Vision 2017 - Official Languages Strategic Plan
Facilitating linguistic duality within the public service of the future will help maintain an important part of Canada's national identity. By providing a course of action for enhancing the role of official languages champions and deputy heads in fostering a vibrant and bilingual workforce, the Council of the Network seeks to promote leadership in the advancement of official languages. Not only does the strategic plan set out a path toward the strengthening of relationships between key partners in official languages, it also paves the way for these actors to take full advantage of the resources at hand in a fast-paced world of technological innovation. Working together to promote official languages and bilingualism across the public service, we can look forward to progressing successfully toward our shared vision of Canada's public service.
Message from the Chair
It is a dynamic time for the public service of Canada, as it adapts to many changes such as rapid technological advances and an increasingly diverse workforce. Canada's public service has experienced numerous challenges in recent years and is now embarking on a new phase in its renewal. It has been working for some time to reshape itself in order to respond to current economic realities and the general challenges of an information society.
The rapid growth of new technologies is changing the way the public service works and communicates, both internally and externally. An increasingly diverse workplace is also questioning traditional assumptions and changing perceptions about how we work, interact and deliver service to Canadians. Many new technologies can, often at minimal cost, increase collaboration across federal institutions and external stakeholders to better promote the use of both official languages. A growing number of new, enthusiastic and bilingual public servants are bringing fresh perspectives and proficiency in new technologies, which can help us work more collaboratively. They are doing this in a manner that also showcases the ease of using both official languages.
Consultations with our stakeholders indicate that many public servants work in their second official language. The enthusiasm of the next generation may help encourage those who would like to work in their mother tongue to do so by promoting work environments that are conducive to the use of both official languages. Together, English and French are the foundation of our national identity at home and abroad. Linguistic duality in the Canadian public service has moved beyond being an obligation to becoming a symbol of leadership, respect, understanding and communication with others.
The Public Service of Canada strives to reflect its diversity though the use and promotion of English and French. The 2011 Census of Population and the data from the National Household Survey show that Canada is a diverse and multicultural country. More than 200 languages were reported as a home language or mother tongue. According to the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018, "new Canadians continue to adopt one or both of our two official languages as their language of work, study and commerce….English and French are important tools for integrating newcomers into Canadian society and for connecting Canadians. Our two languages create opportunities for people to come together through speaking a common language at work and at play."
We believe that a bold and forward-looking vision for official languages can lay the foundation for future sustainability and vibrancy in the Official Languages Program. As leaders, we must help build and support the public service of the future, continually pushing the boundaries and being inspired by the successes we have achieved in official languages. We as a network must continue to be innovative, to promote success and to work collaboratively with each other in order to reach our full potential and to make sustainable progress.
All of these challenges offer opportunities for the Council to be innovative in its work and in how it achieves its mandate. The Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions is optimistic about the future and is well positioned to support a vibrant and bilingual public service as we look forward to celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary as a country in 2017.
The linguistic environment in the public service is undergoing major changes with the restructuring and its impact on workforce adjustment. It is therefore essential to be vigilant and to demonstrate leadership to ensure that language rights and obligations are met across the country.
The Policy on Official Languages, which came into effect in November 2012, clarifies and makes official the role of champions and provides us with a clear direction to move forward. In response to the inclusion of governance and the roles assigned to deputy heads in the Policy, the Council is creating tools to support deputy heads and champions. The document on the Roles and Responsibilities of the Official Languages Champion, for instance, includes examples of activities that could be undertaken to more effectively support institutions.
Also, on March 28, 2013, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, unveiled the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018
"As Prime Minister, I am proud to present the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013–2018 to Canadians. By building on the successes of the last five years, this Roadmap shows the way forward to an even stronger and more united Canada - a Canada where English and French, the languages of our national identity, are a greater source of pride for all Canadians than ever before."
As outlined in the Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada is renewing its investment in the protection, promotion and celebration of both official languages for another five years.
As we look ahead to 2017 and to the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we see a historic opportunity to celebrate linguistic duality and to foster recognition of English and French in Canadian society. To do this, we must embrace changes in how we work by taking advantage of new technologies, which will in turn lead to more horizontal collaboration and extend the reach of the Council's efforts.
"By serving Canadians in both English and French, by creating a work environment that encourages employees in bilingual regions to work in the official language of their choice, and by promoting linguistic duality in Canadian society, our federal institutions give concrete expression to Canada's commitment to bilingualism."
On June 7, 2013, Wayne Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, launched the Blueprint 2020 initiative which articulates a vision for the Public Service for the long-term, positioning it for continued excellence.
Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions
In 2003, a small group of official languages champions met to establish a strategy for ongoing leadership and to support the community of champions between annual conferences. The purpose of this strategy was to go further together, to seek greater influence and to build better cohesion through action. This is how the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions was established on August 28, 2003.
The Council is a horizontal organization of the Government of Canada within which departments, agencies, Crown corporations and regional federal councils, large and small, all work together. The Council has 23 members made up of 14 official languages champions, 3 regional representatives and 4 representatives of departments and agencies that have a direct role in official languages, namely, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), the Privy Council Office, Canadian Heritage (PCH) and Justice Canada. The Executive Director of the National Managers' Community (NMC) and the Chair of the Federal Youth Network (FYN) are also members of the Council.
The Council is a valuable resource for the public service of Canada. It provides a voice for the community of official languages champions and co-champions in departments, agencies, Crown corporations and regional federal councils, which currently includes 227 members, namely, 182 champions and 45 co champions. The Council plays a unique role as a leader and innovator. Its objective is to support and mobilize the community of official languages champions with a view to promoting official languages and helping their deputy heads create a unified vision for official languages and consider official languages in their decision making.
More specifically, in order to achieve its mandate, the Council:
- Supports deputy heads and official languages champions and co-champions and acts as a guiding force and unifier for the community of champions;
- Develops tools to share best practices and to promote official languages issues identified by the official languages champions as well as official languages–related values;
- Offers advice and guidance, and influences official languages decision makers, facilitating horizontal coordination and information sharing and governance;
- Enhances the visibility of the Official Languages Program in the public service by facilitating and promoting official languages awareness within institutions;
- Works in collaboration with TBS, PCH, PCO, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) and other key partners and supports TBS in its overall policy and coordination work; and
- Supports PCH in its policy and coordination work by facilitating interactions with English- and French-language minority communities and by fostering the development of initiatives to promote official languages in Canadian society.
Pictorial: Strategic Plan
Text version of the new Strategic Plan
A bilingual public service that protects, recognizes and celebrates its diversity through the use and promotion of both the English and French languages.
To be a leader and agent of influence for the Government of Canada with a view to promoting official languages and supporting champions and deputy heads in building a shared vision and considering official languages in all decision making processes.
Objectives, Outcomes and Priorities (The objectives are interconnected)
Provide innovative support for deputy heads and official languages champions.
The champions increase their effectiveness by working in a close knit network, learning and sharing best practices virtually.
Regional champions increase their participation through Web 2.0 technologies.
Champions and deputy heads benefit from tools developed by the Council.
Establish a virtual site such as Clearspace for all champions and the Council to share best practices, work collaboratively and make learning opportunities more inclusive for champions.
Create new tools for champions and deputy heads.
The majority of champions and co champions are satisfied with the services being provided by the Council of the Network.
Deputy heads express satisfaction with the Council's work.
Departments, agencies and Crown corporations continue to financially support the Council through its annual fundraising campaign.
Data Source A
First annual survey of champions.
Strengthen relationships with existing partners and alliances (i.e. TBS, PCH, OCOL, Clerk of the Privy Council, PCO, CSPS, Justice, FYN, NMC).
Through partnerships and cost sharing, the number of tools developed and activities implemented to support official languages champions and deputy heads has increased.
Strengthen alliances with key partners in support of official languages.
Engage FYN and the NMC in championing official languages to encourage public servants in designated bilingual regions to work in their official language of choice in support of the Official Languages Program.
Ensure our country's cultures and official languages are celebrated equally during national events such as Canada's 150th anniversary.
Key partners (TBS, PCH, OCOL, Clerk of the Privy Council, PCO, CSPS, PSC, Justice Canada) believe that the Council's partnership has a positive impact on the Official Languages Program.
At least two new horizontal initiatives are established with other key partners such as the Federal Youth Network or the National Managers' Community within the next two years.
The Clerk of the Privy Council continues to support the work of the Council.
Data Source B
An annual meeting between the Co chairs of the Council and key partners.
Annual meetings between the Co chairs of the Council and the Clerk.
Enhance the visibility and extend the reach of the Official Languages Program.
By leveraging new communities of practice (i.e. DGs of communications, HR Council, APEX, CIOs, etc.), the visibility of the Official Languages Program has increased.
Increase awareness of official languages and linguistic duality within communities of practice.
Use social media and speaking engagements to raise awareness of official languages.
Join the Blueprint 2020 dialogue by providing the Clerk with an official languages perspective for the future on behalf of the official languages champions.
At least two communities of practice take steps to support official languages within their community.
Positive shifts in trends are noted.
Official languages are clearly identified in the Clerk's vision for the future of the Public Service.
Data Sources C
Annual meetings between the Co chairs of the Council and the communities.
Data from the Public Service Commission, Statistics Canada, public service employee surveys, the Translation Bureau and the reports of the Commissioner of Official Languages show improvement.
Facilitating linguistic duality within the public service of the future will help maintain an important part of Canada's national identity. By providing a course of action for enhancing the role of official languages champions and deputy heads in fostering a vibrant and bilingual workforce, the Council of the Network seeks to promote leadership in the advancement of official languages. Not only does the strategic plan set out a path toward the strengthening of relationships between key partners in official languages, it also paves the way for these actors to take full advantage of the resources at hand in a fast-paced world of technological innovation. Working together to promote official languages and bilingualism across the public service, we can look forward to progressing successfully toward our shared vision of Canada's public service in 2017.
"Our Government is proud to invest in key sectors such as official languages, which help strengthen our collective identity and define who we are as Canadians. As we approach Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, let us continue to celebrate all the things that make Canada the united, strong, and free country in which we live today."
This interactive document, which is supported by an action plan (see Appendix A below), will be updated annually.
Action Plan - Appendix A
|Objectives||Proposed Activities for 2013–2017||Performance Indicators (where applicable)|
Provide innovative support for deputy heads and official languages champions (in departments, agencies, Crown corporations and regional federal councils)
Strengthen relationships with existing partners and alliances (i.e. TBS, PCH, OCOL, Clerk of the Privy Council, PCO, CSPS, PSC, Justice, FYN, NMC)
Enhance the visibility and extend the reach of the Official Languages Program