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.

Donna Achimov
Chair

Considerations

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:

Pictorial: Strategic Plan

Pictorial of the new Strategic Plan
Text version of the new Strategic Plan

Our Vision

A bilingual public service that protects, recognizes and celebrates its diversity through the use and promotion of both the English and French languages.

Our Mission

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)

Objective A

Provide innovative support for deputy heads and official languages champions.

Outcome A

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.

Priorities A

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.

Indicator A

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.

Objective B

Strengthen relationships with existing partners and alliances (i.e. TBS, PCH, OCOL, Clerk of the Privy Council, PCO, CSPS, Justice, FYN, NMC).

Outcome B

Through partnerships and cost sharing, the number of tools developed and activities implemented to support official languages champions and deputy heads has increased.

Priorities B

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.

Indicators B

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.

Objective C

Enhance the visibility and extend the reach of the Official Languages Program.

Outcome C

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.

Priorities C

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.

Indicators C

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.

Conclusion

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."

The Honourable James Moore,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
March 28, 2013

This interactive document, which is supported by an action plan (see Appendix A below), will be updated annually.

Action Plan - Appendix A

ObjectivesProposed Activities for 2013–2017Performance Indicators (where applicable)

Provide innovative support for deputy heads and official languages champions (in departments, agencies, Crown corporations and regional federal councils)

  • In collaboration with TBS, create an electronic community for official languages champions to share information (i.e. Clearspace) as well as a user guide for the tool – if the results of the Council of the Network's pilot project indicate that this tool would be useful to the champions' community.
  • Continue to respond to enquiries from official languages champions and co‑champions, persons responsible for official languages and section 41 coordinators and other public servants to encourage information sharing, openness and transparency; to respond to questions, offer suggestions; address concerns and redirect inquiries to the appropriate stakeholder.
  • Showcase, highlight and disseminate innovative practices.
  • Develop new tools to support official languages champions and deputy heads (governance tools, checklists, collection of official languages tools, etc.).
  • Conduct the first annual survey of champions.
  • Encourage the participation of regional champions by offering Web 2.0 technology such as webcasting.
  • Encourage interaction among champions.
  • Continue to send information packages to newly appointed official languages champions.
  • Continue to organize information sessions for new official languages champions.
  • Organize information sessions and workshops on advanced subjects to allow champions to gain more in-depth knowledge on the file.
  • Continue to support official languages champions by providing them with material to help them promote linguistic duality.
  • Create tools and messages annually to celebrate Linguistic Duality Day throughout the public service.
  • Organize an informal discussion on September 12, 2013, to celebrate Linguistic Duality Day.
  • Insert new tools on the Council of the Network's Web site (http://osez-dare.ainc-inac.gc.ca)
  • Online community established for official languages champions
  • Number of champions who have registered for the electronic information-sharing tool
  • User guide provided to the registered champions
  • Frequency of communication among champions
  • Number of events or activities organized by the Council
  • Events organized are well attended
  • Number of new tools developed
  • Increased participation of champions and co-champions at information sessions and annual conferences
  • Number of information packages sent
  • Feedback from official languages champions through surveys
  • Linguistic Duality Day is celebrated annually within federal institutions.
  • Tools and messages developed by the Council of the Network are being used in federal institutions

Strengthen relationships with existing partners and alliances (i.e. TBS, PCH, OCOL, Clerk of the Privy Council, PCO, CSPS, PSC, Justice, FYN, NMC)

  • Reach out to existing key partners (TBS, PCH, OCOL, Clerk of the Privy Council, PCO, CSPS, PSC, Translation bureau, Justice, FYN, NMC) to support them in their official languages–related work, to collaborate in the development of new tools, to organize joint events or to engage them in promoting linguistic duality.
  • Continue to support and assist partners in planning and coordinating joint events/activities related to official languages (annual conference, good practices forum, etc.).
  • Continue to work with TBS to influence policy.
  • Continue to work with Canadian Heritage to help federal institutions realize their full potential in contributing to the development of English- and French-speaking minority communities and to the promotion of official languages in Canadian society.
  • Offer advice, support and guidance to stakeholders and partners when requested (i.e. Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on 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.
  • Develop a mentoring program, in partnership with the Federal Youth Network.
  • Be a speaker at a future National Managers' Conference to share information on official languages.
  • Support TBS in the implementation of the new Policy on Official Languages.
  • Obtain and evaluate statistics and data provided by Statistics Canada (census), the Public Service Commission (number of new bilingual employees), surveys of federal public servants, etc.
  • Organize an annual meeting between the Chair of the Council and key partners.
  • Organize annual meetings between the Chair and Co-Chair of the Council and the Clerk of the Privy Council.
  • Contribute to the Clerk of the Privy Council's Blueprint 2020.
  • Contribute to the Clerk of the Privy Council's annual reports on the Public Service of Canada to the Prime Minister.
  • Celebrate milestone events in both official languages throughout federal institutions.
  • Support the Clerk by providing key messages to send throughout the public service to reiterate the Government of Canada's commitment on official languages.
  • Communicate the importance of recognizing and celebrating our country's diversity through the use and promotion of both the English and French languages during national events such as Canada's 150th anniversary.
  • Number of new initiatives developed
  • Feedback from official languages champions
  • Feedback from key partners
  • Feedback from the Clerk;
  • Positive shifts in trends
  • More employees report working in their language of choice
  • Mentoring program is launched
  • Data for surveys and other sources is obtained and analyzed
  • Announcements are made by the Government of Canada
  • Number of joint events organized
  • Events are well attended
  • Our country's diversity is recognized and celebrated through the use and promotion of both the English and French languages at national events
  • Increased awareness of the Official Languages Program by new public servants and managers

Enhance the visibility and extend the reach of the Official Languages Program

  • Increase the use of social media as working tools to modernize and enhance the effectiveness of the Official Languages Program.
  • Create new speaking opportunities (DM Breakfast, Heads of Agencies, APEX, HR Council, DGs of Communications, CIOs, etc.).
  • Reach out to new networks and communities of practice (DGs of communications, HR Council, APEX, CIOs, etc.), to increase their awareness of the Official Languages Program.
  • Organize annual meetings between the Chair and Co-Chair of the Council and the communities of practice.
  • Join the Blueprint 2020 dialogue by providing the Clerk with an official languages perspective for the future on behalf of the official languages champions.
  • Steps taken by two communities of practice to support official languages within their community
  • Increase in the use of social media as working tools
  • Number of new speaking opportunities created
  • Positive shifts in trends
  • Data from the PSC, Statistics Canada, public service employee surveys, the Translation Bureau and the Reports of the OCOL show improvement
  • Feedback from communities of practice
  • Official languages are clearly identified in the Clerk's vision for the future of the Public Service.
<
Date modified: