Briefing binder for the President of the Public Service Commission of Canada for the appearance before the Standing Committee on Official Languages - 2020-12-08

Table of Contents

Notice of meeting

Standing Committee on Official Languages (LANG)

43rd Parliament, 2nd Session

Meeting 10

Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Room 425, Wellington Building, 197 Sparks Street

Webcast

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Government’s Ability to Deliver Information in Both Official Languages

Witnesses

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

  • Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages
  • Pierre Leduc, Assistant Commissioner, Policy and Communications Branch
  • Ghislaine Saikaley, Assistant Commissioner, Compliance Assurance Branch
  • Pascale Giguère, General Counsel, Legal Affairs Branch

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Association de la presse francophone

  • Linda Lauzon, Director General

East Island Network for English Language Services

  • Fatiha Gatre Guemiri, Executive Director

Community Health and Social Services Network

  • Jennifer Johnson, Executive Director

Public Service Commission

  • Patrick Borbey, President
  • Susan Dubreuil, Acting Director General, Personnel Psychology Centre

Speaking Notes for Patrick Borbey

President of the Public Service Commission of Canada

On the

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the government’s ability to deliver information in both official languages

House of Commons’

Standing Committee on Official Languages

December 8, 2020

4:30pm to 5:30pm

Check against delivery

Introduction

Mr. Chair, thank you for inviting me to appear before the Committee today. I want to begin by acknowledging that we are on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg people.

I am pleased to have in attendance with me my colleague Susan Dubreuil, acting Director General of the Personnel Psychology Centre.

I would like to share what my organization has done to quickly adapt and ensure that our obligations under the Official Languages Act were respected during the pandemic. I will also discuss actions the Public Service Commission (PSC) took to ensure that departments and agencies were able to staff bilingual positions, including those in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, I will provide some data on public service staffing that I hope the committee will find useful for its study.

What the PSC has done to quickly adapt and ensure that obligations under the Official Languages Act were respected during the pandemic

To respect our obligations under the Official Languages Act (Act) during the pandemic, the PSC quickly adapted to changing circumstances. The department took action, both internally with its employees, in accordance with Part V of the Official Languages Act as well as in communications and services with its clients and with the public, in accordance with Part IV of the Act.

Since last March, all communications with employees have continued to be in both official languages (OL) simultaneously. This includes frequent email messages from myself, COVID-19 updates, and any other internal communications to employees.

Over the past 9 months, we held three virtual bilingual all-staff meetings. We have been finding innovative solutions to deliver these events with simultaneous interpretation. In my role as leader of the organization, I raise official languages obligations with my executive management team on a regular basis, and I insist that employees have the right to write and speak in their preferred official language.

When dealing with the public, all communications with Canadians have continued to be in both official languages, and released simultaneously in both French and English.

This includes the content on our website and social media, answering public inquiries, and providing information sessions to job seekers. Prior to, and throughout the pandemic, I have ensured that, when invited to participate in any event, I always deliver my remarks in both official languages.

In response to the pandemic, the PSC has partnered with Health Canada, in establishing an inventory of volunteers to support provinces, territories and the Canadian Red Cross in their urgent health services human resource needs. All materials were bilingual and communications with Canadians were in the official language of their choice.

The safety, security and well-being of our clients and employees is critical to our service delivery and in designing new staffing and assessment solutions, but never at the expense of the Official Languages Act.

Organizations’ responsibilities regarding official languages within the federal public service

There are several organizations with responsibilities regarding official languages within the federal public service.

In accordance with the Public Service Employment Act, Deputy Heads are responsible for establishing official language proficiency as an essential qualification required for the work to be performed. They are also accountable for ensuring their employees meet the official language requirements of their positions.

The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, part of the Treasury Board Secretariat, is responsible for policies related to languages in communications and services to the public, as well as official languages in the workplace. They are also responsible for establishing second official language qualification standards.

The PSC’s primary role is in the assessment of official languages, including the provision of second language evaluation (SLE) tests. 

For the assessment of proficiency in the second official language for bilingual positions, the PSC Appointment Policy requires that all departments and agencies in the core public administration use PSC tests. These second language evaluations are administered in PSC test centres across the country, as well as in selected departments and agencies. In addition, our tests are widely used by separate employers such as the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canadian Armed Forces.

These second official language tests ensure that merit is met with respect to staffing bilingual positions so that Canadians can be served in the official language of their choice, and public servants can work in the official language of their choice.

On an annual basis, the PSC conducts or oversees more than 100 000 second language tests. Our databases hold over 4 million test results, the majority of which are second language test results.

There are close to 86 000 bilingual positions in the federal core public administration, not counting separate agencies. This represents 43% of all core public administration positions.

Actions the PSC took to ensure that other agencies and departments were able to staff critical positions related to COVID-19

The pandemic has impacted government operations in many areas. In our case, it has affected the capacity to conduct in-person second language evaluation testing.

The PSC promptly put in place two temporary policy measures and supporting guidance. They provide more flexibility to departments and agencies in assessing second language requirements for appointments to bilingual positions. Both measures are meant to ensure that merit with regard to official languages and linguistic obligations provided by the Official Languages Act are respected.

These measures allowed Deputy Heads to recruit the bilingual talent needed to support efforts related to COVID-19 or to ensure the effective functioning of the Government of Canada.

A Pulse Survey with organizations was conducted to obtain feedback on these temporary measures and to give us a sense of their use. The Survey showed that 90% of respondents indicated that the two measures were useful to respond to their staffing needs.

Furthermore, the PSC implemented new virtual Second Language Interviews for oral proficiency. These are administered remotely by PSC assessors to candidates in their own homes. Over 5 000 virtual interviews have been administered as of November 20th, 2020.

We also launched unsupervised internet testing to evaluate second language reading and writing skills. These tests are performed online by candidates in their home. 

We recognize that remote internet testing is the way of the future for second language evaluations. We are working diligently to incrementally enhance our remote testing to better meet the needs of departments and agencies, as well as those of Canadians who will no longer have to travel to our offices for tests. This is a priority for the PSC.

The PSC also continues to ensure that our tests are accessible to all Canadians, including those with disabilities. All new second language evaluations are reviewed by test development experts for accessibility and fairness. They are also available in multiple formats to accommodate the needs of diverse test takers.

I should note that we have informed the Office of the Official Languages Commissioner prior to implementing these measures.

Information regarding official languages

Before I close, let me share with you some interesting information and statistics on official languages and public service staffing. 

The public service attracts bilingual candidates and we continue to see improvements to that effect. The percentage of candidates to externally advertised job opportunities who identify themselves as bilingual has increased from 37.5% in 2018-2019 to 38.4% in 2019-2020. And there are bilingual candidates in all parts of the country, not just in the National Capital Region.

We are also successful in attracting applicants from Official Language Minority Communities across the country. Last year, 10.8% of applicants to public service positions were from these communities, significantly above their representation in the Canadian population, which is 6.9%.

These results are a demonstration of the PSC’s commitment to official languages. In 2019-2020 alone, the PSC participated in 48 events with Official Language Minority Communities across the country to promote our recruitment programs. These included career fairs at bilingual or minority language academic institutions, as well as information sessions with official language community organizations and business groups.

These events help promote linguistic duality, enable the PSC to better understand the needs of these communities, and encourage their members to apply to federal public service jobs.

Conclusion

Linguistics duality is a fundamental value of the public service and is at the core of our merit-based, impartial staffing system. This is the responsibility of all federal organizations and all public servants. We recognize that the pandemic has brought many challenges to the delivery of programs and services to Canadians. We are committed to developing and deploying solutions that will protect and promote bilingualism and linguistic duality across the federal public service.

I am pleased to answer your questions.

Thank you.

Measures taken by the PSC to promote OL during the pandemic

  1. On March 20, 2020, the Commissioner of Official Languages wrote to all federal OL champions to remind them of the importance of communicating in both OL. The Human Resources Management Directorate (HRMD), along with OL co-champions, posted Update at the PSC messages to remind employees of the importance to respect OL in time of pandemic.
  1. The PSC made a particular effort during the pandemic to ensure that communication materials were released or posted simultaneously and of equal quality in both OL, including special measures throughout Q1 (April 1 to June 30, 2020):
  • Overtime by available editors, translators, web coders, social media staff, Parliamentary affairs staff, media officers, strategic communications advisors, managers, Director and Director General;
  • Translation and editing done by qualified personnel in all teams and levels within Communications;
  • New processes to handle internally distributed editing and translation work;
  • New contract with a private translation firm capable of responding to timeliness and quality requirements (ongoing); and
  • Continued engagement with senior management to obtain consensus and approval on re-prioritizing and/or deferral of less urgent work (ongoing).
  1. The PSC ensured that Canadians would continue to be served in both OL during the pandemic:
  • The PSC conducts regular monitoring of Second Language Evaluation (SLE) results for its employees in bilingual positions. This monitoring is conducted by the Human Resources Management Directorate (HRMD).
  • Each Vice-President of the PSC receives a report concerning all employees, identifying OL test results that have expired or do not meet the profile of the position.
  • Management and managers must then take the necessary measures to ensure that their employees meet the language requirements of their position.
  • Two monitoring exercises roughly correspond to the pandemic period: the February 2020 monitoring and the August 2020 monitoring.
  • The monitoring of SLEs gives us a good indication whether resources need to be reallocated to front-line services so that Canadians can continue to be served in both OL.
  1. The PSC had identified official languages considerations as part of its Business Continuity Plan or its Emergency Communications Plan ahead of the pandemic.
  • Official languages considerations are built into the structure of the PSC’s Business Continuity and Business Resumption Plan, which includes its Emergency/Crisis Communications Plan, via its governance. This applies to the version of the BCP (2015) that was in place in March 2020, as well as the recently updated BCP.
  1. The organization ensured that translation and editing services during the pandemic were used consistently, including using special measures throughout Q1 (April 1 to June 30, 2020)
  • Overtime by available editors, translators, web coders, social media staff, Parliamentary affairs staff, media officers, strategic communications advisors, managers, Director and Director General;
  • Translation and editing done by qualified personnel within the entire Communications directorate;
  • New processes to handle internally distributed editing and translation work;
  • New contract with a private translation firm capable of responding to timeliness and quality requirements (ongoing); and
  • Continued engagement with senior management to obtain consensus and approval on re-prioritizing and/or deferral of less urgent work (ongoing).
  1. Of note, the PSC is currently completing the departmental self-assessment against the OCOL OL Maturity Model even though it is not required by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages to do so. We expect the analysis to be complete this winter, which will allow to identify any required actions to be added to our 2021-2022 people management activities.
  2. Following the Executive Management Committee (EMC) meeting on August 27th, 2020, the President of the PSC invited employees to find alternative ways to promote bilingual meetings in remote work context. Here are two ideas that have been identified and are in development:
  • Tips for conducting bilingual meetings could be included when we send an invitation to a meeting on TEAMS;
  • Creation of wallpapers on TEAMS with information on good practices for conducting bilingual meetings.

Background information on Second Language Evaluation (SLE) Temporary Measures

  • In normal circumstances, the PSC Appointment Policy requires all departments and agencies to use PSC tests for the assessment of proficiency in second language for all appointments to bilingual positions.
  • PSC tests are administered in PSC test centers across the country, as well as in departments and agencies
  • The pandemic situation has had an impact on government operations in many areas; in our case, it has affected PSC and departments’ capacity to conduct in-person testing.
  • The PSC has therefore taken steps to provide additional flexibility so that departments and agencies can continue to meet their needs to staff bilingual positions.
  • The Office of the Official Language Commissioner was consulted on the proposed measures before they were implemented.
  • On March 24, 2020, the PSC implemented 2 temporary policy measures for the assessment of second official language qualifications for appointments to bilingual positions. These measures are currently available until March 31, 2021.
  • Deputy heads are exempted from the requirement to use PSC’s second language evaluation (SLE) tests when assessing second language proficiency (reading, writing and oral).
  • The alternate tests used by departments and agencies must respect the guiding principles established by the PSC.
  • This measure is similar to a pilot that the PSC started a few years ago with a few departments, allowing hiring managers to assess themselves oral interaction proficiency of candidates in their second official language.
  • Extension of the validity period of expired SLE results for all appointments.
  • For all appointments over 12 months, appointees must have their official language proficiency confirmed through PSC SLE tests within 24 months of the appointment.
  • A similar measure was used at the time of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan (DRAP) (from April 2012 to March 2015), when the federal government had to proceed with workforce adjustment. This measure facilitated the reappointment of persons who were laid off or declared surplus.
  • Departments and agencies will be asked to report on the use of these measures in their regular annual reporting to the PSC.
  • Both measures are meant to ensure that merit with regard to official languages and linguistic obligations provided by the Official Languages Act are respected. The deputy head must ensure that their institution is able to continue to communicate and serve Canadians and public servants in both official languages, to supervise bilingual employees in bilingual regions in the official language of their choice and to create a work environment conducive to the use of both official languages.

Supporting tools.

  • The PSC has implemented and promoted guidance and hands-on toolkits on how to develop second language reading, writing and oral tests.
  • Questions and answers and other tools have been developed to help managers and human resources specialists.

Second Language Evaluation

1. Moved to remote fulfillment of e-test orders.

PSC shifted staff to remote work and continued to fill departmental orders for its standard e-tests to departments able to administer the tests at their own test centres (e.g. Canadian Forces).

2. Implemented new remote oral test.

  • PSC implemented new Second Language Interviews (for oral) which are administered remotely by PSC assessors to candidates in their own homes. Over 5000 interviews have been administered as of November 20.
  • Shortly, PSC will release a new version of these interviews with portable results, valid for 5 years. This new release responds directly to feedback received from departments about the need for portable test results.

3. New UIT reading and writing tests.

  • The PSC launched new unsupervised reading & writing tests for staffing processes posted to the Public Service Recruitment System on GC Jobs.
  • Departments (HR users) can invite job applicants to take these tests remotely in their own homes. PSC has approved the use of these tests on over 319 processes as of November 15th.
  • PSC also heard from departments regarding their interest in having these tests expanded to other uses. Consequently, we piloted a new service with several departments and will soon offer more widely UIT testing for language training, students, non-ads, updating test results, etc.

4. PSC Onsite Testing Centres

  • PSC recently opened its test centre in Halifax and will progressively resume the administration of its standard supervised reading and writing tests in this centre. Test administration services in other PSC test centres will resume when it is safe to do so.

Volumes - Second Language Evaluations

Test of Reading Comprehension

Test of Reading Comprehension

2018-2019

2019-2020

April 1 to October 31, 2020

Online

29,616

29,383

1,710

Paper

1,708

1,971

65

SLE UIT (New-Covid)

0

0

1,350

Total

31,324

31,354

3,125

Test of Written Expression

Test of Written Expression

2018-2019

2019-2020

April 1 to October 31, 2020

Online

35,906

36,192

2,056

Paper

1,732

2,144

69

SLE UIT (New-Covid)

0

0

1,966

Total

37,638

38,336

4,091

Oral Proficiency Test

Oral Proficiency Test

2018-2019

2019-2020

April 1 to October 31, 2020

TOP/MTOP

30,497

31,111

39

SLE interview (New-Covid)

0

0

4,159

Total

30,497

31,111

4,198

Recent engagement with Official Languages Minority Communities

In the current fiscal year, engagement with Official Languages Minority Communities (OLMCs) has been impacted by the pandemic with the complete cessation of in-person outreach events. While it has been challenging for organizations to adjust to completely virtual outreach forums, the Public Service Commission (PSC) continues to reach out to OLMC academic institutions and associations to promote careers in the federal public service and to provide information sessions on how to apply.

Examples of outreach events in 2020-2021 include:

  • On June 4, 2020, the PSC partnered with Canadian Heritage and participated in the Forum Communautaire, hosted by the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique, where an information session on employment and bilingualism in the federal public service was offered.
  • On August 20, 2020, an information session on employment in the federal public service was given in Toronto, in partnership with Connecture Canada. Approximately 75 people attended, the majority of whom were mid-career individuals. Connecture Canada is a group that focuses on the promotion and development of open environments that encourage francophone immigrants and bilingual individuals to explore opportunities for their careers.
  • On November 13, 2020, the PSC attended a career event for francophone universities in the Atlantic Region at the Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia. Fifteen students attended an information session where we explained how to effectively apply to the federal public service. Attendees were largely foreign students.

In 2019-2020, the PSC participated in 48 external events related to OLMCs across Canada, with the objective of promoting careers in the federal public service and providing information to job seekers on how to apply. These included career fairs at bilingual or OLMC academic institutions, information sessions with official language community organizations and business groups. A total of 4,476 participants were present at these events. Examples of events include:

  • an information session for business students at the Université de Sainte Anne in Nova Scotia
  • a career fair in Halifax for bilingual high school student employment opportunities
  • the John Abbott College job fair in Montreal
  • an OL targeted career fair at York University in Toronto
  • a Speed Staffing career fair, organized by La Société de développement économique Colombie-Britannique
  • Le Forum Local (Vancouver and Victoria), organized by Français pour l’avenir
  • the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), funded by Heritage Canada
  • the annual Rendez-Vous de la Francophonie celebrations
  • a presentation to a group of francophone businesses in Charlottetown in partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • presented at Voice of English-Speaking Quebec, in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada
  • an information session at Bishop’s University in Quebec, with CRA and Service Canada.

Other information

In 2020-2021, the PSC continues to:

  • Actively participate in OL interdepartmental committees such as the Federal Council Official Language Committees and sub-committees in all five PSC regions across Canada, to exchange best practices, lessons learned, and to explore interdepartmental partnership opportunities for outreach to OLMCs.
  • Ensure that all national outreach events are organized and scheduled to offer sessions in both official languages, and to respond to questions from the public in the OL of their choice. In addition, the PSC ensures that promotional material at information sessions and career events are always available in both languages.

Key Points

Applicant data:

  • In 2019-2020, the first official language of 76.5% (310,339) of applicants to external processes was English whereas 23.5% (95,567) was French. This is roughly consistent with previous years.
  • When we consider the public service’s ability to attract bilingual candidates we continue to see improvement.
  • The proportion of self-assessed bilingual[1] applicants to the public service increased from 37.5% in 2018-2019 to 38.4% in 2019-2020.
  • Within our student programs we also see a significant share of bilingual applicants.
  • The proportion of self-assessed bilingual applicants to the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) program was 41.2% in 2019-2020, down slightly from 43.4% in 2018-2019.
  • The percentage of Official Language Minority (OLM) applicants[2] to the public service in 2019-2020 was 10.8%, slightly lower than a year prior, 11.4% in 2018-2019, but well above the departmental target of 6.9% (based on OLM representation in the Canadian population).

Bilingual positions:

The following information comes from the TBS Annual Report on Official Languages 2018–19:

  • As of March 31, 2019, the percentage of bilingual positions under the Core Public Administration (CPA) was 42.7% (85,857).
  • In the fiscal year 2018-2019, 94.8% of employees in bilingual positions under the CPA met the position language requirements.
  • The majority of bilingual positions are found in Quebec – excluding the National Capital Region (where 67.1% of positions are bilingual), in the National Capital Region (where 65.1% of positions are bilingual), and in New Brunswick (where 49.9% of positions are bilingual).

[1] A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

[2] Official language minority applicants refers to French-speaking applicants outside of Quebec and English-speaking applicants within Quebec

Unique Applicants (External) to the public service by first official language and fiscal year

Key Observations:

In 2019-2020, the first official language of 76.5% (310,339) of applicants to external processes was English whereas 23.5% (95,567) was French. This is roughly consistent with previous years. This is roughly consistent with previous year. These calculations exclude unknowns (1,768).

Slightly more than 3/4 of unique applicants were anglophones and slightly less than 1/4 were francophones.

Outlier Analysis:

No significant variance from previous year.

Unique Applicants (External) to the public service by first official language and fiscal year

Year

Anglophone

Francophone

Unknown

Total

2010-2011

137,095

52,640

113

189,848

2011-2012

164,147

58,147

63

222,357

2012-2013

116,563

35,713

66

152,342

2013-2014

133,756

43,015

0

176,771

2014-2015

148,426

54,691

0

203,117

2015-2016

176,137

63,819

0

239,956

2016-2017

183,959

67,990

14,267

266,216

2017-2018

221,628

78,916

23,832

324,376

2018-2019

329,482

100,578

2,648

432,708

2019-2020

310,339

95,567

1,768

407,674

Federal Student Work Experience Program

Year

Total

2016-2017

14,267

2017-2018

23,832

2018-2019

2,648

2019-2020

1,768

Share of Unique Applicants (External) to the public service by first official language and fiscal year

Year

Anglophone

Francophone

2010-2011

72.3%

27.7%

2011-2012

73.8%

26.2%

2012-2013

76.5%

23.5%

2013-2014

75.7%

24.3%

2014-2015

73.1%

26.9%

2015-2016

73.4%

26.6%

2016-2017

73.0%

27.0%

2017-2018

73.7%

26.3%

2018-2019

76.6%

23.4%

2019-2020

76.5%

23.5%

Source(s)

fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2010_2011, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2011_2012, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2012_2013, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2013_2014, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2014_2015, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2015_2016, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2016_2017, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2017_2018, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2018_2019, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2019_2020

Technical Notes:

Includes organizations subject to the Public Service Employment Act.

Applicant data refers to information on selected characteristics (e.g. geographical area and educational profile) for applicants to externally advertised processes.

Excludes applications for cancelled advertisements.

Self-assessed language proficiency of external applicants, by fiscal year

Key Observations:

The percentage of self-assessed bilingual applicants to the public service increased from 37.5% in 2018-2019 to 38.4% in 2019-2020. This excludes applicants to the Federal Student Work Experience Program.

The percentage of self-assessed bilingual applicants to the FSWEP program decreased from 43.4% in 2018-2019 to 41.2% in 2019-2020.

Outlier Analysis:

No significant variance from previous year.

Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants to Jobs Open to the Public, Post-Secondary Recruitment Program, Research Affiliate Program, and Recruitment of Policy Leaders Initiative, by fiscal year

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

139,685

37.5%

121,970

38.4%

Unilingual

232,822

62.5%

195,342

61.6%

Total

372,507

100.0%

317,321

100.0%

*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants within each recruitment program

Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants within each recruitment program Job-opportunity open to the public

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

135,128

37.4%

115,317

38.0%

Unilingual

226,488

62.6%

187,921

62.0%

Total

361,616

100.0%

303,238

100.0%

*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Post-Secondary Recruitment (PSR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

8,427

46.4%

12,363

49.8%

Unilingual

9,725

53.6%

12,451

50.2%

Total

18,152

100.0%

24,814

100.0%

*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

1,018

57.2%

1,555

53.6%

Unilingual

761

42.8%

1,362

46.7%

Total

1,779

100.0%

2,917

100.0%

*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Research Affiliate Program (RAP)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

1,080

43.2%

1,258

41.5%

Unilingual

2,605

56.8%

1,772

58.5%

Total

4,585

100.0%

3,030

100.0%

*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Table A

Self-assessed working ability in Canada's Official Languages of unique FSWEP applicants

Self-assessed working ability in Canada's Official Languages of unique FSWEP applicants

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Undeclared

2,156

2.9%

2,146

2.0%

English Only

38,796

51.7%

58,418

54.9%

French Only

1,454

1.9%

1,944

1.9%

Bilingual *

32,537

43.4%

43,866

41.2%

Total

74,979

100.0%

106,424

100.0%

*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.


Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants overall to Jobs Open to the Public, Post-Secondary Recruitment Program, Research Affiliate Program, and Recruitment of Policy Leaders Initiative, by home region, by fiscal year

Alberta

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

5,095

14.8%

5,097

14.7%

Unilingual

29,324

85.2%

29,513

85.3%

Total

34,419

100.0%

34,610

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

British Columbia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

4,293

13.5%

3,762

14.8%

Unilingual

27, 406

86.5%

21,692

85.2%

Total

31,699

100.0%

25,454

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Manitoba

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2,333

15.9%

2,032

15.8%

Unilingual

12,332

84.1%

10,813

84.2%

Total

14,665

100.0%

12,845

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

National Capital Region

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

35,507

60.7%

30,808

59.9%

Unilingual

22,955

39.3%

20,609

40.1%

Total

58,462

100.0%

51,417

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

New Brunswick

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

7,536

55.4%

6,938

57.5%

Unilingual

6,078

44.6%

5,127

42.5%

Total

13,614

100.0%

12,065

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

991

12.4%

821

12.7%

Unilingual

6,979

87.6%

5,641

87.3%

Total

7,970

100.0%

6,462

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Northwest Territories

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

119

22.0%

115

22.7%

Unilingual

422

78.0%

391

77.3%

Total

541

100.0%

506

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nova Scotia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2,481

18.3%

2,239

19.4%

Unilingual

11,056

81.7%

9,290

80.6%

Total

13,537

100.0%

11,529

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nunavut

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

79

21.1%

73

20.1%

Unilingual

296

78.9%

291

79.9%

Total

375

100.0%

364

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Ontario (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

19,313

18.2%

16,385

19.8%

Unilingual

87,070

81.8%

66,182

80.2%

Total

106,383

100.0%

82,567

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Outside Canada

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2,160

23.0%

2,262

23.8%

Unilingual

7,220

77.0%

7,238

76.2%

Total

9,380

100.0%

9,500

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Prince Edward Island

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

797

23.1%

737

21.9%

Unilingual

2,652

76.9%

2,628

78.1%

Total

3,449

100.0%

3,365

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Quebec (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

57,778

86.8%

49,671

86.6%

Unilingual

8,770

13.2%

7,677

13.4%

Total

66,548

100.0%

57,348

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Saskatchewan

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

1,085

9.8%

943

10.6%

Unilingual

9,961

90.2%

7,987

89.4%

Total

11,046

100.0%

8,930

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Yukon

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

118

28.2%

96

26.7%

Unilingual

301

71.8%

263

73.3%

Total

419

100.0%

359

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants to Jobs Open to the Public, by home region, by fiscal year

Alberta

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

4,917

14.7%

4,891

14.5%

Unilingual

28,516

85.3%

28,733

85.5%

Total

33,433

100.0%

33,624

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

British Columbia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

4,094

13.3%

3,466

14.2%

Unilingual

26,727

86.7%

20,909

85.8%

Total

30,821

100.0%

24,375

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Manitoba

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2,284

15.9%

1,974

15.7%

Unilingual

12,119

84.1%

10,594

84.3%

Total

14,403

100.0%

12,568

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

National Capital Region

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

34,373

60.7%

28,942

59.6%

Unilingual

22,225

39.3%

19,654

40.4%

Total

56,598

100.0%

48,596

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

New Brunswick

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

7,387

55.3%

6,816

57.6%

Unilingual

5,969

44.7%

5,016

42.4%

Total

13,356

100.0%

11,832

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

948

12.1%

780

12.3%

Unilingual

6,890

87.9%

5,542

87.7%

Total

7,838

100.0%

6,322

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Northwest Territories

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

116

21.8%

113

22.7%

Unilingual

417

78.2%

384

77.3%

Total

533

100.0%

497

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nova Scotia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2,360

17.9%

2,144

19.1%

Unilingual

10,802

82.1%

9,064

80.9%

Total

13,162

100.0%

11,208

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nunavut

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

78

21.0%

70

19.5%

Unilingual

294

79.0%

289

80.5%

Total

372

100.0%

359

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Ontario (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

18,561

18.0%

15,183

19.4%

Unilingual

84,511

82.0%

63,121

80.6%

Total

103,072

100.0%

78,304

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Outside Canada

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2,019

23.0%

1,966

23.0%

Unilingual

6,757

77.0%

6,593

77.0%

Total

8,776

100.0%

8,559

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Prince Edward Island

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

762

22.7%

694

21.2%

Unilingual

2,601

77.3%

2,574

78.8%

Total

3,363

100.0%

3,268

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Quebec (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

56,045

86.8%

47,262

86.5%

Unilingual

8,554

13.2%

7,405

13.5%

Total

64,599

100.0%

54,667

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Saskatchewan

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

1,070

9.8%

920

10.6%

Unilingual

9,810

90.2%

7,783

89.4%

Total

10,880

100.0%

8,703

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Yukon

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

114

27.8%

96

27.0%

Unilingual

296

72.2%

260

73.0%

Total

410

100.0%

356

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants to the Post-Secondary Recruitment Program (PSR), by home region, by fiscal year

Alberta

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

237

17.3%

353

22.3%

Unilingual

1,132

82.7%

1,227

77.7%

Total

1,369

100.0%

1,580

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

British Columbia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

253

21.6%

415

26.6%

Unilingual

916

78.4%

1,143

73.4%

Total

1,169

100.0%

1,588

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Manitoba

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

97

18.7%

108

18.2%

Unilingual

423

81.3%

484

81.8%

Total

520

100.0%

592

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

National Capital Region

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2,416

60.4%

3,907

62.8%

Unilingual

1,584

39.6%

2,312

37.2%

Total

4,000

100.0%

6,219

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

New Brunswick

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

214

64.8%

271

65.6%

Unilingual

116

35.2%

142

34.4%

Total

330

100.0%

413

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

55

23.3%

52

22.1%

Unilingual

181

76.7%

183

77.9%

Total

236

100.0%

235

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Northwest Territories

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2

66.7%

7

50.0%

Unilingual

1

33.3%

7

50.0%

Total

3

100.0%

14

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nova Scotia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

129

30.6%

155

29.0%

Unilingual

292

69.4%

380

71.0%

Total

421

100.0%

535

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nunavut

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

2

50.0%

5

62.5%

Unilingual

2

50.0%

3

37.5%

Total

4

100.0%

8

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Ontario (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

1,078

21.7%

1,878

27.4%

Unilingual

3,892

78.3%

4,985

72.6%

Total

4,970

100.0%

6,863

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Outside Canada

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

161

25.8%

323

32.9%

Unilingual

462

74.2%

660

67.1%

Total

623

100.0%

983

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Prince Edward Island

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

15

23.8%

24

30.0%

Unilingual

48

76.2%

56

70.0%

Total

63

100.0%

80

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Quebec (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

3,725

89.9%

4,804

90.6%

Unilingual

419

10.1%

496

9.4%

Total

4,144

100.0%

5,300

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Saskatchewan

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

42

14.3%

61

14.3%

Unilingual

251

85.7%

365

85.7%

Total

293

100.0%

426

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Yukon

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

1

14.3%

0

0.0%

Unilingual

6

85.7%

8

100.0%

Total

7

100.0%

8

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants to the Research Affiliate Program (RAP), by home region, by fiscal year

Alberta

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

77

19.7%

49

18.3%

Unilingual

313

80.3%

219

81.7%

Total

390

100.0%

268

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

British Columbia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

83

20.9%

41

24.4%

Unilingual

314

79.1%

127

75.6%

Total

397

100.0%

168

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Manitoba

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

24

20.5%

15

24.6%

Unilingual

93

79.5%

46

75.4%

Total

117

100.0%

61

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

National Capital Region

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

688

58.3%

330

55.4%

Unilingual

493

41.7%

266

44.6%

Total

1,181

100.0%

596

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

New Brunswick

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

83

53.9%

47

44.8%

Unilingual

71

46.1%

58

55.2%

Total

154

100.0%

105

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

20

33.9%

19

32.8%

Unilingual

39

66.1%

39

67.2%

Total

59

100.0%

58

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Northwest Territories

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

4

44.4%

2

66.7%

Unilingual

5

55.6%

1

33.3%

Total

9

100.0%

3

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nova Scotia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

56

30.1%

28

26.2%

Unilingual

130

69.9%

79

73.8%

Total

186

100.0%

107

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nunavut

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

0

0.0%

3

75.0%

Unilingual

2

100.0%

1

25.0%

Total

2

100.0%

4

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Ontario (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

339

31.4%

233

30.4%

Unilingual

741

68.6%

533

69.6%

Total

1,080

100.0%

766

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Outside Canada

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

54

19.4%

58

19.9%

Unilingual

224

80.6%

233

80.1%

Total

278

100.0%

291

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Prince Edward Island

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

34

39.5%

36

47.4%

Unilingual

52

60.5%

40

52.6%

Total

86

100.0%

76

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Quebec (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

505

88.6%

389

85.7%

Unilingual

65

11.4%

65

14.3%

Total

570

100.0%

454

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Saskatchewan

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

9

13.2%

8

11.3%

Unilingual

59

86.8%

63

88.7%

Total

68

100.0%

71

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Yukon

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

4

50.0%

0

0.0%

Unilingual

4

50.0%

2

100.0%

Total

8

100.0%

2

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.


Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants to the Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) Initiative, by home region, by fiscal year

Alberta

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

38

38.0%

44

25.1%

Unilingual

62

62.0%

131

74.9%

Total

100

100.0%

175

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

British Columbia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

48

34.8%

83

30.1%

Unilingual

90

65.2%

193

69.9%

Total

138

100.0%

276

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Manitoba

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

5

23.8%

17

37.0%

Unilingual

16

76.2%

29

63.0%

Total

21

100.0%

46

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

National Capital Region

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

256

71.3%

454

70.2%

Unilingual

103

28.7%

193

29.8%

Total

359

100.0%

647

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

New Brunswick

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

12

66.7%

27

60.0%

Unilingual

6

33.3%

18

40.0%

Total

18

100.0%

45

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

11

50.0%

9

30.0%

Unilingual

11

50.0%

21

70.0%

Total

22

100.0%

30

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Northwest Territories

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

Unilingual

0

0.0%

1

100.0%

Total

0

0.0%

1

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nova Scotia

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

13

46.4%

19

54.3%

Unilingual

15

53.6%

16

45.7%

Total

28

100.0%

35

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Nunavut

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

Unilingual

2

100.0%

1

100.0%

Total

2

100.0%

1

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Ontario (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

222

36.9%

319

34.3%

Unilingual

379

63.1%

612

65.7%

Total

601

100.0%

931

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Outside Canada

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

38

48.1%

61

48.8%

Unilingual

41

51.9%

64

51.2%

Total

79

100.0%

125

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Prince Edward Island

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

0

0.0%

2

66.7%

Unilingual

3

100.0%

1

33.3%

Total

3

100.0%

3

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Quebec (except NCR)

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

368

96.8%

515

92.1%

Unilingual

12

3.2%

44

7.9%

Total

380

100.0%

559

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Saskatchewan

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

7

25.9%

5

11.6%

Unilingual

20

74.1%

38

88.4%

Total

27

100.0%

43

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Yukon

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

Unilingual

1

100.0%

0

0.0%

Total

1

100.0%

0

0.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Self-assessed language proficiency of unique applicants to Jobs Open to the Public, Post-Secondary Recruitment Program, Research Affiliate Program, and Recruitment of Policy Leaders Initiative, by advertisement tenure, by fiscal year

Indeterminate

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

26,260

37.9%

20,964

40.2%

Unilingual

43,046

62.1%

31,246

59.8%

Total

69,306

100.0%

52,210

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Multiple

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

101,189

38.2%

90,868

38.6%

Unilingual

163,993

61.8%

144, 677

61.4%

Total

265,182

100.0%

235,545

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Seasonal

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

24

8.8%

105

46.9%

Unilingual

248

91.2%

119

53.1%

Total

272

100.0%

224

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Term

Language Proficiency

Count

2018-2019

Percent
2018-2019

Count
2019-2020

Percent
2019-2020

Bilingual *

12,212

32.4%

10,042

34.2%

Unilingual

25,535

67.6%

19,300

65.8%

Total

37,747

100.0%

29,342

100.0%


*A bilingual applicant is defined as an individual that self-assessed their language proficiency as intermediate or higher in both official languages.

Source(s):

fiscaldb.psrs_advertisements_2018_2019, fiscaldb.psrs_advertisements_2019_2020, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2018_2019, fiscaldb.psrs_applications_2019_2020

Technical Notes:

Includes organizations subject to the Public Service Employment Act.

An inventory advertisement that spans more than one fiscal year and for which at least one application is received during the given fiscal year will be counted as an advertisement in the same fiscal year.

Standard and alternative job advertisements that close within the fiscal year that are not cancelled will be reported in that same fiscal year.

An alternative advertisement that used the same identification number in multiple fiscal years is counted multiple times.

Regional breakdowns are not available for the Federal Student Work Experience Program applicants.

Summary of Implementing Section 91 of the Official Languages Act:

A Systemic Problem (November 2020)

CONTEXT

  • The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada (the Office of the Commissioner) regularly receives a high volume of complaints under section 91 of the Act.
  • Section 9 states that language requirements of federal public service positions must be established objectively for staffing actions.
  • The Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada (the Commissioner) called for an in-depth analysis in order to: determine the scope of the problem behind the high volume of complaints; identify its causes; and propose solutions.
  • This report contains the results of that analysis and the Commissioner’s recommendations to help federal institutions resolve the problem.
  • The Public Service Commission (PSC), one of four main stakeholders responsible for implementing section 91 of the Act, is mentioned throughout the report.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT

Analysis of the problem

  • 616 investigations completed between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2020 were reviewed. These investigations relate to 713 complaints.
  • The difference between the 616 and 713 is explained by the fact that an investigation may involve several complaints on similar or identical issues.
  • The period covering six fiscal years between April 2014 and March 2020 was identified as critical due to the large volume of complaints filed under section 91 of the Act, as well as the significant proportion of the total volume of complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner that they represent.
  • The review of the admissible complaints filed revealed that most were founded (i.e. language requirements of one or more positions had not been established objectively in approximately 93% of the incidents described).
  • Approximately 90% of complaints founded under section 91 of the Act were in the National Capital Region, linked to the fact that it is the region where most federal public servants work, most federal institutions have their head offices, and most staffing actions occur.

Overview of the findings of the Office of the Commissioner’s analysis

  • A significant number of complaints were filed with the Office of the Commissioner under section 91 of the Act, and the vast majority of them were founded.
  • The problem is not limited to one institution; rather, it affects many, making it a widespread issue throughout the public service.
  • Although most of the positions targeted by the complaints were in the National Capital Region (approximately 90%), there were also others in other designated bilingual regions, such as New Brunswick and parts of Ontario and Quebec (7%) and a few in regions designated as unilingual for language-of-work purposes (3%).
  • The 664 founded complaints covered a wide range of positions, but it is worth noting the large volume involving positions in the following classifications: 30.4% CS (Computer Systems), 17.6% AS (Administrative Services), 10.7% EC (Economics and Social Science Services), 5.6% PM (Program Administration), and 5% FI (Financial Management). Furthermore, over half of the founded complaints processed involved supervisory positions.
  • Investigations into managers’ assessments of the language requirements of positions revealed many recurring problems, ranging from rationales based on principles that deviate from an objective assessment, using inaccurate work descriptions when establishing language requirements, and basing assessments on operational needs.
  • The report offers the conclusion that there is a widespread, systemic problem in the federal public service when it comes to implementing section 91 of the Act that has an impact both on the delivery of services to the public under Part IV and on respect for the language-of-work rights of federal public servants under Part V of the Act.

Interviews with federal institutions on implementing section 91 of the Act

  • Over the 6-year period, 45 federal institutions were the subject of at least one founded complaint under section 91, 17 of which in particular stood out based on the analysis.
  • Because of the high volume of complaints filed against them under section 91 of the Act since 2014, five federal institutions were identified with whom interviews were conducted between April and July 2019: the Canada Border Services Agency, Correctional Service Canada, the Department of National Defence, Health Canada and Shared Services Canada.
  • The report highlights the importance of putting the number of complaints received about these institutions into perspective in relation to the size of these organizations and the number of staffing actions carried out there.
  • The purpose of the interviews was to learn about: how section 91 was implemented in these institutions; what measures they had in place; and to give the institutions an opportunity to express the specific difficulties they are facing.

Overview of the findings of the Office of the Commissioner’s interview process

  • Several internal mechanisms, guidelines and tools have been put in place only recently or are in the process of being put in place for the purpose of responding to the issues raised in the official languages-related complaints.
  • The report points out that there is no consistency in the measures institutions have put in place for establishing language requirements.
  • Findings also show that there is a general lack of internal training on the subject, and institutions are relying almost solely on the Canada School of Public Service.
  • The interviews and investigation process highlighted the relevance of official languages personnel (usually HR personnel with OL responsibilities) when establishing the language requirements of positions, given that they generally have the greatest expertise on the subject.
  • Another finding from the interviews was the institutions’ view that the Treasury Board’s policies, standards and tools need to be revised.
  • Furthermore, a need was identified among institutions to raise employees’ and managers’ awareness of the reason for language requirements.
  • Lastly, it was found that the challenges institutions are experiencing recruiting bilingual employees are having an impact on how language requirements are being established for positions.

Interviews with stakeholders on implementing section 91 of the Act

  • Key stakeholders identified at the beginning of the analysis (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Canada School of Public Service and the PSC) were interviewed because of their central role in implementing section 91 within the public service and other organizations subject to the Act.
  • Several findings were drawn from the information obtained from the representatives of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, notably the gaps in its framework for federal institutions.
  • The report recognized the limited role of the PSC, however did encourage the PSC to “take note of the issue and its importance, and to use all reasonable means at its disposal, given its mandate, to monitor federal institutions’ implementation of the Act and to support the Treasury Board and the deputy heads in their respective roles and responsibilities”.
  • As a result of the interview with the Canada School of Public Service, a few conclusions were drawn about the training on implementing section 91 of the Act that revealed gaps in the training for managers, for those responsible for official language programs, and for human resources advisors in terms of assessing the language requirements of positions.

Conclusions

  • According to the report, assessing the language requirements of positions in the public service is an important responsibility that federal institutions—and managers, in particular—have to shoulder, and it requires the same level of diligence and effort as any other essential qualification of the position.
  • As stated in the report, when the language requirements of positions are not assessed properly, the result is a workforce that is insufficiently bilingual to fully meet the institution’s obligations to the public.
  • It is stated that it also invariably leads to a work environment that is not conducive to the effective use of both official languages and where one language, at best, is accommodated.
  • The analysis has shown that there are gaps between what should be done and what is being done in institutions in regards to the implementation of section 91 of the Act.
  • The Office of the Commissioner’s review of the investigations and interviews with institutions showed that the shortcomings in the system governing the assessment of language requirements make it a systemic problem.

The Commissioner’s recommendations

  • Within two years of the date of this report, that the Treasury Board of Canada:
  • reviews its policies and tools on establishing the language requirements of positions; and
  • reviews (along with the Canada School of Public Service) the courses the latter provides on section 91 of the Official Languages Act to ensure that the training is sufficient according to the needs identified in this report.
  • Within two years of the date of this report, that federal institutions:
  • adopt internal policies, procedures and tools, or review those already in place, on establishing the language requirements of positions, taking into account the issues raised in this report;
  • implement a control mechanism to ensure that managers understand the policies, follow the procedures, use the tools and consult their official languages personnel when establishing the language requirements of positions;
  • conduct regular assessments of the language requirements of positions and of the policies, procedures and tools, and remedy any shortcomings;
  • ensure that official languages personnel and delegated managers take the appropriate training; and
  • develop and implement a plan to increase awareness among managers and employees of section 91 of the Official Languages Act.

The Office Of The Commissioner of Official Languages Summary

CONTEXT

  • On September 29th, 2020, the Commissioner of Official Languages (OL), Raymond Théberge, released his 2019-2020 annual report.
  • In October 2020, The Commissioner of Official Languages also released a report entitled, A Matter of Respect and Safety: The Impact of Emergency Situations on Official Languages.
  • The annual report acknowledges that 2019-2020 was the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act, and that the Act is currently being modernized.
  • The annual report also outlines the presence of a systemic problem involving the language requirements of positions in the federal public service.
  • The Emergency Situations report highlights that the COVID-19 health crisis has accentuated recurring language-of-work problems for federal employees.
  • The Public Service Commission was not mentioned in this year’s Annual Report.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ANNUAL REPORT

Modernization of the Official Languages Act

  • The Commissioner is asking that the modernization process result in legislation that can adapt to a new reality, one where services are no longer concentrated in one geographic area and are sometimes available only on-line.
  • The Commissioner found that federal institutions would like the rules to be easier to understand so that they can apply them more effectively in their activities.
  • In the wake of his national consultations, the Commissioner published a position paper in May 2019 on modernizing the Act that set out 18 recommendations in three priority areas.
  • A relevant Act that reflects contemporary Canadian society and fully embraces linguistic duality by, for example, strengthening access to both the federal justice system and the Supreme Court of Canada, the country’s highest court, in English and French;
  • A dynamic Act that takes evolving information technologies and new occupational realities into account, and is subject to regular review;
  • A strong Act that ensures more effective official languages governance within federal institutions and gives the Commissioner more enforcement powers to improve compliance.

The Commissioner also provided the following recommendations:

  • Make legislative amendments to Part IV of the Act to clarify the obligations of federal institutions that serve the public, and clarify the provisions regarding the obligation to make an active offer;
  • Ensure that language of work rights (Part V) are more consistent with the obligations regarding communications with and services to the public as set out in Part IV of the Act and in the Regulations; preserve language-of-work rights in regions designated as bilingual for language-of-work purposes; and maintain an updated list of those regions;
  • Make regulations under Part VII to clarify the concept of “positive measures” and other key concepts in order to support the development and vitality of official language communities;
  • Add compliance mechanisms, such as the power to impose administrative monetary penalties for violations of the Act and the opportunity to enter into enforceable agreements with federal institutions to encourage them to comply voluntarily with the Act and to implement its recommendations;
  • Ensure clear, centralized and coordinated official languages governance;
  • Coordinate the implementation of a government-wide action plan on official languages;
  • Require a regular review to ensure that the Act is keeping pace with changes in society, technology and case law.

Overview of the findings of the Office of the Commissioner’s survey

  • In March 2019, the Office of the Commissioner surveyed federal employees in regions designated as bilingual for language of work purposes.
  • The purpose of the survey was to gain insights into the levels of linguistic insecurity federal employees who have the right to work in the official language of their choice are experiencing in the workplace in their first or second official language; and to identify strategies and ways to address potential challenges.
  • The nearly 11,000 responses that were received through the survey greatly exceeded expectations and showed that official languages and linguistic security are major concerns for federal employees.

Language of Work

  • The number of complaints received and investigated under section 91 of the Act since 2014 shows that there is a systemic problem involving the language requirements of positions in the federal public service. The Office of the Commissioner is currently conducting an in-depth analysis of this issue.
  • A review of the results of the 2019 Public Service Employee Survey, based on respondents’ first official language, showed that there is a significant satisfaction gap between English-speaking and French-speaking respondents when it comes to the use of official languages in the workplace.
  • Survey results also showed that, when employees were asked how comfortable they felt preparing written materials in the official language of their choice, the gap between the two language groups across the public service had narrowed to 22% from 26%, where it had remained steady from 2008 to 2017.
  • With regard to the question on how comfortable employees felt about using the official language of their choice at meetings, results showed that the gap between the two language groups has stayed the same at 17% since 2014.
  • The 2019 survey featured two new questions related to official languages:
    • The first asked specifically whether senior managers of federal institutions use both official languages in their interactions with employees, to which 75% of French-speaking respondents and 71% of English-speaking respondents answered in the affirmative;
    • The second question asked whether a lack of access to language training in the second official language had adversely affected respondents’ career progress over the previous 12 months. A total of 13% of English-speaking respondents and 8% of French-speaking respondents said that it had.

Federal Institutions and Official Languages

  • In 2019–2020, the Commissioner received a total of 1,361 admissible complaints, a 25% increase compared with 2018–2019.
  • Nearly half of the complaints received in July were made by the travelling public, while most of the complaints received in October were about the federal election.
  • In June 2019, the Commissioner officially launched a new tool created by his office called the Official Languages Maturity Model. Just over 40 federal institutions were selected to take part in the Model’s diagnostic review exercise over a three-year period. The tool enables institutions to compile a complete picture of their maturity in terms of official languages. It also provides them with a roadmap to achieving full maturity.
  • According to the report, awareness and understanding of language rights and obligations continues to be an issue for the public and for federal institutions, so the Office of the Commissioner released a new tool consisting of a series of interpretation bulletins that explain the Act and its Regulations.

Pandemic

  • Commissioner called on all leaders to communicate clearly with all members of the public in both official languages in order to make themselves understood and to convey information that is essential to ensuring everyone’s health and safety.
  • On March 20, 2020, the Commissioner wrote to all federal official languages champions to remind them of the importance of communicating in both official languages.
  • The Commissioner has received complaints about federal government communications during the pandemic and is currently analyzing the facts. He will be studying all of these issues in the coming months.

At the PSC, the Human Resources Management Directorate, along with the OL co-champions, posted messages in Le Point to remind employees of the importance to respect official languages in time of pandemic:

Appeal of the ruling in Dionne

On July 3, 2019, the Federal Court handed down its ruling on the provisions of the Act concerning the language of work in federal institutions.

The complainant, who works in the Montréal region, alleged that his language-of-work rights had been violated because he had been forced to work in English with his unilingual English-speaking colleagues at the Toronto office. The Court dismissed the application, maintaining that no violation had taken place.

  • The Commissioner was disappointed with this ruling, which involves several major issues regarding the interpretation of language rights, and decided to appeal the decision. Their office has appealed the Court’s decision.

Official Languages in Canadian Society

  • In February 2019, the Office of the Commissioner released its study, Accessing opportunity: A study on challenges in French-as-a-second-language education teacher supply and demand in Canada. The study found that there are major challenges associated with French second language teacher supply and demand, which limits the opportunities for some Canadians to gain a French language education.
  • Provinces and territories are continuing to face significant teacher recruitment and retention challenges, not only in French second language programs, but also in French language schools in official language communities.

Francophone immigration targets

  • According to the Report, progress has been made, but the targets that were set for French-speaking newcomers, are still far from being achieved, and there are still ongoing issues with Francophone immigration.
  • Immigration continues to be the key factor in maintaining the demographic weight of Francophone minority communities on both national and regional levels.

Key Highlights: The Impact Of Emergency Situations On Official Languages Report

Overview

  • This report is the result of an in-depth analysis of emergencies that occurred between 2010 and 2020 and provides an overview of Canadians’ official languages experiences during these types of situations.
  • It also identifies potential solutions to improve the federal government’s compliance with its official languages obligations in its communications with Canadians.
  • To encourage large-scale mobilization, the Commissioner wants heads of communications in federal institutions to consider whether they are making effective use of official languages and whether official languages are fully integrated into their operations.

Methodology

  • The Commissioner’s office developed a questionnaire and posted it on their website from June 8 to 26, 2020, to gather information on the public’s experience with official languages during emergency situations.
  • The report also draws on a review of relevant studies, data and documents from a variety of sources, including health and legal experts, and on a review of media coverage, publications from community and sectoral organizations, government publications and observations from many years of collaboration with various federal institutions.
  • They defined “emergency situation” as one or more events, often of a temporary nature, that are characterized by the urgency to act because they involve risks to the health, safety, life or property of the Canadian public.

The PSC has no service fitting the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ definition of “emergency situations.”

  • The questionnaire on official languages in emergency situations received more than 2,228 responses from across Canada. Francophones in general and English-speaking Quebecers responded at rates exceeding their relative weight in the general population.

Findings of the questionnaire

  • While the questionnaire focused specifically on the federal government, many respondents made comments indicating that they were concerned with language issues at the provincial/territorial or municipal level.
  • Out of a total of 2,228 respondents, 379 (17%) said they had difficulties accessing public health or safety information in the official language of their choice in past emergencies; and 528 (24%) reported similar difficulties during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Among respondents who said they had experienced difficulty obtaining public health or safety information from federal institutions in their preferred official language during the current COVID-19 pandemic, 8% cited unilingual press conferences when asked to describe the incidents in which they had had difficulties.
  • Francophone respondents from outside Quebec also said they were discouraged by the lack of French in press conferences given by various provincial governments across the country.

Language of work

  • According to the report, the COVID-19 health crisis also accentuated recurring language of work problems for federal employees.
  • Francophone federal public servants working in designated bilingual regions outside Quebec and English-speaking federal public servants working in designated bilingual regions in Quebec reported receiving unilingual e-mails and briefing notes and participating in teleconferences on COVID-19 held only in one language.
  • The report mentions the Borbey-Mendelsohn report from 2017, which found that “employees do not always feel free to use the language of their choice” and that this experience was “the least positive” for French-speaking public servants who work either in the National Capital Region or in other designated bilingual regions.
  • The report indicated that many federal institutions lacked formal guidelines for communications with the public or with employees during emergencies.
  • It noted that federal institutions’ failure to meet their official languages obligations in emergency situations highlights what appears to be recurring and widespread compliance problems;
  • The Commissioner’s office found, through an analysis of problematic situations, that federal institutions are aware that they should provide communications in both official languages but perceive it as an unnecessary slowdown when urgent messages need to be issued, and so they sometimes forgot translation for the sake of being expeditious;
  • A recommendation is made that departments and agencies make more effective use of public servants’ language skills as a viable alternative.
  • The Commissioner has observed, based on a large volume of complaints against a large number of federal institutions that section 91 is being applied incorrectly.
  • The report indicates that virtually all failures to meet the section 91 obligation are the result of managers’ underestimating the level of bilingual proficiency required for the positions they are staffing or their disregard for the need for bilingualism despite the fact that the tasks and duties of the position require it.
  • The Commissioner points out in the report that the federal government did make an effort to meet its language obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic and that his recommendations are often well received by federal institutions that have strayed.

Recommendations

The report provided the following overarching recommendations:

  • Department and agencies must have and maintain a sufficiently bilingual workforce at all times that is able to perform essential tasks such as supervising staff in designated bilingual regions and communicating with the public in both official languages in areas where there is significant demand.
  • In addition, it noted that by treating one of Canada’s official languages as a language of translation, federal institutions expose themselves to translation delays.
  • The report suggested that this could be addressed through new approaches to staffing, workplace culture and emergency procedures that increase bilingual capacity and harness the power of bilingual staff—for example, by drafting information in English and French at the same time.
  • It suggested that an effective emergency response in both official languages is dependent on federal employees whose abilities to speak one or both official languages are in line with the demands of their position, as required by section 91 of the Act.
  • To address this issue, it is recommended that federal managers must consistently establish accurate minimum skill levels in terms of official languages and enforce these minimums when hiring new staff or assigning roles within the public service.
  • At the end of the report, the Commissioner offered three concrete recommendations:

Recommendation 1

  • That the Translation Bureau and federal institutions develop and implement an action plan to ensure that appropriate tools and structures are in place to facilitate the drafting and simultaneous delivery of emergency communications of equal quality in both official languages.

Recommendation 2

  • That Treasury Board, with support from deputy heads and heads of communications, implement a strategy within 18 months of the date of this report in order to ensure that:
  • the formal communications plans and procedures for emergency or crisis preparedness of each federal institution are reviewed;
  • where appropriate, formal plans and procedures are amended to include clear directives to ensure that communications of equal quality are issued in both official languages simultaneously in emergency or crisis situations;
  • all managers and public servants involved in emergency and crisis communications are trained in how to implement the plans and directives regarding emergency communications in both official languages;
  • the effectiveness of the measures taken by federal institutions in response to this recommendation is assessed.

Recommendation 3

  • That within one year of the date of this report, the Privy Council Office and Public Safety Canada, in consultation with Canadian Heritage, develop a strategy to encourage, support and work with the various levels of government to integrate both official languages in communications during emergency or crisis situations.

Considering the message on the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ Annual Report in Le Point as well as the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) asking related questions in the Management Accountability Framework, HRMD proposes the following recommendations:
HRMD OL Subject Matter Expert (SME) analyses the report to identify actions that are relevant to a) the entire Commission, and b) specific units in the organization (i.e. Security, Communications);

  • SME to Inform OL Champions of these planned actions;
  • SME to follow-up with OPIs on the identified actions and advise them that we will report on these actions to TBS;
  • Publish a message in Le Point on the importance of bilingual emergency communications, OL advice and what actions the PSC is taking (end of November);
  • Continued monitoring, keep OL Committee informed;
  • Insert actions in our 2021-22 planning if required (also considering results of the OL Maturity Model).

Summary of Canadian Heritage Annual Report on Official Languages 2018-2019

CONTEXT

  • On October 6th, 2020, Canadian Heritage released its Annual Report on Official Languages 2018-2019.
  • The Report states that the government has set an objective to increase the national bilingualism rate from 17.9% to 20% by 2036.
  • The PSC was not mentioned in the report, and there are no significant findings directly related to our mandate.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Overview

  • Work is being done to revise the Official Languages Regulations, the goal of which is to expand access to bilingual services for Canadians across the country.
  • The report included a reminder of the Action Plan 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future, launched on March 28, 2018, which focuses on three main pillars: strengthening our communities; strengthening access to services; and promoting a bilingual Canada.

Amendments to the Official Languages

  • Effective July 2019, Official Languages Regulations were amended to:
  • recognize the growing diversity of communities;
  • protect the bilingual designation of certain existing federal offices;
  • designate more than 600 new bilingual offices;
  • streamline the language of service to the public in embassies and consulates by designating as bilingual the offices of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in these locations;
  • ensure a comprehensive analysis of the Regulations ten years after the adoption of the proposed amendments and every ten years thereafter, along with a requirement that the President of the Treasury Board table that analysis in Parliament.

Launch of a Review with a view to modernizing the Official Languages Act

  • In March 2019, the Minister responsible for Official Languages and La Francophonie began the process of reviewing the Act with a view to modernizing it.
  • Minister Joly held some 20 forums and round tables, in every province and territory. Participants were encouraged to: consider the engagement, development and vitality of communities; the role of federal institutions; the promotion of culture and bilingualism; official languages and Canada’s place in the world; and official languages in the digital age.

Supporting community stakeholders

  • Francophones in minority communities represented only 3.8% of the Canadian population in 2016 (6.1% in 1970).
  • The report calls for decisive action to be taken: otherwise, Statistics Canada predicts that this proportion will be only 3% by 2036.
  • The Action Plan 2018–2023 aims to stabilize this proportion at 4% and to enhance the vitality of English speaking communities in Quebec, especially those outside Greater Montréal.

Contracting and employment opportunities

  • The report highlighted the work of two federal agencies that introduced innovative approaches to attracting bilingual applicants.
  • In 2018–2019, Natural Resources Canada (NRC) had to meet organizational needs and fill bilingual positions. The Department therefore incorporated its recruitment strategies and communications activities into its obligations under Part VII of the Act.
  • This decision led NRC to participate in various career fairs at Ontario’s Francophone post-secondary institutions to recruit students in fields as diverse as communications, engineering and scientific research.
  • The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) provided $25,000 under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) to RDÉE Newfoundland and Labrador to hold an annual bilingual conference on careers and entrepreneurship requiring post-secondary education.
  • The event, intended for Francophone and French immersion high school students, was held in two locations, on the east and west coasts of the island: no fewer than 753 very specific students attended the conference, which represents a considerable increase in the number of participants compared to previous years.

Increasing Francophone immigration

  • The Government has set a representation objective of 4% Francophones in minority communities outside Quebec. Canadian Heritage notes that immigration will play a decisive role in helping the government meet this objective.
  • The Action Plan 2018–2023 targets an increase in the proportion of Francophone immigrants outside Quebec, to reach 4.4% of all immigrants by 2023.
  • The Service Delivery Improvement Program (SDIP) at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to test new service delivery models, identify what works best and thereby increase the effectiveness of the Settlement Program. It represents a dedicated source of funding of over $30 million per year.
  • In 2018–2019, the SDIP program funded close to 100 regional projects in various fields. Its priorities include coming up with new ways to help newcomers learn English or French. The initiatives supported include the following:
  • The Guide and Training for the Integration of Newcomers and Francophiles in our Community, a project carried out by the Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard, which led to the development of a reference document that will provide useful information to various categories of stakeholders involved in the settlement of immigrants.
  • The project Développement des connaissances et de la capacité d’apprentissage des langues en ligne en milieu de travail et Aider les clients à faire la transition vers le marché du travail carried out by Colleges Ontario aimed to boost knowledge and capacity for online language learning in the workplace.
  • The project Recherche sur l’accès aux services d’établissement en français et leur utilisation par les immigrants francophones en Colombie-Britannique will study access to and use of services by Francophone newcomers. The project is being carried out by the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique.

FPT immigration action plan

  • 2018–2019 marked the beginning of the new Federal/Provincial/Territorial Action Plan for Increasing Francophone Immigration Outside of Quebec.
  • The Action Plan outlines the concrete actions that will be taken to attract, integrate and retain Francophone immigrants in Francophone minority communities.
  • It centres on three strategies for collaboration: championing Francophone immigration; collaborating on the areas of employment, accessible services and inclusive communities; and reporting on progress.

Strengthening access to services

  • The Action Plan 2018–2023 injects $20 million over five years in early learning and child care in French outside of Quebec.
  • Justice Canada undertook to implement a new activity for the translation of judgments and other legal texts.
  • Health Canada received $5 million over five years to expand the foundations of and services offered under its Official Languages Health Program.

Support for minority language education

  • In 2018–2019, Canadian Heritage disbursed just over $183 million under its initiatives to support minority language education, including just over $178 million transferred to the provinces and territories, through bilateral agreements and projects, to support the considerable efforts made by these administrations in minority language education.

Promotion of official languages

  • In the Action Plan 2018–2023, the government set an objective to increase the national bilingualism rate from 17.9% to 20% by 2036, mainly through an increase in the bilingualism rate of Anglophones outside Quebec from 6.8% to 9%.
  • The 2018–2019 year saw the launch of several new initiatives, including the hiring of new teachers and the enhancement of various existing programs.

Promotion of linguistic duality in Canada

  • The creation of a National Table on French as a Second Language was explored with provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders in the area of French second-language learning, including Canadian Parents for French, the Canadian Association of Immersion Professionals, the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers and French for the Future.
  • The purpose of this Table would be to: discuss common issues; facilitate the sharing of information, expertise, winning practices and solutions; and promote cooperation and collaboration among members.
  • In 2018–2019, through the Explore intensive immersion program, no fewer than 5,901 young Francophones were given an opportunity, over five weeks, to develop their skills in their second official language by discovering another region of Canada.
  • The Language Portal of Canada offers all Canadians a wide range of free writing tools, games and Government of Canada resources on various aspects of official languages.
  • In 2018–2019, to help Canadians better communicate in both official languages, the Portal team created 3,332 new items, including games, articles, blog posts and social media messages.

Official Language Exemptions

Only persons appointed on a non-imperative basis to a bilingual position may be exempted from meeting official language proficiency requirements.

Both imperative and non-imperative staffing are the responsibility of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).

Imperative staffing is the norm:

“Bilingual positions are staffed by candidates who meet the language requirements at the time of their appointment to the position, except in exceptional staffing situations”, according to the Directive on Official Languages for the Management of People (section 5.2.3).

Exceptional situations where non-imperative staffing may be used are as follows:

  • limited pool of bilingual candidates due to the highly specialized nature of the duties and knowledge of the position;
  • insufficient number of applications received from members of either official language community.

Imperative staffing is mandatory for bilingual positions in the following situations (section 6.3.4) :

  • for a limited period of time;
  • for a position requiring technical or specialized language skills;
  • for a bilingual position that is essential to provide service to the public or employees in both official languages.

In organizations subject to the Public Service Employment Act, imperative staffing is mandatory for executives except in the following situations (Appendix 2) :

  • following a process open to the public to fill an indeterminate position;
  • to an EX-01 level position;
  • to a position in a unilingual region that does not involve the supervision of employees located in a bilingual region and occupying bilingual positions, or positions with different language requirements.

The choice of a non-imperative process must be justified in writing by the manager, who must ensure that measures are taken to ensure that the bilingual functions of the position are provided.

The TBS Directive stipulates that the provisions of the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order apply when non-imperative staffing is used. The Directive specifies that these exclusions also apply to non-imperative transfers

There are special circumstances where a unilingual person is excluded from meeting the merit requirement for official language proficiency in a non-imperative appointment.
The Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order, which is administered by the Public Service Commission (PSC), sets out three circumstances:

  • an undertaking by a unilingual person to become bilingual within two years of the non-imperative appointment, by means of language training at public expense (section 3), with the possibility of an extension of two additional years if the criteria are met (Public Service Official Languages Appointment Regulations, section 7); and
  • medical reasons due to a long-term and recurring physical, mental or learning impairment that prevents the person from acquiring, through language training and accommodation, the official language proficiency required for the bilingual position (section 4); and
  • eligibility for an immediate annuity under the Public Service Superannuation Act within two years of his or her non-imperative appointment to a bilingual position and who submits his or her irrevocable resignation (section 5)

The Public Service Official Languages Appointment Regulations also clarify the roles and responsibilities of deputy heads in the context of an agreement to become bilingual (sections 4, 5, 6 and 7).

The PSC is solely responsible for approving requests for exclusion on medical grounds, following receipt of a recommendation from Health Canada or the Canadian Hearing Society.

The other two exemptions are the responsibility of deputy heads. Deputy heads must report these annually to the PSC through the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument, Appendix D.

Statistical Data on Exemptions

Year

Approved Medical Exemptions

Commitment to become bilingual over more than 2 years*

Eligibility for Immediate Annuity

Non-Imperative Appointments**

2019-2020

1

100

5

2018-2019

2

55

5

2017-2018

5

31

8

2016-2017

0

31

6

2015-2016

1

39

5

2014-2015

7

44

3

100

2013-2014

3

64

4

126

2012-2013

5

134

2

143

2011-2012

6

201

2

243

Total Over 9 Years

31

730

40

Average per Year

3

81

4

153


*The PSC does not receive statistical data on commitments to become bilingual which meet the initial two-year period.

** We stopped asking this question in 2014-2015 to reduce administrative burden

Members Profile Standing Committee on Official Languages

December 2020

Emmanuel Dubourg


Bourassa, QC (Liberal)
Language Preference: French

Chair
Emmanuel Dubourg

Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant with an Executive Master of Business Administration, Emmanuel Dubourg was a manager in the federal public service for 20 years. An international tax and audit consultant, as well as a guest speaker, he taught at several institutions before making the jump first to Quebec politics in 2007 and then to federal politics in 2013.

Academic and professional background

  • Master’s in Business Administration (Executive MBA), 2000
  • Member of three professional accounting associations, 1987 (CA, CGA, CMA)
  • Bachelor’s in Accounting, UQÀM, 1985
  • Certificate in computerized management, 1984
  • Professional experience
  • Manager, Canada Revenue Agency, (CRA) 1987-2007
  • Adviser, Office of the Deputy Commissioner and Office of the Assistant Deputy Minister at CRA
  • Guest speaker, Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec, 2006 and 2007
  • Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal since 2004, and Université du Québec en Outaouais, 2006
  • International tax and audit consultant, 2000-2002
  • Teacher, Institut des Hautes études, Mali, 2001
  • Teacher, CEGEP Montmorency, 1987-1990
  • Auditor, Coopers & Lybrand CA, cabinet de CA, 1985-1987
  • Political experience
  • Elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Bourassa in 2013, re-elected in 2015 and 2019
  • Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages of Canada, 2020
  • Member of Canada-China Special committee, 2020
  • Member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, 2017-2019
  • Member of the Ethics and Privacy Committee
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, 2015-2017
  • Critic for Economic Development – Quebec Region, 2014-2015
  • Critic for National Revenue, 2013-2015
  • Elected Liberal Member of the National Assembly for Viau in 2007, re-elected in 2008 and 2012
  • Parliamentary Assistant of two Finance ministers, 2008-2012
  • Vice-Chair of the Committee on Culture, 2007
  • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, 2007 Select achievements
  • Co-chair, Black Leaders Government Summit, 2016
  • Chair, Underground Economy Committee, 2016
  • Bill C-691 on family business transfer taxation, 2015
  • Co-chair of the Liberal Party of Canada's annual convention, 2014
  • Co-founder, CPA-Without-Borders, 2012
  • Government action coordinator following the earthquake in January 2010 in Haiti
  • Launched “Rencontres du bourg” on immigrant employment
  • Responsible for the tour on “Ageing of the Population and Retirement”
  • Investment for artificial soccer fields
  • MP sponsor for medical care of sickle cell disease
  • Honours
  • Great Ambassador, Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec, (FCPA, FCA) 2014
  • Recipient, “Excellence in Politics” Trophy, African Canadian Achievement Awards, 2016
  • Recipient, Prix Paul-Déjean, Haïti Consulate, Montreal, 2015
  • Honours, Network of African Professionals, 2015
  • Recipient, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal, 2013
  • Top 20 Diversity personalities, 2013
  • Recipient, Performance Award, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2006
  • Recipient, Emeritus Certified Accountant, 2006
  • Laureate, Black History Month, 2006
  • Recipient, Governor General of Canada Medal, 1992
  • Recipient, Innovation and Excellence Award, Canada Revenue Agency, 1992

Topics raised by Mr. Dubourg in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

  • Black business owners
  • Black Canadians

House of Commons

Black business owners

  • September 30, 2020
    Speaker, the government acknowledges that a long history of racism, discrimination and prejudice against Black people has had a serious impact on these communities.

    Business communities rely on informal support systems or family members, friends and other Black business owners for help. The pandemic has highlighted and magnified the inequalities that Black business owners face. As the throne speech acknowledged, there is work still to be done.

I congratulate my government for announcing the new $211-million Black entrepreneurship program. The Prime Minister of Canada, the member of Parliament for Papineau, met with several members of Black communities.

Black Canadians

  • February 3, 2020
    Speaker, Saturday was the first day of Black History Month 2020. I look forward to participating in events that celebrate and honour the legacy of black Canadians in Canada.

    This year's theme is “Canadians of African Descent: Going Forward, Guided by the Past”. Let us learn more about the important role of black Canadians.

    Could the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth please update the House on the efforts our government has taken to invest in black communities?

Committee

  • Nil

Steven Blaney


Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, Qc (Conservative)
Language Preference: French

Vice-Chair

Steven Blaney

Steven Blaney was born in Sherbrooke and he grew up in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce. Steven lives in Lévis, and he’s married to Marie Bouchard, they have two kids, William-Antoine and Alexandra. He graduated from Sherbrooke University and became a civil engineer in 1988 and he completed a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Lévis in 2012.

After he completed his studies, he’s worked as a consultant, an entrepreneur developing urban infrastructure and environmental technology. Steven has been an active member of the most important group of environment professionals in in Canada, ‘’Réseau Environnement’’, and he presided over the Chapter of Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches from 2003 to 2006.

Elected for the first time to the House of Commons in 2006, he was re-elected in 2008 and in 2011 as MP for Bellechasse–Les Etchemins–Lévis. Steven Blaney wants to contribute to the sustainable development of his riding. He’s proud to represent such a dynamic and diversified community, and he dedicates himself with passion to the service of his constituents.

Following his first election, Steven Blaney was appointed Vice-President of the Quebec Conservative Caucus. In October 2008, he became the President. He was a member of several House Commitees including; Indian Affairs, Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Given how important the Afghanistan Mission was, Steven joined the Defence Committee and participed on a trip to Kandahar in January 2006. On May 31th, 2007, Steven Blaney was given the responsibility to preside over The Standing Committee on Official Languages aimed at promoting linguistic duality everywhere in the country. Steven was also a member of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association.

Following the 2011 elections, Steven Blaney was appointed Veterans Affairs Minister. In February 2013, he received the additional responsibility of ‘’La Francophonie’’. In July 2013, Steven Blaney becomes Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister.

Topics raised by Mr. Blaney in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

  • Official language Act

House

Official Language Act

  • November 25, 2020
    We were both at the Standing Committee on Official Languages meeting yesterday. We passed a motion stating that the modernization plan must be tabled this year. All the communities that belong to the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada and the Quebec Community Groups Network, including your own community, are calling for modernization.
  • The French language, one of our two linguistic engines is facing some significant challenges. The decline of the French language affects our linguistic duality and goes to the very heart of our Canadian identity, which is why this debate is so important.
  • We are facing many challenges when it comes to the language, whether it is the spoken language, language of work, language of instruction or language of signage.
  • We have also submitted solid recommendations for modernizing the Official Languages Act. These are five elements for ensuring that across the country, not just in Quebec, linguistic minority communities and the anglophone community can continue to move forward to maintain our linguistic vitality and linguistic duality which, as I was saying, is an integral part of our Canadian identity.

Committee

  • Nil

Mario Beaulieu


La Pointe-de-l'Île, Qc (Bloc-Québécois)
Language Preference: French

Vice-Chair
Bio not available.

Former leader of the Bloc-Québécois.

Topics raised by Mr. Beaulieu in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

  • Federally regulated businesses
  • Bill 101
  • French in the federal public service
  • Work in French

House

Federally regulated businesses

  • November 25, 2020
    Will the government choose to act by voting with the Bloc Québécois to apply Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses?
  • Then he brought in the Official Languages Act at a time when francophones were suffering significant economic discrimination and when French was very much in retreat. When it comes to official languages programs, all the money goes exclusively to supporting English.
  • Second, the principle behind the Official Languages Act runs counter to Bill 101, which is based on a model focused more on collective and territorial rights, meaning that, in a given territory, there needs to be a common language in order to integrate newcomers. In contrast, the Official Languages Act model promotes institutional bilingualism and sends newcomers the message that they can adopt the language of their choice.
  • The federal government is constantly pushing for the services to be in English. People tell themselves that they are in Canada, where the majority speaks English, and they believe that they have the choice to be served in French or in English. There is no doubt that those who are more drawn to English tend to choose that language and we only manage to attract people who are already francophone.

Bill 101

  • November 17, 2020
    In the Speech from the Throne, the government promised to protect French in Quebec, but the Official Languages Act encourages services in English and institutional bilingualism. That is why the federal government constantly guts Bill 101.
  • According to a recent Leger poll, two-thirds are worried about the state of French in Quebec and would support laws to better protect their common language. That being said, it is fairly clear that not every Quebecker is worried about this. The hon. member for Saint-Laurent, who prefers English to French, thinks everything is fine.
  • There is only one official language in Quebec, only one language that is under threat, and that is French.
  • Will the government finally wake up after 50 years? Will it apply Bill 101 to federally regulated businesses and make knowledge of French a requirement for citizenship in Quebec?

French in the federal public service

  • October 27, 2020
    Speaker, the pandemic is a convenient scapegoat for the declining use of French in the federal public service. The shift to remote meetings was all it took for French to disappear from both meetings and documents. Public servants are sounding the alarm because their work environment is going downhill.
  • Francophones are not second-class citizens. How will the government ensure that francophones in the federal public service can work in French?

Work in French

  • February 4, 2020
    All Quebeckers have the right to work in French, Mr. Legault is demanding that federally regulated businesses be subject to Bill 101.

Committee

  • Nil

René Arseneault


Madawaska—Restigouche, NB (Liberal)
Language Preference: French / English

Rene Arseneault

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Official Languages)

Madawaska—Restigouche

René Arseneault was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Madawaska—Restigouche in 2015.

A lifelong resident of the community and father of three, Mr. Arseneault has a deep understanding of local issues and the interests of his fellow residents.

A lawyer specializing in corporate law and civil litigation for more than 20 years, Mr. Arseneault established his own practice in 1996 with his spouse, Michèle Pelletier. He is fully bilingual, and a singer-songwriter and musician. He has also been involved in youth sports development for many years, specifically as a soccer and volleyball coach and assistant coach, and as a volunteer with the Jeux de l’Acadie.

From a young age, Mr. Arseneault has been involved in his community. Throughout his career, he has never hesitated to provide pro bono legal services to organizations in his region dedicated to economic, cultural, and community development.

In the 42nd Parliament, Mr. Arseneault was a member of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying. He also sat on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, the Standing Committee on Official Languages, and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Mr. Arseneault holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a major in Economics and a minor in Political Science, and a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Moncton.

Topics raised by Mr. Arseneault in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

  • Acadian assimilation
  • Public Service / Public Servants

House

Acadian assimilation

  • November 25, 2020
    As an Acadian, I am well aware that my community unfortunately has a head start on Quebec when it comes to linguistic assimilation and the decline of the French fact, at least in our respective communities.

Public Service / Public Servants

  • November 17, 2020
  • Madam Speaker, it goes without saying that official languages are at the heart of who we are as a country and that respect for our official languages is vitally important to our government, including in times of crisis.
  • Our commitments aim to deliver federal services in accordance with official languages obligations, as well as to create and maintain a work environment that is conducive to the use of English and French.
  • One thing is clear: The COVID-19 crisis exposed a number of challenges we need to overcome, especially when it comes to communications with and services to the public. The federal public service adapted, and practices evolved very rapidly.
  • Innovative practices were introduced, and we expect them to remain in place and have a more permanent influence on how the public service does things. These include decentralized work organization, new communication needs, the use of digital collaboration platforms, and so on.
  • I commend my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable, and I want to assure him and all members of the House that we will keep working closely with the Commissioner of Official Languages and his officials to protect the language rights of Canadians and public servants in this unprecedented time.
  • We believe Canadians are proud to know that they have the right to learn and speak their official language and to make it a part of their identity. The same goes for the public service. As Canadians and as Acadians, we also recognize that French and English are at the very core of our identity and that they are tools we can use to build bridges between us all.
  • Our government and public servants are taking proactive measures to ensure respect of our two official languages. We react quickly and firmly to compliance issues and remind federal institutions of their official languages obligations.

Committee

  • Nil

Niki Ashton


Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, Man. (NDP)
Language Preference: English

Niki Ashton

Niki was first elected as MP for Churchill–Keewatinook Aski in 2008 when she was 26, and lives in her hometown of Thompson. She serves as the NDP’s Critic for Transport, and Deputy Critic for Women and Gender Equality.

Niki believes in true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. She is proud to work to bring together Indigenous peoples, students, labour, the LGBTQI2S+ community, and women in the pursuit of justice.

Niki is a strong voice in Ottawa for change because she’s unafraid of challenging the status quo. She’s fought hard to end crushing student debt, expand health care to include pharmacare and dental coverage, and protect the environment. 

Topics raised by Ms. Ashton in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

House

  • Nil

Committee

  • Nil

Marc Dalton


Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC (Conservative)
Language Preference: English

Marc Dalton

Marc is a high school teacher who has served two terms as a Member of the Legislative Assembly advocating for his constituents. Marc was raised in a Royal Canadian Air Force family. He also served in the Canadian Armed Forces and is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 88. Marc is Indigenous (Métis) and was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Relations in one of his portfolios. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in French and History and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, both from Simon Fraser University.

On his mother’s side, Marc is French-Canadian and speaks the language. He was designated President of the non-partisan Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie and was the Legislative representative for British Columbia’s Francophones at both provincial and national events. Since his youth, Marc has volunteered for non-profit organizations such as with our local food bank and the Salvation Army as an outflow of his desire to support people. He is active in his local community church and is a former pastor.

Marc is proud of his public record standing up for residents and getting things accomplished locally and provincially: a new school in Albion, four-laning of Highway 7 between Maple Ridge and Mission, funding for many local organizations, housing for low-income seniors, an MRI machine for Ridge Meadows Hospital, more ambulances, a fitness tax break for families with children, restoration of school-busing and the list goes on. Marc is known for his tenacity and genuine concern for people. Marc gets things done and his years of experience as an MLA will help him to more effectively serve the residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as a Conservative Member of Parliament.
Marc has been married to his wife Marlene for thirty-four years. They have three adult children.

Topics raised by Mr. Dalton in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

House

  • Nil

Committee

  • Nil

Terry Duguid


Winnipeg South, Man. (Liberal)
Language Preference: English / French

Terry Duguid

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)

Winnipeg South

Terry Duguid was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South in 2015.

With a diverse background in civic government, business, and environmental leadership, Mr. Duguid has shown a strong commitment to public service throughout his career. In 1997, he founded Sustainable Developments International, a firm specializing in environmental management, sustainable development, transportation, and international affairs consulting. In 2000, he was named Chairman of the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, and, in 2004, he became President and CEO of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, a non-profit research organization he helped to create.

In addition to his professional career, Mr. Duguid has devoted considerable time and effort to his community. He served as Executive Director of the Manitoba Climate Change Task Force in 2001, as Chair of the Nature Task Force in 2003, and as a member of the Manitoba Emissions Trading Task Force in 2004.

Mr. Duguid has a lifelong interest in science and its role in the betterment of society. He earned first-class honours while obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and holds a Master of Environmental Design degree focused on tackling the crucial issues of water quality, ozone depletion, and acid rain.

He and his wife Linda have two daughters.

Topics raised by Mr. Duguid in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

House

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Committee

  • Nil

Bernard Généreux


Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC. (Conservative)
Language Preference: French / English

Bernard Généreux

Bernard Généreux and his wife Tracy have two children, Tristan and Kaïla, and are also grandparents to several wonderful grandchildren. While enjoying his family life, in 1993 his entrepreneurial spirit led him, with his associate, to create the company BASE 132.

A man close to the people and driven by the duty to serve, he was elected as mayor of the town of La Pocatière in 2005. Bernard Généreux started his career in federal politics soon after, and has since become part of the large conservative family for 12 years.

First elected from 2009 to 2011, he remained active in the Conservative Association and was re-elected in the 2015 elections as the MP for Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup. He was also a member of the board and executive committee of the Port of Quebec from 2011 to 2014. Recognizing his personal qualities and his leadership, his colleagues nominated him president of the Conservative Caucus of Quebec during his most recent term. He was also named Official Languages Critic.

Holding his name proudly, Mr. Généreux is known for being positive, open to others and involved in his area. He has been involved in several positions of honour relating to causes close to his heart, such as men’s health, end-of-life care, organ donation, and the fight against cancer.

Topics raised by Mr. Généreux in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

  • Standing Committee on Official Languages
  • Public Servants
  • Bilingual bonus

House

Standing Committee on Official Languages

  • November 25, 2020
    I have been a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages since 2009. I was not there from 2011 to 2015, but I came back in 2015 and I have been there since then.
  • The Standing Committee on Official Languages made representations a number of times. Reports were submitted by both the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages and the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages. Many letters were sent to the minister, even in recent months. I found that out from various committee members, including the deputy chair and the chair.

Public Servants

  • July 8, 2020
    Can the President of the Treasury Board tell us how many public servants are currently working for the government?

Committee

Bilingual bonus

  • November 13, 2020
    On the other hand, even within the federal government, I see more and more public servants receiving bonuses or financial benefits because they achieve a fairly high bilingualism rating.
  • This brings me to your maturity model. Is there a potential mechanism to ensure that, in a department where your maturity or self-assessment model is not being valued, some form of constraint or restriction can be imposed on some of the benefits that people with a certain pay scale or certain bonuses have for a service they're required to provide but may not be providing in many cases?

Marie-France Lalonde


Orléans, On. (Liberal)
Language Preference: French

Marie-France Lalonde

Marie-France has called Orléans home for 19 years. She lives with her husband, daughter, and their three rescue cats. Before entering politics, Marie-France was a social worker at CHEO and the Ottawa Hospital. She also built, owned, and operated a retirement community here in Orléans. She proudly serves as Minister of Francophone Affairs and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Topics raised by Ms. Lalonde in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

  • Franco-Ontarians

House
Franco-Ontarians

  • September 25, 2020
    Speaker, today, the Franco-Ontarian community comes together to celebrate and recognize the unique history of Franco-Ontarians and the key contributions they have made to Ontario and to our entire country.
  • As a proud Franco-Ontarian, I want to join my colleagues in calling for everyone to celebrate our culture, our heritage and our French language. Let us continue to promote and recognize how much the francophone community has contributed to Ontario and to our country as a whole.

Committee

  • Nil

Patricia Lattanzio


Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, Qc. (Liberal)
Language Preference: English / French

Patricia Lattanzio

Patricia Lattanzio was elected as Member of Parliament for Saint-Leonard – Saint-Michel in the 2019 federal election. She is a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, as well as the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a mother of three, entrepreneur and community leader, Patricia works hard to ensure that her community thrives. Passionate about Canadian politics from a young age, Patricia began her studies in Political Science, obtaining a bachelor’s degree from McGill University. She later obtained a Bachelor of Law from the University of Quebec in Montreal. Driven by an entrepreneurial fiber, Patricia started her own legal firm where she counselled and represented members of her community on various legal matters.

In 2007, Patricia was elected as a trustee for the English Montreal School Board and then re-elected in 2014. As a trustee, she represented the English language minority community and, on its behalf, presented briefs before the Quebec National Assembly. From 2014 to 2019, Patricia was elected Chairperson of the Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l’île de Montréal where she engaged the participation of and worked collaboratively with the chairpersons and commissioners of the five school boards on the island of Montreal.

In 2015, she was elected in a by-election and then re-elected in 2017 for a second term as a city councillor for the district of Saint-Leonard East. As a city councillor she advocated for her constituents on issues such as quality of environment, durability and sustainability of infrastructures and policies regarding the well-being of children. At Montreal City Hall, Patricia served as Vice-Chairman of the Commission on the Inspector General and was the Official Opposition Critic for files regarding Road and Water Infrastructures, Electrical Services, and Legal Affairs.

As a member of the Italian community, Patricia understands the importance of diversity and is committed to be the voice of all the cultural communities that form the beautiful mosaic that is the riding of Saint-Leonard - Saint-Michel.

Topics raised by Ms. Lattanzio in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

House

Black History Month

  • February 7, 2020

Madam Speaker, in this Black History Month, and as a woman, I want to highlight the extraordinary contributions of a woman of Haitian origin who is not known to most people but is very popular in my riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel. I am referring to Felicidades Joseph.

Committee

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Soraya Martinez Ferrada


Member of Parliament

Hochelaga, Qc. (Liberal)
Language Preference: French / English

Soraya Martinez Ferrada

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Hochelaga

Soraya Martinez Ferrada was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Hochelaga in 2019.

A resident of the east end of Montréal since she came to Canada in 1980, Ms. Martinez Ferrada has deep roots in the community.

For over twenty years, she has gained experience in communications and project development through her involvement in community, cultural, and political action. She created the very first cultural and socio-professional integration program at TOHU, a unique example of sustainable development in Montréal.

Ms. Martinez Ferrada was involved in municipal politics for more than 10 years. In 2005, she was elected as a city councilor for Saint-Michel and was appointed to the Executive Committee as the Associate Advisor for Culture. From 2015 to 2018, she served as Chief of Staff and senior advisor to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Topics raised by Ms. Martinez Ferrada in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

  • French in Montreal
  • National Francophone Immigration Week
  • Black History Month
  • Francophone immigration

House

French in Montreal

  • November 25, 2020
    The use of French is declining in Montreal, and that worries me. It worries all of us here in the House. In Quebec, French is being used less as the primary language spoken or language of work. More and more stores are greeting customers in a language other than French. As a Montrealer, a Quebecker and a francophone, I find this worrisome.

National Francophone Immigration Week

  • November 19, 2020
    As members may know, November 1 to 7, 2020, was National Francophone Immigration Week, an opportunity to recognize the contributions of francophone newcomers and draw attention to the vitality of francophone communities outside Quebec.
  • The government firmly believes that all newcomers, including francophone immigrants, contribute to Canada's vitality. As a result, we must create welcoming and inclusive communities for francophone newcomers and provide them with customized support in a timely manner so that they integrate into and build ties with these communities.
  • I am proud of the measures that Canada has been taking to attract francophone immigrants, and despite the pandemic, I remain confident that francophone minority communities in Canada will continue to attract and welcome newcomers and help them integrate.

Black History Month

  • February 4, 2020
    Speaker, every February, Black History Month gives Canadians an opportunity to celebrate the heritage and contributions of the black community. Today, I would like to acknowledge some extraordinary black women who have helped create a diverse and inclusive Canadian society.

Committee

Francophone immigration

  • March 12, 2020
    As you said, governments and communities have set a goal of 4.3% francophone immigration by 2023. This is an ambitious challenge. I think the percentage is currently about 2.3% or 2.4% of the objective.
  • Can you talk more about the government's policies for the integration of immigrants into minority language communities? What measures can we take to increase the number of immigrants entering the country? Not only do we need to work on integration in the communities, but above all we need to increase the number and the pool because the demographic weight of francophone communities is decreasing.

John Williamson


New Brunswick Southwest, On. (Conservative)
Language Preference: English / French

John Williamson

John Williamson has over 20 years of experience in public policy research. He was the Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest until 2015. Prior to his election to the House of Commons in 2011, Mr. Williamson worked as the Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister.

In 2016, Williamson launched Canadians for Affordable Energy to promote the benefits of energy affordability. He was National Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) from January 2004 to September 2008, and CTF Ontario Director from September 2002 to December 2003. He has also worked for the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, is a past Fellow with the Manning Centre for Building Democracy and Senior Fellow with the Fraser Institute.

Williamson is a former National Post editorial writer and founding member of the newspaper’s editorial board. He graduated from McGill University with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree in economic history from the London School of Economics.

John is married to Commander Kelly Williamson, RCN, and splits his time between their home in Saint Andrews and wherever Kelly is serving (except the dangerous deployments).

John is a former National Post editorial writer (1998-2001) and founding member of the newspaper’s editorial board.

He has a master’s degree in economic history from the London School of Economics and earned a bachelor’s degree from McGill University after graduating from Fredericton High School.

In 2012, John met the love of his life, Kelly. Kelly Williamson is a Commander in the Royal Canadian Navy who has served both at sea and ashore and also worked with the Canadian Army, Special Operations Forces Command, and Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team. In 2018, Kelly was invested into the Order of Military Merit.

John & Kelly have a sweet baby girl: Charlotte Tessa Abbigail Williamson. She was born on July 2, 2020. They live in St. Andrews with the family’s Cairn terrier Teddy. Teddy is from Harvey, New Brunswick.

Topics raised by Mr. Williamson in the House of Commons or at committee that is of interest to the Public Service Commission.

House

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Committee

  • Nil

Information for human resources specialists: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

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