Review on Official Languages 2017-2018

Prepared by: Nicole P. LeBlanc

 

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

 

Minister responsible:

The Honourable Navdeep Bains

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

 

Deputy Head:

Francis P. McGuire

President, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

francis.mcguire@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-851-6128

 

Official Languages Champion (or other senior official(s) responsible for official languages):

Kent Estabrooks

Vice President, New Brunswick Regional Office

kent.estabrooks@canada.ca  / Tel.: 506-452-3342

 

Name of the person responsible for official languages (Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (OLA)):

Nancy Pike

Director General, Human Resources

nancy.pike@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-851-2141

 

Name of the national coordinator or contact person responsible for the implementation of section 41 (Part VII) of the OLA:

Gilbert Philion

Director General, Community Development

gilbert.philion@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-851-3818

 

Gerry Morrissey

Manager, Community Investment and Official Languages

gerry.morrissey@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-378-1179

 

Nicole P. LeBlanc

Program Officer, Official Languages

nicole.leblanc@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-380-5043

 

Name(s) of the regional contact person(s) for section 41 of the OLA (if applicable):

New Brunswick

Michael Collicott

Economic Development Officer

michael.collicott@canada.ca / Tel.: 506-452-3877

 

Nova Scotia

Mike Comeau

Economic Development Officer

mike.comeau@canada.ca / Tel.: 902-742-0809

 

Cape Breton

Gerard McPhee

Program and Development Officer

gerard.mcphee@canada.ca / Tel.: 902-304-0496

 

Prince Edward Island

Deborah Doucette

Economic Development Officer

deborah.doucette@canada.ca / Tel.: 902-218-2218

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Jocelyn Chaytor

Development Officer

jocelyn.chaytor@canada.ca / Tel.: 709-746-7009

 

 

General Information

Context

In accordance with section 44 of the Official Languages Act (OLA), the Minister of Canadian Heritage must submit an annual report to Parliament on matters relating to official languages under her mandate.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage must report on the implementation of Part VII of the OLA by federal institutions.

The information provided by your institution through this questionnaire will be used to evaluate your performance and to produce the 2016-2017 annual report on official languages of the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Instructions

Please return this completed document to us in both official languages no later than May 31, 2017, to: pch.portail41-gateway41.pch@canada.ca

For more information, please contact the Interdepartmental Relations and Accountability Directorate at Canadian Heritage (819-994-3577).

A copy of this document must be sent to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and to both Parliamentary Standing Committees on Official Languages. You will find their addresses below:

Ms. Ghislaine Saikaley

Acting Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

30 Victoria Street

Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0T8

comm@clo-ocol.gc.ca

 

Ms. Christine Holke

Committee Clerk

House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages

House of Commons of Canada

131 Queen Street, 6th Floor

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

lang@parl.gc.ca

 

Mr. Kevin Pittman

Clerk

Senate Standing Committee on Official Languages

Senate of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4

ollo@sen.parl.gc.ca

 

Federal institutions are responsible for communicating the results of their Review regarding the implementation of Part VII of the OLA to the various community stakeholders (e.g., the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (info@fcfa.ca) and the Quebec Community Groups Network (info@qcgn.ca)).

Development of official-language minority communities and promotion of English and French in Canadian society (Part VII of the OLA)

Tangible Results

All federal institutions must answer these questions. However, the partners of the Roadmap 2013-2018 must identify one initiative included in the Roadmap, and if applicable, one initiative that is not part of it.

1.       If your regional office had to highlight three or more key initiatives in relation to the development of official-languages minority communities, what would those be?

a.      Please describe these initiatives.

b.      What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives on/in the official-language minority communities?

c.       What do you think is the determining factor for the success of these initiatives?

Answer:

In New Brunswick (N.B.), Place aux compétences Inc. (PAC) received $197,250 from ACOA under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) and the Business Development Program (BDP) to develop a culture of entrepreneurship and technology in education. Established in 2008, PAC is a not-for-profit community organization that works to implement innovative and creative projects to engage the public and private sectors in developing an entrepreneurial culture in the areas of training, labour and education in N.B. PAC provides a support structure for managing resources and facilitating communication between various public and private stakeholders. Among PAC’s partners are the Francophone school districts for the province’s northwest, northeast and south sectors, the N.B. government (Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, and Education and Early Childhood Development), Labos Brillants and the Pond-Deshpande Centre. The project is aimed at supporting the launch of entrepreneurial projects and incorporating technology through a targeted course at N.B.’s Francophone schools. The project includes support for teachers, community development officers and students, as well as educational project marketing. The project goal is to help school-based stakeholders and students develop meaningful projects that engage young people through their learning and encourages involvement in their communities. The project is based on the Agency’s strategic priority and will enable PAC to broaden its programming to build entrepreneurial spirit among young people in N.B’s Francophone schools.

Expansion Dieppe Inc., located in Dieppe, N.B., received $446,678 from ACOA under the BDP to improve productivity through knowledge transfer. Expansion Dieppe is an agency responsible for development in its economic area. Its goal is to ensure that Dieppe develops in an effective and timely manner by providing critical information, working to establish partnerships, and acting as an intermediary on real estate investments and projects, through advice, expertise, support and data from strategic sites. Expansion Dieppe has a twelve-member volunteer board and five staff members. The project primarily involved introducing principles for productivity improvement to the owners, managers and employees of the participating businesses and completing an effective and lasting transfer of knowledge to ensure sustained and independent implementation of continuous improvement principles. This strategic initiative was aimed at growing enterprises in the processing and manufacturing sectors. It will allow the businesses to make changes to their everyday management and develop tools and practices to improve performance. Among the benefits to the organization is a reduced need to hire productivity consultants on a contract basis.

In Nova Scotia (N.S.), ACOA approved $25,000 under the EDI to help the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores Tourism Association engage the services of a tourism professional to guide it through a strategic planning exercise to develop a five-year strategic plan. This plan (2018–2023) will focus on new tourism products and marketing opportunities for Yarmouth County, which includes the Town of Yarmouth, the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, and the Municipality of the District of Argyle. The Municipality of the District of Argyle, with a population of just under 8,000, is the second largest Acadian region and the longest continuously inhabited Acadian region in N.S. Most of its tourism products focus on Acadian culture and history. This strategic plan will serve as a guide on how best to promote and take advantage of these unique assets while working in partnership with its municipal partners and Tourism Nova Scotia to help grow the tourism industry in this official language minority community (OLMC). As with the implementation of most strategic plans, the determining factors for success will be the collaboration between the principal partners, adherence to and implementation of the agreed-upon recommendations, and a recognition that it is a living document that may need to be adjusted as circumstances change.

In Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), the Réseau de développement et d’employabilité de l’Île‑du‑Prince‑Édouard (RDÉE Î.‑P.‑É.) implemented its successful PERCÉ program to run for a twelve-week period that began in spring 2017. The internship period was preceded by a one-week training session and followed by a post-program evaluation. A selection committee, led by the client, accepted and evaluated applications from post-secondary students, with priority given to students studying off-Island. RDÉE and stakeholders recognized that these students are more likely to establish careers elsewhere. Therefore, showcasing opportunities in P.E.I. encouraged them to establish permanently in the province following their studies. French communication skills are viewed as an asset in terms of serving an international market as well as the local market, which has a growing number of French-speaking immigrants. This focus was also an opportunity for the Agency to support the vitality of Francophone and Acadian communities and their development, per the Official Languages Act.

RDÉE identified 30 students in 2017 and matched them with suitable employers. The selection committee took into consideration the Province’s and ACOA’s priority sectors (such as biosciences, manufacturing, information and communications technologies, aerospace, etc.) as well as sectors that are faced with a shortage of skilled employees. Among the top criteria for potential employers was their ability to provide permanent employment beyond the scope of the internship. The intent was to not provide merely a summer student but a qualified individual who meets the long-term human resource needs of the employer. The opportunity for permanent employment was key to ensuring that participants establish their careers and their families in P.E.I.

In 2016, 20 of the 23 participants were offered positions with the employer they were paired with. On average, over the last five years, 82 per cent of participants were offered positions immediately following their internships. Employers have overwhelmingly reported a positive experience with the PERCÉ students, praising the initial one-week training sessions that prepare interns for the workplace. PERCÉ 2017 was funded by ACOA for $97,950 under the EDI.

In Newfoundland and Labrador (N.L.), ACOA provided $15,750 under the BDP to the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité de Terre‑Neuve‑et‑Labrador (RDÉE T.‑N.‑L.) to engage a consultant to develop a common brand, themes and design identity for an interprovincial touring route. The route is the 1,700-km interprovincial highway loop that traverses Quebec and Labrador. By identifying the region’s unique tourism products and experiences, the plan will facilitate collaboration among Francophone and Anglophone stakeholders to pursue long-term economic development opportunities. This, in turn, will facilitate the growth and competitiveness of Francophone small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) within the tourism sector, thereby enhancing the vitality and development of the OLMC. This project owes its success to the commitment and collaboration of the three key stakeholders: Destination Labrador, RDÉE T.‑N.‑L. and Tourisme Côte‑Nord. Individually, they have promoted the route under the names Trans Labradorian Loop, VR l’aventure, and Circuit Grand Nord, respectively. Since the summer of 2015, the three organizations have been working together to consider how best to develop, theme and market the route to increase visitation for all stakeholder destinations.

 

2.       If your regional office had to highlight three key initiatives or more in relation to the promotion of English and French in Canadian society, what would those be? (Please do not confuse with obligations related to Parts IV and V)

a.       Please describe these initiatives.

b.       What are the tangible impacts of these initiatives on the Canadian society?

c.        What do you think is the determining factor for the success of these initiatives?

Answer:

The Université de Moncton, Campus de Shippagan received $184,000 from ACOA under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) to develop technologies to increase translation efficiency and accuracy. Established in 1963, the Université de Moncton (U de M) is the largest French-language Canadian university outside of Quebec. The university has three campuses (Moncton, Edmunston and Shippagan) located in the three Francophone areas of New Brunswick (N.B.). It now offers over 150 undergraduate programs and about 30 graduate programs in 50 different academic disciplines. Located in a rural area of New Brunswick, the Shippagan campus of U de M (UMCS) offers a number of full-time programs in Shippagan, as well as a bachelor’s degree in nursing in Bathurst. Among the programs at UMCS is a bachelor’s degree in information management. With satellite dishes in Shippagan, Bathurst and Campbellton, the continuing education department offers adults a wide range of part-time programs that rely on various technologies. The UMCS has a body of about 1,500 students in its regular and continuing education programs. The purpose of the project is to develop technologies to improve the human process of translation in terms of accuracy, flexibility and volume. It involves hiring a post-doctoral fellow and a research assistant at the Laboratoire de recherche en interaction Humain-Système. A translation company (Transmed, in Campbellton, N.B.) is also a project partner. The partnership between UMCS and business is aimed at introducing an innovative translation chain using new voice and statistical techniques. A human operator will be able to dictate a translation out loud in a normal voice, even in a noisy environment, regardless of accent. The automatic translation system should learn from its mistakes and become increasingly powerful over time.

ACOA awarded $243,366 to the Société Promotion Grand‑Pré, located in Nova Scotia, under the EDI to develop new tourism experiences for visitors to the Grand‑Pré National Historic Site in an effort to increase visitation levels. Its goal was to develop, in both official languages, new offerings that align with the mandate of Parks Canada and target future opportunities in the tourism sector. The new product development centered on storytelling experiences with historical characters brought to life by actors in period costumes, marionette productions, and special events incorporating musical performances. Visitors to the National Historic Site in Grand‑Pré were treated, in both official languages, to professionally delivered, historical accounts of life and challenges in Acadia in the 18th century leading up to the Deportation of the Acadians. The moving performances entertained, educated and instilled pride in countless Canadians. These performances firmly positioned the historical importance that Acadians have played and continue to play in Canadian society. The ongoing success of these initiatives will depend on the continuous provision of a mixture of new and established offerings to attract both new and repeat visitors to the historic site.

ACOA approved $1,150,986 under the Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) for the Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle‑Écosse (CDÉNÉ) to deliver enterprise development activities in rural Nova Scotia’s Francophone and Acadian community. Core activities include working with current and aspiring entrepreneurs to further grow the region’s economy and promote entrepreneurship among youth. This typically involves assistance with business plans and marketing plans and providing general business counselling. The tangible impacts on Canadian society of CDÉNÉ’s efforts are twofold: they support the ongoing struggle of OLMCs in rural areas to develop and prosper, and they support Acadian and Francophone communities in their ongoing struggles to combat the growing threat of assimilation. The ongoing success of this initiative relies on the continued support of governments of all levels for CDÉNÉ’s efforts as well as the further promotion of CDÉNÉ’s services to Nova Scotia’s Acadian and Francophone community.

In P.E.I., the Réseau de développement et d’employabilité de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard (RDÉE Î.‑P.‑É.) offered its project targeted at young/new entrepreneurs in the Francophone and Acadian community seeking to launch or expand their business ideas. Participants took part in workshops designed to develop their entrepreneurial skills. A particular emphasis was placed on helping participants develop and deliver their respective business pitches. Participants delivered their pitches to a panel of judges in a format similar to that of CBC’s Dragon’s Den program. Pitch sessions included pre-selection rounds followed by the final competition between the top finishers. The winning entrepreneur received an investment in his or her company. RDÉE Île‑du‑Prince‑Édouard continues to deliver business mentorship services to the top four finalists. The goal was to support the establishment of four new businesses in P.E.I.’s Francophone and Acadian community.

The winning company for the Pitch Sessions 2018 plans to leverage its investment toward provincial and federal programs. Because of the success of the project, the Province of P.E.I. has agreed to allocate one of its five annual $25,000 Ignition Program investments to the competition in 2019, thereby allowing the competitors to present in French. The project was approved by ACOA for a contribution of $10,500 under the EDI.

In Newfoundland and Labrador (N.L.), ACOA provided $75,620 under the EDI to the Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité de Terre‑Neuve‑et‑Labrador (RDÉE T.‑N.‑L.) to restructure and enhance its tourism website (www.tourismetnl.ca) and to produce a 2018 edition of the French-language tourism guide for the Province of N.L. The Guide will be available in hard copy and a digital version will be available on RDÉE T.‑N.‑L.’s website, which serves to promote French in Canadian society. By providing French-language tourism resources that promote the province as a tourist destination to the Francophone market, the project will foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. As such, the project is expected to attract more Francophone tourists and enhance their tourism experience. One of the key determining factors for success is RDÉE T.‑N.‑L.’s partnership with the Provincial Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, whereby the guide is distributed free of charge through the provincial visitor information centres. This collaboration is critical to the project’s success.

 

3.       What “key achievement” having an Atlantic regional impact (success stories or results in official-language minority communities or on the promotion of English and French in Canadian society) would your regional office like to highlight?

Answer:

The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) was provided $200,000 from ACOA under the Business Development Program (BDP) to fund promotion, awareness and education activities to recruit new angel investors, support angel networks and develop a more robust and diversified angel investor community in Atlantic Canada. As part of the project, NACO will deliver various events to identify, recruit, engage and inform local angel investors. It will deliver workshops and training for Angels as well as coordinate with local stakeholders on investment-readiness training for entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. Finally, as part of its research and education focus, NACO will broaden its engagement and outreach in Atlantic Canada to angel investors, entrepreneurs, and business accelerators and incubators to improve its data on the region and to disseminate best practices around angel investment. In order to broaden the organization’s engagement and outreach to Francophone communities, ACOA supported and encouraged the translation and printing of NACO’s book, A Practical Guide to Angel Investing. In the end, the Angel guidebook was translated into French, and a total of 1,000 copies of the French version have been distributed to partners and stakeholders in Atlantic Canada.

The Economic Information Observatory (OIE) for regional cooperation is a bilateral cooperation project between Atlantic Canada and Saint‑Pierre-et-Miquelon (SPM) designed to conduct economic research and publish results in monthly newsletters for business people in Atlantic Canada and the territorial collectivity of SPM. The project received $436,408 from ACOA under various programs, including the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) and the BDP. The monthly newsletter, Intell-Écho, provides an economic profile of the three target markets (Atlantic Canada, SPM and France) and, consequently, the European Union (EU), with the establishment of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. A total of 17 newsletters have been or are being produced bilaterally through the project, along with CACIMA’s watch unit, in both official languages, via the CACIMA website and the OIE’s information watch site (http://provis.umcs.ca). Also published are additional value-added documents, including about 100 case studies completed to support business literacy and project promotion activities in French and English business circles in Atlantic Canada. The documentation is available free of charge on the website. Partnerships have been established to distribute Intell-Écho, particularly with the following regional agencies: the chambers of commerce in Charlottetown, Edmunston, Moncton, Fredericton and Halifax, the St. John’s Board of Trade, the RDÉE for Atlantic Canada and the economic development councils in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Other means of distributing Intell-Écho include a list of 30,962 recipients, including the joint regional cooperation commission community, the above-mentioned partners’ portals, digital social media such as LinkedIn and specialty groups, Twitter, Facebook and the Francophone and Anglophone media in Atlantic Canada. Business literacy and strategic economic watch workshops were held. Over 147 participants took part in the two series of workshops offered in English and in French in the four Atlantic provinces. The workshops dealt with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and business opportunities for companies in Atlantic Canada, as well as the public tendering system in Canada, Europe (TED) and elsewhere abroad. Representatives from French and English business circles in Atlantic Canada highly appreciated the training and expressed interest in a second edition. The OIE 2016‑2018 Atlantic Canada watch unit reported high visitation to the http://provis.umcs.ca website. These results indicate greater visibility for Atlantic Canada through the websites of international economic actors that are not part of the joint regional cooperation commission, e.g. China, Japan (Japan External Trade Organization and Invest Japan Business Support Center) and Canada’s trade delegates.

The Conseil économique du Nouveau‑Brunswick (CENB) received approval of $57,855 from ACOA under the EDI for organizing a Youth Entrepreneurship Forum.

The CENB is a network of Francophone businesses across New Brunswick with almost 1,000 members. It is organized in the form of an association representing the interests of members at different levels of government that analyzes, processes and disseminates information of an economic nature, and organizes networking activities in French. Its mission is to represent the interests of the Francophone business community to ensure its development and competitiveness and thereby contribute to the economic development of the province. In 2014, CENB launched the SME Awareness Forum. The forum was held in Moncton on October 3 and 4, 2014, for students enrolled in post-secondary, university/college in all fields, faculties and schools. The activities were held entirely in French and introduced participants to the option of choosing entrepreneurship as a possible career. So far, CENB has delivered three forums and is very satisfied with the results achieved. This year’s pan-Atlantic forum (4th edition) was held in Moncton during the “Semaine mondiale de l’entrepreneuriat” (November 17 to 18, 2017) and included incremental activities. The forum followed the same formula aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and providing network opportunities to Francophone youth from throughout the province. The program was developed in collaboration with the four RDÉE in the Atlantic region and was divided into three major components: development (lectures by entrepreneurs with an inspiring life whose testimony will describe the steps undertaken to arrive at their success), tools (emphasis on entrepreneurship and business establishment) and inspiration (presented by a successful entrepreneur who is nationally renowned). Again this year, a business-plan competition took place during the event. This event is seen as the Francophone equivalent of the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES), which is held on an annual basis through the Pond-Deshpande Centre. It is also worth noting that this project has received strong community support from local businesses who contributed financially to the project. Over 200 participants from the Atlantic provinces participated in the event, which included 100 Francophone students.

 

150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 2017

1.       The 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation presented a unique opportunity for federal institutions to contribute to the development of official-language minority communities and to promote official languages.

         Did your regional office contribute to the 150th anniversary of Confederation?

IF YES

a.      If so, please describe the activities.

b.      Please identify any processes that your regional office undertook in order to comply with the obligations set out in Part VII of the OLA (for example, consultations, impact analysis, use of specific official languages clauses, forming partnerships).

c.      Please identify the results.

Answer:

In Nova Scotia, ACOA approved $267,000 under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) to support Ulnooweg Development Group Incorporated for a Canada 150 celebration that took place in August 2017 at the Grand‑Pré National Historic Site. This celebration highlighted the historic relationship between two cultures: the Mi’kmaq and the Acadians. ‟Grand‑Pré 2017 – A Peace and Friendship Gathering of the Mi’kmaq and Acadian People” celebrated the relationship that began over 400 years ago—a relationship that was a critical component in the building of Canada. The celebration included a series of cultural and educational events held over four days. In spite of heavy rains, the event was well attended and garnered positive media attention. This event brought national exposure to the historic relationship between the Acadian and Mi’kmaq people that goes back more than 400 years, when Champlain and his crew were first greeted by Chief Membertou in 1604. The event showcased nationally renowned Indigenous and Acadian performers and put on display Indigenous and Acadian artists, arts and crafts. The event instilled pride in both cultures and represented a step forward in the reconciliation process between Canada and its First Nations. Building on the success of this event, discussions are currently taking place between the Société Promotion Grand‑Pré and Glooscap First Nation to hold once a year, in the month of August, a weekend of celebrations marking the historical relationship between the Mi’kmaq and Acadian peoples.

In New Brunswick (N.B.), the Centre communautaire Sainte‑Anne (CCSA) received $141,335 from ACOA under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) to renovate and update the community centre in Fredericton. The CCSA is a provincial Crown corporation that has been in operation since 1978. Its mission is to act as a unifying agency to help raise the profile of and promote the Francophonie in the capital region. Many services are available at the CCSA. The CCSA also delivers a variety of cultural and community programming with the assistance of numerous accredited agencies, partners and collaborators. Over the years, the CCSA has become an authority on leadership, innovation and community outreach. With 25,000 square metres of space, the CCSA is the second-largest government building in N.B. The project involved carrying out renovations to the Théâtre Bernard Poirier to bring the equipment up to building standards, and to modernize the Galerie des Bâtisseurs and the Salle du Patrimoine. The financial assistance from ACOA will thus make it possible to improve the quality of the infrastructure in the region and contribute to the dynamism of this community space in order to support the development of the region

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