"Federal institutions" as defined in section 3 of the Official Languages Act. For more information, refer to the official list of offices and service points required to provide service in both official languages
Not necessarily. Unilingual candidates have access to many bilingual positions if they agree to take the necessary language training, at government expense. The government has committed itself to maintain generous access to language training for public service employees, whether it is to meet the needs of the institutions or for their employees' career aspirations, and if necessary, during work hours and at government expense. For more information about job opportunities within the Government of Canada, please consult the Public Service Commission's web site.
The Official Languages Act (the Act) clearly states that every federal institution is responsible for implementing the Act within the context of its mandate. Furthermore, the Act gives the Treasury Board the responsibility of development and general co-ordination of the federal principles and programs related to service to the public, language of work and participation in federal institutions. The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages retains all the powers assigned to it by the 1969 Act. The 1988 Act strengthens its role as "language Ombudsman" which allows it to investigate complaints and seek solutions.
The Act states that the Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and to fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. The Department of Canadian Heritage is responsible for promoting a co-ordinated approach to the implementation by federal institutions of their obligations. Finally, the Department of Justice ensures the existence of a society that is fair and law-abiding. More specifically, the department assumes general responsibility for the Official Languages Act.
No. Some 4,000 out of 11,700 offices and service points must provide service in either official language.
Here is the official list
Yes. The designated bilingual regions are the National Capital region, parts of northern and eastern Ontario, the Montreal area and parts of the Eastern Townships, of the Gaspé and western Quebec, as well as New Brunswick.
In order to create a work environment where employees feel free to work in the official language of their choice, the following services must be offered in both official languages
Managers and supervisors – They play a key role, since their attitude sets the tone for their unit. Among other things, they must:
For more information, please see the Key Leadership Competencies Profile.
Even though this is the institution's responsibility, the employees can play an important role. For example, they can make it a habit to use their own official language when they communicate with their superiors or bilingual colleagues from the other language group. This way, they can not only exercise their language of work rights but also give their colleagues the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the second language. They can also, if the opportunity arises, seek to improve their second language by talking with their colleagues from the other language group in that group's official language.
No. However, in these regions the supervisors must be able to communicate with their subordinates in either language where it is indicated, so that the work environment will be conducive to the use of both languages. This requirement brings into play the linguistic makeup and functions of the work units. Treasury Board policies on language of work specify the circumstances in which supervision must be bilingual.
Employees can start by raising the question with their employers, to try and solve the issue internally. This being said, the Act provides for redress in two stages, first before the Commissioner of Official Languages, then, if necessary, before the Federal Court.
No. The government's commitment concerning participation, as stated in the Act, provides for full compliance with the merit principle in matters of the employment and advancement of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians in federal institutions.
Exactly. The current policies explicitly prohibit setting quotas for the benefit of either official language community. The Act specifically requires that equitable participation occur without violating the merit principle.
It is difficult to find a definition that suits every situation. It is best to let qualified professionals determine whether a problem is or is not a disability. In any case, the courts have indicated that disabilities should be accommodated on a case by case basis, and a single definition may not be compatible with this principle.
The jurisprudence regarding learning disabilities indicates that their accommodation must be addressed on a case by case basis. In fact, the degree of severity of a learning disability can vary from one person to the next, and the actual accommodations needed may vary as well.
First, the Canadian Human Rights Act requires the accommodation of disabilities in general, even if a specific policy does not mention disabilities. As regards the policies in question, they are policies intended for access to language training and are thus unsuitable as policies to deal with the accommodation of disabilities in general. However, it was important to make specific reference to learning disabilities in view of the Federal Court decision.
Moreover, the Employment Equity Division of Treasury Board Secretariat is responsible for the Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service.
When the employee needs to take language training as a result of a position requirement (e.g., the need to staff a bilingual position through an appointment or deployment), or as training approved by the supervisor (e.g., for career purposes), then the institution where the person works pays for the assessment.
First, most cases of learning disabilities can probably be accommodated through additional training hours and a longer exemption period. For the more serious cases, if it is believed that an exclusion on compassionate grounds is warranted, an application should be made to the Public Service Commission, or to Deputy Heads or other heads of organizations, if the authority to grant exclusions has been delegated to them.
Yes. The Public Service Commission, which is responsible for developing tests for the SLE as well as policies and procedures for administering them, and is fully committed to employment equity policies, provides for the accommodation of persons with physical or psychological or other disabilities, including learning disabilities, as a result of having to take these tests.
This subject is dealt with in various documents regarding the SLE prepared by the Personnel Psychology Centre of the PSC, including its administrative procedures and the information sheets for candidates who must take the reading, writing or oral interaction tests. The form entitled Second Language Evaluation Request Form, which the requesting organization must send to the test centres to have members of their staff tested, includes a section to indicate if the candidate needs accommodation of a certain kind and, if so, invites the requestor to add a description of the precise nature of the problem so that appropriate measures can be taken.
The Personnel Psychology Centre has also published a document entitled Guidelines for Assessing Persons with Disabilities that includes information on the procedures that applicants, as well as responsible persons in departments and agencies are to follow when changes to language or occupational tests are needed.
Examinees and other interested persons are invited to consult the SLE web site.