2020-21 Departmental Plan
Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks

2020-21 Departmental Plan

This section contains detailed information on the department’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities. It also contains information on key risks related to achieving those results.

Economic development in Atlantic Canada

Description

Support Atlantic Canada’s economic growth, wealth creation and economic prosperity through inclusive clean growth and by 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

ACOA is a convenor for economic development in Atlantic Canada and a key collaborator with provincial governments, such as through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. ACOA will strategically invest in specific growth sectors such as food, oceans, aquaculture, clean technology and tourism, all while supporting advanced manufacturing, the start-up ecosystem, exports and a skilled workforce through immigration as drivers of competitiveness. The Agency will also focus on inclusive community economic development, including investing in Indigenous priorities in collaboration with Indigenous partners. In doing so, ACOA will act as a pathfinder for Atlantic businesses to better access and benefit from federal programs and investments.

Throughout 2020-21, ACOA will continue to help firms scale up, develop new markets and expand, as well as assist with the adoption of new technologies and processes. ACOA will be the main platform to support place-based investments in the Atlantic Canadian innovation ecosystem while helping communities advance and diversify their economies in an inclusive way. This work will be coordinated across the country with other regional development agencies.

In 2020-21, ACOA will work to advance its three departmental results with the following initiatives, activities and actions:

Businesses are innovative and growing in Atlantic Canada

Businesses invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in Atlantic Canada

Communities are economically diversified in Atlantic Canada

Gender-based analysis plus

The Agency will use gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) to support community and business vitality, and to understand the impacts of its policies and programs especially for groups under-represented in the economy, such as women, youth, Indigenous peoples, immigrants, official language minority communities, and rural areas. The Agency will integrate GBA+ into its program evaluations, data collection and analysis, and corporate policies. These activities will continue to advance the Government of Canada’s Gender Results Framework, specifically its goals on: economic participation and prosperity of women and under-represented groups; and, leadership and democratic participation, notably its expected result of  creating opportunities for women and under-represented groups to start and grow their businesses and to succeed on a global scale.

United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Agency’s activities and initiatives support objectives related to low-carbon government, clean growth and clean energy, and contribute to several of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), including ensuring sustainable consumption (SDG 12.7 through low-carbon government initiatives), building resilient infrastructure and promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization (SDG 9.5 through clean growth initiatives), and ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (SDG 7.2 through clean energy initiatives).

Experimentation

ACOA fosters innovation and is committed to experimenting with different strategies or methods to deliver programs, assess their relevance, and improve service to clients. New innovative methods will be used to design and implement ACOA’s new grants and contributions program management system and its client portal, ACOA Direct, including consultations and client testing during development to incorporate user expertise and perspectives throughout the iterative prototyping. This will help create a system that responds to both internal and external client needs.

Key risk(s)

ACOA has identified two main risks to fulfilling its mandate. The first is a risk that the Agency’s economic development programming may be affected by external factors that contribute to uncertainties for economic growth in Atlantic Canada. The second is a risk that the capacity of ACOA’s stakeholders – other governments, partners, communities and clients – for the identification, development and successful implementation of strategic projects may not be sufficient to support the optimal achievement of ACOA’s program objectives. ACOA will capitalize on the flexibility of its programs, on its advocacy role, and on its integrated planning to mitigate potential risks associated with an evolving economy and the depth of regional stakeholders’ capacity. It will conduct analysis on regional economic issues and collaborate with stakeholders to foster client and community capacity to help achieve targets under key federal priorities.

Planned results for economic development in Atlantic Canada

Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016-17 actual result 2017-18
actual result
2018-19 actual result
Communities are economically diversified in Atlantic Canada Percentage of Atlantic Canadian SMEs that are majority owned by women, Indigenous people, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities 17% female ownership;
1% Indigenous ownership;
10.5% youth ownership;
4% visible minority ownership; and,
0.3% persons with disabilities ownership
March 31, 2021 Not available [1] Not available [1] 17.1% female ownership;
1.1% Indigenous ownership;
10.6% youth ownership;
4.5% visible minority ownership; and,
0.3% persons with disabilities ownership [2]
Percentage of professional-, science- and technology-related jobs in Atlantic Canada’s economy 31% March 31, 2021 31% 32% 32%
Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA in community projects $1.20 for every dollar invested by ACOA in Atlantic Canada March 31, 2021 $1.17 $1.37 $1.32
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 $84 million March 31, 2021 Not available [1] Not available [1] $86.7 million
Percentage of businesses engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in Atlantic Canada 18% March 31, 2021 Not available [1] Not available [1] 18% [2]
Businesses are innovative and growing in Atlantic Canada Number of high-growth firms in Atlantic Canada 600 March 31, 2021 Not available [3] 610 620
Value of export of goods (in dollars) from Atlantic Canada $24 billion March 31, 2021 $19.5 billion $24.8 billion $26.4 billion
Value of export of clean technologies (in dollars) from Atlantic Canada Not available [1] March 31, 2021 Not available [1] Not available [1] Not available [1]
Revenue growth rate of firms supported by ACOA programs 8% March 31, 2021 7% [4] 7% [4] 9% [4]

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

Planned budgetary financial resources for economic development in Atlantic Canada

2020-21 budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main
Estimates)
2020-21
planned spending
2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
274,054,608 274,054,608 267,832,948 275,416,363

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

Planned human resources for economic development in Atlantic Canada

2020-21
planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
planned full-time equivalents
381 381 381

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

Internal Services: planned results

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 refer to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Programs delivery in the organization, regardless of its Internal Services delivery model. These services are:

Planning highlights

In 2020-21, ACOA will support workplace well-being by continuing to foster a healthy, diverse and innovative workplace through the implementation of wellness, diversity and inclusion initiatives such as its Mental Health Action Plan, its Official Languages Action Plan, and its Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

ACOA will implement organizational initiatives to strengthen and improve the efficiency of services and program delivery and build upon its excellence.

Specifically, ACOA will:

Planned budgetary financial resources for Internal Services

2020-21 budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main
Estimates)
2020-21
planned spending
2021-22
planned spending
2022-23
planned spending
26,961,156 26,961,156 26,265,143 26,345,015

Planned human resources for Internal Services

2020-21
planned full-time equivalents
2021-22
planned full-time equivalents
2022-23
planned full-time equivalents
196 196 196

[1] Some data are not available from Statistics Canada.

[2] Figures represent the latest available data from Statistics Canada at the time of drafting. Figures presented for previous years were also the latest available at the time of drafting. Statistics Canada data may have been modified since this report was drafted.

[3] There was a change in the methodology used by Statistics Canada to measure the number of high-growth firms by revenue, and historical data has not yet been revised.

[4] In 2020-21, the results for this indicator were updated based on a 5-year average to account for the lag (two-years) in data availability from Statistics Canada and fluctuations in the results for this indicator.

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