ARCHIVED - Transport Canada 2006-2007

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Performance Report 2006-2007
Transport Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

An official languages (OL) accountability framework describing the roles and responsibilities of the Deputy Minister, the OL Champion and other employees responsible for the implementation of the Official Languages Act (the Act) was approved by the members of the Transport Canada Executive Committee. This framework was distributed to all Transport Canada (TC) employees on June 30, 2005, and is also available on the intranet site.

Each year, executive committee members approve the departmental priorities related to OL as part of the department's strategy for OL. Once the strategy has been approved, a call letter is sent to all managers asking them to prepare an annual action plan on OL as well as a status report. Managers are required to complete the departmental self-assessment guide for the language situation in the area under their responsibility. Their action plan, which includes measurable activities, is sent to the next level of management and integrated into the action plan of the region or branch. Discussions are periodically held by various management committees to ensure that the plans are implemented and that the managers fully meet their language obligations.

For its part, the national office for OL submits the department-wide results to the Deputy Minister for approval in the form of the Annual Review on Official Languages. The Annual Review is then submitted to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada (PSHRMAC) and at the same time is distributed to all executive committee members. A message is also sent to all employees inviting them to consult the document on the intranet. It should be noted that PSHRMAC uses TC's Annual Review as a model for other institutions.

The Deputy Minister holds senior managers responsible for implementing the departmental strategy for OL by including commitments in executive committee members' accountability agreements and making the departmental implementation of sectoral and regional plans a collective responsibility of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee reviews the OL strategy on an annual basis.


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

Although neither the 2005-2006 Departmental Performance Report nor the 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities discusses TC's OL program, departmental objectives for OL have been integrated into TC's departmental communications strategy.

The internal audit cycle targets OL approximately every five years. TC does not include OL in other internal departmental audits. In February 2006, TC's national office for OL conducted a follow-up of the telephone service spot checks conducted by the Department during the previous year. The results were shared with the Executive Committee in April 2006.

OL were put on the agenda three times this year (discussions on departmental priorities for OL, language training and Part VII). The Executive Committee also discusses OL within the framework of other initiatives. The National Champion, who is a regional director general, sits on the Executive Committee and has solid support from the Deputy Minister in terms of OL. Moreover, similar to what the Quebec Region did last year, the Ontario Region appointed a regional OL champion this year to increase the visibility and guide the implementation of regional OL objectives.

For now, the Executive Committee provides coordination between Parts IV, V and VI and Part VII. There is an ongoing dialogue between the OL Champion and functional OL authorities on OL. Under the Official Languages Accountability Framework, the departmental OL Champion "provides leadership to ensure that OL obligations are taken into account in all executive committee decisions."


c) Complaints (5%)

Guidelines are in place to resolve OL complaints filed against the Department. The notices of complaint sent by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) are reviewed and forwarded to the responsible director general, with a copy sent to the appropriate assistant deputy minister. The manager concerned, in consultation with the regional human resources advisor and the national OL officer, determines the measures that will be taken to rectify the situation and ensure that it does not occur again. The OL officer performs regular follow-ups until the corrective measures are put in place.

Twice each year, the national office for OL analyzes complaints by region and by program or sector. It shares this analysis with the OL Champion, who raises the issue at executive committee meetings, if necessary, or individually with the branch head concerned. A document on OL complaints was distributed at TC's 2006 Senior Management Conference.




Service to the Public - Part IV (25%)

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

Some of the services that TC offers are intended for a restricted clientele whose language preference is known. The telephone numbers of all offices are listed in the blue pages of telephone directories. Bilingual offices are also listed in Burolis.

A total of 87% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: Position and Classification Information System [PCIS], March 31, 2006).


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 85% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 19% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 68% 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 82% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 83% of cases.


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

TC contracts contain a language clause that was developed by the Department. TC has also drafted a policy on service delivery by third parties. Since January 2006, the policy has been part of the departmental Procurement and Materiel Management Guide. The different courses that deal with contracts were updated to reflect the new policy. Also, all TC managers and employees were informed about the new policy through the Department's internal newsletter, Inside TC, in January 2006.

Although neither the Department's auditor nor the OL Division is currently overseeing the implementation of the policy, TC includes a new pamphlet on contractors' OL responsibilities with all the contracts issued on a national basis. The Guide and the pamphlet are available on TC's intranet site. Local management is responsible for monitoring compliance with the language obligations described in the contract.


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

Transport Canada does not have an OL policy or guidelines for service to the public. However, in June 2006, a memo on active offer and service to the public in both OL was distributed to all managers of designated bilingual offices, with various tools and instructions to help them deliver bilingual services (e.g., Treasury Board pictogram; poster produced by TC to encourage members of the public to use their language of choice; sheet with the Treasury Board OL sticker; a new tent card on active offer designed by TC that shows the definition of active offer and how to provide it on one side, and on the other side, gives some useful bilingual expressions for greeting the public). In addition, the basic TC management course includes a section on OL for managers.

TC regularly reminds employees of their responsibility to greet the public and provide service of equal quality in both OL and shows employees how to do so through various forums: newsletter articles, discussions and communications within divisions and directorates, as well as discussions in management committees. In fact, in 2006, the OL Division at the Department's headquarters sent out ten mailings or reminders of this nature, in addition to the reminders done locally in the regions. Furthermore, policies, guidelines, manuals and other work tools are available to employees on TC's intranet site. The Department gives new employees an overview of the Official Languages Program during their orientation session, which also discusses language obligations towards the public.

In February 2006, the departmental OL Unit carried out a spot check of telephone service to the public at their 105 bilingual service points. The Department carries out an assessment of this kind every year. During these calls, the institution also verifies the addresses of the service points and makes the necessary changes to Burolis.

The OL Unit always follows up on observations on service (in person and on the phone) made by OCOL in the fall, when the Department receives this information.




Language of Work - Part V (25%)

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

The current language of work policy is that of PSHRMAC, except that it includes guidelines specific to the Department's initiatives and requirements. The policies, guidelines, reports and work tools are posted on the intranet.

There are a number of measures to facilitate the use of the official language of the minority: text revision services are available in both OL in each sector; new employees are given the brochure "Simply a Matter of Respect," which describes employees' OL rights and responsibilities (this publication is also available on their intranet site); and new employees are asked their language of preference for written correspondence. TC has developed a departmental language development program in the National Capital Region (NCR). In 2006, it started offering language training courses through a private supplier, in addition to the training offered by the Canada School of the Public Service.

In addition, in the fall of 2006, the Quebec Region implemented a pilot project and hired an English teacher to provide customized courses to employees who wanted to improve their English skills. Different course formats are offered: private, semi-private and in small groups.

As of March 31, 2006, PCIS showed that 92% of senior management and 80% of supervisors who must communicate with their staff in both languages in designated bilingual regions are in fact bilingual.


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

In the NCR, where more than 50% of TC employees work, information sessions were offered in March and November 2006 and tools were developed for employees and managers in relation to supervision, oral and written communications, as well as meetings and conferences to foster a bilingual work environment.

Other methods are used to remind employees of their rights, such as hanging up posters in all meeting rooms on how to hold a bilingual meeting, and distributing promotional items (pins, note clips, notebooks, felt-tip pens with the OL logo, etc.).

A new brochure on OL in the workplace in bilingual regions was created and distributed. A Parlons français day was held, during which the Deputy Minister encouraged employees in the NCR to speak French and to visit the OL booth. The Computer Help Desk staff put a sticker with separate telephone numbers for service in English and service in French on all computers.

Notices are published five or six times a year in Inside TC, TC Express and on the What's New page of the intranet site to provide employees with information about their roles, rights and responsibilities regarding OL. New employees are given an overview of the Official Languages Program.

A tent card and a poster were developed to encourage employees to use their official language of choice during meetings and to describe the roles of the participants and the chair. The tent card was distributed to all section heads and all senior level employees in bilingual regions.

Similarly, the basic TC management course includes a section on OL for managers; in other management courses that cover the Department's mandate and policies, it is pointed out that OL are a departmental priority. The OL Champion met with the management committees of the Policy Group and the Safety and Security Group to discuss the OL situation in their groups as well as the implementation of the OL strategy.

The Deputy Minister actively encourages members of the Executive Committee to use both OL during meetings, and both OL are used.

In 2006-2007, the Department used the results of the Public Service Employee Survey to monitor the application of its language of work policy. An electronic mailbox was set up on the home page of the OL Web site so employees could bring to management's attention any shortcomings and share best practices.

The Safety and Security Group's Civil Aviation Directorate is implementing a Web-based reporting system (CAIRS) for internal and external stakeholders so that they can report problems with the delivery of the Civil Aviation Program, including those related to OL. In addition, the self-assessment system used by managers to develop an action plan for their responsibility centre serves as a control mechanism for supervisors' and managers' obligations under Part V.

The Public Service Employee Survey showed that overall, 74% of Francophone respondents in the NCR, New Brunswick and the bilingual regions of Ontario “strongly agreed” or “mostly agreed” with the language of work regime. In Quebec, 76% of Anglophone respondents “strongly agreed” or “mostly agreed” with the language of work regime.




Equitable Participation  - Part VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 30.2% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2006).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 9.3% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2006).




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%)

Under the Official Languages Accountability Framework, all members of the Executive Committee are responsible for ensuring that Treasury Board submissions and memoranda to Cabinet issued by a program from their sector include an evaluation of the impact that the program proposal or change to a program will have on official language minority communities (OLMCs).

TC has a policy committee composed of the directors general of each program and each method of transportation (air, marine, rail) for which the Department is responsible. This committee provides feedback and discusses TC program initiatives before they are submitted to the Executive Committee. The OL Champion called two meetings of this committee to make it aware of the Department's requirements under Part VII and to discuss the role this committee could play in developing new policies and/or initiatives liable to have an impact on OLMCs.

In December 2006, representatives from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Department of Justice gave a presentation to the Executive Committee and participated in a discussion on how TC can comply with the obligations under the Act and play a leadership role within the Minister of Transport's portfolio, in light of the amendments made to the Act in November 2005. Prior to this meeting, Canadian Heritage and Justice Canada met with the OL Champion and policy group managers to raise awareness and initiate discussions.

In 2006-2007, no one was appointed to liaise with the OLMCs. However, the Atlantic Region is a member of the Comité communautaire acadien du Nouveau-Brunswick et des ministères fédéraux, and TC's National Champion sits on the Quebec Federal Council and participates in the annual consultation with Anglophone communities.

Apart from the Policy Committee, employees who could have a role to play in OLMC development have not yet been made aware of these communities' needs.

In February 2007, the Department hired an OL consultant to review its policies and programs to determine which ones could have an impact on the promotion of both languages and OLMC development. The consultant will suggest possible positive measures that the Department could take. He will also recommend the best way to coordinate the subsequent work, for example, who should be responsible for the overall coordination.

The Department did not give OCOL any examples of positive measures taken during 2006-2007 to foster OLMC development.

The Executive Committee held preliminary discussions on how to take OLMCs' needs into account and will use the consultant's report to develop an action plan to foster the development of OLMCs and determine the best way to measure future results.


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

In the past, TC did not take the promotion of linguistic duality into account when it prepared Treasury Board submissions and memoranda to Cabinet. Now, the Official Languages Accountability Framework provides that the Department shall do so when preparing these documents. Each executive committee member is individually responsible for “actively advancing the equal status of English and French in Canada” during operational planning for his or her branch and in the development of policies for the transportation sector. This document also states that the policy sector at TC's headquarters is responsible for providing advice and recommendations to senior executives and managers on issues surrounding the promotion of English and French in Canadian society.

In December 2006, representatives from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Department of Justice gave a presentation to the Executive Committee on Part VII.

In 2006-2007, no one was appointed to liaise on a national level with the relevant organizations. However, the Atlantic Region is a member of the Comité communauté acadienne du Nouveau-Brunswick et ministères fédéraux, and TC's National Champion sits on the Quebec Federal Council and participates in the annual consultation with Anglophone communities.

Apart from the Policy Committee, employees who may have a role in promoting linguistic duality have not yet been made aware of the obligation to take positive measures.

The consultant hired in February 2007 to review departmental policies and programs must determine which ones have an impact on the promotion of English and French.

Within TC, the promotion of the equal status of both OL is beginning to occur at the national level, often with the assistance of the regional federal councils.

Twice a year, during Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and National Public Service Week, the Department organizes activities that promote linguistic duality, such as quizzes with prizes. A number of promotional items (e.g., pins, notebooks, note clips and felt-tip pens with the OL logo) are distributed in promotional bags to promote linguistic duality in the Department. Moreover, the OL Champion personally distributed pewter business card holders with the Official Languages Program logo to the other executive committee members at the Senior Management Conference. Even though they are not designated as bilingual regions for language of work purposes, some unilingual regions offer second language training and development to their employees (e.g., the Prairie and Northern Region, which offers these programs to a few employees each year).

In order to promote language training and skills retention, an Official Languages Toolkit - Applying and Maintaining your Second Official Language was prepared by the OL Division. The Division distributes the kit and a promotional bag (like Publi-Sac) to employees returning to work after taking language training, as well as a certificate congratulating them on having achieved the required language proficiency in their second official language. The promotional bag is filled with the latest promotional items to help them maintain and improve their second official language. In addition, a sample letter of congratulations was developed and forwarded to all regions so the assistant deputy minister or regional director general could personalize it and send it to employees returning to work after taking full-time language training. The letter encourages employees to maintain their newly acquired language skills.

The consultant's report on Part VII will undoubtedly identify other activities that could promote linguistic duality and encourage discussion on the best way to measure future results.