Leveraging bilingualism in the public service of the future
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As Official Languages Champion and Chair of the Council, I am pleased to share the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions’ submission for Blueprint 2020. Leveraging Bilingualism in ...

As Official Languages Champion and Chair of the Council, I am pleased to share the Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions’ submission for Blueprint 2020. Leveraging Bilingualism in the Public Service of the Future has now been sent to the Clerk of the Privy Council. If you have any questions about the report, please do not hesitate to contact the Council of the Network Coordinator, Diane Lalonde-Spring, at Diane.Lalonde-Spring@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

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Leveraging bilingualism in the public service of the future Leveraging bilingualism in the public service of the future Document Transcript

  • Government of Canada Gouvernement du Canada Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions     Conseil du Réseau des champions des langues officielles   Council  of  the  Network  of   Official  Languages  Champions     SUBMISSION  TO  BLUEPRINT  2020             Leveraging  Bilingualism  in  the  Public   Service  of  the  Future                                   October  15,  2013   1      
  •   Contents   Introduction  ....................................................................................................................................  4   Blueprint  2020  Vision  and  Official  Languages  ................................................................................  4   What  the  Blueprint  2020  Vision  means  for  Official  Languages  in  the  Federal  Public  Service  of  the   Future  ..............................................................................................................................................  5   Changes  to  Strengthen  Bilingualism  in  the  Federal  Public  Service  to  better  Serve  Canadians  and   Canada  ............................................................................................................................................  6   Achieving  the  Blueprint  2020  Vision:  How  the  Council  of  the  Network  of  Official  Languages   Champions  Can  Help  .......................................................................................................................  9   Conclusion    Leveraging  Bilingualism  in  the  Public  Service  of  the  Future  ...................................  10             2      
  •     Dedication   The  Council  of  the  Network  of  Official  Languages  Champions  dedicates  its  submission  to   Blueprint  2020  to  two  public  servants  who  died  tragically  following  an  accident  in  Ottawa  the   morning  of  September  18,  2013.  Karen  Krzyzewski,  Library  and  Archives  Canada,  and  Michael   Bleakney,  Public  Works  and  Government  Services  Canada,  loved  their  work.  They  were   dedicated  to  the  Public  Service  and  to  serving  Canadians.  Both  were  beloved  colleagues,  who   supported  their  co-­‐workers  with  countless  acts  of  kindness,  grace  and  generosity.  We  wish  to   acknowledge  their  service  and  inspire  ourselves  to  continue  to  pursue  excellence  in  the   workplace  as  they  both  did.             3      
  • Introduction     This  report  is  the  Council  of  the  Network  of   The  Council  is  a  horizontal  organization  of   Official  Languages  Champions  (the  Council) the  Government  of  Canada  within  which   contribution  to  the  Blueprint  2020  exercise.   departments,  agencies,  Crown   Our  community  represents  federal  public   corporations  and  regional  federal  councils,   servants  who  advocate  for  and  work  to   large  and  small,  all  work  together.  The   facilitate  and  enable  the  use  and  promotion   Council  has  23  members  made  up  of  14   of  both  official  languages  across  the  Public   official  languages  champions,  3  regional   Service.  In  this  document  we  outline  our   representatives  and  4  representatives  of   response  to  the  three  questions  posed  in  the   departments  and  agencies  that  have  a   Blueprint  2020  consultations,  specifically  what   direct  role  in  official  languages,  namely,   the  Blueprint  2020  vision  means  for  official   the  Treasury  Board  Secretariat  (TBS),  the   languages  in  the  Public  Service;  what  changes,   Privy  Council  Office,  Canadian  Heritage   from  the  perspective  of  the  use  of  English  and   (PCH)  and  Justice  Canada.  The  Executive   French  in  the  Public  Service  workplace,  would   have  the  greatest  impact  in  making  that  vision   Community  (NMC)  and  the  Chair  of  the   a  reality;  and,  what  can  the  Network  do  to   Federal  Youth  Network  (FYN)  are  also   help  achieve  the  Blueprint  2020  vision.       members  of  the  Council.       We  have  intentionally  focussed  on  the   language-­‐of-­‐work  dimension  of  official  languages  policy  in  the  Government  of  Canada,  with  the   understanding  that  a  more  bilingual  Public  Service  can  only  enhance  its  capacity  to  serve   Canadians  in  the  official  language  of  their  choice,  and  contribute  to  protecting  and  enhancing   official  language  minority  communities  across  this  country.       Blueprint  2020  Vision  and  Official  Languages     Across  the  Public  Service,  there  is  a  desire  for  more  freedom  and  less  rigidity  in  how  we  practice   bilingualism  and  think  about  official  languages.  Language  is  a  tool.  It  is,  by  any  measure,  the   most  powerful  workplace  tool  we  have.  When  work  can  be  conducted  by  people  with  the   collective  ability  to  move  seamlessly  in  and  out  of  both  official  languages,  stronger  insights,   greater  understanding,  and  better  concepts  result.    When  a  workforce  has  two  languages  to   work  with  for  sharing  views,  conveying  information  and  expressing  ideas potential  to  communicate  more  effectively,  expand  imagination,  generate  better  ideas  and   increase  workforce  productivity.  In  this  sense,  mathematically  speaking,  two  or  more   employees  each  having  two  languages  to  work  with  is  four  times  more  powerful  than  having   only  one.               However,  the  reality  in  practice  is  less  inspiring.  An  observation  that  resonates  with  many   public  servants  concerns  language  training  results  versus  the  effectiveness  of  that  training namely,  the  dilemma  of  passing  the  language  test  but  not  being  able  to  communicate,  versus   4      
  • having  the  ability  to  communicate  but  not  passing  the  test.  Many  who  argue  for  a  new   approach  stress  that  while  language  training  has  its  place  it  cannot  be  the  beginning  and  the   end  of  the  conversation  about  what  to  do  to  bolster  bilingualism  in  the  workplace.  More  is   needed  to  achieve  the  fluidity  that  ought  to  characterize  how  both  official  languages  are  used.     Another  dilemma  was  described  recently  on  CGConnex     government  scientists,  both  francophone,  being  unable  to  speak  about  their  latest  research   findings  with  each  other  in  French  because  both  publish  in  English  and  were  unfamiliar  with  the   French  terminology  of  their  field.    These  are  just  two  examples  of  the  day-­‐to-­‐day  challenges   that  beset  the  practice  of  bilingualism  in  the  Public  Service  that  no  amount  of  administrative   rule-­‐making  can  be  expected  to  solve.                 Unlocking  the  potential  of  having  two  languages  to  work  with  is  a  cultural  challenge.  The   Council  of  the  Network  of  Official  Languages  Champions  is  pleased  to  provide  our  views  on  the   proposed  Blueprint  2020  vision  and  specifically,  the  contribution  that  strengthening   bilingualism  can  make  to  the  Public  Service  of  the  future.       What  the  Blueprint  2020  Vision  means  for  Official  Languages  in  the   Federal  Public  Service  of  the  Future       A  world  class  Public  Service  equipped  to  serve  Canada  and  Canadians  now  and  in  the  future   involves  striving  for  a  more  bilingual  Public  Service,  fully  equipped  to  support  Canadians  in  both   official  languages  in  a  complex,  inter-­‐connected  and  competitive  world.  It  involves  reaping  the   advantages  of  bilingualism  in  the  global  knowledge  economy,  with  a  Public  Service  that  fully   .  At  the  individual  level,  these  benefits  include  cognitive  and   learning  advantages  such  as  meta-­‐linguistic  awareness  and  stronger  executive  control  functions   such  as  planning,  time  management,  strategizing  and  memorization.  Collectively,  a  more   bilingual  Public  Service  positions  Canada  to  excel  in  the  global  environment.  Over  a  billion   people  around  the  world  speak  either  English  or  French,  making  institutional  bilingualism  and   linguistic  duality  strategic  assess  for  engaging  new  Canadians  and  the  world.       Achieving  an  open  and  networked  environment  involves  enabling  broader  use  of  both  official   languages  across  the  Public  Service  in  order  to  enable:       1. Networking,  mobility,  partnerships,  information-­‐sharing  and  sharing  of  talent  to  develop   evidence-­‐based  options  and  advice  for  the  Government,  achieve  excellence  in  the    design   and  delivery  of  public  sector  policy,  programs  and  services,  and  provide  effective  support  to   Canadians;  and,   2. anywhere  in  Canada  or  around  the  world.           Advancing  a  whole-­‐of-­‐government  approach  that  enhances  service  delivery  and  value  for   money  involves  ensuring  that  common  /  shared  service  providers  function  effectively,   enterprise-­‐wide,  in  both  official  languages.   5      
  •   A  modern,  enabling  workplace  that  makes  smart  use  of  new  technologies  involves  fully   leveraging   potential  to  increase  collaboration  across  federal  institutions  and   external  stakeholders  in  a  manner  that  ensures  the  use  of  both  official  languages  is  facilitated.     This  requires  acknowledging  the  tension  that  exists  between  open  data  and  linguistic  duality,   recognizing  that  technological  advancements  are  taking  us  into  a  new  era  that  will  shift  the   -­‐user  of  information.  In  the  not  too  distant   future,  on-­‐demand  translation  applications  will  exist  that  reliably,  accurately  and  near-­‐instantly   translate  information  from  one  language  to  another.  They  will  be  available  via  web  browsers   and  desk-­‐top  computer  software  suites,  as  well  as  on  mobile  computing  hand-­‐held  devices.   They  will  reduce  and  in  some  cases,  eliminate  the  human-­‐assisted  translation  needed  for  much   of  the  information  used  in  the  day-­‐to-­‐day  work  environment.  While  official  government   documents  and  statements  of  policy  will  always  require  human-­‐assisted  translation  and/or   review  prior  to  publication  for  quality  assurance  and  legal  purposes,  it  is  conceivable  that  the   Government  of  Canada  will  be  able  to  make  vast  quantities  of  working-­‐level  information   available  in  either  official  language  so  long  as  it  also  provides  access  to  robust,  automated   translation  tools  that  allow  the  user  to  translate  for  him  or  herself.       Finally,  a  capable,  confident  and  high-­‐performing  workforce  involves  taking  concrete  steps  to   enable  effective  collaboration  across  the  Public  Service  regardless  of  language  of  work,  ensuring   that  knowledge  and  skills  are  fully  leveraged.  In  a  crisis,  the  Public  Service  can  effectively   mobilize  talent  and  find  ways  to  forge  highly  effective  bilingual  teams.  We  need  to  learn  from   this  experience  and  make  something  we  do  well  in  a  crisis  reality  on  a  day-­‐to-­‐day  basis.     Changes  to  Strengthen  Bilingualism  in  the  Federal  Public  Service  to   better  Serve  Canadians  and  Canada     To  achieve  a  world  class  Public  Service  equipped  to  serve  Canada  and  Canadians  in  both   official  languages,  we  need  to  move  beyond  viewing  linguistic  duality  as  an  obligation  to  seeing   it  as  an  opportunity  to  drive  excellence  and  a  symbol  of  leadership,  respect,  understanding  and   inclusiveness.    Leadership  and  individual  commitment  are  both  required  to  achieve  a  Public   Service  that  values  and  embraces  bilingualism  as       Going  forward,  the  goal  of  recruiting  individuals  to  the  Public  Service  equipped  to  function  in   both  official  languages  will  continue  to  be  a  priority.  Leadership  will  be  needed  to  encourage   ystems  and  particularly,  its  post-­‐secondary  institutions,  to  produce   bilingual  graduates.  We  have  repeatedly  heard  that  we  will  need  to  be  bolder  in  branding  the   Public  Service  as  an  employer  that  values  bilingualism,  signalling  its  many  advantages  for   individuals  including  those  who  have  career  aspirations  that  extend  beyond  Canada  to  the   world  stage.    We  have  heard  from  many  public  servants,  including  those  who  are  new  to   government,  that  future  recruits  must  come  ready  with  the  job  skills  needed  for  a  public  service   6      
  • career,  and  in  many  cases  this  means  entering  the  public  service  with  the  capability  of  working   in  both  official  languages.               maintain  second  language  skills.  Regardless  of  who  pays    the  employee  or  the  employer     acquired  second  language  skills  must  be  used  to  be  maintained.    Individual  commitment  should   be  supported  by  leadership  that  creates  opportunities  to  practice  second  language  skills  in  the   workplace,  including  with  innovative,  low-­‐cost  language  learning  and  maintenance  tools.  The   bilingually  are  recognized  and  rewarded.     An  open  and  networked  environment  that  engages  citizens  and  partners  for  the  public  good   requires  that  we  recognize  that  with  mobile  technologies,  mobile  work  and  ubiquitous,   by  geography.  Offic -­‐   should  be  dictated  by  who  is  served  and  the  communities  and  stakeholders  with  whom  public   servants  interact,  in-­‐   adjusting  the  distinction  between  bilingual  and  unilingual  regions.  This  would  require  more   emphasis  on  second  language  acquisition  and  maintenance  in  the  workplace  and  consequential   investments  in  low-­‐cost  language  technologies  such  as  innovative  online  language  learning   applications,  mobile  device  applications  for  real-­‐time  language  interpretation,  and  automated   desk-­‐top  translation  tools  for  non-­‐official  documentation.         Meanwhile,  repurposing  the  bilingualism  bonus  could  provide  the  financial  resources  required   to  make  targeted  investments  in  technologies  that  enable  second  language  acquisition  and   maintenance.    The  Bonus  has  remained  $800  annually  since  its  inception  in  1976,  making  it  of   much  less  value  to  individuals  today  as  compared  to  when  it  was  introduced.  There  is  a   compelling  argument  that  both  public  servants  and  Canadians  would  be  better  off  were  these   resources  applied  to  the  workplace  tools  and  applications  that  can  assist  employees  in   acquiring  and  maintaining  second  language  skills.  Many  public  servants  could  benefit,   particularly  if  the  performance  management  system  recognizes  bilingual  competencies  and   enables  career  advancement  for  those  employees  who,  among  other  things,  enhance  their   language  skills.     A  whole-­‐of-­‐government  approach  that  enhances  service  delivery  and  value  for  money   requires  the  recognition  that  with  greater  standardization,  consolidation  and  the  widespread   adoption  of  common  and  shared  services  for  corporate  administrative  and  other  functions,  the   languages  of  work  used  in  the  Public  Service  institutions  that  provide  these  services  must   inevitably    transcend    geographic  regions  and  thus,  for  language-­‐of-­‐work  purposes,  the   distinction  between  bilingual  and  unilingual  regions.  This  demands  that  we  ensure     7      
  • that  common  /  shared  service  providers,  wherever  they  are  located,  have  the  flexibility   necessary  to  staff  and  maintain  workplaces  that  function  effectively  in  both  official  languages,   and  that  the  tools  and  services  they  develop  and  provide  to  the  rest  of  the  Public  Service    language-­‐of-­‐work  rights.         A  modern,  enabling  workplace  that  makes  smart  use  of  new  technologies  to  improve   networking,  access  to  data  and  customer  service  involves  changing  the  culture  to  enable   innovation  around  official  languages  and  language  of  work.  Among  other  things,  this  could   involve  making  a  deliberate  effort  to  test  and  pilot  new  workplace  technologies  and  system   applications  in  French  first,  recognizing  that  this  is  more  likely  to  reveal  difficulties  that  must  be   addressed  to  ensure  work  environments  are  conducive  to  the  effective  use  of  both  official   languages.  It  will  also  require  ever-­‐greening  official  language  policy  to  allow  the  Public  Service   to  adopt  new  technologies  that  enable  open  access  to  data  and  information,  and  effective  and   efficient  knowledge  transfer,  as  they  are  perfected  and  introduced.       There  are  also  opportunities  to  leverage  technology  and  the  networks  of  expertise  it  mobilizes   to  help  serve  and  support  official  language  minority  communities.    There  are  legitimate   concerns  that  budget  pressures  are  impacting  travel  and  the  traditional  ways  of  connecting   with  and  supporting  these  communities.  However,  technology-­‐enabled  outreach  creates   opportunities  to  address  these  challenges.       A  capable,  confident  and  high-­‐performing  workforce  that  embraces  new  ways  of  working   involves  encouraging  more  Public  Service  work  environments  to  become  conducive  to  the  use   of  both  official  languages,  including  by:       1. Ensuring  all  Public  Service  employees  have  equitable  access  to  language  training  regardless   of  where  they  work.    Our  consultations  have  clearly  signalled  that  public  servants  are  ready   and  willing  to  take  on  the  responsibility  of  managing  their  own  careers,  and  working   towards  skills  upgrading,  including  acquiring  and  maintaining  their  second  official  language.   innovative  ways,  on  the  job  and  during  their  own  time;  and,       2. Providing  more  innovative,  low-­‐cost  language  learning  and  maintenance  tools  and  activities   to  ensure  that  as  more  positions  are  identified  as  bilingual,  successful  candidates  who  do   not  meet  language  requirements  can  obtain  the  required  level  of  proficiency,  ensuring  the   equitable  participation  of  English-­‐  and  French-­‐speakers  in  the  Public  Service.       These  efforts  could  also  be  supported  by  leveraging  performance  management  to  encourage   second  language  acquisition,  use  and  maintenance,  including  by:       1. Assessing  employee  performance  using  appropriate  core  and  functional  competencies  that   reinforce  linguistic  duality  and  encourage  second  language  acquisition  and  maintenance;       8      
  • 2. and  development  plans;  and,       3. Developing  functional  competencies  for  managers  /  supervisors  that  emphasize  their   responsibilities  to  help  create  workplaces  conducive  to  the  use  of  both  languages.     Achieving  the  Blueprint  2020  Vision:  How  the  Council  of  the  Network  of   Official  Languages  Champions  Can  Help         In  considering  the  Blueprint  2020  vision,  Official  Languages  Champions  can  play  an   instrumental  role  in  helping  to  strengthen  bilingualism  across  the  Public  Service  to  help   achieve  it.  However,  the  Council  believes  that  in  order  to  contribute  in  practical  and  meaningful   ways,  Champions  will  need  to  go  beyond  promotional  and  ambassadorial  functions  to  playing  a   strategic  and  tactical  role  as  agents  of  change.  The  Council  would  mobilize  our  network   members,  identifying  strategic  opportunities  and  targeted  investments  to  facilitate  and  enable   change  that  positions  the  Public  Service  to  continue  to  evolve  bilingually,  optimizing  the   advantages  to  Canada  and  Canadians  of  working  and  serving  the  public  in  both  official   languages.     Initially,  this  will  require  that  Official  Language  Champions  strengthen  their  networking   capacity.  We  will  need  to  work  together  through  the  Council  to  define  how  we  can  add  value   and  assume  responsibilities  associated  with  acting  as  agents  of  change.       Already,  our  Champions  are  discussing  a  number  of  strategic  opportunities.    For  example,   Official  Language  Champions  could  work  to  strengthen  the  recruitment  of  bilingual  candidates   with  their  respective  Deputy  Heads,  each  of  which  is  a  champion  for  a  post-­‐secondary   institution  in  Canada.  In  addition  to  spreading  the  message  about   Canada  and  its  value  and  relevance  in  an  interconnected  world,  Champions  could  work  with   bilingual  graduates  each  produces.             To  support  an  open  and  networked  environment,  we  would  work  together  to  identify  strategic   changes  that  may  be  required  to  official  languages  policy  to  support  efforts  to  strengthen  and   modernize  practices  associated  with  institutional  bilingualism.    We  would  identify  and  promote   opportunities  to  incubate  and  /  or  use  new  language  technologies  that  support  language   maintenance  and  effective  bilingual  workplaces.  We  have  heard  repeatedly  about  the   dominance  of  English  in  online  networks  and  virtual  knowledge  communities.  We  would  focus   on  how  to  strengthen  knowledge  networks  to  improve  their  utility  for  and  relevance  to  the   work  of  the  Public  Service  in  the  French  language.  This  could  include  facilitating   participation  in  global  knowledge  networks  to  improve  their  relevance  /  applicability  /  utility  for   the  work  of  the  Public  Service  in  French  (e.g.,  http://fr.wikipedia.org),  recognizing  that  this   benefits  not  only  Canada,  but  all  the  countries  of  the  Francophonie.   9      
  •   To  support  the  whole-­‐of-­‐government  approach  that  enhances  service  delivery  and  value-­‐for-­‐ money,  we  would  identify  policy  changes  and  /  or  strategic  interventions  required  to  ensure   that  for  common  /shared  service  providers,  all  regions  are  effectively  bilingual  and  all  work   instruments  and  electronic  systems  they  are  responsible  for  are  available  to  employees  in  both   official  languages.    The  Council  recognizes  that  this  cannot  be  an  afterthought.  It  must  be  a   -­‐ o  build  the  structures  that  support  greater  collaboration,   an  enterprise-­‐wide  management  culture  and  enterprise-­‐wide  systems.     To  support  a  modern,  enabling  workplace  that  makes  smart  use  of  new  technologies,  the   Council  would  strengthen  the  capacity  of  its  network  members  to  work  with  their  deputy  heads   to  ensure  that  use  of  new  technologies  facilitates  linguistic  duality  within  the  Public  Service,   fostering  a  vibrant,  diverse  and  bilingual  workforce.       To  support  a  capable,  confident  and  high-­‐performing  workforce,  the  Council  would  step-­‐up  its   efforts  to  identify  and  exchange  best  practices  conducive  to  the  use  of  both  official  languages  in   the  workplace,  and  work  with  deputy  heads  to  support  their  adoption  in  departments  and   agencies.  One  such  practice,  for  example,  is  the  Department  of  Canadian  Heritage    practice  of   tabling  management  presentations  in  one  language,  and  speaking  to  them  in  the  other.  We   would  also  work  to  identify  innovative,  effective  and  low-­‐cost  language  learning  and  second-­‐ language  maintenance  tools  and  activities  to  recommend  to  deputy  heads.  We  would  support   our  network  members  to  make  the  business  case  to  deputy  heads  to  acquire  these  learning   tools  and  resources,  and  to  work  with  departments  and  agencies  to  ensure  they  are  used   effectively,  including  through  the  performance  management  process.   Conclusion    Leveraging  Bilingualism  in  the  Public  Service  of  the  Future     In  this  document,  we  advance  a  number  of  observations  and  ideas  for  what  the  Public  Service   needs  to  be  in  the  future,  centred  on  strengthening  bilingualism.  In  summary:     On  recruitment,  we  argue  the  Public  Service  must  be  bolder  about  branding  itself  as  an   employer  that  values  bilingualism  and  the  career  advantages  of  being  bilingual;       On  language  learning  and  maintenance,  we  are  calling  for  a  more  systematic  approach  to   ensuring  acquired  second  language   skills  are  used  in  the  workplace function  bilingually  through  the  performance  management  process;       On  technology,  we  believe  that  with  a  deliberate  approach,  new  technologies  have   enormous  potential  to  facilitate  broader  use  of  both  official  languages  across  the  Public   Service  and  enable  low-­‐cost  language  learning  and  maintenance  in  the  workplace;         10      
  • On  resourcing  efforts  to  become  more  bilingual,  we  propose  that  re-­‐purposing  the   bilingualism  bonus  should  be  considered,  to  make  funds  available  to  support  targeted   investments  in  innovative,  low-­‐cost  technologies  that  enable  second  language  acquisition   and  maintenance  in  the  workplace;           On  open  data  and  knowledge  transfer,  we  foresee  tension  between  open  data  and   linguistic  duality  in  the  Public  Service  soon  becoming  moot,  as  powerful  and  ubiquitous   translation  tools  enable  working-­‐level  information  published  in  any  language  to  be  instantly   translated  by  the  user  on  any  computing  device;                   On  geographically-­‐defined  bilingual  regions,  we  are  signalling  that  in  a  wireless,  networked   and  virtual  world,  with  greater  consolidation  and  the  transition  to  common  /  shared  service   providers  enterprise-­‐wide,  the  time  has  come  to  look  at  updating  policy  concerning   language-­‐of-­‐work  in  the  Public  Service.  We  must  ensure  it  supports  the  timely  adoption  of   new  technologies,  whole-­‐of-­‐government  approaches,  the  furtherance  of  an  open  and   networked  environment,  assurance  of  access  to  government  information  and  services  in   and   workplaces  conducive  to  the  use  of  both  official  languages;  and  finally,         On  global  leadership,  with  over  a  billion  people  in  the  world  who  speak  at  least  one  of  our   two  official  languages,  we  are  convinced  that  a  bilingual  Public  Service  positions  Canada  to   excel  in  the  global  environment.  Linguistic  duality  gives  us  the  capacity  to  engage  with  more   people  and  influence  more  nations  at  the  working  level  than  many  larger,  unilingual   countries.  We  should  be  looking  to  fully  leverage  this  capacity   advantage  on  the  world  stage.                   In  closing,  we  want  to  thank  the  many  public  servants  who  shared  their  thoughts  and  views   with  us.  In  particular,  we  thank  the  Federal  Youth  Network  which  was  instrumental  in  helping   innovative  ways  to  respect   -­‐of-­‐work  rights  while  achieving  a  more  bilingual   workplace.  We  thank  the  executives  with  whom  we  spoke  who  emphasize  that  it  is  a  key   leadership  responsibility  to  create  workplaces  conducive  to  both  official  languages,  and  who   believe  that  we  can  reap  many  rewards  from  being  open  to  new  and  innovative  thinking  about   official  languages  at  a  time  when  we  are  stretched  for  resources.  We  also  want  to  recognize  our   many  regional  colleagues,  who  have  reminded  us  of  the  challenges  and  the  opportunities  they   face  in  serving  official  language  minority  communities,  and  the  growing  importance  of  finding   innovative  solutions  to  ensure  these  efforts  are  sustained.  Finally,  we  thank  functional   communities  which  have  clearly  signalled  their  need  to  better  leverage  expertise  across  the   Public  Service  through  collaboration  and  knowledge  transfer  unimpeded  by  language-­‐of-­‐work.           Many  of  the  observations  and  recommendations  in  this  submission  were  crystallized  at  an   armchair  discussion  on  Blueprint  2020  and  Official  Languages  hosted  by  the  Canada  School  of   11      
  • Public  Service  on  September  12,  2013.  We  thank  our  speakers  at  this  event  who  were  Daniel   Watson,  Chief  Human  Resources  Officer,  Treasury  Board  of  Canada  Secretariat;  Graham  Fraser,   Commissioner  of  Official  Languages;  Liseanne  Forand,  President,  Shared  Services  Canada,  and   Kristina  Brown,  former  National  Coordinator  of  the  Federal  Youth  Network.  Their  thoughtful   and  provocative  contributions  stimulated  a  wide-­‐ranging  discussion  amongst  the  46  on-­‐site   attendees  and  over  200  webcast  participants.  We  thank  the  Canada  School  for  making  the   event  a  successful  milestone  in  our  efforts  to  gather  input  and  advice.           The  Blueprint  2020  vision  is  based  on  the  argument  that  engagement,  collaboration,  effective   teamwork  and  professional  development  are  all  essential  to  a  high-­‐performing  organization.   The  Council  wholeheartedly  agrees.  We  also  strongly  believe  that  one  of  the  greatest  assets  the   Public  Service  of  Canada  already  has  is  its  bilingual  capacity  in  French  and  English  and  that  this   powerful  cultural  asset  is  integral  to  engagement,  collaboration,  effective  teamwork  and   professional  development  in  our  workforce.  We  are  proudly  bilingual  in  service  to  Canada  and   Canadians.  We  must  protect,  enhance  and  leverage  this  competitive  advantage  as  we  look  to   the  future.     12