ARCHIVED - Parks Canada 2006-2007

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Performance Report 2006-2007
Parks Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data

Rating

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 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 2003-2006 Official Languages Action Plan (Parts IV, V and VI) is currently under review. The present 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 and identifies senior officials, but does not include any timelines. It is based on priorities set by the Human Resources Committee and outlines the expectations of responsibility centres. The 2005-2008 Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41 of the Act will be incorporated into the Action Plan for Parts IV, V and VI. 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 each year by the various management units for the purposes of drafting the Annual Review submitted to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC). 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. Statistical reports on employees' language profiles are also analyzed. The Agency also undertook a validation exercise of all designated bilingual positions to implement the appropriate corrective measures when employees do not meet the language requirements of their position. Since the Agency has entrenched all PSHRMAC 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 Action Plan.

The Agency's OL Champion ensures that corporate communications with staff reflect the requirements of the Act, underscores the importance of the Official Languages Program and provides information on how the Agency can meet its obligations.

B

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

The Corporate Plan for 2006-2007 to 2010-2011 indicates that the Agency promotes an inclusive society, which supports linguistic duality and diversity. The table of planned expenditures in this document takes into account expenditures related to the OL Action Plan.

The Performance Report for the period ending March 31, 2006, reports on OL in the section dealing with visitor satisfaction.

The Contracting Practices Audit Guide includes a component on the drafting and availability of tendering documents in both OL. As well, an internal audit, currently in progress, is reviewing staffing issues and bilingual hiring criteria. The results of the audit should be available in April 2007.

The Executive Committee regularly discusses OL issues. For example, at the December 11, 2006, meeting, the Agency's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reiterated the importance of holding bilingual meetings at which all participants are free to use the official language of their choice.

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.

A

c) Complaints (5%)

A procedure is in place for complaints filed with 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 disseminated during 2006. Senior management is informed of complaints when the review submitted to PSHRMAC is presented to the Executive Committee.

B

Sub-total:

B

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 website, which is completely bilingual, provides information on the Agency's services.

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 website, and 12 hours a day through a toll-free number.

A total of 82% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position. (Source: Annual Review on Official Languages, March 31,  2006)
It should be noted that the data in table S1 of the Annual Report on OL, as of March 31, 2006, does not include information on over 1,500 students and term employees hired for the summer season. 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

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 82% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 36% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 83% 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 93% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 94% of cases.

C

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.

B

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

The Agency follows PSHRMAC'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, PSHRMAC 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 Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit has developed an OL strategy, which schematically illustrates the links between services provided to the public in both OL and their operational framework. One of the objectives of the strategy is to ensure that the delivery of an active offer of services, both in person and over the telephone, is incorporated into front-line personnel training. The document also addresses the equality of services in terms of information dissemination, the posting of ads and temporary and permanent signage, the presence of on-duty bilingual personnel during all operating hours, as well as the obligations of third-party service providers. Front-line employees are informed of their duties in implementing the strategy.

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. In 2005-2006, a survey was conducted on five national parks, a national marine conservation area and twelve national historic sites. Results for service in the official language of choice were similar to those of the previous year, with visitor satisfaction at 97%.

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

B

Sub-total:

C

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 website, 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 new 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.

Since Executive Committee meetings are always conducted in both OL, the Agency leads by example and thus facilitates the use of the official language of the linguistic minority in the workplace. All Executive Committee members are sufficiently bilingual to enable discussions to take place in the participants' language of choice. OL pictograms are used to identify the offices of bilingual employees.

A total of 84% of supervisors in bilingual regions who must supervise employees in both OL are able to do so. (Source: Annual Review on Official Languages, March 31, 2006)

B

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

Messages are communicated to managers to remind them of their obligations regarding the language of work through monthly executive meetings, which are chaired by the Agency's CEO.

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

Monthly executive meetings, which are chaired by the Agency's CEO, are always held in both OL, without the use of simultaneous translation services.

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 the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, showed that overall, 76% 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 not in a position to use the results of the survey conducted by Statistics Canada on its behalf.

C

Sub-total:

B

Equitable Participation - Part VI (10%)

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

 Overall, the workforce is 23.9% Francophone. (Source: Annual Review on Official Languages, March 31, 2006)

A

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

In Quebec, the workforce is 1.3% Anglophone. (Source: Annual Review on Official Languages, March 31, 2006)

E

Sub-total:

C

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%)

The 2005-2008 Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41 of the Act as well as the Annual Review of the Application of Section 41 submitted to Canadian Heritage act as on-going mechanisms to ensure that strategic planning, and policy and program development take into account the obligation to promote the development of OLMCs.

In order to raise awareness among Executive Committee members, the OL Champion sent a release to all its managers in December 2005 to inform them of the amendments to the Act. However, there were no presentation or discussion on this subject at the Executive Committee. The Official Languages Division analyzed the amendments to the Act and their impact on the Agency's activities. To complete this work, the Division also participated in meetings with Justice Canada. The impact of the amendments to the Act on the Agency's activities was shared with the OL Champion.

The person responsible for OL is also the coordinator for the implementation of Part VII (OLMC development). Together with regional OL coordinators, she is part of a network for the implementation of Part VII.

Depending 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 Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit established relations with the minority Francophone community of the Port-au-Port Peninsula. 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.

In March 2006, the Champion distributed to all senior managers a document entitled Francophone and Community Profiles of Canada, which has proven to be a useful tool for establishing harmonious relations with OLMCs. In order to make its employees aware of the needs of OLMCs, the Manitoba Field Unit encouraged its employees to participate in an OLMC awareness tour organized by the Manitoba Federal Council's OL Coordinators Network. Many field units have consulted OLMCs regarding their management plans.

The Agency has not yet initiated a policy and program review to identify those that have an impact on the vitality of OLMCs but will include such a review in its next action plan for the implementation of section 41.

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, the Bureau de l'éducation française included the Manitoba Field Unit in a departmental presentation to Grade 10 Geography, French, and French Immersion teachers.

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. Formal consultations are conducted, among others, with the Acadian Consultative Committee, the Anglophone Social Action Committee, and the Société Saint-Thomas d'Aquin. Kouchibouguac National Park also consulted with OLMCs throughout 2006 to update its management plan. The Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit maintains good relations with the OLMCs in Port-au-Port. In fact, these communities are invited to participate in consultations to develop management plans, discussion groups and working groups.

The Action Plan was revised last year and includes positive measures to enhance the development of OLMCs. However, OLMCs did not participate in this review.

In order to assess the achievement of the Action Plan's results, the Agency 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.

B

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

The 2005-2008 Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41 of the Act, as well as the Annual Review of the Implementation of Section 41 submitted to Canadian Heritage act as on-going mechanisms to ensure that strategic planning and policy and program development take into account the obligation to promote the equality of status and use of English and French.

In order to raise awareness among Executive Committee members, the OL Champion sent a release to all its managers in December 2005 to inform them of the amendments to the Act. However, there were no presentations or discussions on this subject at the Executive Committee. The Official Languages Division analyzed the amendments to the Act and their impact on the Agency's activities. To complete this work, the Division also participated in meetings with Justice Canada. The impact of the amendments to the Act on the Agency's activities was shared with the OL Champion.

The person responsible for OL is also the Coordinator for the implementation of Part VII (Advancement and use of English and French). Together with regional OL coordinators, she is part of a network for the implementation of Part VII.

Staff who have a role to play in the promotion of linguistic duality have been made aware of the obligation of taking positive measures by means of a message sent to all field unit Directors which presented the Annual Review on Official Languages and the Action Plan on the implementation of section 41. The posting of these documents on the Agency's intranet site also contributes to awareness efforts.

The Agency has not yet initiated a policy and program review to identify those that have an impact on the advancement and use of English and French but will include such a review in its next action plan on the implementation of section 41.

Among the positive measures taken by the Agency to promote the equality of status and use of English and French internally and in Canadian society is the agreement signed between the Jasper Field Unit in Alberta and the local Francophone association. Under this agreement, the association is provided with free office space in exchange for providing free French language training for Parks Canada employees. In addition, field units across the country work with the travel and tourism industry to promote both OL. For example, the British Columbia Field Unit regularly works with the Francophone tourism association to distribute its publications at its parks and sites; the South-West Ontario Field Unit contributed to the Franco-Ontario Quilt Festival; the Quebec Field Unit collaborated on the distribution and promotion of books written by members of the English-speaking Irish Community in Quebec; and the Mainland Nova Scotia Field Unit relocated the Acadian Deportation Cross to Horton Landing, in consultation and collaboration with the Acadian community. Finally, the OL Champion encouraged all employees across the country to participate in Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie 2006.

The 2005-2008 Action Plan for the Implementation of Section 41 includes positive measures to promote linguistic duality. This Action Plan is posted on the Agency's intranet site.

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.

B

Sub-total:

B

OVERALL RATING

B