ARCHIVED - Statistics Canada 2007-2008

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 Report Card 2007–2008
Statistics 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 roles and responsibilities of all parties in relation to all parts of the Official Languages Act (the Act), including those of senior managers and employees, are clearly defined in the Official Languages (OL) Guide at Statistics Canada (SC), which also specifies how the obligations are to be fulfilled and describes the coordination mechanisms. The director of OL and translation is held accountable during his annual performance evaluation for carrying out the OL activities set forth in the annual human resources strategic plan.

A 2005–2008 action plan for the implementation of Part VII has been submitted to Canadian Heritage. The annual human resources strategic plan approved by the Executive Committee, while not organized in function of Parts IV, V or VI, does include some OL activities. The OL Division’s activity plan is in place. This plan describes the actions to be taken and the expected timelines. The OL Champion and the Executive Committee also discuss this plan on a regular basis. In addition, SC reports on the achievement of OL objectives in its annual review on OL, which it submits to the Canada Public Service Agency, and a status report on the implementation of section 41 of the Act, which it submits to Canadian Heritage.


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


OL are integrated into the annual human resources strategic plan. The 2006–2007 Performance Report discusses OL and bilingual services, and pays particular attention to the literacy levels of official language minorities. The 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities also discusses OL and bilingual services.

OL continue to be taken into consideration for internal audit purposes. For the next fiscal year, it was decided that OL would not be integrated into the audit plan based on the results of the inherent risks analysis.

OL are discussed regularly by the Senior Management Committee and at monthly OL committee meetings, which are attended by three assistant chief statisticians (equivalent to the assistant deputy minister level), including the OL Champion. Over the past year, discussions dealt with the exclusion approval order, the employee survey, imperative staffing, facilitation and Part IV.

The OL Champion is the Assistant Chief Statistician, Management Services. He sits on several departmental committees and is Co-Chair of the OL Committee. The OL Committee, which is made up of three assistant chief statisticians (including the OL Champion) and management representatives, meets on a monthly basis, thereby ensuring good cooperation between the OL Champion, the person responsible for OL and the national coordinator for Part VII of the Act. This committee is supported by a subcommittee of OL coordinators and by a network of divisional OL coordinators.


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

All complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner are reviewed by an advisor from the OL Division and immediately brought to the attention of the manager or director responsible, who must find a permanent solution. A copy of the complaint is also forwarded to the office of the Chief Statistician. Senior management is informed of important complaints and the steps taken to resolve them. These complaints are also discussed by the OL Committee and with the members of the divisional OL coordinators’ network so that the necessary lessons can be learned.

Information on the nature of the complaints and the measures that were taken is shared during meetings and discussions with the individuals who are directly involved. Employees in the divisions that are the subject of a complaint are also informed of the situation in order to prevent it from occurring again in the future.




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

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


Offices designated bilingual are listed in Burolis and in the blue pages of telephone directories. The statistical inquiries service was centralized in Ottawa and can be reached at a 1-800 number, which allows members of the public across Canada to be served in the official language of their choice.

In total, 89% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: Position and Classification Information System [PCIS], March 31, 2007).


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

According to observations of service in person made by the Office of the Commissioner between mid-June and mid-July 2007 and December 2007, an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 0% of cases, and service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by the Office of the Commissioner between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.


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

The SC Client Guide (Materiel and Contracts Services) states that services will be provided in both OL, as required, in order to respect the client’s language of choice. The Standards of Service to the Public also states that clients will be served in their official language of choice.

Contract management and partnership agreements are centralized. Third-party service contracts and partnership agreements include clauses related to service delivery in both OL when required. Contractors’ obligations are described in the statement of work. Audits are conducted by the Materiel and Contracts Services Section.


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


SC’s OL policy states that communications with and services to the public shall be provided in both OL at the head office and in designated regional offices. The policy also stresses that an active offer of service must be made, that services must be delivered in the clients’ language of choice and that all SC products must be simultaneously disseminated in both OL.

The training provided to census representatives and interviewers, who are the main points of contact with the public, covers their obligations regarding the delivery of services in the official language of the public’s choice in detail.

Supervisors are responsible for carrying out the required audits to confirm the accessibility and quality of services to the public in both OL where it is required and for taking appropriate measures in this regard.

The Director, OL and Translation Division, issues regular reminders to divisions in order to ensure compliance with the Act. Also, the Department’s quick reference guide reminds interviewers of their duty to make an active offer of service to the public and their responsibilities in this regard.

A reminder about active offer is scheduled to be issued to all departmental staff in the winter of 2008.

The decision to conduct an internal audit of the OL program is based on the significance of the risks incurred. SC considers whether an audit should be conducted when a particular situation arises and there is a significant increase of risk in this area.




Language of work—Part V (25%)

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


SC’s OL policy sets out the rights and obligations regarding language of work and covers all required elements, including the fact that directors, supervisors, assistant directors and section heads who have supervisory duties must meet the CBC language requirement.

Measures are in place to encourage the use of both OL in designated regions (e.g., articles on various aspects of language of work, which are published in the monthly electronic newsletter @StatCan; the bilingual e-mail bank designed to help employees write in both OL, which is accessible to everyone on the intranet; the information kit on bilingual meetings; and the video An Unpleasant Bilingual Meeting - Une réunion bilingue désagréable). Language training is also offered and an OL award of excellence is given each year to one or more people who have helped raise the profile of the OL program within the institution.

Since 1993, the Language Training Centre has been delivering on-site statutory and non-statutory training, both on a full-time and part-time basis. This centre is an example of a partnership between the private and public sector, with some 30 contract teachers providing on-site training that is tailored to the organization’s specific needs.

With the support of the Public Service Commission, SC has established a language evaluation centre, where tests will be administered. The centre, which is scheduled to open in early 2008–2009, will also help employees develop their training plans by measuring the gap between their current language competency level and the level required to achieve their career aspirations.

In total, 96% of executives holding bilingual positions are bilingual, while 85% of supervisors in bilingual regions meet the requirements of their respective positions (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

Managers are reminded of their obligations during the OL module of the Management Development Program for Supervisors, which is offered approximately eight times per year and attracts about 25 participants per session. Practical workshops on language of work are offered on request to the various divisions and serve to remind all employees of their rights and obligations regarding language of work. Approximately 75 employees from the Service Industries Division participated in the workshops last summer.

Executive committee meetings are conducted in both OL.

Promotional articles were published again this year in the ABCs of Bilingualism series in @StatCan, the monthly electronic newsletter. The goal is to provide employees with practical tips and tricks on how to make more room for bilingualism at work. Some of the topics covered this year included passive bilingualism, the staffing of bilingual positions, language training, maintaining language skills, and language rights and responsibilities.

The pilot project for facilitating bilingualism, launched in the spring of 2006, continued into 2007–2008. The project consisted of determining whether assigning facilitators to divisions with a low rate of bilingualism could help remedy the situation. The facilitator’s role is to identify the division’s problems, then propose and implement solutions in order to actively promote the enhancement or maintenance of an environment that is conducive to the use of both OL. Among other things, the facilitator helps employees who have returned from language training maintain their skills and encourages all employees to feel comfortable using the official language of their choice in meetings and when performing their duties. Four divisions have already participated in the project, and in light of their success, SC has decided that as of 2008–2009, facilitation for bilingualism will be formally added to the array of services provided by the OL and Translation Division to the entire Department.

Monitoring is carried out through follow-ups on the five questions regarding language of work in the Public Service Employee Survey and through feedback provided by the divisional coordinators, who are aware of the OL situation in their workplace.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner showed that, overall, 76% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region, New Brunswick and the 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, the survey results for this group were not included.




Equitable participationPart VI (10%)
(a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada (5%)

Overall, the workforce is 40.3% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 8.8% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).




Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality—Part VII (25%)


SC works with other federal organizations to determine the need for data and surveys on official language minority communities (OLMCs). SC is a key institution for finding innovative ways of using this information to meet the needs of OLMCs.

SC develops an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act and submits an annual status report to Canadian Heritage on this subject. Regular meetings of the Committee on Statistical Information Concerning Official Language Minorities (internal), which is made up of representatives from key divisions in which surveys of interest to OLMCs are developed, help promote and facilitate the sharing of information on OLMCs. The Committee on Statistical Information Concerning Official Language Minorities makes sure that the surveys provide relevant information on linguistic duality. SC recognizes that the two major language groups have different needs, depending on whether they are in a majority or minority situation, and makes sure that surveys that are of interest to OLMCs take their specific needs into account.

The national coordinator and the assistant coordinator responsible for Part VII met with the members of the OL Committee (internal), which includes three assistant chief statisticians, to discuss matters related to this part of the Act. They use these meetings to report on the achievements and challenges related to the implementation of section 41.

In addition to the OL Committee, the institution has an OL coordinator in each division. The OL Committee is supported by a subcommittee of OL coordinators, which acts as an intermediary between the OL Committee and the OL coordinators. Because of their duties, these individuals, like the members of the Committee on Statistical Information Concerning Official Language Minorities, are aware of the needs of OLMCs and the obligation to take positive measures to promote linguistic duality. The participation of SC survey managers in some meetings held by the Coordinating Committee on OL Research (inter-departmental) ensures that they are kept up to date on the needs of other federal institutions and OLMCs.

In July 2007, the Assistant Chief Statistician responsible for OL sent all departmental employees a guide on the implementation of Part VII of the Act, which is the section that sets out the federal government’s commitment to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. The guide is intended for senior management, those responsible for developing policies and programs, middle managers and officers who implement the programs and services.

Due to its mandate, mission and role in terms of surveys and statistics on these communities, the institution regularly assesses the impact of its policies and programs on OLMCs. One of the components of the data collection modernization initiative aims to ensure that all the key surveys include questions on the respondents’ main linguistic characteristics.

Each year, SC participates in a number of symposiums and conferences attended by OLMC representatives, and the Department’s presentations allow them to share information with OLMCs, maintain relationships, create networks and become familiar with their concerns. Moreover, the assistant national coordinator is a member of several forums with OLMC representation.

The national coordinator is supported by a network of regional coordinators responsible for implementing section 41, who attend meetings organized by Canadian Heritage in the regions. Consultation with community organizations on census planning and products is an important activity for these coordinators, and results are shared with the employees at Advisory Services and head office who are involved in survey and census planning. Discussions are also held with the OLMCs during workshops organized by SC, which presents its products, mainly the Portrait of Official Language Communities in Canada CD-ROM.

The Symposium on OL Research Issues, in which OLMC representatives participated, is another example of the regular discussions that SC has with official language communities. The purpose of this symposium, which was held on January 10 and 11, 2007, was to foster dialogue on the link between research and the development of programs and policies that affect OLMCs and linguistic duality. SC helped organize and played a key role in this symposium.  

The action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act is periodically reviewed and includes concrete measures for the development of OLMCs across the country and the promotion of linguistic duality.

An evaluation of the results of the action plan, which includes descriptive performance indicators, is completed each year during the preparation of the status report for Canadian Heritage.


(a) Development of official language minority communities (12.5%)


The Survey on the Vitality of Official-Language Minorities (SVOLM) is an example of the positive measures that have been taken by the institution to enhance OLMC development. The SVOLM was released on December 11, 2007. The information gathered in this survey helps provide a more complete picture of the current situation of OLMC members in various areas such as education in the minority language, access to various services in this language (e.g., health care) and language practices in daily activities inside and outside the home.

For several years now, SC has been making official language community profiles available to the general public. The profiles provide census data on 5,418 communities, 288 counties (or their equivalents), 33 large metropolitan areas and 111 smaller metropolitan areas in Canada. 


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)


On December 4, 2007, SC conducted an initial analysis of the language situation based on the 2006 Census. It focused on Canadians’ mother tongue and language spoken at home, as well as their knowledge of English and French. It also addressed the changes in English-French bilingualism in the country.