ARCHIVED - Canada Post Corporation 2004-2005

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2004-2005 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



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

The Official Languages Program, prepared in 2001, outlines Canada Post's official languages (OL) responsibilities and the program's administrative framework. Accountability mechanisms are in place (for example, monthly OL complaints reports). However, the Commissioner of OL has recommended that Canada Post strengthen its accountability mechanism by rating managers in their performance evaluations on providing quality service in both official languages.

Canada Post's Annual Report to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada contains a series of implementation plans that outline measures related to parts IV, V and VI. A distinct action plan for Part VII is included in the annual report to Canadian Heritage.

Accountability for OL is based on the organizational structure, which includes co-ordinators in every region. The co-ordinators have ongoing contacts with the OL manager in Ottawa. The manager is responsible for the entire program, including the issuance of policy statements, directives and other relevant documents. The OL manager is also responsible for the interface with central agencies, which includes responding to various inquiries and recommendations.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

"INTRAPOST", the Intranet site, contains detailed information on policies, directives and tools related to various aspects of the program. The site is available at all times to all Canada Post employees.

Monthly reports are submitted to the President and Chief Executive Officer. The champion is a director general. She belongs to the senior management group and attends many executive committee meetings, but is not a member of the executive committee. The Canada Post business plan contains a separate statement on Canada Post's commitment toward obligations under Part VII of the OLA. Official languages are not mentioned explicitly in the 2003 annual report.

Internal audits often include questions on bilingual services.

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c) Complaints

The availability of bilingual service at dealer outlets is considered a systemic problem by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. While there are contractual clauses on bilingual services, compliance is uneven.

The official languages co-ordinator in each region handles complaints and deals with local managers. Canada Post points out that there has been a steady decrease in the number of official languages complaints, from 359 in 1989 to 50 in 2003.

To prevent complaints, Canada Post conducts spot checks and is planning to conduct them more frequently. There is also a "mystery customer" program that provides useful, accurate information on the current situation. It has also followed up on the issue of dealer outlets by developing standards for bilingual outlet operators.

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

One weakness is active offer of service in both official languages in designated locations. However, Canada Post says that this is offset by "visual active offer." Every outlet has posters indicating that service is offered in both official languages. In addition to the blue pictogram, Canada Post affixes a statement on the doors of its bilingual service points. Service points have been in the BUROLIS system since February 2004. While visiting service outlets in the fall of 2004, OCOL representatives noted that Burolis was not up to date, particularly in the case of service outlet P433950.

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b) Findings on active offer and service delivery

Following the 2001 census, the Treasury Board Secretariat "de-identified" some offices that had previously been considered bilingual service points, but Canada Post decided nevertheless to continue providing bilingual service in offices that had bilingual capacity.

According to observations on in-person service* made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the fall of 2004, there was active visual offer in 92.3% of cases, active offer by the attendant was made in 38.5% of cases while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 92.3% of cases.

* Given the recent audit of bilingual postal outlets (May 2004), it is noteworthy that out of the 13 service outlets that were visited during the course of the fall 2004 observations, only two were dealer outlets.

Canada Post was not included in the recent telephone service audit conducted by the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency.

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

Contracts with franchise owners include a language clause stating the owner's official languages obligations. In addition, regional managers visit the franchises under their jurisdiction on a regular basis to ensure that the requirements are being met.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

Employees are regularly reminded of their obligations under the OLA through various means (employee newsletters, leaflets, e-mail to staff, etc.).

Monitoring is done through sales performance evaluations, "mystery customers" (survey technique) and internal audits, which often include questions on bilingual services. Co-ordinators conduct on-site spot checks of service points.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

66.0% of supervisors in bilingual positions meet their language requirements (December 2004 data, source: Official Languages Directorate, Canada Post).

The policy on language of work is included in the above-mentioned Official Languages Program document. The Intranet site "INTRAPOST" includes a number of general pages that highlight the positive aspects of the official languages program.

A practical guide (in leaflet form) dealing with language of work was distributed within the Corporation.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

Canada Post is offering training workshops to supervisors on language of work provisions. The training will be continued in 2005. Special initiatives are underway in New Brunswick and Quebec. Messages are sent to employees to remind them of language rights (examples provided).

Executive Committee meetings and other management meetings are conducted in both official languages so that participants can use their preferred language, and minutes are in both official languages.

There are no apparent control mechanisms to monitor implementation.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

23.0% of employees in Canada are Francophone.

(Source: Official Languages Directorate, Canada Post, December 2004)

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

5.0% of employees in Quebec are Anglophone.

(Source: Official Languages Directorate, Canada Post, December 2004)

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Development of minority language 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

The national OL co-ordinator is responsible for co-ordinating Part VII business. While there are few Treasury Board submissions and memoranda to Cabinet, these documents are systematically sent to the OL co-ordinator, who examines their content from a minority language community point of view. Major new projects are examined in the same way. Canada Post's business plan includes a statement on the Corporation's commitment to honouring its obligations under Part VII of the OLA. Canada Post provides its action plans and progress reports to provincial official language communities annually to seek their input.

As far as advertising is concerned, the Official Languages Program document states that "all advertising must appear in both the English-language and French-language media. If there is no advertising medium in the minority language, both official language versions must be published in a majority-language medium… different media may be used for each language group, provided that the effectiveness of the communication with individuals in the language of their choice is assured."

Through the use of newsletters, messages to staff and the Intranet, employees are informed of the needs of both official languages groups, from a service perspective.

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

In order to ensure that linguistic duality is taken into consideration, Treasury Board submissions and memoranda to Cabinet, of which there are relatively few, are systematically routed to the Part VII national co-ordinator for review.

In this area, the Corporation's commitment takes the form of efforts to promote literacy. These efforts have been highlighted by Canadian Heritage on a few occasions in the past. When Canada Post appeared before the parliamentary Standing Committee on Official Languages, on April 2, 2003, Mauril Bélanger, who was chair of the Committee at the time, indicated that the committee was very satisfied with Canada Post's work to promote literacy.

Canada Post states that it promotes linguistic duality across the country, given the large number of local outlets. The 2003 annual report to Canadian Heritage on Part VII of the Official Languages Act states: "Canada Post is the federal agency with the largest retail network in the country, including some 800 postal outlets designated bilingual under the Official Languages Regulations."

Canada Post sponsors activities that promote linguistic duality (literacy programs, Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, Prix Montfort, Concours de la dictée des Amériques, Letters to Santa Claus, La Fureur in Ottawa).

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