ARCHIVED - Parks Canada 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%)

Parks Canada distributed to its managers the 2003-2006 Action Plan for Official Languages. The document presents initiatives required to achieve the objectives of Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act). A Parks Canada document on management values and principles also incorporates official languages (OL) objectives. It is based on priorities set by the Human Resources Committee and outlines the expectations of responsibility centres. This plan is posted on the Agency's Intranet site. Specific authorities for OL are identified in Parks Canada's instrument of delegation of human resources authorities.

Parks Canada's OL champion ensures that corporate communications with staff reflect the requirements of the Act, underscores the importance of the Official Languages Program (OLP) and provides information on how to meet the Agency's obligations. Senior managers in the national office, field units and service centres report annually on their achievements, their monitoring activities and their efforts to improve results or correct deficiencies in the area of OL.

Parks Canada has maintained all Treasury Board policies, which are well anchored in the organizational culture. New policies were adopted on April 1, 2004 and July 15, 2005 to clarify managers and employees accountability, i.e. directive on language training and learning retention, policy on language of work, etc.

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

The Parks Canada Corporate Plan 2005-06 to 2009-10 refers to the importance of conserving the Canadian heritage and of quality service in general, while the 2004-2005 Annual Report refers to the satisfaction of visitors towards service in the language of their choice. The Strategic Framework for People Management and the Accountability Framework for People Management briefly address OL objectives.

OL are not integrated in internal audits. However, an independent third party examined the consistency of Parks Canada's three values (Competence, Respect, Fairness) and seven operating principles (Accountability, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Consistency, Adaptability, Simplicity, Openness) against 11 human resources functions, including official languages. The report, Five-Year Review of the Human Resources Management Regime of Parks Canada: Final Report, concluded that the Agency has met the requirements of the Act. Parks Canada has also conducted surveys regarding language of service.

Among other initiatives, in December 2004, the champion launched a new comprehensive OL site on the Parks Canada Intranet.

The national coordinator of OL and OL specialists provide ongoing advice and support to management and staff to ensure that the OLP is implemented effectively and efficiently. The Parks Canada OL Network holds quarterly teleconference meetings to discuss issues and concerns as well as to provide updates on events or initiatives occurring in various parts of the organization. OL are discussed on a regular basis at Management Committee meetings.

This year, the same person manages the coordination for Part VII and for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. The Human Resources Committee provides direction on Parts IV, V, VI and VII. Coordination of the OLP is facilitated by a good communication line that management has with on-site operations officials.

An annual report and a 2005-08 action plan on the implementation of section 41 were presented to Canadian Heritage.

An additional full-time position was assigned to support corporate OL initiatives within Parks Canada.

c) Complaints (5%)

A procedure is in place for complaints lodged 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 responsible director identifies measures to correct the problem. Headquarters closely monitors follow-up activities. It is the responsibility of the director to determine the necessary corrective actions and to ensure their implementation.

On a yearly basis, an analysis is done on the type of complaints and, when appropriate, specific actions and/or communications are initiated and shared within the Agency. As an example, in 2005, a leaflet on active offer of services in both official languages was developed and distributed to employees providing services to the public.

The OCOL has not identified any systemic problem.

Service to the public - Part IV

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

Parks Canada advertises its 155 bilingual points of service on BUROLIS.

The Parks Canada Web site, which is completely bilingual, offers information on the Agency's services.

As of May 2005, 18 national parks across Canada were on a new campground reservation service. During the 2004 pilot season, the new service handled a total of 27,328 reservations. This bilingual reservation service is available seven days a week on a 24-hour Web site and a 12-hour-a-day toll-free number.

82% of incumbents of bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

It should be noted that the data in table S1 of the annual report on OL as of March 31, 2005 does not include information on over 1,500 students and term employees hired for the summer season. Many of these are bilingual in order to ensure that the public is served in the official language of their choice.

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

According to the observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 85% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 34% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 75% of cases.

According to the 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 78% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 87% of cases.

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

Tendering documents are issued in both OL. Commercial leases and contracts with third-party providers contain an OL clause, where required or 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. Training is regularly provided on the active offer of services in both OL.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

To monitor the quality of bilingual services, Parks Canada has conducted a telephone audit of the availability of service to the public in both OL at its 155 points of services in the summer of 2005.

At the beginning of the 2005 summer season, the Jasper National Park provided its front-line employees with a language services package which included a list of bilingual employees and their phone numbers, a French lunches' schedule for the summer, an OL active offer reminder poster and a laminated list of standard messages in French.

A new leaflet on active offer of services has been developed. The leaflet identifies how to provide an active offer of services, why it must be done, as well as some answers to questions frequently asked in the past. Field units and service centres have provided, where needed, training on the OLP. Moreover, during the preparation of the OL Annual Review, managers must report on measures designed to ensure the quality of services.

Visitor satisfaction surveys are conducted systematically by Parks Canada and include the evaluation of the availability and quality of services in both OL. In 2004-2005, one national park was surveyed along with eight national historic sites. Results regarding service in the OL of choice are similar to those from the previous year, with a visitor satisfaction level of 98%.

In 2004-2005 the Manitoba Field Unit identified, as a priority, the need for a holistic review of OL services to the public within their field unit. A review of services was conducted at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site and Wapusk National Park (Manitoba North), the two largest operations in the field unit. This review process not only raised awareness and understanding of OL obligations at the operational level but also resulted in a timely, effective/efficient and often very creative resolution of deficiencies identified. A second initiative was the establishment of a cross-functional, multi-site working group for OL. Western Newfoundland Field Unit established a committee consisting of managers who oversee front-line services to ensure consistency in compliance under Part IV of the Act.

Language of work - Part V

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

88.3% of supervisors in bilingual regions who are required to supervise their employees in both OL are able to do so. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

Parks Canada has posted its language of work policy on its Intranet site. Parks Canada's Action Plan outlines activities to create a work environment conducive to the use of both OL. Management reports their achievements on a yearly basis. A new comprehensive OL site on Parks Canada Intranet was launched in December 2004.

A new leaflet on language of work entitled, Where Respect Truly Makes Sense was developed. This leaflet identifies designated bilingual regions for language of work and the services offered in English and in French to employees in a bilingual region, clarifies the rules that apply to communications between regions and provides a list of useful resources.

The Ontario Service Centre (Cornwall and Ottawa) provides informal language training during work hours to improve second language skills and to create a respectful work environment. Employee evaluations have indicated that they have been very satisfied with both the content and the instructors, and were eager to continue further training.

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

During the course of the summer of 2005, management teams at the local level engaged staff in discussions related to the results of the previous year's survey on language of work for their particular unit. In bilingual regions for language-of-work purposes, discussions included the validation of OL survey results and solicited feedback for improvements.

The information on employees' rights and obligations is transmitted by the lines of authority, who must ensure that the activities of the Action Plan are carried out. The use of both languages is encouraged at meetings of the Executive Committee. All members have a level of bilingualism that allows for exchanges in the language of choice of the participants.

In 2004-2005, Parks Canada initiated a validation exercise of all bilingual positions to update and gather information on the measures and strategies in place for employees who do not meet the language requirements of their position. With regard to supervisors who do not meet the language requirements of their position, measures were discussed and/or implemented and administrative measures were taken to enable the employees of these supervisors to exercise their right to work in the official language of their choice. Monitoring of progress has continued in 2005-2006.

Apart from the grievance process in place, observations and/or problems concerning OL can be reported to the champion or to the person responsible for OL, who will conduct a follow up.

Equitable participation - Part VI

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

Francophones account for 24% of Park Canada's workforce as a whole. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

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

Anglophones account for 1% of Park Canada's workforce in Quebec. (Source: Annual Review of OL, April 2005)

The Agency indicates that it has and will continue its efforts to ensure that there are no barriers to employment or to advancement for either OL group. These measures include advertising employment opportunities in majority and minority OL media, visits to universities and other schools (as well as setting up kiosks), sending competition posters to the minority official-language associations and informing them of employment opportunities, and using the Young Canada Works Program and the Federal Student Work Experience Program.

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%)

Parks Canada is sensitized to linguistic minority needs. It seeks to incorporate the language aspect into its local programs by working with local communities. Through its 2005-2008 Action Plan for Part VII, Parks Canada provides direction to fulfill its obligations in this area.

Examples of collaboration with the OL minority communities include: plans for consultation with minority OL communities in the development of the Georgian Bay Islands National Park Management Plan and consultation with Acadian communities on national park and national historic site management plans.

The Southwest Ontario Field Unit offers French heritage presentation programs at all of their locations, including outreach heritage presentation programs depending on the demand and location. The Field Unit programs are well advertised in the local French language minority communities where field unit staff work closely with local French immersion schools and with French exchange programs from the United States and abroad.

The Gaspé Field Unit is working with the Anglophone Social Action Committee on an interpretation project related to the Grande-Grave National Historic Site.

Parks Canada has posted the government's communication policy on its Intranet site. Space and time are purchased from the media of both OL communities for example in the publication of the Societé de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique and Newfoundland and Labrador Francophone Association's French visitor services guide, L'Indispensable.

Employees can find a variety of information on OL minority communities on the Parks Canada Intranet site. The champion of OL has shared the second edition of the Francophone and Acadian Community Profiles of Canada with all management.

The OL coordinator for the Jasper Field Unit organizes French lunches on a weekly basis. Employees and the whole community are invited to join in and practice their French oral skills in an informal setting.

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

As part of their duties, Parks Canada employees regularly meet with language group organizations in order to promote Canadian heritage. They consult with them regarding management plans and invite them to participate in heritage presentation programs.

The OL champion attends all Executive Board meetings and ensures that strategic planning, policies and programs take into account linguistic duality. In addition, the Agency submits an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Banff National Park of Canada continues to work jointly with partners such as the Alberta Government, some institutions and the private sector to promote the use of English and French in activities related to the 120th anniversary of the Park and Alberta's centennial in September 2005. Banff National Park Canada Place offers summer programs (scavenger hunt based on Canadian trivia) for children in both OL simultaneously through interactive media.

The Northern Ontario Field Unit continues to encourage and support the private sector and other organizations involved in tourism ("Destination Nord" and Lake Superior Marketing Alliance) to provide services in both OL.

The West Quebec Field Unit launched a heritage guide to historic sites of Montréal in collaboration with Francophone and Anglophone heritage groups.

There was standardization of employee orientation at the national level in order to highlight linguistic duality across the country. The orientation program is distributed over the Intranet.