Instruction in the Official Language of one's choice

Topic

Instruction in the Official Language of one's choice

Case number

Description

While reviewing a grievance from a member who had failed his apprentice refrigeration technician course, the Committee obtained documentation showing that the base personnel selection officers do not inquire about the language in which the courses will be given or about the language profile of a member during a compulsory occupational transfer, unless the military occupation requires a particular proficiency level in the second language. The Committee was unable to determine whose responsibility it is to ensure that a member is able to take a course in the official language of his or her choice. The Committee nevertheless concluded that this responsibility lies with the CAF and its training and instruction system. Members selected and assigned to the occupation of refrigeration technician, or to any other occupation, must be able to take their individual training in the official language of their choice.

Recommendation

The Committee recommended that the CDS order the appropriate authorities to set up (if not already prescribed) a mechanism that would ensure that a member can take individual training in the official language of their choice and, in particular, prevent a member with no language profile, or with a minimal language profile in their second language, from being enrolled in an individual training and education course in their second language.

Final Authority Decision

Through its decision, the CDS ordered the responsible authority to implement appropriate contracts to ensure that the CAF fulfills its obligations under the OLA when services are delivered by a third party. The CDS ordered the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre to implement the appropriate measures to ensure that the refrigeration course, provided by a third party, be available in both official languages as soon as possible. The CDS added that all similar future contracts include the necessary clauses in compliance with the policies in effect so that the department’s obligations concerning the OLA are met.

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