Audit of the Implementation of Section 41 of Part VII of the Official Languages Act by the Canadian Tourism Commission - Follow-up
The 2004 audit recommendations focused on the following:
- establishing an official languages policy and distributing it to all employees;
- developing an action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act, taking into account the Canadian Tourism Commission’s (CTC’s) obligations in its partnership agreements;
- consulting official language minority communities;
- promoting English and French in Canadian society and projecting the bilingual character of Canada abroad;
- adopting mechanisms to monitor performance;
- ensuring management accountability for official languages.
The analysis of the CTC’s progress report by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) notes the following achievements:
The CTC has made very good progress in the implementation of its eight recommendations regarding Part VII of the Official Languages Act. This progress is due in large part to the commitment and leadership of senior management. There has been particular improvement in how the CTC consults with official language minority communities, promotes English and French in Canadian society and projects the bilingual character of Canada abroad. OCOL encourages the CTC to continue its work in these areas in order to examine the impact its initiatives are having and at the same time fulfill its obligations under other parts of the Act.
- An accountability framework, an official languages policy, an official languages action plan and a communications strategy have been developed and effectively implemented. The accountability framework, which was last updated in June 2007, covers all CTC personnel and their roles and responsibilities, and includes a comprehensive results-based action plan that brings together the strategies related to Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Official Languages Act. The framework has been communicated to all staff. The CTC has also established an official languages committee, which reports to the Official Languages Champion. The official languages policy, which was created in 2007 and addresses all parts of the Official Languages Act, has been posted on the CTC’s intranet site and has been included in all orientation kits so that new employees become familiar with their obligations.
- The CTC has incorporated its obligations under subsection 41(1) into all of its partnership agreements. The agreements also require parties to ensure that communications with and the services to the public are carried out in both official languages.
- By drawing on its research and expertise, the CTC has helped official language minority communities work directly with the existing tourism industry marketing structure in order to enable them to capture a share of tourists from a wide range of international tourism markets. Doing so allows the communities to diversify their local tourism base, insulate themselves from foreign market shocks and maximize the amount of foreign currency flowing into the area, all important economic development outcomes.
- The CTC has used an annual campaign to dialogue with tourism-focused minority communities and has leveraged events such as Rendez-vous Canada to bring the buyers and sellers of tourism products together with representatives from official language minority communities.
- With regard to the launching of the new look of Canada’s global tourism brand on a national level and abroad, the CTC has taken the steps required to fully leverage Canada’s linguistic duality. The bilingual “Brand Canada” tourism logo appears on all corporate apparel and Web sites, on Tourism Magazine, on Tourism Online and on media releases. A total of 11 CTC international consumer sites, such as CTC’s consumer Web site for the United Kingdom, promote Canada’s linguistic duality abroad. All of the CTC’s publications are produced in both official languages, and each version must indicate that the publication is available in the other language. In addition, all print and electronic tourism publications feature the bilingual “Brand Canada” logo.
- The CTC has also made concrete progress in implementing the recommendations that called for the adoption of mechanisms to monitor performance and ensure management accountability by incorporating a monitoring and consequences element into its official languages policy. Performance indicators have also been integrated into the three-year action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act, as well as the CTC’s own performance management planning tool, which requires management and employees alike to set key official languages objectives against which performance is monitored.
- Regular meetings of the Official Languages Committee and updates by the Official Languages Champion to the Senior Management Committee serve as mechanisms to ensure the CTC’s policies and programs, along with the objectives of the action plan, are being effectively applied, implemented and achieved.