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The OL Connection: December 2020

Save the date! 2021 Best Practices Forum in Official Languages

The Council of the Network of Official Languages Champions, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat are pleased to invite you to the Best Practices Forum on Official Languages, which will take place on March 3, 2021.

The Forum will be open to all Public Service employees and this year’s theme will be diversity and inclusion.

On the agenda are two virtual talks organized in partnership with the Canada School of Public Service:

  • 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: A discussion on the tools developed to create a linguistically safe and inclusive workplace.
  • 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: A discussion on leadership in the promotion of English and French.

In parallel, various online activities will be organized throughout the week, including the presentation of various kiosks and videos presenting best practices. More details to follow in early 2021.

We invite you to contribute to this event in your own way:

  • Have you developed an innovative initiative that could be showcased?
  • Did you produce a video on the theme of official languages that could be featured?
  • Would you like to reserve a virtual kiosk to present your best practices that could be useful to other organizations?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please fill out this form and email it to before January 11, 2021. Your material could be selected and showcased during the Forum. Of course, you are welcome to take full advantage of this learning activity without presenting an initiative or reserving a kiosk.

Preparation for the consultation on the Directive on the implementation of Official Languages Regulations

During the advisory committee meetings on October 28, we provided some basic training on the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations (the Regulations) and on the Regulations Re-Application Exercise (OLRRE).

As part of that training, we informed you about the need to review the Directive on the Implementation of the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations (the Directive) and the fact that we would like to consult you about this.

This consultation will take place at one of the meetings of the Departmental Advisory Committee on Official Languages (DACOL) and the Crown Corporations Advisory Committee on Official Languages (CCACOL) this winter.

In preparation for the discussion, you may wish to consult the Directive and this document on the discussion topics and questions, which will help familiarize yourself with the items that we will be consulting you on (e.g. how the provision on schools will be applied, how rules regarding consultations with communities served by multiple offices providing the same services should unfold, what improvements may be made to Burolis etc.).

Found here for your reference is a copy of the presentation that went with the training on the Regulations and the OLRRE.

If you were not at the basic training on the Regulations and the OLRRE on October 28, 2020, but are interested in this presentation, contact us at We will be arranging a second virtual training session for those who would like to receive it.

Official Languages MS Teams Backgrounds

Would you like to use an official languages-themed background during your next virtual meeting?

We have exactly what you need!

We are pleased to offer you a selection of backgrounds, which you can download and use for your meetings on Teams. These backgrounds were created by the Creative Services team in collaboration with the Human Resources and Official Languages Branch of TBS. They were designed as part of the celebrations surrounding Linguistic Duality Day to promote bilingual virtual meetings.

If you want to change what appears behind you during a virtual meeting, Teams offers a predetermined selection of backgrounds that you can upload. However, you can also upload a background of your choice.

Click here to access the generic backgrounds that you can use during your MS Teams meetings to promote the use of both official languages, as well as the instructions on how to upload and use the backgrounds in MS Teams.

The files are also available on the Community of Official Languages GCcollab page under the “files” tab.

Bilingual Meeting Invitation Template for MS Teams

The Official Languages Centre of Excellence consulted with TBS’ internal IT services team to find a solution to an issue that has been identified in many federal departments: unilingual automatically generated meeting coordinates from MS Teams. Meeting invitations in MS Teams are generated in the language of the user’s interface: either English or French.

As a best practice, and depending on your department’s region and status, often as an obligation, meeting invitations should be sent in both official languages, simultaneously.

You can create a bilingual MS Teams meeting invitation with this template!

Download the template and instructions here.

The OLCE would like to thank Marc-Antoine Cotnoir-Roy for this helpful and creative solution that we encourage you to save and share with your colleagues.

Please e-mail us at if you have any questions about this template.

Bootcamp on Official Languages 2021 Calendar

The Community Development and Engagement Team will soon be informing you of 2021 Bootcamp dates.

We would like to thank the over 80 representatives from federal departments, Crown Corporations and separate agencies who participated in the Bootcamp and provided constructive feedback to improve the form and content of the training. Our teacher, Diane Desaulniers, is looking forward to meeting many more of you in the New Year!

Please be advised that the Bootcamp on Official Languages is open to only one employee per federal institution. Multiple registrations from the same organization will be referred to the PROL.

Bootcamp for Official Languages Champions

A special session will be offered to Official Languages Champions in Winter 2021. More information will be communicated to the champions in January.

Do you have questions about the Bootcamp? Please e-mail us at

Season's Greetings: Message from Carsten Quell, Executive Director, Official Languages Centre of Excellence

As 2020 draws to a close, it offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and review the past year, to show gratitude for our colleagues, friends and family, to celebrate, and to renew our focus for the year ahead.

What a unique year! 2020 presented challenges to all our organizations with challenges when the country found itself in a state of crisis in early March. For many of us, the pandemic prompted us to realign our priorities, to change the way we work and learn to work separately, together.

Nine months later, after going through some growing pains and adjusting our processes and priorities, I feel nothing but pride for my Official Languages Centre of Excellence colleagues. Their determination, resilience, flexibility and innovative ideas and dedication to their work became even more evident when faced with this crisis.

You, the members of our valued official languages community, have shown patience and understanding as we adapted to the new world of telework and faced new official languages challenges. Together, we found ways to meet the challenges we faced.

As we look to the future, exciting projects and opportunities lie ahead. Whether it is the modernization of the Act, the implementation of the new Regulations or countering linguistic insecurity, these are all great opportunities for us to continue building the linguistic duality we are committed to.

This holiday season, I hope that you will take the time to celebrate safely, and that you find yourself in 2021 recharged and ready to continue to be official languages leaders in your teams and organizations.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season! See you in 2021!

Carsten Quell

Season's Greetings: Message from Carsten Quell, Executive Director, Official Languages Centre of Excellence

View this publication in PDF.

The OL Connection – Past Editions

October 2020
View this publication in PDF.
2018-2019 Annual Report on Official Languages
Bilingual Meetings
Bootcamp on Official Languages

August 2020
View this publication in PDF.
September 10 is Linguistic Duality Day!
Consultation: Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations

July 2020
View this publication in PDF.
Toolbox for the Official Languages Maturity Model (OLMM) exercise: do you have tools and best practices to share?
Guide on official languages and telework
Assessment of official languages in the appointment process
Contacting the Official Languages Centre of Excellence

May 2020
View this publication in PDF.
Guide to Non-Imperative Staffing
Expansion of Public Service Commission measures
Best Practices on the promotion of English and French
A new COVID-19 Pandemic Lexicon