Audit of Bilingual Services to the travelling public provided by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

Highlights

What we examined

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (the Office of the Commissioner) conducted an audit of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) from December 2015 to March 2016 to determine to what extent CATSA is fulfilling its language obligations to the travelling public.

CATSA’s mission is to protect the public by securing critical elements of the air transportation system as assigned by the Government of Canada. To do this, it provides screening services in the following four areas:

  1. the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their personal belongings;
  2. the screening of checked baggage;
  3. the random screening of non-passengers; and
  4. the administration of access control to airport restricted areas through biometric identifiers.

The audit looked primarily at CATSA’s first area of activity: the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their personal belongings at screening checkpoints in Class 1 airports (those with at least one million passengers), which are required to provide services in both official languages under the Official Languages Act (the Act).

The audit had four objectives. First, we looked at whether CATSA senior management is committed to implementing Part IV of the Act in order to guarantee that passengers have the opportunity to be served in the official language of their choice. We then looked at whether CATSA has a formal mechanism for active offer and providing service of equal quality in English and French at all steps of the airport security screening process. We then looked at whether CATSA takes into account the needs of official language minority communities (OLMCs) in the planning of its bilingual services. Lastly, we verified whether CATSA effectively monitors the delivery of services of equal quality in English and French by the third-party service providers that it has contracts with to provide services at screening checkpoints in airports.

The audit methodology is in the “About the audit” section at the end of this report.

Why it is important

The work of a screening officer is very precise and demanding. It primarily involves screening passengers to ensure that they are travelling in a secure environment. Screening officers work for third-party service providers and represent CATSA. Their role is to provide a professional, effective and consistent level of security service across the country, at or above the standards set by Transport Canada. To do this, they screen passengers and their belongings at airport screening checkpoints across the country, before the passengers or belongings enter the secure area of an airport. Passing through the screening checkpoint is an integral and mandatory part of the pre-boarding process for the travelling public.

Screening officers are in a position of authority when travellers are passing through screening checkpoints, which means that the travellers are less likely to insist on exercising their language rights for fear of potential negative impacts such as delays or complications in their travel plans.

We believe that an active offer of service in both official languages is particularly important in situations where the people providing a service hold a position of authority because an active offer lets travellers know that, when passing through screening checkpoints, services are available in both official languages and passengers can use English or French in their interactions with the screening officers who represent CATSA.

In 2014–2015, CATSA was one of the institutions that generated the most complaints filed with the Office of the Commissioner under Part IV of the Act, ranking second for the most complaints related to communications with the public (32 complaints).

In 2012, as part of an exercise regarding the language rights of the travelling public in airports, the Office of the Commissioner conducted observations of CATSA at eight international airports. CATSA received perfect scores for visual active offer. However, it needed to do better in terms of in-person active offer and availability of service in the official language of the linguistic minority.

CATSA operates within the regulatory framework established by Transport Canada and must carry out its administrative and screening activities in accordance with Canadian legislation and regulations, including the Act.

What we found

Senior Management Commitment:

  • CATSA senior management has made a number of efforts to integrate official languages into its work, for example, in meetings of the executive committee and the Board of Directors, as well as in promoting official languages within the organization, in accordance with the principles and responsibilities set out in CATSA’s official languages policy.
  • Apart from the Vice-President, Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, who is also the Official Languages Champion, the other vice-presidents, the operations directors at headquarters, the regional directors and the regional general managers do not have performance objectives related to the delivery of services to the public in both official languages by service providers.
  • Only one person supports CATSA’s official languages champion in his coordination work and monitoring of CATSA’s compliance with the Act.
  • There is no consistency in the linguistic identification of regional director and general manager positions, which does not reflect senior management’s commitment to official languages.
  • CATSA promotes official languages to its third-party service providers and to the travelling public. CATSA’s management recognizes the need to continue these efforts and is planning a series of initiatives in its 2016–2017 official languages action plan.

Operations:

  • Despite CATSA’s efforts to clearly communicate its official languages obligations to all service providers’ employees, screening officers do not always greet the travelling public in both official languages and the available services are not always of equal quality in both official languages.
  • The language skills of screening officers are not evaluated in the same way by the different service providers throughout Canada. There is also a lack of uniformity in the official languages training these service providers provide to screening officers.
  • The current standard set out in the language clauses of service contracts with third-party service providers does not guarantee service of equal quality in both official languages.
  • CATSA does not know the optimal number of bilingual employees necessary to ensure service is available in the official language of the linguistic minority at all times.
  • CATSA invests time and resources in measuring the active offer of service in both official languages by screening officers, but does not measure service delivery of equal quality in both official languages.
  • Service providers are unable to recruit a sufficient number of bilingual employees to provide services adequately in both official languages.

Official language minority communities:

  • CATSA does not consult OLMCs regarding services.

Oversight and audit mechanism:

  • CATSA checks passenger satisfaction with services provided in the preferred official language. However, the number of Francophones surveyed is low, and it is difficult to determine the accuracy of the results on services provided to Francophones because of the current methodology.
  • An evaluation of the quality of services provided to the travelling public is under way at CATSA and includes an official languages component.

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages (the Interim Commissioner) has made 15 recommendations to help CATSA address the shortcomings listed above. The recommendations are listed in Appendix B.

We are satisfied with the measures and timelines proposed in CATSA’s action plan regarding the implementation of 10 of the 15 recommendations, and we are generally satisfied with the measures proposed for recommendations 4, 5 and 10. However, we are not satisfied with the measures proposed for recommendations 3 and 8. Appendix B of this report contains the list of recommendations for each objective, CATSA’s comments and action plan, and the Interim Commissioner’s comments. We believe that CATSA must fully implement all the recommendations in this report in order to comply with its obligations under the Act in terms of communications with and services to the public in both official languages. Within 18 to 24 months after publication of the final audit report, the Office of the Commissioner will follow up on CATSA’s progress in implementing the recommendations.

Introduction

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) was established as an agent Crown corporation on April 1, 2002, in accordance with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act. This institution reports to Parliament through the Minister of Transport. It is governed by an 11-member board of directors, which is appointed by the Governor in Council. The Board of Directors provides strategic direction, financial and corporate oversight, and ensures good governance. CATSA’s senior management committee consists of four vice-presidents, each representing a specific portfolio.

CATSA’s mandate is to provide the effective and efficient screening of persons—as well as of the property in their possession or control and the belongings or baggage that they give to an air carrier for transport—who access aircraft or restricted areas through screening checkpoints.

In 2014–2015, CATSA screened more than 57 million passengers. It uses three service providers, which employ more than 6,000 screening officers in Canada. CATSA serves an average of 155 passengers per hour per screening line. It operates in a context where activities need to run smoothly to ensure the optimal movement of people and goods. Screening officers representing CATSA are in a position of authority and control over members of the travelling public, who may feel intimidated. The security screening process is complex and involves several steps that progress very quickly. It is important for screening officers to be able to communicate effectively by making an active offer and being able to provide service in the preferred official language of members of the travelling public to facilitate the flow of passengers through the security screening process.

The audit was conducted across the country and primarily targeted the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their belongings at screening checkpoints in Class 1 airports (those with at least one million passengers), which are required to provide services in both official languages under the Official Languages Act (the Act). CATSA’s service model is based on four regions: Eastern, Central, Prairies and Pacific, and we visited airports in each of these four service regions.

The “About the audit” section at the end of this report describes the audit methodology, and Appendix A sets out the audit objectives and criteria.

Legislative Framework

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (the Office of the Commissioner) conducted an audit of CATSA from December 2015 to March 2016 to determine to what extent CATSA fulfills its language obligations to the travelling public. Even though CATSA has many obligations under the Act, the audit focused primarily on Part IV of the Act, which deals with communications with and services to the public in both official languages. Regarding service to the public, CATSA has language obligations where there is significant demand. Subsection 7(3) of the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations (the Regulations) states that:

For the purposes of subsection 23(1) of the Act, there is significant demand for services to the travelling public … in both official languages where the facility is an airport or the office is located in an airport and over a year the total number of emplaned and deplaned passengers at that airport is at least 1,000,000.

As mentioned above, CATSA uses a service delivery model in which it has signed contracts with three companies to provide security screening personnel in airports: GardaWorld Aviation Services, G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) Ltd. and Securitas Transport Aviation Security Ltd.

Section 25 of the Act stipulates that CATSA’s language obligations also apply to third parties acting on its behalf, and therefore to screening officers who work for service providers at screening checkpoints. Section 28 of the Act states that measures must be:

taken, including the provision of signs, notices and other information on services and the initiation of communication with the public [active offer], to make it known to members of the public that those services are available in either official language at the choice of any member of the public.

Analysis of findings and recommendations

Objective 1:

Ensure that CATSA senior management has committed to implementing Part IV of the Official Languages Act in order to guarantee that passengers can be served in the official language of their choice.

Senior management plays a key role in the implementation of the Act in an organization. Former Commissioner Graham Fraser said many times that there is a ripple effect among the staff when senior management is seen as being committed to achieving the objectives of the Act. This first audit objective examines the organization’s official languages governance framework and evaluates the integration of official languages into senior management’s decisionmaking processes. We also looked at the coordination structure for various elements of official languages program management within the organization, as well as the efforts of senior management to promote official languages within the organization and to the general public.

a) CATSA has an official languages governance structure that involves senior management and the Board of Directors (i.e., an accountability framework, corporate strategic directions, an action plan and policies approved by senior management).

We began the analysis with CATSA’s March 2014 Official Languages Policy. It contains several elements such as a statement of official languages principles, the definitions of the various policy items, the requirements of the different parts of the Act and an “Accountabilities” section that defines the responsibilities of several players in the implementation of the Act at CATSA. It also sets out the responsibilities of the President, the vice-presidents and the Official Languages Champion. The policy specifies that the President must ensure that there are sufficient human and financial resources to permit effective management of CATSA’s requirements under the Act. The Champion’s role is to raise awareness of official languages, promote them and provide guidance in official languages matters. He gives advice, serves as a spokesperson and appoints an official languages coordinator. The policy also sets out the responsibilities of the vice-presidents and indicates that they must ensure that CATSA and its service providers communicate with and serve the public in both official languages. In the context of this audit, we recognize and support this reference to the official languages responsibilities of the vice-presidents. We believe that these responsibilities require the vice-presidents to ensure that service of equal quality is provided in both official languages during the pre-board screening process.

We also reviewed CATSA’s February 2016 official languages action plan. We observed direct links to this audit. We have noted senior management’s commitment and willingness to improve services to the public in both official languages. In particular, the action plan mentions the following: a closer relationship between the Champion and the vice-presidents; the provision of official languages services; an improvement in the collection of data about services provided in both official languages; the renewal of the official languages complaint process; an improvement in communications and promotion products; and the identification of best practices in consultation with other federal institutions. These initiatives go hand in hand with the recommendations issued in this report.

With respect to meetings of the Board of Directors and the CATSA executive committee, we noted that the Board of Directors looks at official languages issues at least once a year and, every three months, deals more specifically with official languages complaints. The executive committee discusses official languages officially every month. It raises official languages topics at its daily meetings as needed, and its Friday meetings are in French only. The vice-presidents indicated that efforts are made to use only correct terminology in French. Certain members admitted that they conduct serious terminological research so they can properly discuss aviation security topics. It is therefore evident that there is an effort to incorporate both official languages into the work of CATSA senior management.

Overall, we believe that senior management is committed to implementing the Act and, in this regard, there is consistency between the policy in place and the measures taken by the vice-presidents. However, we would like to point out that improvements could be made to the structure in place to coordinate the implementation of the requirements of the Act.

During our visits, we noted that each region and each airport has its own operational reality. The layout of the space reserved for CATSA in each airport varies depending on the space assigned by the airport authority; each city has its own demographic profile, which is reflected in the composition of its staff; relations with service providers vary from airport to airport; and, in some regions, it is easier to attract bilingual personnel. CATSA managers in the regions must take measures to ensure that things run smoothly and to adapt to the needs identified to serve the public in both official languages.

Moreover, only one person supports CATSA’s official languages champion in his coordination work and in monitoring CATSA’s compliance with the requirements of the Act. As the context of each airport is unique and therefore varies from airport to airport across Canada, a coordination and mutual assistance mechanism could help the Champion ensure compliance and would make it possible to exchange and share official languages management best practices. A shared vision of official languages issues gives better assurance that the best use is made of limited resources.

We believe that CATSA would benefit from a network of regional official languages coordinators to support the regional directors in implementing the requirements of the Act. Establishing this kind of network is a common official languages practice in a number of federal institutions. This network would also serve as a mechanism for coordinating, transmitting information and analyzing issues related to the implementation of the Act. These regional coordinators could serve as liaisons with official language minority communities (OLMCs) and facilitate the processing of official languages complaints. They could also play a mobilizing and promotion role in the regions, similar to the role at headquarters played by the Champion and the official languages representative. In the context of the implementation of the recommendations issued in this audit, we believe that this kind of network would ensure a consistent approach and a shared understanding of the changes to be made.

Recommendation 1

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority establish a network of regional official languages coordinators to support the regional directors in implementing the requirements of the Official Languages Act.

b) CATSA has a performance evaluation mechanism for senior executives and operations managers who have responsibilities related to service delivery.

We examined to what extent the performance evaluation mechanisms and objectives reflect senior executives’ and operations managers’ commitment to the objectives of the Act. Given that each region’s situation is unique, our analysis of this element also examined the linguistic identification of regional director and manager positions.

We noted that, apart from the Vice-President, Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, who is also the Official Languages Champion, the other vice-presidents, the operations directors at headquarters, the regional directors and the regional general managers do not have performance objectives related to service delivery in both official languages by service providers. The institution informed us that, for the 2016–2017 fiscal year, the vicepresidents have performance objectives related to official languages. As mentioned above, CATSA’s Official Languages Policy gives senior executives and, necessarily, the operations managers who report to the vice-presidents, the responsibility for “ensuring that CATSA and third-party service providers can communicate with and deliver services to the public in either of the Official language[s] to the extent required by the Act.” Consequently, official languages are an important part of their performance and must be reflected in specific performance objectives. We have observed that official languages are an integral part of the strategic reflection and activities of the vice-presidents and operations directors at headquarters and in the regions. They are addressed regularly in discussions about service providers at management meetings. This is part of the first key performance objective measured every day with regard to services provided by third parties. CATSA even required action plans from certain service providers to mitigate the lack of compliance with the requirements of the Act, as stipulated in their service contract.

We therefore believe that setting performance objectives related to official languages for the vice-presidents for 2016–2017 will strengthen their accountability. We note that CATSA is examining the option of setting official languages performance objectives for the operations managers and directors reporting to the vice-presidents. We consider this measure to be essential, and it will complement and strengthen the official languages accountability framework.

Recommendation 2

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority implement its decision to set official languages performance objectives for the vice-presidents for 2016–2017, apply this decision to the operations managers and directors reporting to the vice-presidents at headquarters and in the regions, and evaluate all these executives and managers based on these objectives.

We also noted that the linguistic identification of the positions of directors and general managers, Service Delivery, in both of the Western regions, require language skill levels that are significantly lower than those required in the Central and East regions. The linguistic identification of director and general manager positions in the regions is problematic because it is not consistent. While the right of employees to use their preferred official language at work can vary from region to region, the requirements for the language of service to the public are the same in all regions. We observed the presence of these directors and general managers at screening checkpoints and their interactions with employees of the service providers. The visibility of these positions and their incumbents is also important for screening officers, clients and official language communities. These positions are also a key element reflecting senior management’s commitment to achieving the objectives of the Act.

Recommendation 3

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority objectively review the linguistic identification of the positions of directors and general managers, Service Delivery, in the regions so that these positions accurately reflect senior management’s commitment to official languages management and ensure official languages are just as visible in Western Canada as in Eastern Canada.

c) Senior management promotes official languages in the organization and to third-party service providers and ensures their visibility within the organization and to the general public (Web site, news releases, social media, etc.).

We noted a number of efforts to promote linguistic duality to headquarters employees. The vice-presidents promote official languages in their own branch. They know their employees’ official language preferences and encourage employees to use their preferred language in their communications with them. An internal policy also supports language training for employees who want to advance within CATSA, based on merit. Through the Communications Branch, CATSA promotes and participates in the Rendez-vous de la francophonie and Linguistic Duality Day by organizing events for all CATSA employees, including in the regions. In addition, all security equipment purchases come with the requirement to provide maintenance manuals and user guides in both official languages.

A newsletter entitled CATSA Checkpoint was developed as a communications tool for both CATSA employees and service provider employees. This newsletter informs employees and service providers of topical news, highlights screening officers’ good work and gives reminders of certain procedures, including the obligation to serve the public in both official languages. Our meetings in the regions enabled us to observe that this newsletter is greatly appreciated and frequently consulted, in particular by screening officers.

We also noted that documented meetings take place each quarter at CATSA headquarters for the service providers’ senior management, where official languages issues are raised as needed. Moreover, in each region, meetings are held with service providers’ regional management each week where, again, official languages issues are raised as needed. In addition, the Communications Branch has developed and made available to unilingual screening officers a small blue card with key phrases to help them address passengers who would like to be served in the minority official language.

Regarding visibility and promotion of official languages to the public, we searched on the Web site to find information promoting the fact that CATSA can serve members of the public in the official language of their choice at airports, but did not find anything in this regard. During our discussions on this subject, we learned that measures had already been taken by CATSA to do this, which is excellent news. In reviewing CATSA’s new action plan, we also noted its intention to highlight successes and news related to official languages matters in the annual report on CATSA activities. We applaud this excellent initiative.

CATSA also has a documented practice of verifying bilingual signage in airports. Performance officers and CATSA team leaders regularly check the bilingual signage in airports and report on their findings, as do general managers, Service Delivery, at least once a quarter to ensure that the signage complies with the policies in place. CATSA uses minority community newspapers as needed to announce news about pre-board screening and uses social media (such as Twitter) to reach the public as well as to issue reminders and make announcements. A review of CATSA’s Twitter messages revealed that a few messages regarding service in both official languages have been posted, and CATSA confirmed that it plans to increase the number of communications on this subject in the future and that it has planned, in its quarterly production schedule, to post messages regarding services provided in both official languages by CATSA in airports with language obligations. Lastly, CATSA has set up a community outreach program with a component regarding the promotion and visibility of official languages with community groups. This program is discussed in further detail under Objective 3.

The observations above show that CATSA has several initiatives in place to promote official languages and ensure their visibility with its employees, third-party service providers and the general public. We are satisfied to see that, following our discussions with CATSA representatives, CATSA will be taking other proactive measures to further highlight official languages on social media.

Objective 2:

Ensure that CATSA has a formal mechanism to make an active offer and provide services of equal quality in English and French during all steps of the airport security screening process.

Objective 2 is aimed at CATSA’s airport operations, with an emphasis on active offer and service in both official languages to the travelling public offered by screening officers during pre-board screening.

a) CATSA has policies and directives in place that are communicated to CATSA staff and third-party service providers.

Policies and directives on official languages

Screening officers have a duty to make an active offer and provide service of equal quality in English and French to the travelling public at security screening checkpoints in all designated bilingual airports, as specified in subsection 23(1) and sections 25 and 28 of the Act, as well as in subsection 7(3) of the Regulations. This duty applies to all steps of the security screening process. To this end, CATSA has a standard operating procedures manual, which is the main reference tool for screening officers. To do their jobs well, screening officers must know and understand all the procedures in the manual.

Active offer and the provision of services in both official languages are addressed in the standard operating procedures, which indicate that screening officers are required to greet passengers using a bilingual expression through which an active offer is made, such as “Hello, bonjour” or “Bonjour, hello,” when they are the first point of contact at a screening checkpoint. The procedure advises to “err on the side of caution and use the active offer when you are not sure if you are the first point of contact.” Based on the response, screening officers must provide service in the traveller’s preferred official language.

If the screening officer does not speak the traveller’s preferred official language, the officer must immediately ask his or her supervisor to take steps to provide service in the official language requested by the client. If the supervisor chooses to call on a bilingual officer, the procedures indicate that the officer is not required to perform each task, but rather be present throughout the security screening process to communicate with the traveller and act as interpreter.

Finally, the procedure states that bilingual officers must wear a pin to identify themselves as such and that, in very broad terms, all employees are to foster a bilingual working environment, although this expectation is not explicitly defined.

Communications to staff and third-party service providers

We noted that the procedure is available in both official languages and is explained to screening officers by CATSA staff during basic training. The procedure is included in the training manual, and a training session on officers’ responsibilities under the Act is provided for all new screening officers. Third-party supervisors and managers, as well as CATSA staff working in airports, are also informed of the policies and procedures on official languages.

We found that CATSA also publishes articles providing reminders of the procedure in its newsletter CATSA Checkpoint. In addition, we noted that CATSA ensures, through its regional service delivery managers, that official languages and, in particular, the duty to make an active offer are addressed on a near-daily basis during shift changes.

Everyone we interviewed—screening officers, managers, representatives of the various service providers and CATSA employees at the six airports we visited and at headquarters, including CATSA’s senior management—confirmed that the procedure is in place and that they are aware of their language obligations toward the travelling public at screening checkpoints.

Analysis of compliance of the standard operating procedure with the Official Languages Act

In practice, an active offer is made to inform a traveller at a screening checkpoint that service is available in his or her preferred official language at this location. Through the traveller’s response, the screening officer determines the language in which the traveller would like to be served. It goes without saying that the appropriate service must follow.

The work of a screening officer is very precise and demanding. It primarily involves screening passengers to ensure that they are travelling in a secure environment. The volume of travellers at screening checkpoints is unpredictable and, in the interest of providing quick and courteous service, CATSA seeks to screen the travelling public as efficiently as possible so as not to cause delays at screening checkpoints. The procedure applies at all times and indicates that screening officers must make an active offer and provide service in the traveller’s preferred official language. We noted that the procedure is effective if the screening officer is bilingual. It may even be effective when a bilingual officer is temporarily absent and the supervisor must be called on to implement a temporary administrative measure to provide service in both official languages until the bilingual officer returns. However, due to the shortage of bilingual staff in a number of regions and to the assignment of an insufficient number of bilingual officers to screening checkpoints, temporary administrative measures are used very frequently. Unfortunately, these measures most often become the norm. Our consultations with OLMCs confirmed that they also note an insufficient number of bilingual officers at screening checkpoints.

The pace at which officers are required to perform their work also has an impact on their ability to follow the procedure. Some unilingual officers told us that they feel caught off guard when it comes time to apply the procedure. They are expected to interpret what is said by the person in front of them and determine his or her preferred official language within a few seconds. They stated that there is very little time to make this observation, and even less time to go get the supervisor. Officers also repeatedly mentioned that, in most cases, because of the location of their assigned screening checkpoints and the ambient noise, they are unable to determine whether an individual is requesting service in English or in French without having to make a second active offer.

We observed—and confirmed through our interviews—that some unilingual screening officers raise their voice or attempt to attract attention by raising their arms to signal for assistance. This draws the attention of those around them and puts the traveller requesting service in his or her language in an uncomfortable position; it becomes clear that the traveller will be treated differently from that moment onward.

The location of the supervisors has an impact on the application of the procedure, as the supervisors are not always close enough to the screening officers and available immediately. We observed that screening officers who are outside the screening checkpoint gates or far from the supervisor cannot ask travellers to wait while they seek assistance from the supervisor, as this would cause delays, and it is difficult for officers to discreetly signal for assistance when they are far from the supervisor. Although unilingual officers are provided with a small blue card with key phrases to help them out, this is not always sufficient, especially when it is necessary to act quickly.

We visited six designated bilingual airports during the audit, namely those located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto and Halifax. During our 22 visits to screening checkpoints in these airports, an active offer was often made, but we rarely received service in the minority official language of the location visited, except in Montréal. We noted that unilingual officers often ignore the procedure, especially if bilingual officers or supervisors are far from them or are absent. Some unilingual officers indicated that they do not make an active offer at all times when they know that they are unable to serve clients in their preferred official language or that service will be unavailable because of a shortage of bilingual officers. They want to avoid confrontation with the travelling public. Some officers also stated that, when passenger volume is high, the flow of travellers through screening checkpoints takes precedence over the travellers’ right to receive service in the minority language, which is unacceptable.

The current procedure is problematic from an official languages standpoint, as travellers who request service in the minority official language and are not served by bilingual officers will not be treated in the same way as travellers who use the majority official language throughout the security screening process. This is aggravated by the fact that screening officers are in a position of authority at the screening checkpoint. Travellers often feel vulnerable when dealing with individuals in positions of authority and will not complain to avoid being publicly stigmatized.

Screening officers who represent CATSA must absolutely ensure that they provide services of equal quality in both official languages. The Federal Court’s October 2015 decision in Tailleur (2015 FC 1230) states that the quality of service must be equal. In his decision, the judge explains that, in a situation that requires fast, accurate and efficient service, this service must be provided with the same speed, accuracy and efficiency in both official languages. If the service is of lower quality because it is regularly subject to an administrative measure, the resulting service is of different and unequal quality, to the detriment of the members of a given official language community. The right enshrined in Part IV of the Act refers to substantive equal treatment, and the concept of equality cannot be limited to half-measures. Therefore, we are of the opinion that the procedure, as it is currently applied, does not meet the necessary criteria to ensure service of equal quality in both official languages and therefore does not comply with the requirements of Part IV of the Act.

Recommendation 4

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the standard operating procedure related to official languages be amended to state that active offer and service of equal quality in both official languages are inseparable in the application of security measures at screening checkpoints. The new procedure will have to be communicated to all front-line personnel.

b) Contracts with third-party service providers contain language clauses to ensure that third parties have performance objectives and activity monitoring mechanisms so that they can effectively provide services of equal quality in both official languages during all work shifts.

Language clauses in contracts

CATSA has signed contracts with three service providers: G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) Ltd., GardaWorld Aviation Services, and Securitas Transport Aviation Security Ltd. All of the contracts contain the same language clauses.

Clause 7.2 of these contracts addresses the issue of bilingual screening staff. It indicates that the service provider is responsible for making sure that bilingual screening staff at pre-board screening checkpoints during operating hours have sufficient linguistic proficiency to ensure communications of an equal quality and level are available in both official languages at all times. The clause also states that, when in doubt, CATSA may assess the service provider’s staff to ensure their linguistic proficiency. CATSA confirmed that it confers full responsibility for this task on the service providers. CATSA does not verify that communications of equal quality and at an equal level are provided in both official languages and has no prescribed language test for service providers’ staff to assess the bilingualism levels of screening officers.

In our interviews, the managers of the service providers and the bilingual screening officers informed us that, in general, the language proficiency assessment carried out during the hiring process consists of asking questions in both official languages during an in-person interview or through an informal test during a telephone interview. In some cases, we were provided with sample tests, which were limited to simple questions used to assess candidates’ ability to direct travellers during the security screening process.

We also noted that each service provider assesses its candidates’ bilingualism levels differently. Although we were generally very satisfied with the language proficiency of the bilingual screening officers we encountered during our interviews, the lack of consistency in the approach and the fact that CATSA does not verify the level of quality of bilingual screening officers’ communications in both official languages provide no guarantee that these officers’ communications with the travelling public are of equal quality and at an equal level in English and in French. CATSA must ensure the bilingualism levels of the screening officers providing service to the travelling public on its behalf so that they are able to provide service of equal quality in both official languages.

Recommendation 5

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommendsthat the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority ensure that all service providers apply a consistent approach to assessing andvalidating the language proficiency levels of bilingual screening officers so that the quality standard corresponds to a sufficient level of proficiency to communicate effectively in both official languages.

Clause 7.2.1.1 of the contracts indicates that the service provider must ensure that there is at least one bilingual officer on duty for every two open service lines at all times during operating hours.

The clause also states that the service provider must ensure that there are additional bilingual screening staff members available, beyond the minimum set out above, to meet demand for bilingual services at screening checkpoints at given airport locations.

Although the Regulations specify that a Class 1 airport is designated as bilingual when it serves at least one million passengers, actual passenger demand for service in the minority official language at these airports is not measured. CATSA acknowledges that the standard of one bilingual officer for every two open service lines may not be sufficient in all cases to provide service of equal quality in both official languages as required. We are of the opinion that CATSA must assess actual demand in order to determine the optimal number of bilingual officers required to serve the public in both official languages at each Class 1 airport. It is our view that having one bilingual officer on duty for every two service lines at a screening checkpoint serving a significant minority-language population is clearly insufficient. With respect to having additional bilingual screening staff available, a number of regions informed us that there are not enough bilingual officers to meet the minimum contract requirements. Some service providers mentioned that, in order to deal with situations exceeding the minimum requirements (e.g., the departure of an Air France flight), they must use almost all bilingual officers on site. We noted that there are very few additional bilingual screening employees available—and in some regions, none at all. In our view, this is unacceptable.

The current standard, providing one bilingual officer for every two service lines, is no guarantee of service of equal quality in both official languages. This conclusion is supported by the complaints received by the Office of the Commissioner from the travelling public, comments from OLMCs and our own observations. CATSA acknowledges that the current standard was established without taking into account actual demand and that it is insufficient in some cases to meet the requirement to provide service of equal quality.

However, clause 7.2.1.1 allows service providers to propose alternate ways to provide services in both official languages. CATSA indicated that it intends to take service providers’ proposals into account during the next round of contract negotiations. It should be noted that subsection 5.1 of CATSA’s official languages policy says that CATSA’s president and CEO is responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient human and financial resources in place, at both the national and regional levels, to meet the requirements of the Act as they apply to CATSA. Since this is an intrinsic value of the organization, we are of the opinion that CATSA must be willing to consider service providers’ proposals for a more effective allocation of current resources at screening checkpoints.

For CATSA to be able to determine its bilingual staff requirements, serve the travelling public well and provide bilingual services where necessary, it is important for CATSA to know the actual demand for services in the minority official language at Class 1 airports. It must also review the current standard and establish a service model enabling a service provider to provide service of equal quality in both official languages.

Recommendation 6

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority take the necessary steps to assess demand for services in the minority official language at designated bilingual airports and review the current standard to ensure that service providers are able to provide service of equal quality in both official languages.

Performance objectives and monitoring

CATSA has established performance objectives and monitors third-party service providers to meet specific requirements of the Act; these measures are set out in the language clauses in the contracts and in CATSA’s procedures.

There are two performance and monitoring programs: the Service Excellence Program (SEP), which is based on the procedure, and the Contract Compliance Program (CCP), which is related to contract clauses.

CATSA primarily monitors what it is able to measure, verify and validate without interfering with screening officers’ work. Through the two above-mentioned programs, CATSA’s performance officers verify a set of criteria relating to official languages, namely that:

  1. an active offer is made;
  2. one bilingual officer is on duty at the screening checkpoint;
  3. one bilingual officer is on duty for every two open service lines;
  4. official languages pictograms are in place;
  5. signage regarding bilingual service is not obstructed or damaged; and
  6. bilingual officers are wearing a pin to indicate that they provide bilingual service.

Criterion 1, which relates to making an active offer in both official languages, is part of the SEP and is one of the three components of this program’s first performance indicator. A bonus is awarded to service providers that meet their language obligations with respect to active offer. Providers that achieve a score of 98% for all three components can obtain the maximum performance bonus for this indicator. However, if a service provider scores below 85%, it must prepare an official action plan to correct the situation. CATSA has indicated that it implemented the compensation program to encourage excellence in bilingual service delivery.

Criteria 2 to 6 fall under the CCP, a less formal program than the SEP. The monitoring results for this program’s criteria are handled differently from the SEP performance indicator results. Corrective measures for service providers that fail to comply with the established standards for CCP criteria are determined regionally and are left to the discretion of CATSA service delivery managers in the regions concerned. Failure to meet these criteria may nevertheless result in financial penalties.

More specifically, with respect to bilingual officers wearing a pin to indicate that they are able to provide service in both languages (criterion 6 above), we observed and noted during our interviews that, with the exception of two or three cases where officers had misplaced or forgotten to wear their pin, these pins were worn and visible. We noted, in particular during our interviews with bilingual officers, that pride was taken in serving passengers in the official language of their choice. One officer stated that “when we speak French, people light up,” [translation] alluding to passengers requesting service in French. In general, we noted in our interviews with screening officers, whether bilingual or not, that these employees demonstrated pride and emphasized the importance of being able to serve passengers well.

However, we note that, under the CCP or the SEP, CATSA does not monitor whether screening officers provide service in a traveller’s preferred official language, nor whether the service provided is of equal quality; this does not encourage service providers to surpass or go the extra mile to meet the requirement to provide service of equal quality, which, nevertheless, is one of CATSA’s obligations under the Act and one of the service contract clauses. It is imperative that service of equal quality be included, along with active offer, in the SEP criteria.

The official languages criteria under the CCP need to be redefined based on the previous recommendation to measure actual demand. In addition, a consistent cross-regional approach is necessary in terms of the consequences of failing to achieve the official languages performance standards under the CCP.

Recommendation 7

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority implement a mechanism to measure the availability and equal quality of service in both official languages and that it take this mechanism into consideration when measuring official languages performance under the Service Excellence Program.

Recommendation 8

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority review its official languages standards under the Contract Compliance Program and that it make the consequences of failing to meet these new standards consistent across all regions.

Performance officers

CATSA relies heavily on its performance officers’ observations. Because the screening officers know who the performance officers are, they know that they are being assessed when performance officers are present. With the exception of positions in Montréal and a few isolated cases, an assessment of the language requirements of performance officer positions in six of the airports we visited revealed that most of these positions are designated unilingual English. In relation to the recommendation above, it is necessary for performance officers to be able to assess service of equal quality and, to do so, they must be able to understand the minority official language. Performance officers do not need to be bilingual to hear and understand “Bonjour, hello” or “Hello, bonjour” or to verify signage, pins, etc, but they must be bilingual to verify service delivery. Therefore, we are of the opinion that a sufficient number of performance officers must be bilingual in order to effectively measure the quality of service in both official languages.

Recommendation 9

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority review the linguistic identification of the positions of its performance officers in airports and ensure a sufficient number of bilingual officers to effectively monitor and measure service of equal quality in both official languages.

c) Staff recruitment, training and language proficiency meet the need to achieve official languages objectives stipulated in service provider contracts.

Staff recruitment

CATSA confirmed that the service providers are entirely responsible for the recruitment of staff working at screening checkpoints. Overall, the process for assessing screening officers is a painstaking one, and recruiting bilingual officers is a complex task in some regions owing to factors such as a limited pool of bilingual candidates seeking employment; airports often being located far from downtown; the potentially high cost of commuting to airports; and competition with other businesses offering bilingual employees financial incentives to join their teams. In addition, the retention rate for bilingual officers is lower than it is for unilingual officers, as bilingual staff are also in demand in other fields.

We noted that service providers take steps to hire bilingual staff. For example, they state on their Web sites and in their recruitment notices that preference will be given to bilingual candidates. In isolated instances, some providers contact French-language educational institutions and community associations to seek bilingual candidates but, in general, service providers do little in the way of community relations to find bilingual staff and none of them consult OLMCs.

Region Airport Number of screening officers Percentage of officers able to serve the public in English Percentage of officers able to serve the public in French
Central Ottawa 245 100% 29%
Toronto 1,841 100% 5%
Pacific Vancouver 875 100% 9%
Prairies Edmonton 327 100% 9%
Eastern Halifax 254 100% 15%
Montréal 731 98% 99%

The table above shows the ratio of bilingual to unilingual officers employed by service providers in the airports we visited in March 2016.

As can be seen, with the notable exception of Montréal, very few officers are able to provide service in the minority official language. During our interviews, we repeatedly heard that bilingual officers have no advantages over their unilingual colleagues. We were told that this is the reason why some of them say that they are unilingual, despite having some skills in the other official language. Because there is a shortage of bilingual officers in some regions, bilingual screening officers also informed us that it is sometimes difficult for them to take breaks or have meals like the others, as no one is able to replace them. Bilingual officers are also asked to relocate to another screening checkpoint and sometimes even have to change terminals to compensate for a shortage of bilingual officers.

Screening officers are unionized and, in this context, the idea of some employees having an advantage over others is not well received and, traditionally, seniority takes precedence. Part IV of the Act first and foremost aims to ensure that institutions implement measures that enable Canadians to fully exercise the rights to which they are entitled under the Constitution, namely to communicate with or receive services from Government of Canada institutions in either official language. The quasi-constitutional nature of the Act ensures that language rights take precedence over collective agreements. Therefore, the language rights of the travelling public, and not just the seniority of employees, must be taken into consideration when planning work schedules. We were pleased to see that, in Vancouver, G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) Ltd. and the union were able to negotiate an agreement ensuring that screening officers serve the public in both official languages by making sure that bilingual officers are assigned to various work shifts before unilingual officers with more seniority.

Clearly, the limited number of bilingual officers is a serious problem that CATSA and the service providers must address. The recruitment of bilingual officers alone will not be enough to offset the current chronic shortage.

Finally, only G4S Secure Solutions (Canada) Ltd. in Vancouver informed us that for a certain time it had provided its employees with language training. None of the other service providers do so. However, if service providers are unable to recruit enough bilingual officers, why not train those who are interested in building on their current knowledge or acquiring knowledge of their second language? All of the unilingual screening officers we interviewed showed interest in receiving language training. They indicated that this would allow them to better serve the public and would increase bilingual capacity at screening checkpoints. Officers are informed and aware of their language obligations and have expressed the desire to serve their clients better.

Recommendation 10

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority take steps to ensure that service providers increase the pool of bilingual screening officers within their organization and support them in:

  • strengthening connections with official language minority communities;
  • taking part in recruitment events, such as job fairs; and
  • adopting internal strategies to give bilingual employees an advantage and to promote screening officers’ acquisition or further development of second-language skills, particularly by providing language training.

Training

CATSA provides basic training, including on the procedure, for all new screening officers to ensure oversight and guarantee that essential information is taught and understood in a consistent manner. This training includes a session dealing with officers’ duties and responsibilities under the Act and focuses heavily on active offer. Officers are also provided with on-line distance training, which covers operational scenarios and serves to provide updates and reminders based on identified issues and needs, including those related to official languages.

Service providers also offer training to their employees, but it differs from region to region. It is not standardized training, but is rather delivered in the form of as-needed reminders focused on routine issues, such as reminders about active offer provided during team meetings. In our interviews, screening officers shared a number of things they would like to see in terms of training, including more simulations with the assistance of bilingual employees on how to implement the current procedure. Some officers mentioned that they would like official languages components to be included in the simulation exercises. The basic and on-line training provided by CATSA covers elements relating to current official languages requirements. However, we are of the opinion that the training provided by third parties could be reviewed to ensure consistency in the approach and content from one region to another regarding material related to official languages and to develop more interactive training strategies.

Recommendation 11

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority review the official languages training provided for screening officers by third-party service providers to ensure greater cross-regional consistency in approach and content.

d) Operational objectives are set out in the agreements signed with third-party service providers and the work is organized in such a way that sufficient bilingual personnel are assigned to screening checkpoints and technology is used optimally so that active offer and service are available in both official languages at all screening checkpoints.

The location of screening checkpoints and the space allocated to CATSA varies in each airport based on the airport’s areas of activity and needs. The assignment of officers depends on the presence of technological devices and the specific duties they have to perform. The sorting and random selection mechanism is very important in the security screening process to ensure the safety of the travelling public. For example, at each screening checkpoint, there may be one line to access NEXUS kiosks, one line for special needs and families, and another line for additional screening.

CATSA allows service providers to organize the work and assign the personnel under their responsibility. As previously mentioned, CATSA verifies whether screening checkpoints have the required number of bilingual officers and whether all the duties associated with the screening checkpoints are being performed, in accordance with its checklist.

Even though there may be variants, based on the space allocated for the screening checkpoint or the technology used, overall, the organization of a screening checkpoint must ensure that the following security screening duties are performed:

  • Reviewing the boarding pass at the front of the screening line located outside the screening checkpoint.
  • Swabbing to detect hazardous substances.
  • Directing travellers toward a service line.
    • In Edmonton, travellers pass through an eGate and a screen tells them which service line they should head toward. In Ottawa, a mat at the screening checkpoint entrance directs travellers to a service line or toward additional screening. In both cases, an officer is present.
  • Explaining what must be placed in the X-ray bins, such as metal objects or shoes.
  • Putting travellers through the metal detector. At this step, they are either randomly selected for additional screening or directed toward the verification of the items in their baggage.

We noted at least six occasions where a screening officer may interact with a traveller, including one outside of the screening checkpoint service lines.

Each of the officers assigned to the above-mentioned duties must also rotate regularly and be replaced by another officer with the same certifications, in addition to the replacement of officers during breaks and meals. It is important to note that there is usually high passenger volume and that the security screening process must be done quickly.

As mentioned earlier in this report, it is evident that the minimum standard of one bilingual officer per two service lines open is clearly insufficient to meet needs, regardless of demand. There are many points during the security screening process when officers and travellers interact and different factors can influence the flow of the service lines. Imagine a scenario where members of the same family or a group travelling together request service in the minority official language from the officer directing passengers and, following the security screening process, are dispersed into different lines. In addition to this, imagine that the bilingual officer is on break and that the supervisor on call is not bilingual. It would be very difficult, impossible even, to provide service of equal quality.

The solution is in the strategic assignment of screening officers at all steps of the security screening process, at any given screening checkpoint, and in taking into consideration the need to offer and provide service in both official languages throughout the security screening process. The assignment of a sufficient number of bilingual officers is necessary and must take into account the operational reality on site in each airport. It is clear that the number of bilingual officers assigned to screening checkpoints at this time in airports with language obligations is insufficient in the majority of cases to ensure service of equal quality at all times. Things need to change and a short- and medium-term solution is required to comply with the requirements of the Act.

Recommendation 12

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority take measures to encourage service providers to implement a strategic reorganization of personnel at screening checkpoints so that an optimal number of bilingual officers are available to provide service of equal quality in the preferred official language of members of the travelling public.

Technology is used almost exclusively based on the security obligations and protocols in place for pre-board screening rather than language needs. Nevertheless, we observed some variation in the types of devices used at various screening checkpoints, depending on the space allocated to CATSA at the airport, the need to test state-of-the-art devices, as well as the necessity to manage the flow of passengers at any given time. Some airports, such as the one in Edmonton, are evaluating new technology. During our visit to this airport, we discussed with managers from CATSA and its service providers the possibility of adding a function to the eGates that would enable travellers to indicate their preferred official language and direct them toward one or more lines staffed with officers who can provide service in their preferred official language. In addition, when we passed through the screening checkpoints, we were struck by the lack of electronic or even traditional signs to inform passengers at the beginning of the security screening process of their right to be served in the official language of their choice. We believe that the use of signs is one way to make an active offer of service and could help screening officers identify the needs of a traveller more quickly.

In its communications, CATSA informed us that following our discussions, our visit to the Edmonton airport and our observations at various screening checkpoints in the airports, senior management is open to further considering the use of technology in its strategies for promoting active offer and providing services in both official languages, particularly when purchasing new devices.

Recommendation 13

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority use signs to inform passengers, outside of screening checkpoints and at the beginning of the security screening process, of their right to be served in their preferred official language to support screening officers in quickly identifying the needs of travellers when making an active offer of service in person.

Objective 3:

Ensure that CATSA understands the needs of official language minority communities and takes them into account when planning its bilingual services.

a) CATSA has a process in place to ensure that it understands the service needs of official language minority communities.

b) CATSA takes these needs into account when planning and modifying its services.

In light of our observations, these two criteria have been combined in the same analysis. During our interviews at CATSA headquarters and in the regions, the managers told us that they did not consult OLMCs on official languages issues. This was confirmed during our interviews with OLMCs.

We conducted interviews with six OLMCs located in the regions of the airports we visited. For the Eastern Region, we spoke with representatives from the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, the Voice of English-speaking Québec and the Quebec Community Groups Network; for the Central Region, we spoke with the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario; for the Prairies Region, we spoke with the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta; and for the Pacific Region, we spoke with the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique. In each case, the representatives informed us that they were not in contact with CATSA or its service providers regarding the services provided by CATSA in the airports.

Representatives from OLMCs were unanimous in their statements, during our interviews, regarding the services offered to the travelling public in the airports. They mentioned that an active offer was not made uniformly and consistently, and that service in the minority official language was rarely, or almost never, available, except at the Montréal airport.

They also stated that, in many cases, some OLMC members were tired of complaining and some no longer did. We are concerned about this situation because we have noted that the number of complaints about services to the public provided by CATSA is high and increasing.

However, things could change. Many OLMCs indicated that they would like and appreciate regular contact with regional CATSA managers to be kept informed about any changes to the processes and procedures, to have the opportunity to express themselves on specific aspects of the security screening process, and to establish a network to assist in hiring bilingual personnel in the regions. The OLMCs would also like to work with CATSA representatives to resolve problems as they occur or to process complaints. Lastly, they even suggested that national OLMC organizations participate in an annual nation-wide process involving members of CATSA’s executive committee and board of directors (for example, a board of directors planning sub-committee) to discuss strategic directions on service to the public in both official languages.

CATSA does not have a relationship with the OLMCs. Yet the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in DesRochers and the Federal Court’s in Picard are clear regarding consultations with OLMCs. These decisions state that the participation, consultation and communication activities of federal institutions with OLMCs are necessary to meet the principle of substantive equality in service delivery and comply with the requirements of Part IV of the Act. Since CATSA would like to provide good client service, consultations with OLMCs would be an opportunity to learn more about their expectations.

Recommendation 14

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority implement an ongoing consultation process with official language minority communities and take into account the results of these consultations to improve services provided in both official languages.

It is important to note that, in 2013, CATSA’s communications branch proposed implementing a community relations program entitled CATSA in the Community. One of its objectives was “to create mutually beneficial relationships with special needs groups and groups of diverse ethnic backgrounds.” The program proposed communications strategies for target groups, including presentations, the use of social media, meetings with screening officers, ongoing media relations and the incorporation of key messages in CATSA’s external communications. CATSA explained that, following budget cuts, this program was never launched. Although OLMCs were not explicitly listed as a target group, the program was supposed to include them.

We believe that CATSA in the Community is an excellent initiative that should be pursued from an official languages point of view. CATSA’s actions regarding OLMCs as part of this program should be better defined and visible, in accordance with the requirements of the Act and to complement any future consultations of OLMCs by management.

Objective 4:

Ensure that CATSA effectively monitors the delivery of services of equal quality in English and French by third-party service providers in airports.

This objective involves verifying the monitoring mechanisms that are not associated with the regular operations monitoring noted in Objective 2.

These mechanisms are in place at the organizational level to address senior management’s need to have more independent performance measurement. In particular, internal audit and the surveys conducted on client satisfaction were analyzed.

a) CATSA has effective control and monitoring mechanisms (including internal audit and program evaluation) to ensure that services provided to the public are of equal quality in both official languages, and that service agreements are being respected.

b) The monitoring results are used in service quality management with a view to ongoing service improvement.

Once again, based on our observations, these two criteria were covered in the same analysis. CATSA surveys travellers throughout the year. These surveys verify among other things passenger satisfaction with services provided in their preferred official language. They are conducted immediately after travellers pass through screening checkpoints. For example, two surveys, of 5,603 and 5,581 travellers respectively, were conducted during the first two quarters of 2015–2016, in eight airports. The results showed that Anglophones travelling through airports in a region where the majority language is English had high levels of satisfaction (97% and 98%, respectively) in terms of service in their language. During the same periods, for Francophones travelling through airports in a region where the majority language is English, the survey showed satisfaction rates of 89% and 73%, respectively. However, the number of Francophones surveyed was low (19 and 26 people, respectively). The results of the surveys were presented to the executive committee and the Board of Directors.

It is difficult to determine the accuracy of the results obtained for services provided to Francophones using the current methodology. We noted that, in its new official languages action plan, CATSA wants to review its current data collection activities and methods, including surveys, in order to improve them. We are of the opinion that a statistically valid measurement of services provided to Francophone passengers must be conducted by CATSA in order to gather data on the services provided to travellers in both official languages.

Recommendation 15

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, as part of its review of data collection activities and methods, including passenger surveys at screening checkpoints, make methodological improvements to ensure statistically valid data is collected on the availability and quality of services provided to the Francophone travelling public.

Internal audits are another way that CATSA verifies its performance in terms of its objectives. During our interviews, we learned that the Internal Audit Unit was eliminated in 2013, as a result of budget cuts, and that this function has been assigned to an external firm. However, CATSA conducts a follow-up on the recommendations resulting from various audits, including the recommendations made in this report.

An internal audit policy entitled Internal Audit Charter defines the internal audit parameters within CATSA. This policy states that internal audit ensures CATSA’s compliance with the policies, standards, procedures, laws and regulations that it is subject to. Through internal audits, CATSA can verify its compliance with the Act in all aspects, including services to the travelling public in both official languages. We believe that the official languages component could be included and verified in other audits that do not necessarily have official languages as the main objective. Unfortunately, during our interviews, we learned that no verification of CATSA’s compliance with the Act has ever been conducted and that no official languages component has been included in other audits.

However, CATSA’s president recently ordered a special audit to verify the quality of services provided during pre-board screening. In the mandate of this audit, we noted the importance placed by CATSA on good client service in the management and security of a screening checkpoint. During our interviews, CATSA informed us that one aspect it plans to verify includes active offer and the availability of service in the passenger’s preferred official language. Two series of “mystery shopper” observations will be conducted in each of the country’s five largest airports. Passenger surveys will also be conducted to evaluate their expectations of screening officers’ skills. CATSA hopes to gather data on official languages expectations. The report was submitted in April 2016 and was not included in our audit because our data collection phase was completed in March 2016.

The two above-mentioned initiatives demonstrate that CATSA’s senior management is concerned about the services provided to passengers, including in terms of official languages. We have recommended improving survey methodology to produce more relevant data from an official languages point of view and we are satisfied that, for the audit CATSA is currently conducting, an official languages component is part of the criteria that will be verified.

Conclusion

This audit sought to determine to what extent CATSA meets its language obligations to the travelling public during the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their personal belongings at screening checkpoints in Class 1 airports (those with at least one million passengers), which are required to provide services in both official languages under the Act. We examined whether the measures CATSA has put in place enable the organization to fulfill its obligations under Part IV of the Act.

The audit found that CATSA has made considerable effort to meet its obligations. We noted senior management’s commitment to effectively implementing the requirements of the Act. Following multiple discussions with auditors from the Office of the Commissioner, management took the initiative to put several changes in place, such as improving the accuracy of data on service in both official languages at screening checkpoints and improving promotional activities for the general public. Nevertheless, recommendations have been made to further support the Official Languages Champion in his regional duties and to ensure a consistent approach in the linguistic identification of regional director positions. The Interim Commissioner appreciates the importance CATSA places on precision in its security operations to ensure that passengers travel in a secure environment. She also recognizes the commitment and initiatives of CATSA’s management with respect to official languages and encourages the organization to continue this work within set timeframes.

As for operations at screening checkpoints, the Interim Commissioner recommends the following:

  • modifying the standard operating procedure to ensure that the services provided in both official languages are of equal quality and go hand in hand with an active offer of service;
  • ensuring that the language skills of screening officers are verified;
  • reviewing the current standard for the number of bilingual officers assigned to screening checkpoints based on actual demand;
  • including, in its activity monitoring, the provision of services of equal quality in both official languages; and
  • taking steps and providing service providers with guidance on their practices to ensure they increase the pool of bilingual screening officers within their organizations.

The Interim Commissioner has made 15 recommendations to CATSA to help it improve its delivery of bilingual services to the public. These recommendations are presented in Appendix B, along with CATSA’s comments and action plan regarding the implementation of the recommendations, as well as the Interim Commissioner’s comments. During our visits and interviews, we observed the commitment and pride of CATSA personnel and its service providers in their work and their dedication to providing the best possible service to clients. We noted the commitment of managers and senior management to making progress and achieving excellence in client service. We believe that the implementation of all the recommendations presented in this report will help the institution meet its obligations under the Act in terms of communications with and services to the travelling public in both official languages. We believe that CATSA has the potential for success with respect to official languages, and we are confident that the institution will take all measures necessary to achieve this objective. Within 18 to 24 months after publication of the final audit report, the Office of the Commissioner will follow up on CATSA’s progress in implementing the recommendations.

About the Audit

This audit was carried out in compliance with the standards set forth in the Office of the Commissioner’s external audit policy. The audit results are specific to official languages and to this audit and do not preclude the possibility that other problems could exist within the institution.

Objective

The overall objective of the audit was to determine whether CATSA is meeting its obligations under Part IV of the Act. More specifically, we sought to determine whether CATSA provides an active offer of service in both official languages and provides services in the language of the traveller’s choice at its assigned screening checkpoints in designated bilingual airports. The complete audit objectives and criteria are listed in Appendix A.

Scope and approach

The audit looked primarily at the first CATSA area of activity, the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their personal belongings at screening checkpoints in Class 1 airports (those with at least one million passengers), which are required to provide services in both official languages under the Act. It specifically focused on bilingual services provided by CATSA officers to members of the travelling public passing through screening checkpoints in designated bilingual airports, where services in both official languages must be provided.

The audit covered the period between December 2015 and March 2016. The auditors also reached back over longer periods, as required, to gather evidence in order to make conclusions with regard to specific criteria. The audit included an analysis of all CATSA activities related to bilingual service delivery to the travelling public. We conducted on-site visits at headquarters and in CATSA’s four major service regions. The screening checkpoints visited at the designated bilingual airports are listed in Appendix C.

The approach used in this audit ensured guidance and transparency for CATSA. Every opportunity was taken to explain each step of the audit process clearly and to establish an open dialogue with everyone who was consulted. Discussions often focused on possible solutions to help CATSA improve its compliance with the Act. We were pleased to note that this approach was well received.

During the audit, we conducted a total of 88 interviews. Among these, 78 were conducted with CATSA employees, third-party service providers and their employees. We interviewed the following CATSA executives and managers: three vice-presidents, representatives from the communications and internal audit coordination sections, several managers in the regions and at headquarters, performance officers and all Service Delivery directors in the regions. We also conducted interviews with representatives of each third-party service provider and met with 36 unilingual and bilingual screening officers. We received excellent cooperation from CATSA staff and third-party service providers, and we were especially impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the employees we met.

During the audit, we consulted with the Office of the Commissioner’s regional representatives in the four regions visited and held interviews with six representatives from OLMCs, including the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, the Voice of English-speaking Québec, the Quebec Community Groups Network, the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta, the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique and the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario.

We also reviewed documentation, including but not limited to action plans, policies, meeting agendas and minutes of meetings, service contracts, the standard operating procedure, performance evaluations and reports, the action plan for communications with the public, information on the institution’s Web site, annual reports, official languages work tools, information on training provided to screening officers and statistical data gathered by performance officers. We also took into account some decisions of the Federal Court and Supreme Court of Canada. As well, we visited testing facilities and the security operations centre.

Audit team

Julie Vézina, Senior Auditor, Performance Measurement

Michel Robichaud, Senior Auditor, Consultant

Johanne Morin, Assistant Director, Performance Measurement

Jean Marleau, Director, Performance Measurement

Appendix A: Audit objectives and criteria

Objective 1

Ensure that CATSA senior management has committed to implementing Part IV of the Official Languages Act in order to guarantee that passengers can be served in the official language of their choice.

Criteria

  1. CATSA has an official languages governance structure that involves senior management and the Board of Directors (i.e., an accountability framework, corporate strategic directions, an action plan and policies approved by senior management).
  2. CATSA has a performance evaluation mechanism for senior executives and operations managers who have responsibilities related to service delivery.
  3. Senior management promotes official languages in the organization and to third-party service providers and ensures their visibility within the organization and to the general public (Web site, news releases, social media, etc.).

Objective 2

Ensure that CATSA has a formal mechanism to make an active offer and provide services of equal quality in English and French during all steps of the airport security screening process.

Criteria

  1. CATSA has policies and directives in place that are communicated to CATSA staff and third-party service providers.
  2. Contracts with third-party service providers contain language clauses to ensure that third parties have performance objectives and activity monitoring mechanisms so that they can effectively provide services of equal quality in both official languages during all work shifts.
  3. Staff recruitment, training and language proficiency meet the need to achieve official languages objectives stipulated in service provider contracts.
  4. Operational objectives are set out in the agreements signed with third-party service providers and the work is organized in such a way that sufficient bilingual personnel are assigned to screening checkpoints and technology is used optimally so that active offer and service are available in both official languages at all screening checkpoints.

Objective 3

Ensure that CATSA understands the needs of official language minority communities and takes them into account when planning its bilingual services.

Criteria

  1. CATSA has a process in place to ensure that it understands the service needs of official language minority communities.
  2. CATSA takes these needs into account when planning and modifying its services.

Objective 4

Ensure that CATSA effectively monitors the delivery of services of equal quality in English and French by third-party service providers in airports.

Criteria

  1. CATSA has effective control and monitoring mechanisms (including internal audit and program evaluation) to ensure that services provided to the public are of equal quality in both official languages, and that service agreements are being respected.
  2. The monitoring results are used in service quality management with a view to ongoing service improvement.

Appendix B: List of recommendations for each objective, CATSA’s comments and action plan, and the comments of the Interim Commissioner of Official Languages

Objective 1

Recommendation 1

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority establish a network of regional official languages coordinators to support the regional directors in implementing the requirements of the Official Languages Act.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA will identify regional Official Languages Coordinators. Roles and responsibilities of such coordinators will be defined to include elements such as promoting bilingualism in the workplace, and representing their region on CATSA’s Advisory Committee on Official Languages.

Action Plan

CATSA will identify regional Official Languages Coordinators who will represent their region on the Advisory Committee on Official Languages.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Service Delivery

Completion date: June 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Recommendation 2

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority implement its decision to set official languages performance objectives for the vice-presidents for 2016–2017, apply this decision to the operations managers and directors reporting to the vice-presidents at headquarters and in the regions, and evaluate all these executives and managers based on these objectives.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA already implemented its decision to set official languages performance objectives for vice-presidents in their 2016–17 performance agreements. The elements cover CATSA’s obligations under the Official Languages Act and are a reflection of accountabilities listed in CATSA’s Official Languages Policy. All four Directors, Service Delivery, working in the regions and the Director, Program Integrity, and Director, Program Delivery, working at headquarters also have official languages-related performance objectives for 2016−2017.

Action Plan

CATSA set official languages performance objectives for vice-presidents in their performance agreements and for the operational directors who report to the vice-presidents at headquarters and in the regions.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Corporate Services

Completion date: Completed

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has taken to address this recommendation. We would like to acknowledge CATSA’s proactive efforts in implementing this recommendation.

Recommendation 3

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority objectively review the linguistic identification of the positions of directors and general managers, Service Delivery, in the regions so that these positions accurately reflect senior management’s commitment to official languages management and ensure official languages are just as visible in Western Canada as in Eastern Canada.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA recently re-evaluated the language profiles of its regional employees, along with the operational requirements in the regions, and is satisfied with the current model.

[Offices of Primary Interest]: Vice-President, Corporate Services, and Vice-President, Service Delivery

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We disagree with CATSA’s decision not to take any measures to address this recommendation. We are of the opinion that these management positions are the face of CATSA in the regions and that they are a visible reminder of its commitment to official languages in both Western and Eastern Canada. We maintain our recommendation and we will address it again under section 91 of the Act as part of the audit follow-up, which will be conducted in the next 18 to 24 months.

Objective 2

Recommendation 4

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the standard operating procedure related to official languages be amended to state that active offer and service of equal quality in both official languages are inseparable in the application of security measures at screening checkpoints. The new procedure will have to be communicated to all front-line personnel.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA’s standard operating procedure related to official languages is aligned with the operational reality at screening checkpoints. It also takes into consideration the fact that not all screening officers are required to be bilingual. Linked to its initiatives aimed at improving customer service, CATSA will examine how it can clarify its expectations with screening contractors to enhance procedures and the delivery of equal service in both official languages and align it with the training of screening officers.

Action Plan

CATSA will examine how it can clarify its expectations with screening contractors to enhance procedures and the delivery of equal services. It will align the enhancements with the training of screening officers.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Service Delivery

Completion date: September 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are generally satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation. The existing standard operating procedure does not address services in both official languages as being inseparable in order to ensure that an active offer is made and that service is provided in the official language of the travelling public’s choice. CATSA’s proposal to clarify its expectations with contractors is a step in the right direction, and we encourage CATSA to do this. When providing the details of its expectations, CATSA will need to make it absolutely clear that there is an unbreakable connection that must exist between active offer and service of equal quality in both official languages.

Recommendation 5

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority ensure that all service providers apply a consistent approach to assessing and validating the language proficiency levels of bilingual screening officers so that the quality standard corresponds to a sufficient level of proficiency to communicate effectively in both official languages.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

The Airport Screening Services Agreements require screening contractors to ensure that the linguistic proficiency of bilingual screening personnel is sufficient to provide for an equivalent level and quality of communication. Bilingual services must be actively offered and made available at all times.

CATSA is not prescriptive in its approach with screening contractors as it relates to hiring practices. Without imposing a specific approach, CATSA will facilitate the sharing of best practices with its screening contractors to enhance the quality of their language proficiency assessments by establishing clear expectations of linguistic proficiency.

Action Plan

CATSA will facilitate the sharing of best practices with its screening contractors to enhance the quality of their language proficiency assessments of screening personnel by establishing clear expectations.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Service Delivery

Completion date: June 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are generally satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation. Even though CATSA does not intend to require all service providers to apply a consistent approach to assessing and validating the language proficiency levels of bilingual screening officers, it does plan to clarify its expectations of language proficiency to ensure that it is represented by screening officers whose level of proficiency is high enough to be able to communicate effectively in both official languages and proposes do so using a non-prescriptive approach by promoting the sharing of best practices.

Recommendation 6

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority take the necessary steps to assess demand for services in the minority official language at designated bilingual airports and review the current standard to ensure that service providers are able to provide service of equal quality in both official languages.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

As part of its most recent passenger intercept survey conducted quarterly in all Class I airports, CATSA started asking the travelling public in [the second quarter of fiscal year] 2016–2017 in which official language they prefer to be served.

CATSA will continue to assess the demand for service in the minority official language at Class I airports via its quarterly passenger intercept survey. Results will be rolled up on a yearly basis. If the demand for services in the minority official language at any of the Class I airports is at least 5%, CATSA will determine if a review of the current standard at those airports is necessary.

Action Plan

CATSA will continue to conduct passenger surveys to assess the demand for service in the minority official language at Class I airports. It will use the results of the surveys to determine whether it is necessary to review the standard for the number of bilingual officers per service line.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Corporate Services

Completion date: June 2017 (for data collection)

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Recommendation 7

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority implement a mechanism to measure the availability and equal quality of service in both official languages and that it take this mechanism into consideration when measuring official languages performance under the Service Excellence Program.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA commissioned a customer service evaluation to verify the quality of services provided during pre-board screening. CATSA included an official languages component to this initiative so that active offer and the availability of service in the passenger’s preferred official language is evaluated during “mystery shopping” observations. A first evaluation was conducted in 2015–2016 and a second one is expected to take place in [the fourth quarter of fiscal year] 2016–2017.

Additionally, CATSA will review the feasibility of incorporating the data collected through ‘mystery shopping’ activities to the [Service Excellence Program] portion of its oversight program. CATSA will also explore options for incorporating the element of quality of bilingual service delivery after the active offer into its annual customer service evaluation.

Action Plan

CATSA will review the feasibility of incorporating the data on official languages collected through “mystery shopping” activities to the Service Excellence Program portion of its oversight program.

CATSA will explore options for incorporating the element of quality of bilingual service delivery into its annual customer service evaluation..

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Service Delivery

Completion date: June 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Recommendation 8

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority review its official languages standards under the Contract Compliance Program and that it make the consequences of failing to meet these new standards consistent across all regions.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

Management agrees that the consequences of failing to meet the official languages standards should be consistent. That being said, the consequences are consistent across all regions.

The Contract Compliance Program is designed to hold screening contractors accountable to the specific commitments contractors made in their proposals in response to CATSA’s request for proposals for the Airport Screening Services Agreements. Since each contractor made different but equal commitments as to how they would meet the official languages obligations under the contract, the compliance criteria differ from region to region.

The consequences for failure to meet compliance requirements under the [Contract Compliance Program] are consistent across all regions, resulting in the issuance of a request for a Performance Improvement Action Plan.

[Office of Primary Interest]: Vice-President, Service Delivery

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We disagree with CATSA’s decision not to take any measures to address this recommendation, and we expressed this opinion at the meeting between our respective representatives where CATSA provided its response to the preliminary audit report and submitted its action plan. The issue will be raised again during the audit follow-up, which will be conducted in the next 18 to 24 months.

Recommendation 9

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority review the linguistic identification of the positions of its performance officers in airports and ensure a sufficient number of bilingual officers to effectively monitor and measure service of equal quality in both official languages.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA will revisit the language designation of some Performance Officers to increase its bilingual oversight capacity.

Action Plan

CATSA will revisit the language designation of some Performance Officers to increase its bilingual oversight capacity.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Corporate Services

Completion date: March 2018

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Recommendation 10

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority take steps to ensure that service providers increase the pool of bilingual screening officers within their organization and support them in:

  1. strengthening connections with official language minority communities;
  2. taking part in recruitment events, such as job fairs; and
  3. adopting internal strategies to give bilingual employees an advantage and to promote screening officers’ acquisition or further development of second-language skills, particularly by providing language training.
CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA will support within its means screening contractors in their recruitment efforts. CATSA will assess the role the newly identified regional Official Languages Coordinators could play in this initiative (see recommendation #1) and how they can be leveraged to provide assistance to screening contractors.

Service Delivery will work with Communications to develop a reporting mechanism with regard to the progress service providers make on the delivery of services in both official languages.

The Vice-President, Service Delivery, will issue a letter to the service providers recommending they reach out to the official language minority community during their recruitment process.

Action Plan

As part of its commitment to to support screening contrators, CATSA will assess the role the regional Official Languages Coordinators could play.

The Service Delivery and Communications teams will develop a reporting mechanism to document the progress service providers make on the delivery of services in both official languages.

A letter will be issued to the service providers encouraging them to communicate with official language minority communities.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Corporate Services, and Vice-President, Service Delivery

Completion date: September 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are generally satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation. As explained in this report, it is obvious that, without developing and adopting strategies for recruiting and retaining bilingual employees, service providers will not be able to recruit or retain enough bilingual employees to meet their language obligations in some regions.

Recommendation 11

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority review the official languages training provided for screening officers by third-party service providers to ensure greater cross-regional consistency in approach and content.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA’s contract with service providers is not prescriptive in the training approach or method used by screening contractors to train their employees in any aspect of the services provided to passengers. As mentioned previously, CATSA will explore whether guidelines or standards can be developed to clarify CATSA’s expectations with respect to the language proficiency for screening officers identified as bilingual.

Action Plan

CATSA will explore whether guidelines or standards can be developed to clarify its expectations regarding language proficiency for bilingual screening officers.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Service Delivery

Completion date: June 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation. However, we are concerned about the information service providers share with their employees and how consistent it is with respect to their language obligations to the travelling public. We have noted that CATSA prefers a non-prescriptive approach and that it will explore the best way to deal with the issue and clarify expectations.

Recommendation 12

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority take measures to encourage service providers to implement a strategic reorganization of personnel at screening checkpoints so that an optimal number of bilingual officers are available to provide service of equal quality in the preferred official language of members of the travelling public.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA constantly reviews its processes and screening checkpoint configurations for optimal use. Given the great range of circumstances that prevail at checkpoints across the country, specific designations for specific positions are not always operationally feasible. That being said, CATSA will encourage screening contractors to be more strategic, when operationally possible, when assigning positions and/or responsibilities to its bilingual personnel.

Action Plan

CATSA will encourage screening contractors to be more strategic, whenever feasible, when assigning positions and/or responsibilities to its bilingual personnel.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Service Delivery

Completion date: December 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Recommendation 13

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority use signs to inform passengers, outside of screening checkpoints and at the beginning of the security screening process, of their right to be served in their preferred official language to support screening officers in quickly identifying the needs of travellers when making an active offer of service in person.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA will develop checkpoint signs to inform passengers of their language rights at bilingual airports.

Action Plan

CATSA will develop signs to inform passengers of their language rights at checkpoints in designated bilingual airports.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Corporate Services

Completion date: June 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Objective 3:

Recommendation 14

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority implement an ongoing consultation process with official language minority communities and take into account the results of these consultations to improve services provided in both official languages.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA is committed to consult official languages minority communities more frequently. The consultation process will include a letter sent on an annual basis by CATSA’s Official Languages Champion to linguistic minority communities asking for their feedback on improvements to service delivery in both official languages. Provided it has sufficient resources at headquarters and the regions, CATSA is also committed to targeting official languages minority communities when implementing CATSA in the Community.

Action Plan

CATSA commits to consulting official languages minority communities on an annual basis through its Official Languages Champion.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Corporate Services

Completion date: June 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Objective 4:

Recommendation 15

The Interim Commissioner of Official Languages recommends that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, as part of its review of data collection activities and methods, including passenger surveys at screening checkpoints, make methodological improvements to ensure statistically valid data is collected on the availability and quality of services provided to the Francophone travelling public.

CATSA’s Management Response and Action Plan

CATSA will examine its methodology for surveying passengers and evaluate how it could increase its sample of Francophones and what the related costs would be.

Action Plan

CATSA will examine its methodology for surveying passengers.

Office of primary interest: Vice-President, Corporate Services

Completion date: June 2017

Interim Commissioner’s Comments

We are satisfied with the measures CATSA has proposed to address this recommendation.

Appendix C: List of screening checkpoints and airports visited

CATSA Region

Eastern

  • Nova Scotia, Halifax – Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport
  • Quebec, Montréal – Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Central

  • Ontario, Ottawa – Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
  • Ontario, Toronto – Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1

Prairies

  • Alberta, Edmonton – Edmonton International Airport

Pacific

  • British Columbia, Vancouver – Vancouver International Airport