City hall will be asking Winnipeggers what changes are necessary for its provision of French-language services.
St. Vital councillor Brian Mayes, responsible for French language services, said a community consultation process will take place later this year to review the city’s French-language services bylaw.
Mayes said that while an administrative report outlines the range of civic services available in French, he said there is room for improvement.
Mayes said the administrative report – City of Winnipeg’s Compliance with French Language Service Obligations – has to be completed annually and submitted to the provincial government, adding however that the reports for 2011 and 2012 were never completed and the administration failed to provide an explanation as to why.
Winnipeg has experienced an increase in the number of French-speaking residents from Africa, he said, adding the review should reach out to those individuals.
The City of Winnipeg’s website doesn’t have enough bilingual information, Mayes said, and added that 10 per cent of the 311 operators are bilingual.
Highlights of the 2013 City of Winnipeg’s Compliance with French Language Service Obligations:
- French language training – 30 employees registered for language training.
- Leisureonline – online registration for recreation programs available in both languages.
- Golf services – bilingual score cards are distributed at the Windsor Park golf course, and efforts made to employ bilingual staff there.
- Snow clearing – "Know Your Zone" online service launched in 2012 in both languages.
- 311 Contact Centre – 10 per cent of staff (10 out of 100) are bilingual; in 2013, 0.59% of calls were in French or callers requested service in French.
- Winnipeg Transit – bilingual telephone service for Handi-Transit is available on request; bilingual telephone service for DART route #110 in St. Boniface.
- Assessment and taxation documents are available in both official languages.
- Council and committees – Presentations can be made in French if arrangements are made in advance.
- Signage – Bilingual signage installed at municipal buildings and facilities across the city; bilingual signs placed in parks and facilities in St. Boniface, St. Vital and St. Norbert as old unilingual signs replaced and budget permits.
- Street signage – All street and traffic signs are bilingual east of the Red River in St. Boniface and St. Vital, and the western side of the Red River in St. Norbert.
- St. Boniface Bilingual service centre, offers cashier and in-person information services in both languages for: water bill, property tax and ambulance payments; purchase of bus passes and tickets, and dog licenses.