Departmental Action Plan for Official Languages 2017-2022

Appendix B: Internal Governance and Roles pertaining to Official Languages


Deputy Minister

  • With respect to official languages, the Deputy Minister of Justice promotes Department-wide leadership to create a bilingual culture based on the spirit of the Official Languages Act.
  • The Deputy Minister ensures compliance with the spirit and the letter of official languages legislation and policies, ensures effective management of official languages programs, and ensures that tangible results are achieved.
  • The Deputy Minister approves requests for non-imperative staffing of EX and LC positions, requests for extension of the exclusion period for employees of the EX group or equivalent level, and requests for exclusion on medical grounds for submission to the Public Service Commission.

Executive Committee and Management Committee

  • Members of the Executive Committee and the Management Committee of the Department of Justice Canada diligently incorporate official languages into the organization’s culture, values and planning processes, ensuring that official languages obligations and policies are respected.
  • Members also ensure that official languages are part of departmental action plans on human resources management.

Official Languages Champion

  • The Official Languages Champion supports the Deputy Minister in achieving the Department’s official languages vision and provides leadership within the Department.
  • The OL Champion’s fosters a bilingual culture based not only on rights and obligations, but also on values that enrich the Department and the country.

Official Languages Steering Committee

  • The mandate of the Steering Committee is to provide leadership in the implementation of the Department’s Official Languages Program as well as its official languages policies and directives by coordinating official languages activities and responsibilities within the Department.
  • The Committee meets at least three times a year. It is made up of individuals responsible for implementing the Official Languages Act and chaired by the Official Languages Champion. This Committee provides a framework for mobilizing senior executives and giving them a forum where they can discuss official languages issues affecting the Department. The Committee reports annually to the Executive Committee via the Champion.

Departmental Network of Sectoral and Regional Official Languages Champions

The Network of Sectoral and Regional Champions consists of representatives from each portfolio, sector and division in the NCR and the regions. The role of this network and its members is to support the departmental champion in fulfilling his or her mandate, to provide leadership, and to foster a bilingual culture based on the spirit and the letter of the OLA.

Departmental Network of Coordinators for the Implementation of Section 41 (Network 41)

Network 41 is an internal network intended to raise awareness among the Department’s employees on the needs and priorities of OLMCs and to foster information sharing and liaison on departmental matters that affect the vitality of OLMCs and the promotion of English and French in Canadian society. Network 41 contributes to the Department’s leadership on official languages by promoting personalized contact with OLMCs at the regional level and by liaising with Canadian Heritage regional offices. The OLAD manages Network 41 and acts as national coordinator in the implementation of section 41 on behalf of the Department.

Senior managers and managers

  • Senior managers (EX-03 to EX-05, LC-03 and LC-04) incorporate official languages into the culture and values of their units, fulfill their official languages obligations, and apply the corresponding legislation, policies and directives.
  • Managers are responsible for applying official languages legislation and regulations and for implementing related polices and directives. The Department encourages them to implement innovative practices that promote the use of both official languages in the workplace.
  • Senior managers from every sector encourage employees to take positive measures toward implementing section 41 of the OLA in their areas of activity when appropriate.


Employees at all levels of the Department of Justice are encouraged to:

  • contribute to and participate in creating an environment conducive to the use of both official languages;
  • bring questions, problems and suggestions to managers;
  • use their first or second official language to encourage the use of both official languages; and
  • participate in events organized to promote linguistic duality and official languages.
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