January 2015 Progress Report


Official bilingualism is a fundamental defining characteristic of the Public Service of Canada. It exemplifies our values as public servants in promoting the engagement, openness and transparency upon which respect for people depends. Linguistic duality underpins teamwork, learning and innovation in our work environment and across our workforce. In October 2013, the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions (CNOLC) submitted suggestions on how it could contribute to the Blueprint 2020 vision. These ideas reflected the conviction that successful efforts to strengthen linguistic duality in our workforce and workplace will only better equip the Public Service to serve Canada and Canadians in a complex, inter-connected and competitive world. They also underscored the need for more freedom and less rigidity in how we practice bilingualism and think about official languages, recognizing that achieving the fluidity in language utilization we aspire to cannot be achieved if the focus of our collective efforts is centred on administrative rule-making and procedure.

In late 2013 and early 2014, consultations on these ideas were held with communities of interest including the Federal Youth Network and National Managers' Community, executives and HR leaders, official languages representatives from central agencies, and official languages champions from departments, agencies and Crown corporations. More than forty specific actions to advance linguistic duality across the Public Service emerged from these discussions and were posted to GCpedia in February 2014.

Taken as a whole, the actions are about harnessing the power of linguistic duality as a workforce asset that fuels innovation and connectedness, and realizing the full potential of a bilingual Public Service as a competitive advantage for Canada in a world where over a billion people speak English or French. Notably, they align to all five priority themes in Destination 2020. Taking linguistic duality to the next level across the public service workforce cannot be achieved if efforts are limited to people management, as important as this function is. Actions in networking, empowerment, technology and the fundamentals of public service are equally important to achieve a world-class Public Service equipped to serve Canada and Canadians in both official languages now and into the future.

This document reports on progress achieved in the area of official languages since February 2014, against each of Destination 2020's five priority themes. In some cases, where work extends beyond the scope and responsibilities of the Council itself, there has been progress but efforts are still in the planning stages. For example, the CNOLC is championing change to modernize the framework of legislation and policies and simplify the complex processes that govern how bilingualism and language-of-work is currently administered in the Public Service. However, progress in this area will require commitments to change and coordinated effort across a broad range of partners. At the same time, other actions have taken root. They demonstrate that when led by employees themselves, culture change is taking hold and accelerating. Public servants are developing and using online applications and technology tools to take control of their language learning on-the-job, and actively exploring exciting new ways to collaborate with colleagues in both official languages.

Innovative Practices and Networking

The Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions is first and foremost about championing the value of linguistic duality in the Public Service. Destination 2020 has inspired us to go further and unlock the full potential of having two languages to work with. This is a broad cultural challenge that demands continuous dialogue, engagement and promotion of bilingualism's many benefits across the federal public service workforce. The following are examples of how actions to raise awareness, expand engagement and collaborate to promote linguistic duality are being pursued.

Leadership through outreach and dialogue. A key priority for the CNOLC and its partners is to drive culture change through networking and outreach. Three large CNOLC outreach events have been held over the past year, with on-site and virtual participation through Web links.

One example is the armchair discussion held in September 2014 in collaboration with the Canada School of Public Service celebrating Linguistic Duality Day and the 45th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. It featured the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and other leaders who actively promote linguistic duality. They shared their personal perspectives on the benefits of bilingualism and tips and advice on learning and maintaining second language skills.

Official Languages (OL) Champions are actively promoting linguistic duality as a cultural imperative within their organizations. For example, at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the OL champion established a network of 40 volunteer OL Ambassadors from all sectors and regions of the department. It facilitates joint activities and initiatives to share best practices and advance linguistic duality in the workplace across the country. A Linguistic Duality GCconnex group was created to promote the use of French and English in the department alongside open dialogue on linguistic duality. Promoted widely through social media, GCtools, departmental newsletters and at branch and sector meetings, a key priority is to use the platform to engage employees through fun and interactive challenges (e.g., "bilingual bingo") and crowdsource tips and practical suggestions for learning and maintaining a second official language in the workplace.

Engagement, collaboration and resource sharing. Across the Public Service, resources that support linguistic duality are being shared and innovative practices and approaches expanded to support second language acquisition and maintenance. For example, in September 2014, the 2014 Collection of Official Languages Resources launched on the CNOLC's website to provide easy access to over 450 official languages tools and good practices developed by departments, agencies, Crown corporations, regional federal councils and official language minority communities. Institutions can use these resources directly or as models to promote and advance their own official languages workplace programming.

The Federal Youth Network's (FYN) Reverse Mentoring Initiative was expanded in September 2014, to include official languages and allow participants to converse with a mentor of their choice to improve the use of their second official language. Undertaken in partnership with the CNOLC, any public servant who wants to become a mentor and help others practice their second official language can add his or her contact information to the FYN's national mentoring inventory list. Any public servant can become a mentee by connecting with a mentor from that list. The FYN's Reverse Mentoring Initiative was originally developed to help newcomers to Web 2.0 and social media technology learn from "digital natives"—people born after 1980 that have grown up in an online environment. Including second language skills is a natural extension of the informal learning service, given that nowadays new entrants to the federal public service are more likely than previous generations to come equipped to function in both official languages. In the spirit of 2020, the CNOLC and the FYN are currently exploring extending the reverse mentoring for official languages to new recruits to the public service to help them practice how to function in a bilingual workplace.

Processes and Empowerment

Fully Exploiting Linguistic Duality in the Public Service for the benefit of Canada and all Canadians involves changing the culture and mindset around language-of-work. A key challenge is moving beyond treating bilingualism as an obligation, to actively seizing on its opportunities. This will require change at two levels: at the level of the individual, where employees are empowered to create dynamic and productive bilingual workplaces and to take greater responsibility for learning and maintaining their other official language; and across the whole of the Public Service to create workplaces, physical and virtual, where linguistic duality thrives. Once again, in the spirit of 2020 we are working collaboratively across communities of practice along with OL champions to influence and modernize policies and processes that affect how language-of-work is administered.

Employee empowerment

Today, employees can acquire and maintain second language skills with or without formal language training. Many free and low-cost language-learning and maintenance resources are widely available online. Two examples are www.duolingo.com, and mylanguageexchange.com. Coaching and mentoring support is also provided across the Public Service. In this context, the CNOLC is of the view that the most useful employer role is to promote language training as a shared responsibility in workplace environments that are conducive to acquiring, using and maintaining second language skills. This involves empowering employees to take ownership for their second language learning; to use their second language on a day-to-day basis to maintain it, and to keep their language evaluation results up-to-date. As part of the OL champions' commitment to 2020, the following actions and initiatives demonstrate how this is being pursued.

Second language self-evaluation supporting career progression and mobility. The Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), in collaboration with the Public Service Commission (PSC), delivered a pilot project in mid-2014 in which nearly 130 employees self-evaluated their second official language reading, writing and oral proficiency. Participants were able to get an idea of the mark they would receive were they to take PSC's official tests. Based on the positive feedback received, the Translation Bureau was able to tailor cost-effective language training to support the career aspirations and mobility of some 40 of its administrative support employees. The training, which will be provided from February to May 2015, consists of group and one-on-one sessions with a facilitator as well as online courses offered by:

Promoting self-learning. The Parole Board of Canada purchased a corporate licence to use the second language software applications "For the love of English and Pour l'amour du français" for a six-month pilot project it launched in October 2014, for all its employees who want to maintain and improve their second language skills through part-time self-learning. The software features lessons from the beginner to advanced levels, consistent with levels A, B and C. It supports a flexible learning approach, accommodating the time, place and pace that are most appropriate and effective for the learner. An online portal allows employees and their supervisors to monitor learning progress. If the pilot meets employees' needs, the Board plans to extend it to 2015–2016 and may include new options such as online tutoring time. Other organizations are also using self-learning technology to support language learning in a dispersed workforce with non-traditional hours. Employees at the Canadian Grain Commission work in locations ranging from offices to grain terminals, and several are on shift work. All its employees have access to on-line learning through the Mango website, to learn at their own pace and at a time that is suited to their workload and schedules.

To support language learning for employees with rapidly changing workloads that make regular attendance in scheduled classroom-based training challenging, Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) has acquired a limited number of Rosetta Stone® software licenses for a one-year pilot project with beginner to intermediate language learners. The computer-assisted language learning software uses images, text, sound and video to teach words and grammar at a pace directed by the learner. Available on a "first-come, first-serve" basis, utilization will be monitored and evaluated on a quarterly basis in 2015 with a limited number of learners, before decisions are taken on whether to make it more widely available.

"As Canadians, we should be learning the second language not simply out of sense of duty but because it enriches our lives. Our language duality is an integral part of our country's history and culture as well as our identity as a nation. As public servants, I hope that we can inspire each other to recognize the privilege of learning another language and enjoy using both official languages every day in our workplace. As we refine our vocabulary in both languages and become more sophisticated with language it is like getting a key to another culture, new music and literature. Let's face it, bilingualism is very cool!"

Shereen Benzvy Miller,
Assistant Deputy Minister
Small Business,
Tourism and Marketplace Services Industry Canada

Reinforcing language learning as a shared responsibility. In November 2014 the Public Service Commission announced its new official languages learning program designed to reinforce the shared responsibility of managers and employees for second language acquisition and maintenance. Managers are required to create an environment conducive to the promotion of linguistic duality, and employees in bilingual positions are expected to invest in maintaining and improving their second language proficiency. The program features group sessions for employees offered in-house for four hours per week for 10 weeks, and a toolbox of resources and ideas for sustaining the second language.

At Farm Credit Canada, employees' learning plans are being changed to add commitments to progress through language learning modules at a specific rate, and learners have less structured class time (up to 2.5 hours a week instead of 4) and are required to undertake at least one hour of homework on their own time. The CNOLC is supportive of this leading practice and will work with OL champions to influence the adoption of this approach across departments for 2015–16 learning plans.

Supporting language maintenance in the workplace. Often, the simplest and most direct approaches are the most effective. For the month of December 2014, Defence Construction Canada launched its "Aidez-moi à pratiquer le français/Help me practice English" campaign. Through this voluntary initiative, buttons were distributed to employees who want to improve their second language skills. Bilingual employees are encouraged to converse with employees wearing the buttons in the language indicated on it. A similar approach is being taken at the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI). In addition to providing tips and clear direction on resources available to support second language learning, corporate services at OCI distributes desktop signs to employees who want to practice their second language skills, identifying the language they would like their bilingual colleagues to converse with them in.

Proactive efforts to keep second language evaluation (SLE) results up-to-date. Statistics Canada launched a comprehensive strategy to ensure all its employees who occupy bilingual positions have up-to-date SLE results. Directors are responsible for developing action plans for their divisions. Unless they are exempted from further testing, all employees in a bilingual position whose SLE results have expired are invited to take the SLE tests again. This includes employees who are remaining in the same position, to reduce an obstacle to timely mobility when opportunities to move to new positions arise (i.e., not having up-to-date SLE results). The strategy includes providing exercises and SLE preparatory workshops; self-learning; language training that includes virtual classrooms with students connected via videoconference using WebEx, and supporting bilingual work environments to promote second language maintenance.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development uses its Human Resources Management System to send automatic notifications to inform employees when one or more of their SLE results have expired. The Department of Finance now requires that its employees take action to maintain their SLE levels in its departmental policy on official languages, and some branches have dedicated one day per week to the use of the second official language—a practice that has been implemented in other organizations.

Administrative Framework

Achieving an open, networked environment and productive virtual workplaces across the Public Service conducive to linguistic duality is increasingly at odds with the current framework of policy, program authorities and collective agreements governing language of work, and particularly, the constraints imposed by geographically defined bilingual regions. The significant potential of new technologies to power high-functioning bilingual work teams that span regions and operate in virtual workplaces will not be fully realized unless and until this challenge is addressed.

Interim measures are underway. The Canada School of Public Service is designing a course on how to lead geographically dispersed teams. The CNOLC is also in the early stages of harvesting departmental best practices and will prepare a guide for Public Service organizations on advancing linguistic duality in networked environments and virtual workplaces.

Since the launch of 2020 when the CNOLC began looking at ways to modernize language of work it has been receiving consistent feedback concerning perceived barriers to promoting bilingual workplaces. Most of this feedback points to the need to modernize the administrative framework and update language-of-work policy to address a host of complex rules and processes currently impeding progress. In the area of staffing for example, during interviews for bilingual positions, managers should be able to interview candidates in both official languages rather than the language of choice of the candidate to validate that the individual can communicate in both official languages. Candidates applying for executive positions are not required to meet the position's linguistic profile when they apply for executive positions and for new recruits specific messages on the importance of linguistic duality in the Public Service are very limited in the Canada School of Public Service's Orientation to the Public Service training materials.

Another OL theme that reappears in discussions associated with Destination 2020 is the opportunity to repurpose the bilingual bonus. Recipients are not currently required to actively promote linguistic duality, nor are the funds involved able to be used to directly offset the costs that may be incurred in acquiring second language skills. In the context of performance management, there are also opportunities to strengthen the promotion of linguistic duality. These include making the completion of the OL fields in the Public Service Performance Management Application (PSPM App) mandatory and introducing standardized behavioural indicators with which to assess and strengthen managerial performance in promoting bilingualism and supporting linguistic duality in the workplace.

To begin addressing gaps and challenges in these and other areas, the following actions are underway.

Strengthening horizontal governance of official languages (OL) policy. A review of OL policy governance is underway led by the Department of Canadian Heritage in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer at TBS, and Justice Canada. The CNOLC is using this opportunity to press for a stronger role in horizontal governance to ensure that policy issues affecting linguistic duality across the Public Service at the working level are addressed and that through its network, departments have a means of directly influencing the direction of OL policy going forward. Among other things, this will allow the mandates of Official Languages Champions in departments and agencies to extend beyond a promotional role, to a strategic and tactical one enabling them to act as agents of change in supporting Destination 2020.

Developing options for addressing language-of-work issues. The Chair of the CNOLC is currently developing a proposal for consideration by the Clerk of the Privy Council, for launching a process for harmonizing and coordinating efforts across the Public Service to modernize the administrative framework governing language-of-work. The goal would be to leverage the CNOLC as a mechanism for departmental engagement on language-of-work issues to ensure the operational perspectives of departments and agencies have a voice in defining the way forward and developing options for change. The goal would be to have these options developed and a preferred course of action selected by 2017 in time for Canada's 150th birthday, with a view to achieving full implementation by 2020.


Using new technologies to support linguistic duality across the Public Service is taking on ever more strategic importance with increasing collaboration and networking across regions, the emergence of enterprise-wide systems and virtual workspaces, and the consolidation and standardization of back office functions. It is a key factor in the mandates of shared services organizations within which language of work must logically transcend the distinction between bilingual and unilingual regions. They must ensure that services provided to the whole of the Public Service respect the language of work rights of the employees who use them and the rights of Canadians being served.

Meanwhile, new technologies and mobile device applications are not only transforming language learning, but also how information in any language is used in the context of work. They are shifting the translation focus from the publisher and disseminator to the end-user of information. Official government documents and public facing proceedings will always require human-assisted expert translation and interpretation, but rapidly advancing translation and voice recognition technologies mean that in the not too distant future, vast quantities of information in any of the world's most commonly used languages, written or oral, will be able to be reliably and easily translated by the end-user at the working level on a just-in-time basis.

The following actions and initiatives demonstrate that while there are many exciting opportunities ahead, progress using technology to advance linguistic duality is underway across the Public Service.

Using technology to bridge distance in interpretation. The Translation Bureau, PWGSC, is continuously exploring new technologies' potential to improve its services to clients and provide them more efficiently at a lower cost. In collaboration with the CNOLC, Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH), the Translation Bureau began piloting Video Remote Interpretation in October 2014. It provides multilingual and sign language interpretation service over distance, immediately, from anywhere with Internet-based videoconferencing technology any time. It was tested three times in 2014, including at a CNOLC conference; an event hosted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and at a National Manager's Community and Canada School of Public Service virtual forum.

"We were able to offer simultaneous translation using novel tools. I sat in the audience in Montreal and noted how positively this was received by participants. Clearly the new way of doing things in action."

Brian Mc Kee,
Executive Director
National Managers Community
At the latter event on December 8, 2014, entitled "Leadership for the Future", participants in Montreal and Quebec City were linked with Bathurst as a satellite location and another 30 viewing centres across the country. Interpreters from the Translation Bureau, PWGSC, Krissi Michaud (left); Carol Jackson (right), were located in separate locations in Ottawa, and participants used cell phones with earphones to listen to simultaneous interpretation. This pilot demonstrated the benefits of using modern technology in the workplace to innovate and collaborate across regions in both official languages, at a nominal cost.

The Translation Bureau is looking at ways to extend the offering to more client departments for wide range of business scenarios over a longer period of time. The vision is to eventually offer this service across jurisdictions and to accommodate everything from day-to-day business meetings, internal government conferences and learning events, to citizen-focused service delivery and public consultations. Broad and easy access to this service has the potential to reduce travel costs for interpreters and eliminate costs for rental and installation of interpretation booths; allow business users easy access to interpretation services on-demand with little planning, and to significantly strengthen capacity to meet official languages requirements in a cost effective manner.

Ubiquitous, reliable and high quality machine translation. A new machine translation tool is being developed for piloting by the Translation Bureau and the National Research Council. Intended for all Government of Canada desktops, this tool for quick translation and second language comprehension of short texts is fed by the Translation Bureau's translation content database which contains well over 3 billion words. It reduces the need for and costs associated with human translation of internal administrative documents such as memos and presentations, promoting greater use of both official languages in the workplace. Planning for the integration of translation functionalityto Government of Canada content managementplatforms (e.g., GCDocs) is also underway, led by the Translation Bureau, in collaboration with PWGSC, the Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) of TBS and Shared Services Canada (SSC). With leadership from the CNOLC, the Translation Bureau is working with SSC and the PWGSC departmentalChief Information Officer to develop a strategy to equip desktops, tablets and smartphonesacross the Public Service with this and other technology enabled languages tools geared to the Government of Canada's business and official languages needs, including the Language Portal of Canada and Termium Plus® which is the Government of Canada's world class terminology and linguistic data bank. Meanwhile,the use of publicly available machine translationservices outside the Governmentof Canada's IT infrastructuresuch as Google Translate is subject to information security guidelinesand must be limited to unprotected information.When translation functionality is introduced for all deviceson Government of Canada platformsfor all content, protected or not, all public servants will be able to participatein expandingthe range of terminology in the government's translationcontent database and strengthening its utility and integrity.

Automated second language oral evaluations using voicerecognition. At the annual Conference of Official Languages Champions in October 2014, participants learned about an exciting CBC/Radio-Canada language testing program that uses voice recognition software to evaluate oral proficiency. This tool offers potential for a low cost enterprise-wide solution, offering immediate results using simple logistics, which can accommodate multiple accents. The CNOLC is partnering with PWGSC to create a standing offer to enable departments and agencies to access this technology as part of a broader pilot to prepare for formal oral second language evaluations.

People Management

By definition, the main responsibility of any manager or supervisor is leading and managing people. In any modern, knowledge-based business, effective people management is the decisive factor in workforce productivity and effectiveness. Given bilingualism's essential importance to Canada and to our identity as Canadians, a capable, confident and high-performing Public Service workforce must be one in which linguistic duality thrives—where bilingualism steps up connectedness, idea generation, knowledge sharing and collaboration.

No bright idea, prescient insight or breakthrough concept should ever be lost or compromised because the proponent is struggling to be understood or to find the right words. Supervisors, managers and executives have a responsibility to strive to create workplaces, including virtual workplaces, which are conducive to linguistic duality and to the ability of employees to work productively, seamlessly and above all, collaboratively, in both official languages. The following examples illustrate how departments and agencies are finding new ways to better equip managers to create productive bilingual work environments, and to support employees in acquiring and maintaining language skills.

Supporting managers to fulfill their official language responsibilities. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is a leader in developing resources to guide and support managers and supervisors in fulfilling their people management responsibilities. ESDC's people management tools in the area of official languages, which are all available in the 2014 Collection of Official Languages Resources on the CNOLC's website, are models for planning, building and sustaining bilingual capacity in any Public Service workforce. Among them is a chart that brings together all the factors managers must consider when identifying the language requirements of positions; establishing the linguistic profiles of bilingual positions, and determining the number of bilingual positions required to ensure capacity in terms of services to the public and for corporate services. ESDC has also published Key Guiding Principles—Official Languages and Human Resources Planning and Staffing Activities, which contains tips for managers to ensure that their human resources strategies and action plans address departmental obligations and employees' rights in the area of official languages.

For bilingual employees, maintaining proficiency in both official languages can be very challenging in areas where the bilingual workload is limited. At a recent meeting of the Canada Revenue Agency's Ontario Managers' Council, managers identified a range of initiatives and strategies to promote the use of second language skills on the job to assist bilingual employees in maintaining their work-related second language proficiency.

"The Translation Bureau's vision is to empower public servants and Canadians to connect easily and effortlessly in the language of their choice by sharing the tools that our skilled language experts use. We want to spark imagination and break down the barriers to collaboration. The Blueprint 2020 direction has inspired us to innovate!"

Nancy Gauthier,
Director, Strategic Reengineering, Translation Bureau,
Public Works and Government Services Canada."

Departmental official languages (OL) policy leadership. In 2014, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporate (CMHC) updated its OL policy to implement an employee-driven idea to offer language training to employees in unilingual positions during work hours. The updated policy demonstrates CMHC's commitment to support all its employees in acquiring, maintaining and improving their second official language for career development purposes. Natural Resources Canada launched a new Directive on Language Training in 2014, making employees responsible for maintaining and using the skills acquired in their second official language in the context of their work. Employees are required to enter into an agreement with their manager specifying mutual expectations before, during and after language training, and must develop a plan with their manager for the transfer of language skills upon their return to work. The department is also actively supporting self-directed language learning, including with a counselling service for employees to help them develop their language learning plan, and access to assessment and self-learning tools, equipment and teaching support when required.

Tracking Second Language Evaluation results' expiration dates. Under the new Directive on Performance Management and with support from the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO), managers across the core public administration (CPA) are now required to establish annual performance agreements with each of their direct reports, and provide direction, coaching and ongoing support to help employees achieve their performance expectations. Mid-year reviews to ensure employees are on track are mandatory, as is assessing and rating employee performance at year-end. To enable compliance and to automate the work involved including data aggregation for reporting purposes, OCHRO designed and launched the Public Service Performance Management Application (PSPM App). In this App, there are several optional fields in the performance agreement related to official languages including the expiry dates for the employee's second language evaluation results, making it easier for employees to be aware of this information. The CNOLC is encouraging departments to use these fields, and is exploring with partners whether they could eventually be made mandatory. Among other things, this would enable more accurate demand forecasting for second language testing services across the CPA to better manage supply. Ensuring all employees know when they need to take action to maintain their language levels, coupled with timely access to language testing services, would help to strengthen the integrity of language-of-work requirements; facilitate employees' mobility, and support employees to take charge of their own careers.

To that end, on March 18, 2014, the CNOLC invited OL champions and co-champions as well as the persons responsible for official languages and the national coordinators responsible for the implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act (i.e., support of Official Language Minority Communities and Advancement of English and French) within institutions to participate in a panel discussion entitled "Performance Management 2014—Are we doing enough on Official Languages?". The information session was an opportunity for participants to learn more about what departments would be doing to implement the Directive on Performance Management, and to mobilize OL champions in the effort to encourage their organizations to utilize the OL fields in the PSPM App.

Fundamentals of Public Service

How public service employees feel about the institution they are a part of influences how Canadians perceive the public service and its attractiveness to world-class talent. Employees' perceptions concerning the freedom with which they are able to do their work in the official language of their choice is an important indicator of the state and health of language-of-work policies and programming. The effectiveness of this programing contributes to the overall reputation of the Public Service and Canadians' confidence in its ability and commitment to deliver services to the same level of excellence in both official languages.

Advancing linguistic duality with better information on employee perceptions of OL policy and programming. The CNOLC established a Working Group to review the questions concerning official languages in the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) in advance of the 2014 survey. From this work, and with the support of the TBS, a new question was added on employees' perceptions as to whether the chairpersons within their organization (not just their immediate supervisor or work unit) create an environment where employees feel free to use the official language of their choice during meetings. With this new question a total of six on official languages were included in the 2014 PSES. Five can be used for trend identification and analysis over three survey cycles (i.e., 2008, 2011 and 2014). Through its Working Group, the CNOLC will analyze survey results following the release of the 2014 results in January 2015, to better understand the trends and challenges affecting broader use of both official languages in the workplace. This analysis will assist the CNOLC in refining its actions and the strategies it employs to strengthen bilingualism across the Public Service.

Moving Forward

Since February 2014, the CNOLC has had productive discussions with departmental OL champions and many other stakeholders and communities of practice on the complex issues associated with language of work. It is clear that moving forward to advance linguistic duality in an increasingly networked and virtual public service workplace requires concerted and coordinated effort. A strategic approach is needed to make demonstrable progress harnessing linguistic duality as a workforce asset, with defined outcomes and concrete deliverables to successfully address, among other things:

To get this started, the CNOLC is seeking a mandate to proceed early in 2015–16 to work on behalf of departments and agencies' OL champions and with partner experts in OL policy, language service providers, and business leaders in the public service who manage dispersed bilingual teams. The goal would be to develop options for addressing identified issues and advancing linguistic duality with a modernized administrative framework focused on achieving the outcomes that support technology-enabled, high functioning bilingual workplaces across the Public Service. We would envision developing a strategy including a number of concrete actions and deliverables in time for Canada's 150 anniversary in 2017, and proceeding to full implementation by 2020.

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