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2018: An important year for the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions

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Posted: 
November 26, 2018
Written by: Debbie Beresford-Green and Stéphan Déry , Chair and Vice-Chair of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions

This is a truly exciting time for official languages in the federal public service. Maybe it’s because of the publication of the report “The next level: Normalizing a culture of inclusive linguistic duality in the federal public service workplace” and the “Action plan for official languages – 2018-2023: Investing in our future.” Or perhaps it’s because of all the preparations under way for the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act or the discussions about its modernization. As part of its new strategic plan, the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions is seizing this opportunity to support the public service’s official languages objectives.

There’s a feeling of anticipation within the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions. Created on August 28, 2003, the Council is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year: its crystal anniversary! This major milestone provides an excellent opportunity to look back on the Council’s key achievements. For example, did you know that the Clerk of the Privy Council created Linguistic Duality Day at the Council’s suggestion? Or that the Council is behind the famous “Dare! Osez!” campaign, which allows federal public servants to take creative and innovative approaches to linguistic duality?

Who are we?

You might be wondering what the Council’s role is (we admit that the federal government’s official languages governance structure is a bit complex). The Council is a horizontal organization of the Government of Canada within which departments, agencies, Crown corporations and regional federal councils, large and small, all work together. With its 25 members, the Council mobilizes the community of official languages champions, which currently has 215 members, and gives them a voice. The Council is also known for its leadership and its exemplary collaborative spirit: it’s a unifying force!

What about the role of official languages champions, you ask? Among other things, the champions exercise influence and leadership, and support deputy heads by ensuring that both official languages hold a prominent place in their organization.

A new strategic plan

This year also marks the launch of the Council’s “2018-2021 Strategic Plan: Leadership, Mobilization, Support, Partnerships.” The plan includes strategic objectives and key activities, whose purpose is to

  • encourage managers and executives to demonstrate leadership and raise their awareness about the importance of creating an environment that promotes the use of both official languages;
  • strengthen the Council’s mobilizing role and continue to share best practices with regard to official languages;
  • support the champions by giving them tools and resources tailored to their needs;
  • increase partnership opportunities.

We’re proud of our strategic plan and are confident that the proposed activities will help advance the official languages program. Follow the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions on Twitter to stay abreast of our initiatives or take a few moments to visit our Dare! Osez! site.

We “dare” by ensuring that official languages are a top-of-mind issue at the senior management level. How about you? In what ways do you “dare” to promote official languages in your workplace?

Translated by: Denise Ramsankar, Language Portal of Canada

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in posts and comments published on the Our Languages blog are solely those of the authors and commenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Language Portal of Canada.

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About the author

Debbie Beresford-Green and Stéphan Déry

Debbie Beresford-Green is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Ms. Beresford-Green is passionate about the use of both official languages and the creation of a bilingual culture in the workplace. She currently serves as the Champion for Official Languages at Health Canada and is the Chair of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Translation Bureau at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), Stéphan Déry is a strong supporter of official languages. He has actively promoted bilingualism in various roles throughout his career and is passionate about ensuring the future of Canada’s official and heritage languages. He currently serves as the Co-Champion of Official Languages at PSPC and is the Vice-Chair of the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions.

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