2017-18 Departmental Plan
Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Programs

Program: Enterprise Development

Description:

Despite recent economic progress and some promising opportunities on the horizon (e.g. energy, shipbuilding), some significant challenges remain for the region to maximize positive growth. One of the most telling indicators of this is that in a number of sectors, productivity remains significantly lower than in leading countries and other regions of Canada. The Agency works in partnership with Atlantic Canadian businesses, stakeholders, industry and institutions to improve the growth and productivity of Atlantic Canada’s economy, leading to increased competitiveness, higher earned incomes and job creation. The Agency works to improve the capacity of Atlantic Canada’s rural and urban areas for economic growth through a variety of strategically focused mechanisms: assisting businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to start, expand or modernize and to establish or expand export activities; partnering with universities and other institutions to increase the region’s research and development capacity, commercialization and productivity; and promoting and participating in the region’s transition to a knowledge economy.

Planning Highlights:

In 2017-18, ACOA is committed to building on Atlantic Canada’s regional strengths and competitive advantages in delivering the Innovation Agenda and moving forward on the Atlantic Growth Strategy, while working with and taking into account the opportunities for immigrants, Indigenous people, women and youth. Focusing on the innovation and growth of firms, ACOA will support initiatives to develop talent, business skills, and entrepreneurial culture. This includes continued investments in research and development, commercialization, the adoption/adaptation of new or improved technology, lean manufacturing initiatives, business expansion and modernization as well as support for business incubators and accelerators. It also includes partnering with provincial and other federal departments to coordinate investments in firms to accelerate their growth and strengthen business support in priority areas and in key sectors or clusters, such as information and communications technology, agrifood and seafood, and ocean technology – thus generating the potential of significant economic returns to Atlantic Canada’s economy.

Furthermore, ACOA is coordinating the delivery of the Accelerated Growth Service in Atlantic Canada in collaboration with federal departments and provincial government organizations. This is a national initiative which enhances the rate and scope of firm growth. It supports high growth firms in a collaborative, focused and flexible manner by providing a single point of contact to access government programming.

ACOA will also focus on accelerating clean growth in Atlantic Canada by providing funding to businesses and communities for projects that accelerate Canada’s transition to a cleaner, low carbon economy through the development and adoption of clean technologies. In fiscal 2017-18, ACOA plans to invest approximately $17 million in clean technology projects in Atlantic Canada.

Finally, in 2017-18 ACOA will implement a new trade and investment strategy that supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda and will help Atlantic Canadian companies navigate within global supply chains as well as help the region’s innovative companies accelerate into global markets. Through its funding programs, ACOA will maximize international business opportunities by investing in the creation, growth and market diversification of exporters, by supporting the attraction, retention and expansion of foreign direct investment, and by fostering readiness, preparedness and market engagement. This includes assisting companies and key stakeholders with their preparedness and successful capture of international business, including research, training, skills development, competitive intelligence, international marketing, and international engagement activities. In fiscal 2017-18 ACOA plans to invest approximately $20 million for trade and investment initiatives, and in doing so will actively collaborate with other federal departments and provincial governments, as well as key stakeholders and partners.

ACOA embraces its culture of innovation, collaboration and engagement, and is constantly finding new ways to work differently with stakeholders, both within the federal government and with other governments and community counterparts. ACOA has begun the process of experimenting with new approaches to specific existing issues, and is working to identify new opportunities for further experimentation. Examples of past and current experimentation include applying the Rapid Results approach to improving an Agency decision-making tool through a highly collaborative, engaged and efficient process, and applying design thinking and behavioural insights to exploring the dimensions of business culture in Atlantic Canada and to engaging stakeholders in the co-creation of solutions that will support ongoing policy and program decision making and development.

Collectively, these actions and activities will help SMEs in Atlantic Canada be more competitive and productive, thereby creating jobs and wealth opportunities for the Atlantic economy.

Planned results:

Expected Results Performance Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2013-14 Actual  Results  2014-15 Actual  Results  2015-16 Actual  Results 
Improved growth and competitiveness of Atlantic Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises Percentage points by which the business survival rate of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of comparable firms not assisted by ACOA 10 March 31, 2018 18 9 26
Percentage points by which the labour productivity growth of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of comparable firms not assisted by ACOA 3 March 31, 2018 7 7.3 6.1

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2017-18 Main Estimates 2017-18 Planned Spending 2018-19 Planned Spending 2019-20 Planned Spending
170,058,923 170,058,923 165,171,923 164,291,923

Human Resources: (Full-time Equivalents [FTEs])

2017-18 Planned FTEs 2018-19 Planned FTEs 2019-20 Planned FTEs
222 222 222

 

Program: Community Development

Description:

The Atlantic economy is built on the region’s many geographic, linguistic and cultural communities. From rural areas to larger urban centres, the opportunities and challenges vary significantly. Communities are the foundation of economic development and are critical for economic prosperity. The Agency recognizes the importance of communities and supports their efforts to develop the resources they need to contribute fully to their economic development. For these reasons, the Agency focuses community development efforts and strategies to create dynamic and sustainable communities with increased economic and business activities as well as quality public infrastructure. The Agency develops and delivers programming that meets the unique economic development needs of rural areas in Atlantic Canada and that contributes to a stronger region. The Agency collaborates with the private sector, other levels of government, other federal government departments, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and communities to leverage support, coordinate economic development, identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities and react to economic challenges across the region. This requires a flexible approach based on the realities of a given community’s capacities, strengths and challenges.

Planning Highlights:

In 2017-18 ACOA will help develop and diversify communities by making strategic investments that build on the region’s strengths and competitive advantages. Through planning, capacity development, strategic partnerships and investments in key sectors such as tourism, energy and other value-added industries, the Agency supports the creation of dynamic and sustainable communities that increase economic and business activities and offer quality public infrastructures.

ACOA will continue to invest in studies and strategic planning activities, marketing initiatives, and skills development for communities, educational institutions, industry associations, and not-for-profit organizations, to foster entrepreneurship, talent attraction and business growth. ACOA will also support the development of critical community infrastructure projects that enable long-term growth in the region.

By collaborating and partnering with various stakeholders, including provincial and municipal governments, ACOA will leverage investments and maximize the use of resources to augment the potential for economic impacts in Atlantic Canada. The Agency will continue to engage with official language minority communities to identify investments that will enhance the vitality of those communities, through its regular programs as well as through the delivery of the Economic Development Initiative of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018.

ACOA will increase the competitiveness of rural tourism by strengthening its partnerships with community leaders, investing in community infrastructure and by guiding communities (and tourism regions) through a process of building and executing strategic and sustainable tourism action plans.

ACOA will continue to invest in Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) and other community development organizations, to ensure that rural and urban business owners, whether young or first-time entrepreneurs, have access to capital, information and counselling required to help them strengthen and expand their businesses. The Agency will continue to support the vitality and growth of Indigenous communities and businesses. It will collaborate with its partners, and invest in projects that support strategic priorities listed in the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development and the Atlantic Aboriginal Economy Building Strategy.

Planned Results:

Expected Results Performance Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2013-14 Actual Results 2014-15 Actual  Results  2015-16 Actual  Results 
Dynamic and sustainable communities in Atlantic Canada with increased economic and business activity Percentage of Community Development (CD) projects that met expectations, thus contributing to the CD expected result 80% March 31, 2018 100% 91% 96%
Percentage points by which the business survival rate of CBDC-assisted clients exceeds that of comparable firms not assisted by CBDCs 10 March 31, 2018 not applicable[1] 24 24

Budgetary Financial Resources: (dollars)

2017-18 Main Estimates 2017-18 Planned Spending 2018-19 Planned Spending 2019-20 Planned Spending
104,552,144 104,552,144 87,732,144 87,732,144

Human Resources: (FTEs)

2017-18 Planned FTEs 2018-19 Planned FTEs 2019-20 Planned FTEs
101 101 101

 

Program: Policy, Advocacy and Coordination

Description:

The Agency’s Policy, Advocacy and Coordination (PAC) program is central to identifying and effectively responding to opportunities and challenges facing the regional economy. PAC provides intelligence, analysis and well-grounded advice on a broad range of issues and topics, and it informs and supports Agency and ministerial decision making. PAC helps carry the Agency’s agenda forward and ensure that ACOA overall remains relevant and responsive to the opportunities and challenges in Atlantic Canada by offering strategic, researched policy positions that reflect the region’s potential, by influencing national policies and programs that affect Atlantic Canada’s development and interests, and by coordinating other policies and programs within the region to form integrated approaches to development.

Planning Highlights:

In 2017-18, ACOA will capitalize on key opportunities by analyzing regional competitive advantages, engaging stakeholders and supporting decision makers with rigorous analysis and local intelligence.

ACOA will develop evidence-based policy recommendations that deliver on the federal agenda and support the government’s national priorities in Atlantic Canada. This approach will facilitate the alignment and delivery of Agency programming with Government of Canada priorities such as the Atlantic Growth Strategy and the Innovation Agenda.

Research and analysis will focus on the opportunities and challenges related to the region’s economy such as community economic development, innovation, high growth firms, and labour force challenges. The Agency will also consider factors influencing the ability of SMEs to participate in global value chains, and will examine key industries such as clean tech, tradable services, tourism, natural resources, and deep water offshore development. Through the integration of Gender-Based Analysis+, ACOA will also continue to improve its understanding of the Atlantic Canadian economy, and how its programming is accessible to under-represented groups such as women, immigrants, Indigenous peoples, younger and older workers, and persons with disabilities.

The Agency will continue to coordinate and engage the provinces and other federal departments in various initiatives. ACOA will play a leadership role in the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which is a multi-year initiative designed to drive economic development in Atlantic Canada by implementing targeted, evidence-based actions in several priority areas. In 2017-18 the Agency will continue to work on the implementation of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, with a focus on trade and investment, tourism, clean technologies and innovation. The Agency is working with other federal departments to support the Atlantic Leadership Committee, which is comprised of five federal ministers and the four Atlantic premiers, in tracking the progress of the initiative and reporting on its results.

ACOA will also work with Atlantic Canadian SMEs to take advantage of opportunities related to the National Shipbuilding Strategy by delivering supplier development initiatives and providing opportunities for SMEs to engage with key stakeholders. The Agency will continue to assist the development of the Atlantic Canadian aerospace and defence industry, and the establishment of the new Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association, with the objective of maximizing the economic impact of procurement related to Canada’s military and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Under the leadership of the Atlantic Canada Energy Office, the Agency aims to facilitate the development of the region’s energy sector by fostering collaboration, common understanding and communication among the public and private sectors. Finally, the Agency will continue to help coordinate the work of federal departments in the region by leading the Atlantic Federal Council.

Planned Results:

Expected Results Performance Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2013-14 Actual Results 2014-15 Actual  Results  2015-16 Actual  Results 
Policies and programs that strengthen the Atlantic economy Percentage of Policy, Advocacy and Coordination (PAC) activities that have met their objectives, thus contributing to the PAC expected result 75% March 31, 2018 not applicable 100% 100%

Budgetary Financial Resources: (dollars)

2017-18 Main Estimates 2017-18 Planned Spending 2018-19 Planned Spending 2019-20 Planned Spending
10,966,274 10,966,274 10,691,274 10,441,274

Human Resources: (FTEs)

2017-18 Planned FTEs 2018-19 Planned FTEs 2019-20 Planned FTEs
68 68 68

Information on Agency’s lower-level programs is available on the Agency’s website and in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's InfoBase.

 

Internal Services

Description:

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Planning Highlights:

ACOA will continue to implement organizational initiatives to strengthen and improve service and program delivery efficiency and excellence. Focus will continue on implementing common business processes and systems in priority areas such as human resources, information management, information technology and finance. The Agency will continue to collaborate with other regional development agencies to improve the efficient delivery of their programs and services to Canadians. This includes the development of a common software platform for the management of grants and contributions programs. ACOA will continue to support its employees through career and leadership development, and by building a healthy, respectful and supportive workplace. Part of this work will be supported through the implementation of ACOA’s mental health action plan in support of the Federal Public Service Workplace Mental Health Strategy. The Agency will reinvigorate its recruitment efforts, while continuing to promote the Public Service Commission’s New Direction in Staffing for the Core Public Service.

In support of accountability, evidence-based decision making and continuous improvement, ACOA maintains a strong focus on results and impact through ongoing performance measurement and evaluation of its programs and services. To support the organization’s results-focused culture, the Agency will ensure that a new departmental results framework and program information profiles are developed to meet the requirements of the Treasury Board of Canada’s Policy on Results, and that a five-year evaluation plan is developed and implemented to reflect these changes.

ACOA ensures that its key activities remain aligned with Government of Canada priorities and the Agency’s mandate and budgetary resources through its integrated planning process. The Agency will also ensure the integration of human resources, risk management, performance management and evaluation considerations into its planning and decision-making processes.

The Agency will continue to implement its 2015-18 Values and Ethics Strategy to ensure that values and ethics remain at the foundation of its corporate culture, and will support open dialogue at all levels of the organization.

ACOA will support the Government of Canada’s plan for an open and fair government by implementing Year 2 measures outlined in its Open Government Implementation Plan, and by seeking employee engagement in effective information management practices.

Budgetary Financial Resources: (dollars)

2017-18 Main Estimates 2017-18 Planned Spending 2018-19 Planned Spending 2019-20 Planned Spending
25,967,603 25,967,603 25,967,603 25,967,603

Human Resources: (FTEs)

2017-18 Planned FTEs 2018-19 Planned FTEs 2019-20 Planned FTEs
199 199 199

 

[1] In 2013-14, the two performance indicators for Community Development were: “Percentage of projects that are successful in achieving the intended objectives” and “Percentage points by which the growth in sales of CBDC-assisted clients exceeds that of unassisted firms”. In 2014‑15, the second indicator was changed to “Percentage points by which the business survival rate of CBDC-assisted clients exceeds that of comparable firms not assisted by CBDCs”.

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