In the Past Ten Years... a sequel to “160 years of the Canada Gazette

A word from the Director of the Canada Gazette

In the past ten years, many aspects of the production have evolved: technology, security and administration, to name only a few.

The Canada Gazette Directorate’s (CGD) work environment and the tools used daily have changed over the years, but the role of the Canada Gazette has not. It remains the official newspaper of the Government of Canada and a key vehicle for the Government to inform and to consult with Canadians.

It is my privilege and honour to work with a dedicated group. These devoted employees ensure, week after week, that the Canada Gazette is published on time while maintaining its high quality and service standards. The Canada Gazette must be published on time whether it is twenty or two hundred pages.

Ghandi once said, "The future depends on what we do in the present." True to the spirit of these words, the CGD is committed to continuing to evolve and to keeping pace with the times, in order to fulfill its mandate.

Lyne Tassé
Director
Canada Gazette Directorate

Technology

Technology has changed the way in which the Canada Gazette is produced, printed and distributed. Most of these changes have occurred in the past ten years.

In 2003, the PDF (Portable Document Format) version obtained official status. This version is available free of charge on the Canada Gazette Web site. As well, in 2003, the "Current Consultations" Web page was launched. This page contains a list of current proposed regulations about which Canadians can send their comments. There was also the migration from ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) to HTML (HyperText Markup Language) to improve accessibility to the Canada Gazette.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds were added to the Web site in 2008. The feeds allow readers to receive updates on certain content published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, as well as enacted legislation published in Part Ⅲ. Currently, readers may subscribe to six different categories: Department of the Environment, Department of Health, Department of Transport, Notices of Vacancy, Industry Canada — Appointments, and Enacted Legislation.

With the client in mind, the Canada Gazette Directorate (CGD) also improved the search engine on its Web site. Searches may now be performed by category or by format, to name just some of the improvements.

The "Resources for Teachers" section was yet another addition to the Web site. Teachers will find useful tools and information to use in the classroom. Currently, the resources available are designed for students between thirteen and eighteen years of age.

Finally, in conjunction with Library and Archives Canada (LAC), all issues of the Canada Gazette published from 1841 to 1997 have been digitized and are available for consultation on the LAC Web site.

Security and emergency planning

The CGD is a secure environment and all employees must possess a "secret" security clearance. Some documents are "secret" until they are officially published, hence the need for the additional precautions. Outside of the CGD offices, there are security cameras, and visitors must ask for access and be accompanied in order to enter into the premises of the CGD.

Other forms of security are less visible. The official PDF versions which are available on the Canada Gazette Web site have certain security features enabled to prevent modifications. The CGD also has its own network, separate from Public Works and Government Services Canada’s network. This network is dedicated solely to the production of the Canada Gazette, to ensure the protection of the contents of the Canada Gazette before they are published.

To further ensure the timely production, an uninterruptible power supply system (UPS) is on the premises for the sole purpose of producing the Canada Gazette. The CGD must be able to produce the Canada Gazette regardless of an emergency or disaster situation. The CGD also has a Business Continuity Plan, which provides for the continued production of the Canada Gazette under exceptional circumstances.

Service standards

The CGD is committed to offering its clients the highest level of service, whether it is through translation services (for certain types of notices only), invoice processing or answering general inquiries. In 2007, the CGD conducted a client satisfaction survey, with results showing an overall satisfaction rating of 97%. In a follow-up survey in 2011, the CGD maintained its high client satisfaction rating with a rate of 95%. The CGD’s service standards are the following:

  • Maintaining an error count of less than 1%
  • Maintaining a client satisfaction rating of 85%
  • Meeting 100% of all legislated deadlines
  • Responding to all information requests within two business days
  • Providing quality service to clients in both official languages

To provide better service, the number of one-on-one meetings with clients has increased. These meetings promote better relations in order to find efficiencies for both the client and the CGD.

Service standards are important to the CGD, and each of the Directorate’s employees strives to offer the best possible service to its clients. Always looking for ways to improve, the CGD welcomes comments and suggestions, which may be submitted via our Web site.

Administration

The CGD has undergone several important administrative evolutions. Following the disbandment of Communications Canada in 2004, the CGD returned to the Department of Public Works and Government Services, where it had been from its inception.

Also, invoices for submissions are now sent electronically via email, as our system for invoicing moved to SAP/SIGMA, the financial system used in most federal government departments.

Exchanges

On occasion the CGD has the opportunity to visit other countries, or receive their delegations, to compare processes and practices. The CGD has visited England and France and has more recently received delegations from Japan and the Netherlands.

The CGD is also an active member of the Queen’s Printer Association of Canada (QPAC). The QPAC is a national organization, composed of representatives in each province and territory in Canada, as well as the federal government, all of whom are responsible for the official publishing and printing of government documents in their respective jurisdictions. They meet on an annual basis to enable members to share information and best practices related to government publishing and printing, and explore opportunities for partnerships between jurisdictions.

What has changed and looking forward

Many aspects at the CGD and the Canada Gazette have changed in the past ten years. Some notices are no longer published in the Canada Gazette—such as the supplement entitled Banks, Trust Companies, Loan Companies and Cooperative Retail Associations – Unclaimed Balances—and others have been added—such as the publication of notices on the evaluation and categorization of certain chemical substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The CGD continues to evolve and to stay up to date with technology. An important project in 2011 for the CGD is the move from MS Word to Adobe InDesign for modernizing the publication of the Canada Gazette. Looking forward, the CGD is looking into options that could enable templates for certain types of notices to be filled out and submitted electronically.

In all aspects—technology, service and administration—the CGD will continue to strive to meet and exceed all expectations.

Click on In the Past Ten Years . . . a sequel to 160 years of the Canada Gazette to view the bilingual PDF version (2,978 KB) of the booklet.

To read the PDF version, you must first install PDF reader software. A list of free downloadable software is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada Web site.