ARCHIVED - Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority 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 Ottawa Airport Authority (YOW) does not have an Official Languages (OL) accountability framework. There are only 20 employees (out of the 108 who work for YOW) who directly serve the public. The other 88 employees work behind the scenes in jobs such as plumbers, cleaning staff, firefighters, etc. Other people who are in direct contact with the public include partners (such as the Ottawa Police and the Commissionaires Corps), volunteers, or the employees of airport tenants (e.g., restaurants or airline companies).

YOW does not have an OL action plan, but its 2002–2003 Annual Review on OL did list a few activities that it intended to undertake in the following fiscal year (January to December 2004). The OL Co-ordinator's view is that employees of this small employer generally understand that the ability to offer service in the client's chosen OL is part and parcel of a quality customer service which is the primary objective of the Authority.

Employee accountability is achieved through the regular management structures, while lessees are accountable based on an OL requirement contained in their leases with the Authority.

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b) Visibility of official languages in the organization

OL are not present in any strategic plan or vision document. YOW does not produce either a RPP or a Performance Report but, rather, a corporate Annual Report. OL are not mentioned in their most recent Annual Report.

Internal audits have not yet become a regular phenomenon, but when they are done they tend to focus on financial aspects, rather than on a functional theme such as OL.

The Director of Communications is both the Champion and the OL Co-ordinator. She attends the weekly meetings of the Executive Committee. She raises, and the Executive deals with, any OL questions on an as-needed basis. Because of her central role in the management of OL, the OL Co-ordinator is in a good position to ensure problems with OL implementation are drawn to the Executive Committee's attention.

The Authority is not subject to Part VII of the Official Languages Act (OLA) so this is not a consideration when looking at co-ordination with other parts of the OLA.

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c) Complaints

When a language complaint is received, managers are the ones who resolve the problem and put in place solutions, under advice and monitoring from the OL Co-ordinator. OCOL has observed an improvement in recent years in how the Authority deals with OL complaints that are under its direct control.

However, it is not clear that organizational learning always occurs, as OCOL has seen repeated examples of some complaints. OCOL has deemed the failure by concessionaires (especially restaurants and food service sites) to hire bilingual staff and to post signage in both languages to be a systemic problem. This problem also extends to some of the partners, volunteer groups and indeed even sometimes to the Authority itself (e.g., complaints about Lost and Found, plus the late-baggage claim area).

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Service to the public - Part IV

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

The Ottawa Airport and its services are listed in both languages in the Ottawa–Gatineau White Pages and in Burolis.

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b) Findings on active offer and service delivery

According to observations on in-person service made by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in the fall of 2004, active visual offer was present in 100% of cases; active offer by staff was made in 0% of cases, while service in the language of the minority was adequate in 100% of cases.

The 2003 Treasury Board Secretariat audit regarding the availability of services in both official languages determined that active offer of service was made on telephone answering machines 100% of the time. There are no results available regarding active offer by employees or the adequacy of service actually delivered.

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

YOW has set out requirements for the services delivered by third parties. The standard linguistic clauses specify an active offer is to be made, that signage is to be posted in both OL, as well as requiring the necessary presence of bilingual staff at all times on the lease premises. For concessionaires, it goes on to specify recourse action that may be taken by YOW in the case of failure to comply with the provisions of the contract.

Monitoring is primarily a complaints-driven process.

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d) Bilingual services quality monitoring

For those among the 20 direct-contact employees whose second official language is weaker, the Authority has distributed written scripts telling them what they should say in the other official language and reminding them of their obligation to serve the public in the OL of its choice. Unilingual volunteer "Infoguides" are paired with someone bilingual. Reminders are sent out to YOW employees and to contractors. For example, a memo was sent on February 10, 2004.

The monitoring of the quality of bilingual services is a part of managers' responsibilities. Although there is a comment-card response system in place, regular monitoring doesn't occur.

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Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy

YOW did not file data for either the 2002–2003 or 2003–2004 Annual Review of OL concerning the number of supervisors who successfully met the bilingual requirements of the position they occupied. However, in an e-mail to OCOL dated February 18, 2005, the Authority confirmed that 70.0% of the Airport Authority's supervisory positions are bilingual, and that 76.0% of incumbents of such positions meet their language requirement.

YOW has a document entitled "bilingualism policy" that addresses some language of work issues, including performance evaluation, internal services provided to employees, and reimbursement to employees of language training costs. The policy, which was approved in 1997, states that "Services provided to Authority employees shall be available in both official languages. This will also apply to regularly and widely used documentation produced for employees." However, it does not provide more detail or define whether this also applies to widely used tools, such as computer software.

It is expected that managers, on their own, will regularly remind employees of their language of work rights.

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b) Use of each language in the workplace

YOW does a general survey of its employees from time to time. The surveys are intended to verify employee perceptions and level of satisfaction, but the OL Co-ordinator did not know whether the last one done in 2002 had an OL component. YOW intends to do another employee survey in 2005; there is a commitment that an OL component will be included. A complaints-based approach is used as regards language of work: the OL Co-ordinator did not feel that measures were necessary to actively encourage employees to use their first OL, given the strong presence of both language groups in the workforce (38.9% Francophone).

Both languages are used at Executive Committee meetings.

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Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada

Staff is entirely located in the NCR, so there are no figures on Anglophone participation in Quebec; 38.9% of YOW's employees are Francophone, based on figures provided by the Authority.

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b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec

There are no employees in Quebec.


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 Ottawa International Airport Authority is not subject to Part VII of the OLA, and therefore has no legal obligations in this regard.


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

The Ottawa International Airport Authority is not subject to Part VII of the OLA, and therefore has no legal obligations in this regard.



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