champion ensures that policy and program development takes into account the promotion of linguistic duality. The NCC's mission is to create a feeling of pride and of national unity and to showcase the National Capital Region. This is done during events such as the Canada Day celebrations, Christmas Lights, Winterlude, etc. A special effort is made to ensure OL minority language artists and performers are included in the NCC's performances and that both languages are specifically celebrated.

A tripartite commission was set up with Gatineau and Ottawa to focus on promoting linguistic duality and working with the Chamber of Commerce and the Regroupement des gens d'affaires.

To promote linguistic duality within the organization, the Chairman personally meets with new employees to explain the NCC's values, which include linguistic duality.