ARCHIVED - Parks Canada 2007-2008

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 Report Card 2007–2008
Parks Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

The Parks Canada Agency does not have an accountability framework describing the official languages (OL) roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders. However, its human resources authority delegation instrument specifies some of the OL responsibilities of managers and executives.

The 2007–2010 Official Languages Action Plan sets out initiatives required to achieve the objectives of Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act). It defines the expected outcomes, identifies those responsible, and establishes timelines. It is based on priorities set by the Agency and outlines the expectations of responsibility centres. The 2007–2010 Action Plan, revised this year, now encompasses the Action Plan for the implementation of Section 41 of the Act. It is posted on the Agency’s intranet page on official languages. One of the Agency's documents on management values and principles also incorporates OL objectives.

In order to measure the achievement of the Action Plan’s objectives, the OL Division analyzes the reports submitted by the various management units for the purposes of drafting the reports submitted annually to Canadian Heritage and the Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA). In fact, senior managers at the national office, field units and service centres report annually on their achievements, their monitoring activities and their efforts to improve results or correct shortcomings in the area of OL.

Since the Agency has entrenched all CPSA policies in the organizational culture, it has created an environment where it is clear to all executives that they must make progress on implementing the OL Action Plan.

The Agency’s OL Champion ensures that corporate communications with staff reflect the requirements of the Act and underscores the importance of the Official Languages Program and provides information on how the Agency can meet its obligations. He also participates in the Champion’s Network, and more recently, in the Council of the Champions’ Network.


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

The Performance Report for the period ending March 31, 2007 reports on the educational resources available in both OL on its Web site, under the Parks Canada in Schools Program. Furthermore, the report mentions the development of the Evaluation Framework for the Learning Strategy, which does not take language training into account. The Performance Report and the Report on Plans and Priorities mention the activities to improve the visitors’ experience. These include, among other things, collecting information on the visitors’ language as well as their satisfaction with service in the official language of their choice.

The 2007–2008 Internal Audit Guide indicates that the Agency has conducted an internal audit on staffing, including certain criteria on official languages. Furthermore, the 2007–2010 Internal Audit and Evaluation Plan contains a component on official languages in terms of external and internal service delivery.

The Human Resources Committee is composed of members of the Eastern Canada, Western Canada and Northern Canada executive boards and the national office as well as the senior director of human resources, including the OL Champion. As an executive board committee, it is responsible, among other things, for recommending to the Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada, a strategic orientation for the Agency as well as the plans and priorities in terms of human resources. OL are addressed at the committee meetings.  

The Special Advisor to the Agency’s CEO is the OL Champion and is a member of the Executive Committee. The person responsible for OL, Parts IV, V and VI, is also the Coordinator for Part VII of the Act. There is no formal coordination mechanism between the Champion and the person responsible for OL. However, an “open door” policy ensures that they meet frequently on an informal basis. The Champion also receives copies of all important OL documents.


(c) Complaints and follow-up (5%)

A procedure is in place for complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL). The Agency’s headquarters sends the complaint to the director responsible, who then deals directly with the OCOL investigator. If required, the director responsible must report on the measures taken to correct the problem. Headquarters closely monitors follow-up activities. It is the responsibility of the director to determine the necessary corrective action and to ensure that it is implemented.

An annual analysis is done regarding the types of complaints and, when appropriate, specific actions and/or communications are implemented and disseminated within the Agency. No specific measures were taken during 2007. Senior management is informed of complaints when the review submitted to CPSA is presented to the Executive Committee.




Service to the Public—Part IV (25%)

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



The Agency advertises its 155 bilingual points of service in Burolis and in the blue pages. Its Web site, which is completely bilingual, provides information on the Agency’s services.

The Agency has adopted new standards and guidelines for exterior signage, which describe its OL obligations.

Eighteen Canadian national parks use a campground reservation service. This bilingual reservation service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a Web site, and 12 hours a day through a toll-free number.

A total of 87% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: Annual Review on Official Languages, March 31,  2007).

It should be noted that the data in table S1 of the Annual Report on OL, as of March 31, 2007, does not include information on over 1,500 students and term employees hired for the summer season. However, many of them are bilingual in order to ensure that the members of the public are served in the official language of their choice.


(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 2007, an active visual offer was present in 97% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 45% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 79% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 88% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 91% of cases.


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

Tendering documents are provided in both OL. Commercial leases and contracts with third-party providers contain an OL clause, where appropriate.

Branches within the national office, field units and service centres monitor the bilingual service requirements.

Volunteer organizations, which provide valuable support and assistance to Parks Canada staff, continue to be informed about the requirement to serve visitors in both OL. The Agency regularly provides training on the active offer of services in both OL.


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

The Agency follows CPSA’s Policy on the Use of Official Languages for Communications With and Services to the Public. It is accessible to employees on the Agency’s intranet site, which includes a section on OL. The intranet site, which provides information on the Act, CPSA policies, language testing, reports and audits, language partners and tools, also helps raise awareness among employees on the institution’s commitment to meet its OL obligations.

Employees are sent reminders about service to the public. For example, the Northern Prairies Field Unit offered all its employees an orientation session on service delivery in both official languages. It established a list of bilingual employees to contact when a unilingual employee is unable to communicate with a member of the public in their official language of choice. The Manitoba Field Unit has made changes to the Visitor Centre at the Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site in order to address concerns regarding directions given to Francophone visitors in order to improve service delivery in the visitors’ language of choice.

A pamphlet on the active offer of service is included in the orientation kits distributed to all new Parks Canada employees who offer services to the public. It describes how to make an active offer of services, the rationale for doing so, and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Orientation sessions for new employees, including students, take into account obligations regarding language of service.

The Agency systematically conducts client satisfaction surveys; these include an assessment of the availability and quality of services provided in both OL.

When the Annual Review on OL is being drafted, managers are required to submit a report on measures taken to ensure service quality.




Language of Work — Part V (25%)

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

The Agency has had a language of work policy since April 1, 2004. This policy, which is posted on the Agency’s Web site, sets out the rights and obligations in terms of supervision, central and personal services, work instruments, professional training, computer systems, language of meetings and internal communications.

A pamphlet on language of work entitled Where Respect Truly Makes Sense is distributed to employees. This pamphlet identifies designated bilingual regions for language of work and the services offered in English and in French to employees in bilingual regions. It also clarifies the rules that apply to communications between regions and provides a list of useful resources.

When hiring new employees, Parks Canada asks them to identify their preferred language. This information is recorded in the PeopleSoft database.

Eighteen of the twenty members of the Executive Committee are sufficiently bilingual to allow for discussions in the language of choice of the participants, thereby leading by example and facilitating the use of both official languages in the workplace.

OL pictograms are used to identify the offices of bilingual employees.

The statistical reports on the language profiles of the workforce are also analyzed. Furthermore, in response to the audit on pay and benefits conducted in 2006, the Agency undertook a validation exercise on bilingualism bonuses in order to take the necessary corrective measures if a bonus is paid out by mistake.

A total of 89% of supervisors in bilingual regions who must supervise employees in both OL are able to do so (Source: Annual Review on Official Languages, Official Language Information System II [OLIS II], March 2007). 


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

Monthly executive meetings, which are chaired by the Agency’s CEO, are always held in both OL, without the use of simultaneous translation services. Managers are reminded at these meetings of their obligations regarding language of work.

Employees are also reminded to use their language of choice at work during Branch personnel meetings in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Apart from the existing grievance process, observations and problems concerning OL can be reported to the Champion or to the person responsible for OL, who will conduct a follow-up. There is no other mechanism in place to monitor the application of the Policy on the Language of Work.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL showed that overall, 74% of Francophone respondents in the NCR, New Brunswick and in bilingual regions of Ontario "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. Due to the small number of Anglophone respondents in the bilingual regions of Quebec, OCOL was unable use the results of the survey for this population.




Equitable ParticipationPart VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 24.6% Francophone (Source: OLIS II, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 1.4% Anglophone (Source: OLIS II, March 31, 2007).




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

The 2007–2010 Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41 of the Act as well as the Annual Review of the Application of Section 41 for 2006–2007 submitted to Canadian Heritage act as ongoing mechanisms to ensure that strategic planning, and policy and program development take into account the obligation to promote the development of OLMCs and to promote the equal status and use of English and French in Canadian society.

The updated Action Plan, posted on the Agency Web site, contains positive measures to support and assist the development of OLMCs in the regions and promote linguistic duality. However, OLMCs did not participate in the Plan review, conducted in 2006.

In order to assess the achievement of the Action Plan’s results, Parks Canada prepares a Status Report on the implementation of section 41, which is submitted every year to Canadian Heritage. The Action Plan sets out the expected outcomes, the overall approach to achieve these outcomes and the activities to be carried out.

A review of policies and programs in order to identify those that have an impact on the vitality of OLMCs will be undertaken in 2008 and should be completed by March 31, 2009. In addition to the policy and program review, the exercise will include a senior management awareness component regarding Parks Canada’s obligations, as well as the commitments set out in the multi-year action plan presented to Canadian Heritage. The Agency has identified five areas of action. It will first focus on strategic planning and policy development, followed by communications. It will then make Parks Canada officers who are responsible for developing the Agency’s policies aware of the obligations under Part VII and will provide them with the necessary tools.

Furthermore, the OL coordinator now reviews the Treasury Board submissions. She also helped draft the Transfer Payments Policy. To do so, she asked for support from the person responsible for coordinating contributions and grants so that this person would now be aware of the official languages aspect.

The person responsible for OL is also the coordinator for the implementation of both components of Part VII (development of OLMCs as well as the promotion and use of English and French).


(a) Development of Official Language Minority Communities (12.5%)

The employees who have a role to play in the development of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality are made aware of the requirement to take positive measures through a memo, sent to all field unit directors. The memo referred to the Annual Review of OL and the Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41. The posting of these documents on the Agency’s intranet site also contributes in informing employees. Also, Bulletin 41-42 (paper copy and electronic version) is distributed to the regional coordinators and managers.

As for the development of OLMCs in particular, based on the region, the regional coordinator, the field unit manager or the communication officers liaise with OLMCs at the national and regional levels. For example, the Manager, Corporate Services, at the Western and Northern Service Centre attended a meeting of the Part VII coordinators, where representatives of Manitoba’s Francophone community had the opportunity to express their concerns to federal institution representatives. The Agency participates in almost all federal councils. In some regions, OLMCs and the appropriate advocacy associations have been informed of their access to interpretation and other professional services offered by the Agency for their tourism and heritage needs. The President of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne and the Director of the Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture at the University of Ottawa were invited to submit their comments in writing at the Minister’s Roundtable in March 2008. Some 60 Aboriginal stakeholders and partners will take part in these discussions, which will allow for a productive exchange of ideas on the future priorities of the Agency and its management.

The Manitoba Field Unit held an all-staff meeting at the Saint-Boniface Museum, where the museum director gave a presentation on his institution and the history of the French-Manitoban community.

Parks Canada has long taken positive measures to foster the vitality and development of the English and French minorities of Canada. For example, field units across Canada officially cooperate with English and French district school board representatives, including OLMCs, to determine how the Agency can act as a resource for teaching English and French. This year, under IPOLC, two agreements were developed in order to complete a study on the traditional knowledge and the current practices of English-speaking fishers and mariners on the Magdalen Islands and on the development of the Dobel Roberts House located in the Forillon National Park of Canada.

Field units across the country consult with OLMCs when drafting their management plan. The Agency conducts formal and informal consultations with OLMCs to ensure that its policies and programs take their priorities into account. The Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit and the Ontario and Quebec service centres invited representatives from their respective OLMCs to participate in these consultations, in discussion groups and work groups. The Atlantic Service Centre consulted with bilingual stakeholders as part of the review of the management plans for the national historic sites in the Chignecto Isthmus. Formal consultations have also taken place with English-speaking communities in Compton/Eastern Townships and the Chateauguay Valley as part of the review of the management plans for the Louis-S.-St-Laurent and Bataille-de-la-Châteauguay national historic sites.

The official languages coordinator in Jasper, who is a member of various committees in the Francophone community, consults the representatives on an ongoing basis in order to meet their needs.


(b) Promotion of Linguistic Duality (12.5%)

The members of the Western Coordinators’ Network received the Guide for Federal Institutions – Official Languages Act Part VII – Promotion of English and French as well as the Fact Sheet: Implementation of Part VII of the Official Languages Act, published by Canadian Heritage.

The positive measures taken by the Agency to promote the equal status and use of English and French internally and in Canadian society include highlighting, in cooperation with local OLMCs, the contributions made by Acadian communities to heritage in the south-western Nova Scotia and the Port-aux-Basques peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Manitoba Field Unit set up an information booth during the annual conference of the Éducateurs/Éducatrices francophones du Manitoba to promote, among other things, the educational resources and the programs that Parks Canada offers to schools. The Northern Prairies Field Unit sent its annual school heritage presentation program to all French schools in the local school board. The Newfoundland Field Unit contributed actively to developing the Francophone community’s tourism guide by supplying photos and by buying advertising space.

In 2007, Parks Canada contributed to promoting the vitality of Francophone culture by placing an ad in the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie newspaper.