2019-20 Departmental Plan
Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core Responsibility: Economic development in Atlantic Canada


Support Atlantic Canada’s economic growth, wealth creation and economic prosperity through inclusive clean growth and building on competitive regional strengths. Help small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth through direct financial assistance and indirectly to business support organizations. SMEs become more innovative by adopting new technologies and processes and pursuing new avenues for expansion and market diversification in order to compete and succeed in a global market.

Planning highlights

As part of ACOA’s role as a convener for economic development in Atlantic Canada and the Agency’s role in implementing the Atlantic Growth Strategy, the renewed focus on key priorities will be a central element of ACOA’s planning. The focus on these strategic priorities will have a positive impact on the Agency’s desired results and on how it achieves them. The Agency will act as a pathfinder for national programs to support Atlantic businesses to better access and benefit from federal investments. ACOA will look to invest in specific growth sectors, such as ocean, food, clean technology and tourism, while supporting advanced manufacturing, the start-up ecosystem and exports as drivers of competitiveness. The Agency will also focus on Indigenous economic development and on supporting a skilled workforce through immigration.

ACOA will support business investments in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in Atlantic Canada by:

ACOA will invest in the innovation and growth of Atlantic Canadian businesses through:

ACOA will invest in the economic diversification of communities to:

ACOA also fosters innovation internally and is committed to experimenting with different strategies or methods to deliver programs, assess their relevance, and improve service to clients. For instance, ACOA will build on the success of a pilot project that aims to streamline the evaluation process for commercial projects by extending the pilot to non-commercial projects. In addition, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada as the technical lead, ACOA is developing a competition under the Impact Canada challenge platform. The challenge aims to incentivize novel ideas to reduce fisheries fuel consumption by maximizing Atlantic Canada’s boat building expertise to design a boat hull for inshore fishing fleets that would decrease the amount of greenhouse-gas-emitting fuels used. Such projects will encourage technological innovation and increase awareness of the importance of clean growth technologies. This also presents an opportunity for economic benefit, by bringing forward new technology to the fisheries industry while promoting the region as an environmentally and technologically innovative region.

Risk Mitigation

ACOA will capitalize on the flexibility of its programming, on its advocacy role, on its integrated planning and on balancing risk in its loan portfolio to mitigate potential risks associated with the economy and the capacity of external stakeholders in Atlantic Canada. It will also conduct research and analysis of the factors affecting economic growth in Atlantic Canada, as well as collaborate with partners and stakeholders to foster client and community capacity to help reach the goals established under the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Atlantic Growth Strategy, and the Agency’s own key priority areas.

Planned results

Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2015-16 Actual result 2016-17 Actual result 2017-18 Actual result
Communities are economically diversified in Atlantic Canada Percentage of Atlantic Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are majority owned by women, Indigenous people, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities 17.0% of female ownership, 1.3% of Indigenous ownership, 10.6% of youth ownership, 4.0% of visible minority ownership, and 0.3% of person(s) with a disability ownership March 31, 2020 Not available* Not available* 17.1% of female ownership, 1.1% of Indigenous ownership, 10.6% of youth ownership, 4.5% of visible minority ownership, and 0.3% of person(s) with a disability ownership
Percentage of professional, science and technology-related jobs in Atlantic Canada’s economy 31%** March 31, 2020 30% 31% 32%
Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA in community projects $1.25 for every dollar invested by ACOA in Atlantic Canada March 31, 2020 $1.38 $1.17 $1.37
Businesses invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in Atlantic Canada Value of business expenditures in research and development by firms receiving ACOA program funding, in dollars $66 million March 31, 2020 Not available* Not available* Not available*
Percentage of businesses engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in Atlantic Canada 18% March 31, 2020 Not available* Not available* 18%
Businesses are innovative and growing in Atlantic Canada Number of high growth firms in Atlantic Canada 740** March 31, 2020 790 610 Not available*
Value of export of goods (in dollars) from Atlantic Canada $22 billion** March 31, 2020 $21.1 billion $19.5 billion $24.8 billion
Value of exports of clean technologies (in dollars) from Atlantic Canada Not available* March 31, 2020 Not available* Not available* Not available*
Revenue growth rate of firms supported by ACOA programs 8% March 31, 2020 7% 13% 8%

* Not available. Some “Actual results” data are not available because either a) the indicator was new for the 2018-19 fiscal year, and data for previous fiscal years were not available for that indicator, or b) there is a lag in statistical data, meaning that such data are currently only available for a specific period prior to the fiscal year exercise.

** Due to fluctuations in the percentage of professional, science and technology-related jobs, the number of high-growth firms and the value of exports in Atlantic Canada in recent years, the targets for these indicators have been revised accordingly to better reflect both the current economic situation and outlook in the region.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019-20 Main Estimates 2019-20 Planned spending 2020-21 Planned spending 2021-22 Planned spending
289,063,006 289,063,006 267,187,006 265,407,249

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2019-20 Planned 2020-21 Planned 2021-22 Planned
382 382 382

Financial, human resources and performance information for ACOA’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services


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 services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

Planning highlights

In 2019-20, ACOA will implement organizational initiatives to strengthen and improve the efficiency of service and program delivery and build upon its excellence. The Agency will keep improving processes and systems in priority areas, such as human resources, information management (IM), information technology (IT), finance and administration. It will continue to collaborate with other RDAs to improve upon the efficient delivery of programs and services to Canadians, including a new grants and contributions system.

ACOA will support workplace well-being by continuing to foster a healthy, respectful, accessible and inclusive workplace. It will do so by promoting awareness and use of available tools, by taking action on feedback from employees, and by continuing to implement the Agency Mental Health Action Plan.

Workforce renewal efforts will include implementing innovative strategies to attract and retain a diverse and high-performing workforce through targeted recruitment and enhanced consultation with employees. The Agency will work to manage talent more consistently and effectively, and will develop an organizational learning strategy to meet evolving needs.

ACOA will focus on effectively managing and safeguarding financial and other resources in the delivery of programs through innovation and risk management by promoting standardized and efficient practices. ACOA’s 2019 Values and Ethics Strategy will also be implemented to ensure that values and ethics remain at the foundation of the Agency’s corporate culture, and support open dialogue at all levels of the organization.

In support of accountability and evidence-based decision making, ACOA will maintain a strong focus on results and impact through ongoing performance measurement, evaluation and analysis of its programs and services. It will continue to ensure that its key activities and budgetary resources are aligned with Government of Canada priorities and the Agency’s mandate, and that its planning and decision-making processes fully integrate all required aspects.

ACOA will implement IM/IT initiatives in support of the Government of Canada Strategic Plan for Information Management and Information Technology 2017 to 2021. These initiatives include a focus on gradually decommissioning legacy systems to adopt cloud services, and completing implementation activities for the GCdocs document management system.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019-20 Main Estimates 2019-20 Planned spending 2020-21 Planned spending 2021-22 Planned spending
26,553,941 26,553,941 26,501,876 26,062,242

Human resources (FTEs)

2019-20 Planned 2020-21 Planned 2021-22 Planned
196 196 196
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: