Privy Council Office

Privy Council Office

October 27, 2005 11:53 ET

Privy Council Office: Minister Responsible for Official Languages Releases Mid-Term Report on Action Plan for Official Languages

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 27, 2005) - The Honourable Mauril Belanger, Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages, and Associate Minister of National Defence, has tabled in Parliament the Mid-term Report on the Government of Canada's Action Plan for Official Languages.

"I am very pleased to present the Mid-term Report, which shows that implementation of the Action Plan is well underway. We will continue to move forward on the important task of strengthening our country's linguistic duality, which is of benefit to all Canadians," stated Minister Belanger.

The Mid-term Report provides a first look at the Government of Canada's achievements as a direct result of implementation of the Action Plan for Official Languages. The general information contained in the Report highlights advances made under the Plan and the challenge that remain. Monitoring and the formal evaluation will continue in preparation for the final report, due to be released in the fall of 2008. The Report emphasizes the progress made in communities, notably in the areas of early childhood, justice and health.

Representatives of minority Francophone and Anglophone communities have also produced their own mid-term report on the Action Plan, and their observations are appended to the document.

The Action Plan for Official Languages was launched on March 12, 2003, with an implementation budget of $751 million over five years.

The Action Plan focuses on three key areas: education, community development and an exemplary federal public service.

The Mid-term Report on the Action Plan for Official Languages is available at the following Web address: www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/olo.



BACKGROUNDER

MINISTER BELANGER RELEASES MID-TERM REPORT ON
ACTION PLAN FOR OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

- On March 12, 2003, the Government of Canada launched its Action
Plan for Official Languages with a budget of over $750 million
over five years for investments in education, minority official
language community development, and the federal public service.
Today, Mauril Belanger, Minister responsible for Official
Languages, is releasing the Mid-term Report on the Action Plan
for Official Languages.

- The report contains general information covering 2003-2004 and
2004-2005, which gives an initial idea of the progress made in
this matter, but it is not a formal evaluation of results to
date. Monitoring and data collection will continue with a view
to producing a formal evaluation of the Plan in 2007 and a final
report for release in the fall of 2008.

- Disbursements to date total $123.4 million of the $751.3 million
approved under the Plan, not including the $36 million Enabling
Fund, which was added to the total in 2004-2005. The first two
years of the Action Plan served to lay the foundations for
successful implementation of initiatives under the Plan. Funding
for the initiatives will increase each year until 2008. This
should make it possible to step up implementation of the Plan
right away in order to attain the objectives set.

- The amounts required to implement the Plan have been approved
and, in most cases, initiatives have gotten under way on time.
The pace at which funds are used within the framework of the
different initiatives under the Plan should speed up in
thecoming months, until they gradually reach the maximum $787.4
million provided for under the Action Plan, including the
Enabling Fund.

- The requirement for accountability built into the Plan led to
the development of a horizontal results-based management and
accountability framework, the primary objective of which is to
foster official languages reporting across the federal
government. Based on objectives (results to be attained)
established in close cooperation with partners and stakeholders,
the framework is articulated around a governance structure that
covers all areas of focus and performance measures that connect
the different components to one another.

- Progress has been made in several areas, such as introducing
community development measures, for example. Moreover,
significant advances have been made in the areas of early
childhood, health care, literacy and justice. Such advances
highlight the climate of openness and the effectiveness of the
mechanisms set up for consultation between the Government of
Canada and communities. Ministerial consultations have also
helped enhance dialogue between federal institutions and their
partners. In the field of education, it is still too soon to
predict the effect of initiatives in minority-language and
second-language teaching.

- The report refers to research activities and provides an update
on the upcoming post-censal survey on minority official language
communities, the data from which will be useful in evaluating
the Plan.

- In the coming year, all participating departments and agencies
will complete their initial evaluations of the results, but
their formal evaluations of the measures undertaken will not be
completed until 2007. The formal evaluation of the Plan to be
produced in 2007 will enable the government to better prepare
for the Plan's renewal in 2008.



Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Mauril Belanger
    Shawn Salewski
    (613) 952-6732
    (613) 952-4988 (FAX)