Interdepartmental relations and accountability

Introduction

The federal government fulfills its mandate of promoting the development of the official-language minority communities (Anglophones in Quebec and Francophones outside Quebec) through interdepartmental relations and accountability. Section 41 of the Official Languages Act commits the federal government to enhancing the vitality of the English and French official-language minority communities of Canada and to fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. Section 42 gives the Minister of Canadian Heritage the mandate to promote a coordinated approach to the implementation of this commitment.

The government designated some thirty federal institutions because of their importance to the development of the official-language minority communities and the promotion of official languages. Each institution has designated a resource person, and regional coordinators in several cases. These federal institutions consult the minority communities to learn about their development priorities, and proceed to draw up an annual or multi-year action plan to illustrate their intentions to support the communities and promote official languages. They also produce reports on results status reports to demonstrate their progress in these areas. Each year, the Minister of Canadian Heritage publishes the Annual Report on Official Languages, setting out the Department's results accomplishments in this area as well as those of the other designated federal institutions.

Implementation of Sections 41 and 42 of the Official Languages Act

Federal Strategy to support Official-Language Minority Communities

In August 1994, the Government of Canada approved the establishment of an accountability framework for the implementation of Sections 41 and 42 of the Official Languages Act. Section 41 commits the federal government to enhancing the vitality of English-speaking and French-speaking minority communities, as well as fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. This commitment ensures not only that official-language minority communities have access to services in their language, but also that all federal institutions actively contribute to the development and vitality of these communities.

Section 42 of the Official Languages Act mandates the Minister of Canadian Heritage to promote and encourage a coordinated approach to these commitments among federal institutions.

The Accountability Framework includes the following:

  • Initially, measures will target a certain number of key institutions in areas of intervention which are vital to the minority-language communities and have the greatest impact. The key federal institutions are primarily those involved in the areas of economic, human resources and cultural development.
  • Each key institution develops an action plan for the implementation of Section 41 which takes into account the specific needs of the official-language minority communities.
  • The action plans are developed in consultation with official-language minority communities in order to identify community needs and allow institutions to take these into account in their activities.
  • Ministers responsible for key institutions transmit these plans and report on the results attained once a year to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
  • The Minister of Canadian Heritage will report to Parliament via his Annual Report on Official Languages on the implementation of this governmental commitment. The Annual Report will highlight the action plan of each key federal institution and the results attained during the previous year.

Mandate:

To coordinate the government strategy on the implementation of Sections 41 and 42 of the Official Languages Act, designed to promote the full recognition of the use of English and French in Canadian society and enhance the vitality of the official-language minority communities.

Clientele/Area of Activity:

Key Designated Federal Institutions

The government of Canada designated 32 key federal institutions because of their importance to the development of the official-language minority communities.

These federal institutions consult the minority communities as to their development needs and proceed to draw up an annual or multi-year action plan to illustrate their intentions to support the communities. They also produce status reports to demonstrate their progress in these areas

The Action Plans contain various measures that could further help the development and enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities and promote linguistic duality.

Resource persons at the national level for the implementation of the OLA - Part VII (Section 41)

To find the contact person responsible for an institution, please consult the list of Persons Responsible for Official Languages and Official Languages Champions in Institutions Subject to the Official Languages Act.

Contact the Interdepartmental Relations and Accountability Directorate

Interdepartmental Relations and Accountability Directorate
Official Languages Branch
15 Eddy Street, 7th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5
Tel.: 819-934-3343

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