The Entry-Level Drinking Water Operator Course is a mandatory course for all Operators-in-Training (OITs) in order to be fully trained in the treatment and distribution processes, as well as the regulations that govern water quality. Historically, this course has been offered solely in English, but this trend was changed in spring 2012 when the course was translated and prepared to be offered in French. The Walkerton Clean Water Centre, which administers this course, received a request to deliver the French-language training in Ottawa in March 2012.
Although the course requires at least eight participants in order to be administered, only four people were registered for the training in French. Despite the low turnout, the decision was made to proceed with the training, as it met a need within the Francophone community. Besides, the low turnout also reflected the fact that there are fewer French-speaking operators than English-speaking operators, but their needs should not be of a lower priority.
The training course was adapted accordingly, but the point to be highlighted here is that a legitimate need within the Francophone community was addressed and fulfilled, allowing French-speaking operators to receive the necessary training in their own language so that they could do their job appropriately. A great undertaking met with diligent action; and the result will be long-lasting indeed.
The Honourable Mentions Series is a series of 15 blog posts that the Commissioner is releasing to individually highlight initiatives by government ministries and agencies that demonstrate efforts to expand the delivery of high-quality French-language services, as listed in his 2012-2013 Annual Report. The full list of honourable mentions and the relevant blog posts are available here.