ARCHIVED - Transport Canada 2007-2008

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 Report Card 2007–2008
Transport Canada (TC)

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 (TMX). This framework was distributed to all Transport Canada (TC) employees on June 30, 2005.

Each year, TMX 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 whose timeline matches the fiscal year, 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. Sectoral and regional action plans were also developed to support those in charge of implementing the accountability framework.

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 Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA) and at the same time is distributed to all TMX members. A message is also sent to all employees inviting them to consult the document on the intranet. The purpose is to draw attention to the results achieved by the Department in this respect and thus increase the managers’ level of accountability.

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


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

The 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities deals briefly with linguistic duality in TC and the TC strategic communications plan mentions using both OL for service to the public and in the workplace. OL were also integrated into staffing standards and guidelines.

TC considers a variety of human resources issues in internal departmental audits during annual risk-based planning, but OL are not part of this assessment. However, TC carries out annual telephone audits of all service points and periodically in person for certain service points; this is separate from the CPSA audits and observations by Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL).

OL were discussed four times by TMX, specifically with regard to the institution’s obligations under Part VII of the Act.

The Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, ensures coordination between Parts IV, V and VI and Part VII of the Act. There is an ongoing dialogue between the OL Champion and OL functional authorities. 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.” A Champion was appointed for Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic Region, and TC plans on appointing OL champions this year in two other regions to increase the visibility and guide the implementation of regional OL objectives.

Concerning OL visibility, the OL Manager was awarded the Public Service Award of Excellence in the official languages category by Nicole Jauvin, President of the Canada Public Service Agency, for the management of official languages at TC.


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

Guidelines are in place to resolve OL complaints filed against the Department. The notices of complaint sent by 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. For complaints under Part VII of the Act, a copy of the complaint and the corrective measures are forwarded to Canadian Heritage.

Information sessions are held to address recurring, broad complaints. The Assistant Deputy Minister and the regional directors general are always kept up-to-date about exchanges of correspondence concerning any complaints and occasionally discuss the corrective measures required to resolve problems. They ensure that corrective measures are implemented to correct the situation within a reasonable timeframe.

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 the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, who raise the issue at TMX meetings, if necessary, or individually with the branch head concerned.




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 92% 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 in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active visual offer was present in 79% of cases; an active offer by staff was made in 24% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 72% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, 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 88% 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.

TC includes a pamphlet on contractors’ OL responsibilities with all contracts issued on a national basis. The Guide and the pamphlet are available on TC’s intranet site. There are also two feedback mechanisms: a mailbox for employees to point out OL shortcomings and best practices; and the Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS) that makes it possible for internal and external stakeholders to identify issues concerning the delivery of the Civil Aviation Program, also including OL.

In response to a complaint filed with OCOL, TC added a bilingual poster informing employees of extra documentation on the MERX online Canadian Public Tenders Service.

The Procurement and Materiel Management Guideincludes checklists for the different steps of a contract. As work progresses, the manager must do all that is required to ensure the contractor meets its obligations provided for in the contract. The performance evaluation includes a general description of the work, along with observations on the quality of the work, including compliance with language requirements.


(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 and uses those of Treasury Board. The policies, reports and work tools are posted on the intranet.

The self-assessment guide of the preparation process of the Annual Review to the CPSA and the TC Accountability Framework are used to determine the roles and responsibilities of each employee at TC.

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 correspondence within divisions and directorates, as well as discussions in management committees. Policies, guidelines, manuals and other work tools are available to employees on TC’s intranet site. All electronic articles in Inside TC, TC Express, and on the What’s New page and The OLLO Corner of the intranet site refer employees to the official languages site where they can find tools to help them understand their OL rights and responsibilities. These regular communications help increase the visibility of OL and thus remind employees of the importance of their language obligations towards their clients.

During the fall of 2007, several presentations were given to managers concerning their obligations, especially with regard to bilingual service to the public and language of work.

An information circular was prepared to provide air operators with directives on the delivery of bilingual announcements for passengers sitting next to an emergency exit window in compliance with the Act. The circular was distributed on December 7, 2007 to all TC Civil Aviation staff, as well as air operators subject to Subpart 705 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

The Department carries out a spot check of telephone service to the public in both OL every year. During these calls, the institution also verifies the addresses of the service points and makes the necessary changes to Burolis. During 2007, CPSA and TC carried out audits in certain regions. A new nationwide audit is planned before the end of the year.

The OL Unit always follows up on observations on service (in person and on the phone) made by OCOL or CPSA, when the Department receives this information, by issuing reminders to managers and employees.




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 Treasury Board, 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, including a “Parlons français” day in the National Capital Region (NCR). In the Atlantic Region, there was a day celebrating Acadian culture and there are French Wednesdays every week.

TC has guidelines concerning the use of electronic networks in both OL and added two new pages, including The OLLO Corner, which includes all articles for employees and managers, as well as a directory of forms and templates for regional OL coordinators and staffing consultants.

Tools are made available to employees to help them maintain their second language skills, including workshops on how to chair and participate in bilingual meetings, a departmental pamphlet concerning OL distributed to new employees and during special events, a pamphlet distributed in bilingual regions entitled Express yourself! English or French - it’s your choice! that describes the language rights and responsibilities to employees and supervisors. The Web page on language training and evaluation of the intranet site on OL was updated to consolidate all information about language training and provide all TC employees with access to online language training.

In total, 96% of senior management in bilingual positions are bilingual, while 89% of supervisors in designated bilingual regions meet the requirements of their respective position (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

In the NCR, the Atlantic Region and the Quebec Region, information sessions were offered in 2007 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 placing posters in all meeting rooms on how to hold a bilingual meeting, and distributing promotional items.

In the orientation workshop, an overview of the OL Program is presented to new employees, as well as information on their rights and responsibilities and tools to help them understand these obligations. Messages on OL were published every month in Inside TC, TC Express, the What’s New page and The OLLO Corner of the intranet site to inform employees about various topics dealing with OL. All electronic articles refer employees to the OL site, where there are tools to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. These regular communications help enhance visibility and inform employees where they can find information about their language rights and obligations.

TC uses the CPSA survey and the OCOL language of work survey to assess employee satisfaction with language of work. TC completes the information on this issue by conducting its own survey on the availability of central and personal services. TC also uses standing commitments for managers during the performance evaluation process to ensure that OL objectives have been achieved.
TMX meetings take place in both OL.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL showed that overall, 73% 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, 71% of Anglophone respondents “strongly agreed” or “mostly agreed” with the language of work regime.




Equitable participationPart VI (10%)

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

Overall, the workforce is 30.4% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

In Quebec, the workforce is 9.9% Anglophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).




Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic dualityPart VII (25%)


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. Moreover, the Accountability Framework provides that the Policy Group at TC headquarters is responsible for assessing the impact that program proposals or program changes will have on minority communities (OLMCs) and on promotion of linguistic duality in Canadian society.

TC has a policy committee composed of the directors general of each program and each m of transportation (air, marine, rail and road) for which the Department is responsible. This committee provides feedback and discusses TC program initiatives before they are submitted to TMX.
TC’s Legal Services were made aware of the importance of OLMCs and the promotion of linguistic duality.
In February 2007, the Department hired an OL consultant to review its policies and programs, in view of determining which ones could have an impact on the promotion of both OL and OLMC development. The consultant made the following recommendations, which were approved by TMX in November 2007:

  1. Set up an advisory committee. In consultation with TMX members, this committee will develop an action plan in order to plan activities, objectives and priorities for the following year, as well as for the long term, with regard to Part VII. The terms of reference of this committee are in the process of being approved.

  2. Develop an action plan for the implementation of Part VII.

  3. Create a Part VII coordinator position within Corporate Services.

The Accountability Framework and the different action plans of regional branch heads and sector heads will be amended in 2008-2009 to reflect the changes resulting from the implementation of Part VII, including the creation of the advisory committee, which will support OLMC development and the promotion of linguistic duality. The advisory committee is planning to hold its first meeting in March 2008.

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


During the last year, OLMC development was discussed three times by TMX, a consultation with management was held during the program review, and Canadian Heritage checklists were distributed to executives in order to make them aware and remind them of their obligations. TC’s Legal Services were also made aware of the obligations under Part VII of the Act.

One of TC’s priorities for 2008–2009 is to develop a strategic plan on Part VII. The advisory committee will also be in charge of developing this action plan after it meets with OLMCs.

The Part VII Coordinator was appointed in December 2007. One of his responsibilities will be to ensure nationwide liaison with the relevant associations. The Atlantic Region is a member of the Comité communautaire acadien du Nouveau-Brunswick et des ministères fédéraux, and TC’s National OL Champion, who retired last year, sat on the Quebec Federal Council and participated in the annual consultation with Anglophone communities.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%) 

Twice a year, during Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and National Public Service Week, the Department organizes activities to promote linguistic duality, such as quizzes with prizes. A number of promotional items are distributed to promote linguistic duality in the Department. An information booth is set up at TC where employees and the public can obtain further information about TC initiatives and programs and the institution’s commitment to OL.

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 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.
A two-year action plan (2008–2010) will be developed to make employees aware of promotion of linguistic duality within the Department and in Canadian society.