ARCHIVED - Western Economic Diversification Canada 2007-2008

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Report Card 2007–2008
Western Economic Diversification Canada

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

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

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has an accountability framework, which specifies how the obligations set out in Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act (the Act) are to be carried out. The framework focuses on the official languages (OL) champions, whose mandate is to improve the visibility of the OL program within the Department. WD also has an instrument for the delegation of authority for human resources that sets out management responsibilities in various areas with respect to OL.

WD incorporates OL into its overall plans, including the departmental human resources plan and the departmental business plan, instead of having an action plan specifically for OL. The activities provided for in Parts IV, V and VI of the Act are also included in the review submitted to the Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA). WD does, however, have an action plan for Part VII.
The achievement of OL objectives is measured when preparing the OL annual review, which is submitted to the CPSA and signed by the Deputy Minister. Most managers in the executive group have signed performance agreements regarding the promotion of section 41 of the Act and the building of OL capacity within the Department.

WD also considers OL in its internal audits and program audits and evaluations. Information gathered for these processes is communicated to the OL team for consideration in program and policy development.


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

The Deputy Minister actively supports OL in the Western provinces by ensuring that senior management participates in the strategic planning process and in the implementation of the OL program. WD’s management accountability framework includes OL. Discussions on the impact of OL were held during the visioning exercise on the future of WD.

The 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities includes an appendix on section 41 of the Act. The 2005–2006 Performance Report looks at the support given to Francophone Economic Development Organizations (FEDOs) and OL activities.

The OL Champion is the Assistant Deputy Minister in Ottawa and, with the support of the OL Coordinator and OL team, is responsible for raising OL issues with the Executive Committee, as needed. A follow-up of OL files was carried out at the November 2007 Management Committee meeting.

WD has a team made up of the Assistant Deputy Minister in Ottawa, who oversees OL issues and liaises with management at Executive Committee meetings, and a national coordinator, based at WD’s headquarters. Regional coordinators, who are based in the provinces, actively participate in the development of strategies and in the implementation of OL activities with national team leaders. In addition, WD’s team includes representatives from the Department’s corporate sectors (Audit and Evaluation, Communications, Human Resources and Corporate Services). Each of these individuals participates in regional and national forums to promote the OL program. Internally, they assist WD employees in applying OL policies in the workplace. Members of this team communicate through a sharing portal, regular conference calls and semi-annual meetings.

The Director General, Corporate Finance and Programs, the Director General, Policy, and the Director, Programs, receive regular updates on OL activities and assist the OL Champion and OL Coordinator with the development of policies and initiatives related to OL.

Those with responsibilities under the Act must include performance measures in their annual evaluation on how they support the OL program in the region or in the community.

WD conducted evaluations of the FEDO Program and of the 2000–2004 action plan on OL. OL are taken into consideration by the Audit and Evaluation Branch. Additional departmental program audits and evaluations include an OL component.

The Department is also currently conducting an impact analysis on  FEDOs.


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

The accountability framework includes mechanisms for addressing OL complaints. Since management assumes responsibility for resolving complaints, the OL Coordinator and the senior Human Resources Consultant oversee the process, in addition to facilitating the flow of information between the Office of the Commissioner and the Department. In conjunction with the OL Champion, the OL Coordinator then involves the appropriate manager in the process.

WD’s OL team is debriefed at a regular monthly meeting on each complaint that is received and the corrective action taken, to ensure consistency across WD and to avoid potential complaints going forward. The Executive Committee is also informed of lessons that are learned from addressing each complaint.

WD reports on the complaints it receives in its annual review to the CPSA.




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

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

Offices that are designated bilingual are identified in Burolis, in the blue pages and on WD's Internet site.
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

According to observations of service in person made by the Office of the Commissioner between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active visual offer was present in 91% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 36% of cases, and service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 91% 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 91% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 82% of cases.


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

There is a section on OL in the contribution agreements (for both grants and contributions and operating and maintenance) that set out obligations with regard to communications. WD assesses the quality of service delivery to the public for each project at the departmental level. Each of the projects carried out with OLMCs or Francophone entrepreneurs is evaluated according to departmental standards.

WD also works with the Western Canada Business Service Network (WCBSN) to ensure that partner organizations are aware of their obligations. WD has encouraged WCBSN members to establish protocols among themselves to provide high quality services to OLMCs. WD regularly meets with network partners to remind them of their OL obligations and discuss opportunities for increased collaboration among partners.

The complaints that are received and the reports on contribution agreements are used to measure whether high quality services are provided by third parties in both OL.

Additionally, WD has established a performance measurement framework using in-person meetings, audited financial statements, contribution agreements, operating plans and quarterly reports to measure service delivery.


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

WD applies CPSA’s policy on the use of OL for communications with and services to the public. A link is provided in the OL section of the Department’s intranet site so employees can consult this policy. Information sessions on OL include a section on service to the public. The handbook for new employees contains a section on OL, and the managers’ handbook also contains a section on OL.

In 2007, WD monitored active offer by calling reception or coming into reception. As part of this activity, the OL Coordinator spoke with individuals at reception about what an active offer is and why it is important to greet clients in both languages. WD provided receptionists with a checklist on active offer in the fall of 2007.

Members of the OL team regularly discuss active offer with employees who deliver services. The performance activities architecture and management accountability frameworks of WD include elements related to service to the public.

Information sessions on OL include a section on service to the public. The handbook for new employees also contains a section on OL. In addition, WD sends new employees to the CSPS orientation course that emphasizes OL and service to the public responsibilities.




Language of Work—Part V (25%)

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

WD currently uses the CPSA’s policy on language of work and services to the public and is examining whether an additional departmental policy is required.

A link is provided in the OL section of the Department’s intranet site for employees so they can consult this policy. WD also uses an instrument for the delegation of authority for human resources that includes clearly defined management responsibilities in the following areas: the language designation of positions, language training and language retention, bilingual bonuses, the non-imperative staffing of bilingual positions and responding to OL complaints. 

The accountability framework sets out provisions and responsibilities in terms of language of work.

WD uses the Human Resources Information System to track language profiles, training and expiry dates.

WD is continuing its review of desktop and business applications, and is examining linguistic capability and application data for the use of both OL by all applications used by the Department. This will enable WD to inform all staff, including those employees working in regions not designated bilingual, that tools are available in both languages.

Managers receive a managers’ handbook upon appointment that outlines their obligations, including those related to OL.

In total, 71% of executives holding bilingual positions are bilingual, while 86% 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%)

The only office that is located in a bilingual region for the purposes of language of work is the Ottawa office. However, communications sent out to all offices are bilingual. Employees are encouraged to communicate in the language of their choice. Senior management promotes the use of both OL at meetings held at the Ottawa office. The agendas and minutes of meetings are prepared in both OL.
When possible, French-speaking staff working in English regions are encouraged to participate in sessions in French in Ottawa.

Presentations on OL were made in the fall of 2006, and one reminder on language of work rights was sent to employees in 2007.

The Department uses the complaints that are received and the results of the Public Service Employee Survey as indicators of the implementation of the language of work policy and reports on this in its annual review to the CPSA.




Equitable Participation—Part VI (10%)

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

All WD offices are located in Western Canada, with the exception of the liaison office in the National Capital Region.

Overall, the workforce is 8.9% Francophone (Source: PCIS, March 31, 2007).


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

WD does not have any offices in Quebec.




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


WD prepares an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act and an annual status report. The 2004–2008 action plan was developed following a review of the previous action plan and consultations with FEDOs, among others. An OL logic model was developed at the same time. This model is a tool to plan and evaluate programs. The action plan’s key activities, objectives, targets, performance measurements and outcomes reflect the logic model.

Section 41 is part of the new OL accountability framework. The Policy Branch, the Corporate Finance and Programs Branch, as well as the Consultation, Marketing and Communications Directorate are involved in implementing Part VII in their programs and activities. The OL team developed and implemented a horizontal impacts assessment within the departmental project management software. An OL lens is applied to memoranda to Cabinet and project management.

Since the new obligation to take positive measures and section 41 obligations were presented and discussed at a Management Committee meeting in 2006, the topic has also been discussed on different occasions in 2007. The 2007–2008 to 2009–2010 corporate business plan was approved on October 25, 2007. It mentions that WD is focusing on working with OL communities in the West to support economic diversification initiatives.

The OL team is made up of representatives from the Audit and Evaluation Branch, Communications, Human Resources and Corporate Services, as well as regional coordinators in each of the four Western provinces and a national coordinator in Edmonton. The team is supported by the Deputy Minister in Edmonton, as well as the OL Champion in Ottawa. Officers support projects related to section 41 and facilitate the establishment of new partnerships with OLMCs.

A training module on OL activities and responsibilities was developed and presented to project officers. This module made it possible to continue awareness raising activities among staff and to share information on OL and OLMCs. The OL team ensures the dissemination of information within the Department, both in the regions and at headquarters (to be confirmed).

WD feels that its policies and programs meet the obligation to promote the development of OLMCs and to foster the equality of English and French in Canadian society. WD has renewed partnership agreements with FEDOs, provides funds for special initiatives that promote economic development and continues to develop new partnerships intended to support OLMCs.

During the course of this year, WD participated in regional consultations with Industry Canada that examined community needs and current service delivery, to identify opportunities with OLMCs.


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

WD regularly consults OLMCs, particularly the four Western FEDOs. It also carries out consultations on various topics and participates in regional and national consultations led by Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada. The Department's national coordinator serves on the National Committee for Economic Development and Employability. The regional OL coordinators and Francophone community form a collaborative team ready to address specific needs and identify new priorities. This team consults with each other to share concerns, needs and expectations in an effort to take a Western approach to advancing the interests of OLMCs.

Memoranda of understanding signed with Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage have enabled WD to undertake projects over a longer period of time in specific areas, such as economic development, internships, distance learning and distance training, in order to support Francophone entrepreneurs and OLMCs. WD supports various initiatives, including Canadian Heritage’s Interdepartmental Partnership with the Official-Language Communities and the memorandum of understanding with Industry Canada for the implementation of the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages.

Positive measures undertaken by WD include strong partnerships in the communities. It is estimated that, last year, approximately $4.6 million was spent on internships, distance education programs, the funding of FEDOs and other projects with Western Canada’s OLMCs. This amount is approximately 4.5% of WD’s core budget.

FEDO performance indicators are one of the mechanisms used for assessing the WD action plan. WD conducted a client satisfaction survey in the fall of 2007. Survey results will enable WD’s management to develop and improve programs and policies.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

The OL Coordinator ensures that the promotion of linguistic duality is considered in departmental activities. WD integrates its commitments regarding the promotion of linguistic duality into its action plans for OL, and reports on achievements through this framework rather than as a separate, specific measure.

WD supported Les Lauriers de la PME 2007. These awards are an opportunity to showcase entrepreneurship and its valued place in Francophone communities. WD also supported the Corridor touristique francophone de l’Ouest, whose objective is to effectively promote the four Western Canadian provinces as tourist attractions for Francophone communities in Quebec, Western Canada and abroad.

WD employees are made aware of their responsibilities in this regard. Examples include the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, second language mentoring and immersion programs accessible to all staff.

WD has a number of internship projects and distance training pilot projects, which are aimed at increasing availability and access to French language educational and employment opportunities. WD’s intranet site has a specific section on section 41 of the Act. WD provides a list of sites for further reading on programs to promote English and French in Canadian society.