Action Plan 2008-2013: Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act

Table of Contents


This publication can be made available in alternative formats upon request. Contact the National Coordination Office for Official Language Minority Communities at the numbers listed below.

For printed copies of this publication, please contact:

National Coordination
Official Language Minority Communities
Regional Operations Sector
Industry Canada
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0H5

Telephone: 613-946-0902
Fax: 613-946-2835

1.0 General Information

1.1 Identification of the Department

Industry Canada
235 Queen Street
Ottawa ON  K1A 0H5

Website: www.ic.gc.ca
Telephone: 1-800-328-6189 (toll-free)
Email: ic.info-info.ic@canada.ca

1.2 Industry Canada's Mandate and Mission

The Department's Mandate

Industry Canada's mandate is to help make Canadians more productive and competitive in the knowledge-based economy, thus improving the standard of living and quality of life in Canada. The Department's policies, programs and services promote a dynamic and innovative economy that:

  • provides more and better-paying jobs for Canadians
  • supports stronger business growth through continued improvements in productivity and innovation
  • gives consumers, businesses and investors confidence that the marketplace is fair, efficient and competitive
  • ensures a more sustainable economic, environmental and social future for Canadians

The Department's Mission Regarding Section 41 of the Official Languages Act

In accordance with the Department's mandate and the Government of Canada's Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, Industry Canada's mission for implementing section 41 is to make departmental programs and services more accessible to official language minority communities, thereby supporting their participation in the economic development of Canada.

In carrying out this mission, the Department has four general objectives.

  • Establish lasting working relations between Industry Canada and the official language minority communities and the organizations that represent them.
  • Provide information and services related to economic development that are useful to the official language minority communities.
  • Facilitate community access to departmental programs and services.
  • Increase community participation in departmental programs and services.

This Action Plan pertains only to Industry Canada, which includes the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor). The regional development agencies that exist as distinct organizations (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and Western Economic Diversification Canada) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada have their own plans for implementing section 41.

This Action Plan covers the period between April 1, 2008, and March 31, 2013.

1.3 Officials Responsible for Implementation of Section 41

Minister responsible:

The Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry

Senior official(s) responsible for implementation of Part VII of the Official Languages Act:

Richard Dicerni
Deputy Minister

Nick Heseltine
Assistant Deputy Minister
Regional Operations Sector
Champion for Official Languages

National coordination team responsible for implementation of section 41:

Roda Muse
Manager
National Coordination
Telephone: 613-954-2783
Email: roda.muse@canada.ca

Linda Garand
Coordination Officer
Telephone: 613-946-3392
Email: linda.garand@canada.ca

Coordinator — FedNor:

Grace Hodder
Official Languages Coordinator
FedNor
Telephone: 705-750-4821
Email: grace.hodder@canada.ca

2.0 Summary

Consistent with the commitments under section 41 of the Official Languages Act and the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, as well as consultations with official language minority communities as it relates to Industry Canada's mandate, the Department seeks to increase the contribution of official language minority communities to Canada's economic development.

To achieve this goal, the Department is committed to take into account the priorities of official language minority communities in the development and implementation of its programs and services, and to facilitate the increased participation of official language minority communities in Industry Canada's programs, activities and services. The Department intends to make progress on these commitments related to official language minority communities through three key results between 2008 and 2013:

  • enhanced understanding of the requirements of section 41 by senior officers and managers of priority programs
  • enhanced working relations between official language minority communities and the Department
  • enhanced understanding of the Department's programs and services by official language minority communities

The work during the 2008–2013 reporting period will build on the progress made between 2004 and 2008, with initiative funding provided under the Action Plan for Official Languages 2003–2008. That progress included the establishment of an enhanced departmental infrastructure to act on section 41 commitments, matched with extensive stakeholder consultations. Work to reach out to Industry Canada executives, managers and staff to make them aware of the needs and concerns of official language minority communities also took place. A formative evaluation carried out by Goss Gilroy Inc. in 2005–2006 provided greater clarity on the Department's achievements and on remaining challenges.

Under the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, funding for the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) will be coordinated by Industry Canada and will be delivered by Industry Canada/FedNor, regional development agencies (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions and Western Economic Diversification Canada) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. The coordination reflects the evolution in the mandates and roles of Industry Canada and the regional development agencies that took place in recent years.

Major elements of the Department's expected strategies to achieve the three key results noted above are grouped under the following six functions.

Awareness

The Department will continue to raise awareness among all its employees of the obligations set out in section 41. This will take place through the Industry Canada Official Languages Discussion Network, as well as through events, activities and communications.

Consultation

The Department will consult on a regular basis with the major organizations representing official language minority communities. These consultations will improve communications and mutual understanding, as well as enable greater clarity on the needs, priorities and experience with Industry Canada programs and services of the official language minority communities.

Communications

A sustained communications and marketing plan for the ongoing implementation of section 41 will be developed in the spring of 2009. The Department will reach out to official language minority communities with information about its programs and services.

Coordination and Liaison

Industry Canada will continue to participate in government-wide section 41-related coordination activities to strengthen existing partnerships with other federal departments and agencies, and to coordinate planning and execution of the EDI under the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, described immediately below.

Funding and Program Delivery

Industry Canada provides information, services and funding to official language minority communities under its programs, which include a range of services related to regulation and standards, business tools and resources, and science and technology services.

Official language minority communities in Northern Ontario have access to a range of programs offered by FedNor, a federal regional development organization, which has a mandate to promote the economic diversification and expansion of the Northern Ontario economy.

The purpose of the EDI, a component of the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, is to develop know-how through innovation, diversification, partnerships and increased support for small business. The EDI will be delivered by Industry Canada/FedNor (using the existing Northern Ontario Development Program), the regional development agencies and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Each partner will ensure that the EDI is delivered under the terms and conditions of specific existing regional programs.

The Department will also coordinate research and data collection efforts supported by the EDI, in which its partners are the regional development agencies and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. These activities will foster greater understanding of the economic development of official language minority communities.

Accountability

Considerations of official language minority communities have been integrated into the Industry Canada Program Activity Architecture and planning and reporting commitments as mainstream responsibilities. The Department will refine its performance management tracking, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to consistently assess and improve departmental initiatives of relevance to section 41.

Industry Canada's Champion for Official Languages promotes the use of both official languages in the workplace and works for greater recognition of linguistic duality as a fundamental element of the Department's service offerings.

The Official Language Minority Community Unit is responsible for coordinating all the activities of the Department with respect to section 41 of the Official Languages Act. It supports the Department's business units in taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development. The Unit also coordinates the Department's activities with respect to the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future. Finally, it provides assistance and support to the Department's Champion for Official Languages.

The Official Language Minority Community Unit will work with the Department's business units to collect performance data on the execution of this Action Plan on an annual basis. This information will be included in Industry Canada's annual report of its achievements to Canadian Heritage.

3.0 Detailed Action Plan

3.1 Awareness

Expected Result

Employees and management understand their responsibilities regarding section 41 of the Official Languages Act and official language minority communities (OLMCs).

Expected Results: Awareness
Planned activities to achieve the expected result Expected outputs Indicators to measure the expected result
  • Meetings of the Official Languages Discussion Network.
  • General awareness-building activities (workshops, special events, articles in Bulletin 41-42 and This Week@IC) carried out in partnership with Communications and Marketing Branch, Human Resources Branch and other units.
  • Activities of the Department's Champion for Official Languages to heighten awareness among senior management and Industry Canada (IC) staff of the relevance and benefits of linguistic duality and the Department's obligations under the Official Languages Act.
  • Quarterly meetings with the Official Languages Discussion Network are held to inform IC managers of requirements under section 41 and economic development priorities of OLMCs.
  • Targeted awareness-building activities directed to IC executives, managers and employees in areas of most relevance to the needs of OLMCs.
  • Number of general and targeted activities, level of participation and participants' comments.
  • Effectiveness of the measures for building awareness among executives, managers and employees (as determined by internal surveys).
  • Degree to which OLMCs are considered in the development and implementation of the Department's policies and programs (based on review of memoranda to Cabinet, Treasury Board submissions and sectoral business plans).

3.2 Consultation

Expected Result

Creation of productive relationships between IC and OLMCs.

Expected Results: Consultation
Planned activities to achieve the expected result Expected outputs Indicators to measure the expected result
  • Annual consultations with representatives of OLMCs.
  • Participation in the work of consultative bodies organized by central agencies and other departments through government and representatives of OLMCs to discuss priorities and needs. These include the National Committee of Economic Development and Employability and the National Human Resources Development Committee for the English Linguistic Minority.
  • OLMCs are consulted annually to clarify needs and identify opportunities for action of relevance to the IC mandate and priorities.
  • Meetings with OLMC leaders that address and resolve specific issues and opportunities are held.
  • Contribution of IC perspectives and opportunities for action to government-wide stakeholder discussion.
  • Relevance and effectiveness of consultation approaches, as measured by the number and profile of participants, evaluation sheets and participants' comments.
  • Degree of satisfaction of OLMCs with consultation processes, as assessed through meeting evaluation sheets and participants' comments.

3.3 Communications

Expected Result

OLMCs receive up-to-date and relevant information about IC programs and services.

Expected Results: Communications
Planned activities to achieve the expected result Expected outputs Indicators to measure the expected result
  • Creation of a comprehensive IC communications and marketing plan.
  • Targeted communications and marketing activities regarding the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act.
  • Updating of the departmental CommunAction website.
  • An external communications and marketing plan for the implementation of section 41 in the Department is developed.
  • Relevant information on implementation of section 41 is disseminated through This Week@IC, Bulletin 41-42 and other media.
  • CommunAction website is developed and maintained.
  • Volume of comments received from OLMCs.
  • Revisions and additions to CommunAction website.
  • Number of visits to the CommunAction website.

3.4 Coordination and Liaison

Expected Results

Optimal flow of information on section 41 issues within Government of Canada information and liaison structures.

Coordinated planning among IC, IC/FedNor, the regional development agencies (RDAs) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) toward implementation of the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) under the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future.

Expected Results: Coordination and Liaison
Planned activities to achieve the expected result Expected outputs Indicators to measure the expected result
  • Maintaining existing partnerships with other Government of Canada departments and agencies.
  • Participation in interdepartmental committees and intergovernmental mechanisms on official languages issues, including the Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers on Official Languages, the Council of the Network of Departmental Official Languages Champions and the Network of National Section 41 Coordinators.
  • IC remains well informed concerning section 41 issues and concerns throughout the Government of Canada.
  • Success stories and information on best practices are widely shared within the Government of Canada.
  • Exchange of information on OLMC issues among departments.
  • Effective cooperation and sharing of information (determined by adoption of best practices).
Economic Development Initiative
  • Liaison with RDAs and INAC on the planning and execution of the EDI.
  • IC/FedNor, the RDAs and INAC meet and exchange information on the planning and execution of the EDI.
  • Level and quality of communications among IC, the RDAs and INAC on implementation of the EDI.

3.5 Funding and Program Delivery

Expected Results

OLMCs receive information, services and financial support under IC programs.

Economic development needs of OLMCs are better defined and understood.

Expected Results: Funding and Program Delivery
Planned activities to achieve the expected result Expected outputs Indicators to measure the expected result
  • Provision of information, services and funding to OLMCs through IC programs.
  • Information and services provided to OLMCs through IC business units.
  • Financial support is provided to OLMCs through funding programs.
  • Number and type of projects funded, including financial leverage effect (status information, reports).
Economic Development Initiative
  • Initiative funding for OLMCs throughout Ontario delivered by FedNor through the Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP).
  • Leadership of a coordinated research effort on economic development of OLMCs on the part of IC, the RDAs and INAC, which will include an economic framework policy for OLMCs.
  • Projects in support of OLMCs throughout Ontario are funded under the EDI through NODP.
  • Acquisition of economic development data and commissioned research.
  • Research and drafts of the economic framework policy for OLMCs.
  • Capacities built: number of projects supported, funds invested, number of partnerships created and maintained.
  • Enterprises developed: number of enterprises created, maintained and expanded, matching funds contributed.
  • Communities developed: number of projects, initiatives and studies contributing to the diversification of the economic base of OLMCs.
  • Data products and research reports.
  • Completed economic framework policy document and feedback from government and community representatives.

3.6 Accountability

Expected Results

Creation of planning and accountability tools that enable IC to plan, track and report on its integration of the OLMC perspective and section 41 of the Official Languages Act into departmental policies, programs and services, as well as to identify opportunities for improvement.

Expected Results: Accountability
Planned activities to achieve the expected result Expected outputs Indicators to measure the expected result
  • Presentation of key achievements related to the implementation of section 41 in annual reporting documents.
  • Assessment of the impact of Industry Canada's performance in meeting the requirements of section 41.
  • Annual submission of Industry Canada status report on the implementation of section 41.
  • Relevant information provided for the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages' report card.
  • Up-to-date, functional performance indicators, filter and data collection strategy.
  • Presence and use of evaluation tools that are recognized as measuring progress on section 41 responsibilities.
  • Relevant portions of Industry Canada report card from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.
Economic Development Initiative
  • Work with RDAs and INAC in rolling up performance data to create a single twice-yearly report on the execution of the EDI.
  • Twice-yearly reports on the EDI.
  • Finalization and implementation of the EDI performance indicators.
  • Evaluation reports of FedNor and RDA EDI programming that assess its implementation and impacts.
  • Reports submitted to Canadian Heritage include information on activities of IC, the RDAs and INAC.
  • Quality of evaluations of the EDI element of IC/FedNor and RDA programs, as measured by level of satisfaction on the part of program staff, evaluation staff, and departmental audit and evaluation committees.

4.0 Distribution

Industry Canada will forward the Action Plan to all national and provincial organizations with economic mandates that involve official language minority communities in Canada, and to all federal government stakeholders responsible for implementing section 41 of the Official Languages Act, including:

  • National associations representing official language minority communities, the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité and its members, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada and its members, the Community Table and its members, the Quebec Community Groups Network and its members;
  • the Department of Canadian Heritage;
  • the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages;
  • members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages; and
  • members of the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages.
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