ARCHIVED - National Film Board 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 Film Board (NFB)'s human resources (HR) management group has been mandated to develop an accountability framework that will specify the roles and responsibilities with regard to official languages (OL) of the different stakeholders (i.e. managers, employees, OL champion and the person in charge of official languages). It will be based on the best practices of OL implementation that have been adopted in other federal agencies.

The NFB does not have a formal action plan to ensure the full implementation of Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (the Act). However, it has a 2002-06 strategic plan that mentions "a special effort will be made to nurture filmmaking talent in minority language regions." There is a 2005-08 action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act. Both documents were approved by the executive committee. Furthermore, as per the 2005-08 action plan, the NFB uses the Government of Canada's horizontal results-based management accountability framework on official languages.

Promoting linguistic duality within and outside the organization is part of its stated official mission, "fundamental values" and objectives, and both employees and Management appear fully committed to this. The very strong presence of the official language minority groups in the NFB's workforce (both Francophones across Canada, and Anglophones in Quebec) contributes to ensuring that the organization is accountable on the OL front.

While no specific organizational point or individual is explicitly designated as responsible for the OL elements of planned initiatives in these documents, the plans developed in close cooperation with the Chair and the board of trustees, were distributed to all NFB managers and made public. Thus an element of accountability can be read into their existence, as well as in other documents such as the Annual Review of Official Languages that was submitted to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada.

Still, given the NFB workforce's current OL group make up, the agency needs to be watchful that all obligations relating to language of work and service to the public are met. Thus the NFB might still benefit from having a complete OL action plan.

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

Promoting linguistic duality within and outside the organization is part of the NFB's stated official mission, "fundamental values" and objectives.

The Report on Plans and Priorities (2005-06) and the Performance Report (2004-2005) of the NFB confirm the importance given by the agency to linguistic duality and cultural diversity. The NFB's internal audit program includes audits of OL from time to time. The last report, concerning the status of OL at the NFB, was done in 2002.

The incumbent OL champion is a member of the NFB management committee and is at the director general equivalent level. Presently, the position is vacant. An acting champion, a member of the NFB management team at the director level, has been appointed. OL issues are discussed at the management committee meetings and when planning occurs for projects that have an official language minority group as a target audience, e.g. French-language productions outside Quebec.

c) Complaints (5%)

As of December 2005, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) had not received any OL complaints for fiscal year 2005-06. Indeed, OCOL only has three complaints on record since 2001 and two of them were refused. To OCOL's knowledge, there are no systemic OL problems at the NFB.

Service to the public – Part IV

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

The NFB advertises their bilingual points of service on BUROLIS. Bilingual services continue to be advertised to the public in the Blue Pages and on the NFB Web site. In addition, a 1-800 line is provided from Montréal to serve members of the public in their official language of choice, particularly when they are purchasing films. The Web site is bilingual and the layout is identical in both languages. The NFB has an online film library that offers films in English, French or both languages.

100% of incumbents of bilingual position serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: NFB's OL coordinator, December 31, 2005)

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

According to the observations of in-person service conducted by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 75% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 0% of cases, while service in the language of the OL linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.

According to the observations of service on the telephone conducted by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the OL linguistic minority was adequate in 80% of cases.

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

Fifty-one libraries across Canada have partnership agreements for film lending with the NFB. The libraries are expected to display the NFB 1-800 number so callers can ask questions in their preferred language. However, since the libraries give free service to the NFB, the NFB has little leverage over them to guarantee that the NFB 1-800 number is always displayed.

The NFB only has one organizational contract with an external contractor, a service agreement in Montréal, which includes provisions for services in both languages.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

Management conducts a satisfaction survey of clients every three years, including questions on the use of the client's preferred official language (choice of language—English or French; language spoken; quality/clarity of language used). Spot checks of public contact points (e.g. voice mail messages intended for the public) continue to be conducted on occasion to determine whether service is available in both OL. No other monitoring examples were provided.

Language of work – Part V

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

100% of supervisors in bilingual regions who are required to supervise their employees in both official languages are able to do so. (Source: Table L2 in the NFB's 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages)

The NFB has a language of work policy that covers every aspect of language of work, such as bilingual meetings, work tools, central services, etc.

The necessary supports are present. For example, HR has a record of the employees' preferred OL and the employee's choice is respected. There is a full-time internal OL revision service in place to ensure equal quality and availability of internal documents in both OL. As well, the NFB's online linguistic tool called ExpressPlus is available to all NFB employees and freelancers. This tool provides help to both English-speakers and French-speakers who are writing, revising, proofreading, translating or approving NFB materials such as memos, work orders, Intranet articles, news releases, reports or any other document in either OL.

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

The Web site provides OL information to employees on language of work and posters on bilingual meetings are placed in boardrooms. There was no evidence that other reminders about language of work rights and obligations are provided to either employees or managers. However, given the NFB's highly bilingual culture, the absence of such mechanisms might not be as significant as it might in other organizations.

Management encourages employees to undertake second language training. Senior management committee meetings are held in both official languages.

The NFB's August 2002 survey of employees confirmed that the workplace is conducive to the use of both languages (high degree of satisfaction). However, that was over three years ago. OCOL was not able to determine whether the NFB has put any other mechanisms in place to monitor the implementation of the language of work policy.

Equitable participation – Part VI

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

Francophones account for 63% of the NFB's workforce as a whole. (Source: Table P1 from the NFB's 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages. Note: The National Film Board's head office is located in Montréal.)

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

Anglophones account for 25% of the NFB's workforce in Quebec. (Source: Table P1 from the NFB'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%)

The NFB is one of the 34 agencies required to develop a strategic plan for implementing its obligations under section 41 of the Act and to report such activities to Canadian Heritage.

The NFB consults widely with minority language stakeholder groups such as the Centre des arts médiatiques in Vancouver, the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, among others, and integrates the results explicitly into its planning. For example, each of the people responsible for the Studio Acadie and the Studio de l'Ontario et l'Ouest accompanies the Director General of French Programming to the NFB's management committee, where they share the results of their ongoing contacts with the minority OL communities. As well, the NFB has direct contacts with representatives of the OL communities through Heritage Canada's two interdepartmental action groups under the Interdepartmental Partnership with the OL Communities (IPOLC) program.

Last year, OCOL was able to determine that staff, and especially the person in charge of advertising are knowledgeable of the Teasury Board Secretariat communications policy and strongly support it. However, the champion could not confirm that the advertising procedures were written down and accessible to staff. During the follow-up this year, OCOL was not able to determine whether the NFB communications policies and practices continue to be consistent with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada.

Employees are informed of the needs of official language minority communities (i.e. Web site, publications). The champion also takes every opportunity to increase awareness of the presence and the needs of OL minority communities during meetings, in publications etc.

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

This is a real strength of the NFB. The promotion of linguistic duality appears to be intrinsic to their whole "raison d'être". The various planning, policy and program development processes specifically aim to foster pride in the country's two languages and to bring the two language groups closer together. The NFB consults widely with official language minority community filmmakers and producers and integrates the results explicitly into its planning exercises.

Because the agency's programming seeks to advance the equality of the status of both OL and to promote bilingualism in Canada, the NFB's daily operations promote the idea of linguistic duality. For example, the NFB informs official languages minority communities of its activities and programs through its regional offices, its Web site, Canadian Heritage's Bulletin 41-42, the publication entitled Focus, the Film Club and producers who are responsible to communicate directly with OL minority communities.

Every year, the NFB is a major partner in the Winnipeg Les Rendez-vous de la francophonie. It has a special partnership with the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau-Ottawa to promote the two OL. Similarly, the NFB has a partnership with the new Canadian War Museum whereby films are screened, wherever possible, in both OL in the new Barney Danson theatre. The Montréal CinéRobothèque is very popular among Anglophones in Quebec (20% of the clientele according to an NFB representative). Thanks to the CinéRobothèque "robot", over 100,000 visitors a year have access to 9,000 NFB films.

NFB films are produced either in English or in French and where feasible and appropriate, they are also versioned in the other official language. The French films are available via the NFB's French program, which has the mandate of producing films of importance to Francophones throughout Canada and of distributing them to audiences at home and abroad.

Outside Quebec, the NFB continues to develop links with international festivals likely to be interested in French-Canadian productions. Its Francophone employees in the Toronto office organize many French workshops at French schools in the Toronto region. The NFB has productive partnerships with TFO and the annual Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie festival in Moncton.

New NFB initiatives such as the Web site CitizenShift, and a similar French-language micro-site called Parole Citoyenne, offer Canadians further opportunities to use various forms of media to learn about and discuss social issues. These web initiatives provide OL minorities further opportunities to express themselves in their language of choice.

The champion promotes best practices internally and raises awareness of the use of both OL by posting messages on the Web site and in all publications. The champion regularly supports and promotes activities such as Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and the organization of film festivals in OL minority communities.