2013-14 Departmental Performance Report
Section II: analysis of programs by strategic outcome

 

Strategic outcome 1:
A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy

Performance measurement:

Performance Indicator Five-Year Target
  (2013-14 to 2017-18)  
Actual Result
Increase in Atlantic Canada’s GDP for every $1 of ACOA expenditure in direct support of business   $4.50 To be reported in the 2017-18 Departmental Performance Report[i]

 

A competitive economy increases opportunities for economic development through the growth of earned incomes and employment opportunities. Productivity is an important determinant of competitiveness and a source of long-term prosperity for a region. Competitiveness and productivity are critical factors that allow economies to adapt to changing market conditions. The Agency supports and works with businesses and communities to help them become more competitive, innovative and productive and to enable them to position themselves for the future. It also develops initiatives that support the distinct economic development needs of Atlantic Canadian rural and urban communities.

During 2013-14, ACOA continued to focus efforts on increasing competitiveness through investments in areas such as innovation, business skills, community infrastructure and development, and international business development. To help SMEs become more competitive, the Agency targeted productivity drivers, including innovation and commercialization, technology adoption, business and management skills, and access to capital for firms and communities. ACOA also emphasized trade and investment activities to assist firms to expand in global markets and encourage international trade.

ACOA develops collaborations with businesses, governments and other stakeholders to ensure that SMEs are able to capitalize on major opportunities occurring in the region over the coming years. These collaborations focus government and industry attention on investment and activities that promote the capabilities of regional businesses and develop strategies to address key challenges in relation to these opportunities. It also helps reposition both urban and rural communities so they can deliver more value-added products, better jobs and high-value exports.

ACOA continues to have an impact on the overall increase in the competitiveness of the Atlantic Canadian economy. One measure of this impact can be seen through the increase in regional GDP linked to ACOA investments. Over the five-year period from 2008 to 2013, Atlantic Canada’s real GDP is estimated to have been almost $1 billion higher than it would have been without the Agency’s expenditures to support businesses in the region. During this period, direct ACOA support to business for commercial projects produced over $5.40 in GDP gains for every dollar of ACOA expenditures.[ii]

Program 1.1: enterprise development

Along with recent overall economic progress and some promising opportunities on the horizon (energy, shipbuilding), some significant challenges remain if the region is 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 Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) works in partnership with Atlantic Canadian enterprises, stakeholders, industry and institutions to improve the growth and productivity of Atlantic Canada’s economy, leading to increased competitiveness, earned incomes and job creation.

ACOA works to improve the capacity of Atlantic Canada’s rural and urban areas for economic growth through a variety of strategically focused mechanisms, which include: assisting enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized ones, to help them start, expand or modernize their businesses, and establish and expand export activities; partnering with universities and other institutions to increase the region’s R&D capacity, commercialization and productivity; and promoting and participating in the region’s transition to a knowledge economy.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14
Main
Estimates
2013-14
Planned
Spending
2013-14
Total
 Authorities 
Available
 for Use
2013-14
Actual
Spending
 (authorities 
 used)
 Difference
(actual
minus
planned)
170,201,748   170,201,748   179,986,762 180,674,018 10,472,270

 

Human resources: (full-time equivalents – FTEs)

2013-14
Planned 
2013-14 
Actual
Difference
 (actual minus planned)
170 215  45*

* The variance between the planned and actual FTEs in programs was mostly due to the realignment of human resources according to the new Guide on Internal Services Expenditures from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Based on this guide, more resources are being recognized as supporting policy and program activities rather than internal services activities. This realignment had no impact on the total number of FTEs at the Agency or on the work performed by these FTEs.

Performance results:
Expected Result Performance indicator Annual
Target
(2013-14)
Actual
Result
Improved growth and competitiveness of Atlantic Canadian SMEs  Percentage points by which the business survival rate of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of unassisted firms* 10 18
Percentage points by which the labour productivity growth of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of unassisted firms**  0.3 7

* For comparison purposes, “unassisted firms” are those of similar age, size, sector and geographic region that did not receive a direct monetary contribution from the Agency.

** For comparison purposes, “unassisted firms” are those of similar size, sector and geographic region that did not receive a direct monetary contribution from the Agency.

 
Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In 2013-14, ACOA continued to work on improving the productivity and competitiveness of Atlantic Canadian enterprises. The Agency provided assistance through its three sub-programs in order to fuel innovation and commercialization, improve productivity and business skills, expand international markets and provide the capital needed to sustain growth and meet expected results.

The business survival rate can be used to measure ACOA’s contribution to increasing companies’ competitiveness. A company’s survival depends on many factors, such as the age of the business, location and size. The Agency largely exceeded its target for this performance indicator; the five-year business survival rate[iii] for ACOA-assisted firms is notably higher than the rate for unassisted firms. In fact, the business survival rate for ACOA-assisted firms was 57% after the crucial fifth year following start-up for the 2001 to 2011 period, compared with 39% for unassisted firms. This represents a variance in the five-year business survival rate of 18 percentage points between ACOA-assisted firms and unassisted firms. This result seems to show that the economic downturn that occurred in 2008-09 has affected ACOA-assisted companies less severely. ACOA helped businesses in the start-up process by providing access to financing, information and advice, and business tools and guides, which may have helped them weather the economic downturn better.

D

Another measure of competitiveness is growth is labour productivity. Labour productivity in ACOA-assisted firms, which is estimated using sales per worker, experienced strong growth between 2006 and 2011. Sales per worker rose by 5.8%[iv] a year in ACOA-assisted firms, reaching a high of seven percentage points above the group of unassisted firms. For established businesses, the Agency provided assistance for improving productivity, expansion, modernization, exports and R&D, increasing their chance of survival and improving business growth. This performance indicator is being used for the first time and will be monitored in the future to ensure the target represents a good benchmark.
 

Sub-program 1.1.1: innovation and commercialization

Raising the levels of research and development (R&D) and innovation in the region is fundamental to increasing Atlantic Canada’s competitiveness and to closing the productivity gap with the rest of the country. ACOA invests in innovation and commercialization through supporting the R&D of new products, services and processes, and their commercialization in the market place. As well, ACOA provides support for the adoption and adaptation of leading edge technologies in businesses. Both the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) and the Business Development Program (BDP) are the funding programs that support ACOA’s objective of strengthening innovation and commercialization capacity in the Atlantic Region. Clients of the BDP and AIF include businesses and institutions such as universities and research institutes. 

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[v] 85,223,919 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 79 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14) Actual Result
Strengthened innovation and commercialization capacity in Atlantic Canada  Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA innovation projects $1.00 $1.83
Number of partners for technology development and commercialization  45 44
Four-year Target 2011-12 through 2014-15
Dollar amount of revenues resulting from commercialization $150 million To be reported in the 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

Through its AIF and BDP, the Agency approved $61.7 million toward 161 innovation and commercialization projects in 2013-14, including amendments for projects approved in prior fiscal years. These investments helped Atlantic Canadian SMEs increase their productivity and improve their competitive position by enabling them to develop new products, services or processes, gain efficiencies, reduce waste, acquire skills, leverage additional private-sector investments and commercialize their ideas. As demonstrated in the 2010 evaluation of its innovation-related programming (e.g. the AIF and BDP), ACOA’s support has enhanced commercialization capacity and productivity levels in Atlantic Canada, and innovation projects have addressed skills gaps in specialized areas.

The Agency approved $53.7 million in funding for new innovation projects, toward total costs of $151.7 million. This amount supported 81 projects under the innovation element of the BDP and 11 projects under the AIF. Therefore, for every dollar invested, the Agency leveraged $1.83 from other sources such as the private sector, universities and research institutes, national programs and Atlantic provincial governments. The leveraged amount is high since some AIF projects leveraged large amounts of funding.

The AIF has continued to be an important catalyst for many Atlantic Canadian businesses, universities and research institutions to collaborate on and invest in new ideas, processes, products and services. This was made evident through the project proposals approved under the 2013 AIF competitive round, many of which involved collaboration between universities and the private sector. There were a total of 44 meaningful partnerships stemming from AIF-funded projects.

Through the BDP, the Agency also continued its support for the commercialization of R&D outputs. The Agency committed an additional $6.9 million in 46 projects aimed at increasing the skills and expertise required for SMEs to commercialize new products, processes or services, as well as providing direct support to clients for the commercialization of their R&D outputs. For example, one project was undertaken to carry out the commercial development of a prototype for breast cancer detection and another to help finalize the development, manufacturing and commercialization of products to improve efficiencies in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.


Sub-program 1.1.2: productivity and growth

ACOA invests in productivity and growth to enhance access for Atlantic Canadians to the information, business skills and financing they require to start and/or grow a business. This enables businesses to get established, become more productive and grow, which generates wealth and jobs in the economy. Investments in productivity and growth are made directly by helping businesses to increase competitiveness through activities such as productivity improvement, expansion, modernization, business skills development, training, hiring skilled personnel, and indirectly through contributions to non-profit organizations, such as business and economic development associations, that undertake activities fostering business productivity and growth.

The Business Development Program is the primary funding program for business skills and growth. ACOA also administers Canada Business, which acts as a comprehensive source of information on government services, programs, regulations and resources for businesses. By reducing the complexity of dealing with various levels of government, Canada Business plays a role in the business development process. 

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[vi] 71,690,427 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 84 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14)  Actual Result
Enhanced Atlantic Canadian SME productivity and growth capacity  Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA on commercial productivity and growth projects $2.00 $1.97
Percentage of participants in business skills development activities indicating that the activity improved their business skills  75% 96%*
Percentage points by which the growth in sales of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of unassisted firms** 0.5 percentage points 3.6 percentage points

* The Agency has been surpassing the 75% target for several years. The target has, therefore, been increased to 85% for fiscal year 2014-15.

** For comparison purposes, “unassisted firms” are those of similar size, sector and geographic region, but that did not receive a direct monetary contribution from the Agency.


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In 2013-14, ACOA approved $49.7 million in direct financial assistance to SMEs, enabling them to improve their productivity, acquire technology, expand and/or modernize their operations, train their employees and hire skilled personnel. Thanks to those investments, SMEs were able to implement quality and productivity improvement programs, diversify their product lines or introduce new products, expand their customer base, reduce operating costs, and capitalize on procurement and development opportunities arising from planned major projects such as the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Each dollar invested by ACOA in these projects helped to leverage an additional $1.97 from other sources, thus helping to reduce the risks while increasing the economic activity.

To help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, the Agency approved an additional $10 million to not-for-profit organizations that undertook activities that allowed participants to further develop their business skills. Activities undertaken included a two-day symposium that introduced the latest approaches and best practices in productivity, advisory services to address specific business challenges, and a national business model competition introducing students to lean start-up practices. Out of the 8,250[vii] participants in ACOA-supported business skills development activities who responded to a survey, 96%[viii] indicated that the activity improved their business skills.

As well, sales by ACOA-assisted firms totalled $16.6 billion[ix] in 2011, up from $14.0 billion[x] in 2006, which is an average increase of 3.5% a year. In comparison, sales by unassisted firms fell from $64.0 billion[xi] in 2006 to $63.7 billion[xii] in 2011, an average decline of 0.1% a year. This represents a variance in firms’ sales growth of 3.6 percentage points between ACOA-assisted firms and unassisted firms. Although results are high, the use of the growth-in-sales performance indicator is recent and will be monitored over time to ensure it represents a good benchmark.

 

Sub-program 1.1.3: international business development

Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy identifies global value chains and new economic forces as offering opportunities, while recognizing increased competition for Canada. To strengthen the country’s position in international markets, it prescribes to take advantage of emerging global opportunities and to reinforce Canada’s image internationally as a preferred business partner and premier investment destination. Consistent with this strategy, ACOA’s International Business Development (IBD) sub-program pursues international opportunities with a view to increasing the number of exporters and the volume of export sales, to attract foreign direct investment and to support the international commercialization of technology. Further, IBD promotes Atlantic Canada abroad as a world leader in energy production, export and research, a centre of innovation, a skilled labour pool, a reliable supplier of quality products at competitive prices and the gateway to the North American market. The International Business Development Agreement (IBDA) and ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP) support ACOA’s role to coordinate in Atlantic Canada the efforts of federal, provincial and private-sector organizations in pursuing international business opportunities. Clients of IBD include businesses, non-profit organizations, learning and research institutions, and provincial governments.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)

not available [xiii]

23,759,672

not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 52 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14)  Actual Result
Expanded export activity by SMEs in Atlantic Canada Number of SMEs expanding their international sales (new exporters, exporters to new markets and increased sales to existing markets) 290 234
Percentage points by which the growth in export sales of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of unassisted firms* 5.0 percentage points not available**
New foreign direct investment opportunities in Atlantic Canada  Number of foreign direct investment transactions completed (deals closed) where ACOA's human or financial support contributed to bring the project to fruition  3 9

* The wording of this performance indicator has changed from “export growth of ACOA-assisted firms” to “percentage points by which the growth in export sales of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of unassisted firms.” For comparison purposes, “unassisted firms” are those of similar age, size, sector and geographic region that have not received a direct monetary contribution from the Agency.

** Statistics Canada advises that the data used to calculate this indicator is not available for 2013-14.


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

During the fiscal year, the Agency contributed to the Government of Canada’s efforts to foster business relations, attract foreign investment and nurture technological co-operation. With the support of ACOA programs and the IBDA, Atlantic Canadian SMEs participated in activities to identify and develop opportunities in new markets such as Brazil, China and India while maintaining a footprint in traditional markets such as the United States and Europe, where ACOA also explored ways to capitalize on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

More than 850 Atlantic Canadians participated in sessions on exporter preparedness and opportunities in emerging markets, and over 650 Atlantic companies also took part in ACOA-supported trade missions. For example, the Agency supported a pan-Atlantic mission to the first Oceanology International China exhibition in September 2013 with 11 exhibitors. Surveys[xiv] indicated that 63 business meetings took place, generating more than $250,000 in partnership agreements and up to $7.5 million in anticipated sales over the 12-month period ending in September 2014.

The number of Atlantic Canadian SMEs expanding their international sales was 234, representing 81% of the annual target, which is 290. This result is based on the number of clients responding to surveys,[xv] which was lower than anticipated. Consequently, the collected results offer only a partial picture of actual performance. In order to improve data collection, an online data collection process was introduced in 2013-14 and is still being tested. In the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities, ACOA has set two new indicators to measure the expanded export activity of SMEs in Atlantic Canada. These indicators are based on internal data collected directly from clients.

As for expanded foreign direct investment opportunities in Atlantic Canada, they are measured through the number of foreign direct investment transactions completed. ACOA far exceeded its target, with nine foreign direct investment transactions.

Program 1.2: community development

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. ACOA recognizes the importance of these communities in an economic development framework and supports their efforts to develop the resources they need to contribute fully to their own economic development.

For those reasons, ACOA focuses efforts and strategies toward rural community development and also aims to provide and maintain quality public infrastructure. ACOA works in co-operation with other levels of government, other federal government departments, non-government organizations, and community groups to leverage support, coordinate economic development and react to economic challenges. This requires a flexible, holistic approach based on the realities of a given community’s capacities, strengths and challenges. Community development is a bottom-up process that helps to develop the tools, resources and initiatives that support individual and unique strategic development.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Main Estimates  2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Total Authorities Available for Use  2013-14 Actual Spending (authorities used)  Difference (actual minus planned)
91,307,430 91,307,430 96,523,001 94,103,327 2,795,897


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
75 85 10*

* The variance between the planned and actual FTEs in programs was mostly due to the realignment of human resources according to the new Guide on Internal Services Expenditures from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Based on this guide, more resources are being recognized as supporting policy and program activities rather than internal services activities. This realignment had no impact on the total number of FTEs at the Agency or on the work performed by these FTEs. 


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14)  Actual Result
Dynamic and sustainable communities for Atlantic Canada  Percentage points by which the growth in sales of CBDC-assisted clients exceeds that of unassisted firms*  5 4.2
Percentage of projects that are successful in achieving the intended objectives 80% 100%

* For comparison purposes, “unassisted firms” are those of similar size, sector and geographic region that did not receive a direct monetary contribution from the CBDCs.


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

The Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) is ACOA’s principal tool for investing in communities. In 2013-14, ACOA worked with communities and stakeholders to develop projects with strong economic impacts under the ICF. These efforts led to the approval of 94 projects with an ACOA contribution of $47.1 million, and $102 million leveraged from other partners.

ACOA invested over $12.6 million to support the Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) in 2013-14. Sales by CBDC-assisted firms totalled $1.2 billion in 2011, up from $730 million in 2006.[xvi] This represents an average increase of 10.8% a year. In comparison, sales by unassisted firms rose from $21.2 billion in 2006 to $29.1 billion in 2011, which is an average increase of 6.6% a year. The variance in firms’ sales growth is therefore just over four percentage points between CBDC-assisted firms and unassisted firms. While the Agency’s ambitious target was not fully met, CBDC clients have outperformed unassisted firms in Atlantic Canada over this time period.

In 2013-14, ACOA worked closely with Atlantic Canadian communities on strategic investments that reflected their priorities. A total of 336 projects were approved, for a commitment of $84.5 million in Atlantic Canada. The impact of such projects on communities was evaluated by qualitative reviews, and results demonstrated that 100% of projects sampled successfully achieved their intended objectives.

The Agency continued to engage with the official language minority community by providing $9.3 million in assistance for 52 projects throughout Atlantic Canada, including projects under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI), thereby contributing to the vitality of those communities.

ACOA also worked closely with Aboriginal leadership, Atlantic provincial governments and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to complement the work being done in the region with respect to Aboriginal economic development. It implemented new guidelines and procedures on its duty to consult Aboriginal communities, in line with the federal guidelines developed by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Related information sessions were also delivered to all staff to ensure a full understanding of the duty-to-consult process, tools and resources in order to adhere to federal guidelines and strengthen relationships with Aboriginal communities.


Sub-program 1.2.1: community mobilization

In order to take responsibility for their own economic development future, communities must have the capacity and resources available to them at a local level to lead the community development process. ACOA typically takes a leadership role in coordinating efforts of the Government of Canada to access the various funding programs and resources to respond to unique community needs and economic adjustments in a coordinated and strategic way. This process focuses on bringing the community together to plan, develop and implement economic development efforts. This process must be developed and led by the communities themselves.

To facilitate this community capacity, ACOA co-operates with other levels of government and non-profit organizations. ACOA provides support to community-based organizations and business groups (such as sector groups) to facilitate this development process within targeted communities of interest. ACOA collaborates with several Aboriginal, Acadian and francophone organizations across the region whose activities encompass social, political, commercial and economic interests. In this capacity, ACOA acts as a facilitator to help stakeholders develop their own vision for development and to access the resources and expertise required to make their vision a reality. This bottom-up approach is built on co-operation and collaboration among the communities themselves and with the various levels of government and other stakeholders. This inclusive approach is especially important for communities undergoing economic adjustment or experiencing a transition in their economic situation. A key success factor is ACOA’s strong presence in the communities, through a decentralized approach to program delivery and economic development.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[xvii] 2,394,233 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 2 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14)  Actual Result
Improved community capacity to identify economic development needs and opportunities  Total dollar amount of projects approved under community mobilization  $1.25 million $1.12 million


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In response to a changing Atlantic Canadian economy and challenges such as globalization, the downturn of resource-based industries and rural depopulation, ACOA reacted quickly by adjusting its assistance to most community organizations supported under the Community Mobilization sub-program. ACOA announced in May 2012 that it would continue to provide operational funding for the 50 regional economic development organizations (REDOs) across Atlantic Canada up to May 21, 2013, in order to facilitate the transition.

The Agency spent $2.4 million under this sub-program in 2013-14, including final operational funding to REDOs, and continued to work in partnership with communities and stakeholders on strategic investments in projects that reflected economic development priorities identified by the region’s rural and urban communities. A total of 26 new community mobilization projects were approved, representing $1.12 million for Atlantic Canadian communities.

In 2013-14, the Agency completed an evaluation of the Community Mobilization and Community Investment sub-programs. Together, these two sub-programs were found to be complementary to strengthen the capacity and assets of communities. In order to better respond to community needs and opportunities in Atlantic Canada, ACOA decided to reposition this sub-program. After reviewing approaches to maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of resources in this area, this sub-program has been incorporated into an expanded Community Investment sub-program. As a result, this is the last parliamentary report in which ACOA will report results under the Community Mobilization sub-program.


Sub-program 1.2.2: community-based business development

The lack of business capital available in rural regions of Canada has become a significant economic development barrier. This lack of capital impedes the creation and expansion of small businesses, primarily in rural areas – businesses that are essential to the vitality and sustainability of communities. ACOA provides contributions to Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) in rural Atlantic Canada through the Community Futures Program. The CBDCs are run by community-based boards of directors with a focus on local community economic development. ACOA’s contributions permit the CBDCs to provide an essential source of investment capital that focuses on rural small businesses as well as on business counselling and skills development. ACOA also provides contributions to the CBDC network, which provides a suite of programs and services to Atlantic rural small businesses. In addition, ACOA uses the flexibility within its existing funding programs to assist Aboriginal communities to improve their access to capital financing, particularly through the Ulnooweg Development Group. Finally, ACOA provides targeted support to community-based, non-profit organizations to address investment capital gaps that focus on small businesses in other communities of Atlantic Canada.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[xviii] 18,183,175 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 17 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14)  Actual Result
Atlantic Canadian businesses have access to capital Percentage of CBDC funding in business loans 75% 83%
Number of businesses receiving financing from CBDCs 1,339 1,239
Atlantic Canadian businesses have access to information and counselling  Number of CBDC loan clients who have taken part in training or business counselling  7,002 6,647


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In 2013-14, the Agency continued to enhance the contribution agreements under the Community Futures (CF) program to improve efficiencies and the effectiveness of CF resources in accordance with the Community Futures of Tomorrow model. This approach maximizes the use of funds available to CBDCs as recipients of CF funding.

The focus on the performance of CBDCs in funding business loans was increased. The number of businesses receiving financing from CBDCs demonstrates that the CBDCs, with support from ACOA’s investments, are able to respond to individual communities’ needs in supporting rural businesses. In 2013-14, the Agency exceeded its target on the percentage of CBDC funding in active loans by 8.06 percentage points, reaching 83%.

Through the CBDCs, ACOA continued to provide an essential source of investment capital focused on rural businesses as well as business counselling and skills development. CBDCs assisted 1,239 businesses through their investment fund by approving 1,328 loans, representing a total direct investment in local SMEs of $60.4 million. Investments contributed to the creation of 1,422 new jobs in rural communities in Atlantic Canada. In addition, the CBDCs provided 436 training sessions and 6,211 counselling sessions to clients throughout the region.

ACOA continued to work collaboratively with the CBDC network to ensure that all CBDCs were in compliance with a common governance framework and standards. The framework is structured around the principles of accountability, transparency and confidentiality, and promotes best practices that allow the interests of communities and stakeholders to be protected and reflected in key decisions.


Sub-program 1.2.3: community investment

To be sustainable and grow, communities must invest in those initiatives that show the potential to stimulate economic development. ACOA works in co-operation with communities, making targeted investments to capitalize on opportunities for sustainable economic growth and to build community development capacity. In doing so, ACOA provides contributions to various organizations for the development of critical economic development infrastructure, including strategic sectors, skills capacity, critical community assets and other key areas. ACOA works with Aboriginal and francophone communities to identify investments that can stimulate change and support strategic development. These investments capitalize on the capacity, strengths and opportunities present in the community as identified in community economic development plans and strategies. These investments also help communities in economic adjustment or transition (and in the event of a natural disaster) to support areas that will help them respond most appropriately to their unique situation. ACOA’s main tool for community investment is the Innovative Communities Fund.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[xix] 73,066,338 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 65 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14)  Actual Result
Improved capacity to address economic and business development needs and opportunities  Number of partners on community investment projects 500 715
Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA community investment projects  $1.50 $1.93


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In 2013-14, ACOA’s efforts to build community-level capacity in Atlantic Canada were fruitful. Over 300 projects contributing to Atlantic Canadian communities, for a total of $62 million, were approved under Community Investment. A total of 715 partners collaborated on these projects, exceeding the target. Due to the higher number of partners, the Agency also exceeded its target of amount leveraged per dollar invested in community investment projects.

Findings from the 2014 evaluation of the Community Mobilization and Community Investment sub-programs indicate that projects supported under these sub-programs contributed to building infrastructure and developing new products, as well as increasing tourism, sales and revenues for businesses.

ACOA continued its focus on increasing the economic impact of investments made under the ICF. To support these efforts, ACOA collaborated with communities and stakeholders in strategic projects related to community capacity building and to business-sector development. Investments included supporting industry associations in their development efforts for the growth of targeted sectors, thereby helping rural SMEs. Other opportunities were sought through ACOA’s Strategic Tourism Expansion Program, which supports destination development in rural communities throughout the region.

Under the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, ACOA played a critical role in successfully implementing, delivering and concluding the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund in Atlantic Canada. During the two-year initiative, a total of 299 projects were approved, providing a total of $16.6 million for the rehabilitation and improvement of existing community infrastructure in the region. These amounts helped the Agency leverage a total of $32.7 million from other partners.

The Agency continued to support the Atlantic region’s francophone official language minority community through the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages, an initiative that allows ACOA to fund projects exclusively to promote linguistic duality and support official language minority communities.

Furthermore, ACOA continued its collaboration with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs and other Aboriginal organizations, and focused on investments that strengthened Aboriginal entrepreneurs and the Aboriginal economy. A total of 11 Aboriginal-related projects were funded in 2013-14, providing $4.1 million in assistance.

Sub-program 1.2.4: infrastructure programming

The provision and maintenance of quality public infrastructure provides the foundation for economic development and is critical for economic prosperity. Potable water, waste treatment facilities, highways, municipal roads and bridges and transit systems, all impact economic growth and have strong environmental implications. This requires programming designed to renew and build infrastructure in rural and urban municipalities in Atlantic Canada through investments that protect the environment and support long-term economic growth. ACOA, working with Infrastructure Canada and the Provinces, oversees the flow of federal funds allocated to each region through various infrastructure funding streams. This ensures that both green and local transportation infrastructure goals are met.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[xx] 459,581 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 1 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator  Annual Target (2013-14) Actual Result
Infrastructure Canada funding delivered by ACOA leverages investments in infrastructure by other partners Amount leveraged per dollar invested as it relates to infrastructure programs being delivered by ACOA for Infrastructure Canada Not applicable. Funds were fully committed during fiscal year 2010-11. $2.27


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

During the fiscal year, ACOA continued to work closely with Infrastructure Canada (INFC) to ensure an efficient delivery of infrastructure programming in the Atlantic region as prescribed in the service level agreement between the Agency and INFC.

Although funds were fully committed, some of the projects funded through the Building Canada Fund – Communities Component (BCF-CC) were under budget. This provided an opportunity to fund eight new projects in Prince Edward Island. These eight projects involved total project costs of $2.9 million and were provided a contribution of $873,000. ACOA was therefore able to leverage $2.27 for each dollar invested, even though funds had previously been fully committed.

Furthermore, the Agency worked diligently on the administration of the BCF-CC program to ensure projects progressed in a timely manner and complied with the program’s requirements. The Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund ended on March 31, 2014; ACOA completed the closure procedures for the program, as required by INFC.

After reviewing approaches to maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of resources in this area, this sub-program has been incorporated into an expanded Community Investment sub-program. As a result, this is the last parliamentary report in which ACOA will report results under the Infrastructure Programming sub-program.

 

Program 1.3: policy, advocacy and coordination

ACOA’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 decision making by the Agency and the minister. In offering strategic, researched policy positions that reflect the region’s potential, in influencing national policies and programs that affect Atlantic Canada’s development and interests, and in coordinating other policies and programs within the region to form integrated approaches to development, PAC helps carry the Agency’s agenda forward and helps ensure that ACOA overall remains relevant and responsive to the opportunities and challenges in Atlantic Canada.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Main Estimates  2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Total Authorities Available for Use  2013-14 Actual Spending (authorities used)  Difference (actual minus planned)
10,855,783 10,855,783 11,764,232 10,634,165 (221,618)


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
73 62 (11)*

* The variance between the planned and actual FTEs in programs was mostly due to the realignment of human resources according to the new Guide on Internal Services Expenditures from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Based on this guide, more resources are being recognized as supporting policy and program activities rather than internal services activities. This realignment had no impact on the total number of FTEs at the Agency or on the work performed by these FTEs.


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14) Actual Result
Policies and programs that strengthen the Atlantic economy Atlantic regional economic policies and programs that respond to regional development opportunities Continued government support to Agency priorities, collaboration with other federal departments, and engagement with partners in Atlantic Canada in areas that will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of Atlantic Canada’s economy The target was fully met, as evidenced by the examples below.


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

PAC’s support for the Agency’s key activities in 2013-14 ensured that ACOA continued to offer strategic policy positions that reflect the region’s potential, influence national policies and programs within the region, and coordinate policies and programs within the region to help businesses and communities capitalize on emerging opportunities and address key challenges. As demonstrated in the 2012 evaluation of the PAC Program, the PAC function is relevant and is achieving its intended results.

To respond effectively to opportunities and challenges facing Atlantic Canada, ACOA continued to provide intelligence, analysis and advice on a broad range of issues. It contributed to the economic research base in the region and supported a number of studies, including a report on the potential of the bioenergy sector in Atlantic Canada. The Agency also sought to better understand the dynamics of regional economies by finalizing and disseminating a study on functional economic regions.

The Agency advocated for the inclusion of regional considerations in the new Defence Procurement Strategy to ensure Atlantic Canadian industries could benefit from major federal defence and Canadian Coast Guard procurements. ACOA collaborated with Finance Canada and others in eliminating the import tariff on mobile offshore oil and gas drilling rigs, lowering the cost of high-risk exploration and strengthening the competitiveness of Atlantic Canada’s offshore oil and gas sector. It also promoted the competitive aspect of the region’s resource-based industries to ensure these are well represented in federal initiatives supporting the development of new products and markets.

In its coordination role, ACOA engaged provincial and federal governments on a wide range of initiatives to support businesses, increase their capabilities and capitalize on opportunities in relation to major projects. ACOA maintained its leadership role with the Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative by collaborating with the public and private sectors. The Agency also maintained its role as co-chair with Transport Canada on the Atlantic Gateway Federal-Provincial Officials Committee to support the effectiveness and competitiveness of the transportation network and to promote the region’s strategic assets internationally.

Finally, ACOA maintained its lead role with regard to federal councils in Atlantic Canada and implemented the transition toward the new Atlantic Federal Council.


Sub-program 1.3.1: policy

Policy provides a solid base of understanding for the development of the Agency’s strategic priorities and initiatives, program design, and input to national policy development and federal-provincial relations. This includes policy analysis and advice – including the development of policies and frameworks – economic analysis, research and stakeholder engagement. The policy function is carried out by officials at head office, in the regional offices and in the Ottawa office. The Agency’s policy work is supported in part by a dedicated ACOA fund – the Atlantic Policy Research Initiative (APRI) – which contributes to building policy research capacity in Atlantic Canada.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[xxi] 5,241,871 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 28 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14) Actual Result
Well informed policy decisions reflecting opportunities and challenges of the Atlantic region’s economy while considering enterprise and community development potential Extent to which policy analysis and research, economic analysis and engagement activities are useful and provide input into decision making with respect to Atlantic regional economic development Continue to provide sound advice to decision-makers based on environmental scanning, issue analysis and research related to Atlantic Canadian economic development issues and opportunities Successful strategic initiatives developed, as demonstrated by the examples below.
Percentage of projects that are successful in achieving the intended objectives 75% 100%


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In 2013-14, the Agency carried out research, analysis and stakeholder engagement efforts to support policy decisions in relation to opportunities and challenges in a number of areas affecting the Atlantic region’s economy, including business skills, productivity, innovation and commercialization, community development, tourism, international trade and major projects (e.g. Muskrat Falls, shipbuilding).

Bolstered by a commitment in Budget 2014, the Agency pursued a review of its innovation approach to ensure it remains responsive to the needs of businesses. ACOA also conducted analyses to illustrate that the Agency’s international business development efforts align with the Global Markets Action Plan

The Agency conducted a number of economic analyses focusing on demographics, international trade, access to capital, innovation, productivity and supply chains. It prepared and distributed reports on the region’s economic situation, such as the Economic Overview of Atlantic Canada. To reflect regional perspectives, regional offices conducted economic profiles of their province and sub-regions as well as analyses related to strategic sectors.

Moreover, the Agency engaged with industry, academia and all levels of government to enhance the understanding of the dynamics and opportunities within the Atlantic regional economy. With the assistance of the Atlantic Policy Research Initiative, efforts included an analysis of regional bioenergy opportunities and a study on functional economic regions in Atlantic Canada. Other efforts included a study for the Atlantic Energy Gateway on natural gas aggregation in Atlantic Canada and the development of a study for the Atlantic Gateway investigating the effects of increased exports of seafood on the transportation system.

Finally, ACOA’s Policy function continued to support the president in his role as Chair of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Territorial Development Policy Committee (TDPC). The TDPC is the pre-eminent international forum for discussion and exchange of experience in the field of regional policy, sharing best practices of urban and rural policies and approaches for economic development, and the development of regional indicators. In December 2013, the committee held a ministerial level meeting that led to the adoption of the OECD Recommendation on Effective Public Investment Across Levels of Government. Approved in March 2014 by the OECD Council, the recommendation includes 12 guiding principles to help governments at all levels assess the strengths and weaknesses of their public investment capacity and set priorities for improvement.


Sub-program 1.3.2: advocacy

Federal decision-makers must understand and consider Atlantic Canada’s interests, and regional stakeholders must remain well-informed of federal government actions and opportunities that are relevant to the economic interests of the region. ACOA’s advocacy activities aim to advance the region’s interests in national policy and program development. In the case of federal government procurement, particularly major Crown projects, ACOA advocates to improve the position of Atlantic Canadian industries by pursuing industrial regional benefits.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[xxii] 3,323,735 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 19 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14) Actual Result
Atlantic enterprise and community development interests are reflected in emerging and changing federal economic policies, programs and regulations Impact and strategic value of plans formulated and approaches taken in the area(s) of sectoral and horizontal advocacy Evidence of impact, resulting from annual analysis and interventions Qualitative reviews conducted on initiatives undertaken in 2013-14 have confirmed the impact and strategic value of plans and approaches implemented in support of sectoral and horizontal advocacy work.


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In 2013-14, ACOA continued to ensure Atlantic Canada’s needs were reflected in federal policies, programs and regulations. Advocacy efforts were focused in priority areas such as defence procurement, global supply chains, responsible resource development, skills and labour force, and innovation and commercialization.

The Agency successfully advocated for the inclusion of regional considerations in the new Defence Procurement Strategy so that Atlantic Canadian industry could benefit from major federal defence and Canadian Coast Guard procurements. In addition, the Agency delivered 16 industrial development initiatives, reaching over 500 Atlantic SMEs, and facilitated 295 business-to-business meetings with defence contractors. These events promoted opportunities in upcoming major projects in the region and expanded upon the successes of the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan.

ACOA collaborated with Finance Canada and others in support of Budget 2014 measures that, among other things, permanently eliminated the import tariff on mobile offshore oil and gas drilling rigs used for exploration. These measures will lower the cost of high-risk exploration and strengthen the competitiveness of Atlantic Canada’s offshore in attracting global oil and gas investment.

Moreover, the Agency raised awareness of Atlantic Canada forestry and agriculture competitiveness issues within ongoing federal bio-economy research that examines ways in which these resource industries can develop new products and access non-traditional markets.

ACOA continued its engagement with other government departments to ensure federal policies, programs and procurement initiatives such as the National Research Centre’s Business Innovation Access Program and Canadian Accelerator and Incubator Program help to improve commercialization outcomes in Atlantic Canada. ACOA supported efforts to enable Atlantic Canada’s aerospace sector and academic institutions to benefit from and collaborate on advanced national technology development initiatives through the creation of the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation.


Sub-program 1.3.3: coordination

The Agency is mandated by its legislation to “[coordinate] policies and programs of the Government of Canada in relation to opportunities for economic development of Atlantic Canada.” ACOA’s coordination function engages a range of economic partners to address the economic priorities of Atlantic Canada through a coherent and collaborative approach to development, including federal-provincial initiatives, round tables and expert panels. The Agency also coordinates with other federal departments and with the respective regional federal councils on regional development efforts.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Actual Spending  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available[xxiii] 2,068,559 not available


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
not available 15 not available


Performance results:

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2013-14) Annual Target
Coordination of partners in addressing the economic priorities of Atlantic Canada through a coherent approach to development Joint strategic initiatives that reflect common positions on regional economic development priorities Develop strategic initiatives through collaborative efforts with other federal and provincial partners Successful strategic initiatives developed, as demonstrated by the examples below.
Percentage of projects that are successful in achieving the intended objectives 75% 100%


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In order to remain at the forefront of business innovation policy and practices, ACOA reviewed its innovation programming in 2013-14. Through its coordination efforts, ACOA supported its Minister of State, who led a series of engagement sessions with targeted business, research community and post-secondary stakeholders to seek feedback on how the Agency could enhance its approach in supporting innovation and encourage productivity and growth in Atlantic Canada. Other notable examples of coordination include: ACOA’s ongoing efforts with provincial partners in Prince Edward Island to realign the Agency’s business skills development initiatives with priority sectors; participation in an implementation committee in Newfoundland and Labrador for the Gros Morne Cultural Blueprint alongside other federal, provincial and regional stakeholders; collaboration with provincial and industry partners in Nova Scotia for the organization of the Atlantic Venture Forum; and engagement with provincial, federal and industry stakeholders in New Brunswick to assess the potential impacts of an impending infestation of spruce budworm in Eastern Canada and to develop initiatives to prevent or mitigate those impacts.

ACOA pursued its role as co-chair with Transport Canada on the Atlantic Gateway Federal-Provincial Officials Committee, supported the implementation of the Atlantic Gateway International Marketing Plan and promoted the region’s strategic assets at various trade shows. The Agency continued its leadership role on the Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative by facilitating the development of energy projects, and it collaborated with Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Wind Energy Association to host a workshop in Prince Edward Island on wind energy integration throughout North America. This technical workshop helped identify challenges of integrating higher levels of wind energy to regional grids.

Through the four regional federal councils, ACOA engaged members on horizontal issues to advance Government of Canada priorities while addressing regional priorities. In 2013-14, the federal councils led interdepartmental collaboration in priority areas such as performance management excellence, Blueprint 2020, workplace wellness, talent management, communications, future leaders, official languages and emergency preparedness. The Agency also initiated the transition toward the establishment of the new Atlantic Federal Council, which replaces the four former councils in the region.

Through its coordination efforts, ACOA worked closely with public- and private-sector partners to promote the capabilities of regional businesses in relation to major projects. This included continued support for key supplier development initiatives, awareness sessions on international standardization and productivity improvements.

 

Internal services

Internal Services is a group of related activities and resources administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups 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; acquisition services; and travel and other administrative services. Internal Services includes only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not those provided specifically to a program.

Budgetary financial resources: (dollars)

2013-14 Main Estimates  2013-14 Planned Spending  2013-14 Total Authorities Available for Use  2013-14 Actual Spending (authorities used)  Difference (actual minus planned)
27,606,110 27,608,110 30,141,664 28,746,598 1,138,488


Human resources: (FTEs)

2013-14 Planned  2013-14 Actual  Difference (actual minus planned)
247 193 (54)*

* The variance between the planned and actual FTEs in programs was mostly due to the realignment of human resources according to the new Guide on Internal Services Expenditures from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Based on this guide, less resources are being recognized as supporting internal services activities and more on supporting policy and program activities. This realignment had no impact on the total number of FTEs at the Agency or on the work performed by these FTEs. 


Performance analysis and lessons learned:

In 2013-14, ACOA continued to implement new ways to more effectively deliver programs and services to Canadians. It focused on implementing common business processes and supported the government’s agenda of moving toward standard government solutions.

The Blueprint 2020 initiative was launched and the Agency was successful at engaging a large portion of its employees in sharing their views on the vision of the public service of the future. As a result, the following three themes emerged: promoting new technologies and streamlined processes, developing and mobilizing talent, and working collaboratively.

To promote new technologies and streamlined processes, the Agency implemented technology improvements such as Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2013 and used employee-driven sessions such as kaizen[xxiv] events where staff evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of its processes. For example, contracting procedures and the application process for the AIF were improved following kaizen events. The Agency also implemented whole-of-government solutions such as the Performance Management Tool.

Collaboration with other federal departments was increased by optimizing the use of social media channels. Social media guidelines and best practices have been developed to empower staff to reach clients and colleagues through social media.

In pursuing the objective of developing and mobilizing talent, ACOA has maintained sound human resources practices by providing training for ACOA managers and employees as well as developing innovative and efficient staffing tools.

Finally, ACOA strengthened its planning framework for a better integration of risk and human resources management in its planning and decision-making processes, and implemented risk-mitigation measures and management action plans. ACOA also continued implementing its evaluation plan for 2012 through 2017 and implemented its values and ethics strategy, which continues to support the objective of ensuring that values and ethics remain at the foundation of the Agency’s corporate culture.
 

[i] Measuring the impact on gross domestic product in Atlantic Canada is a long-term, multi-dimensional undertaking. Thus, the Agency will report results every five years, based on an analysis of data from internal systems, using econometric modelling from The Conference Board of Canada. This indicator will next be measured in 2018, covering the five-year period from 2013-14 to 2017-18.

[ii] Calculations by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency using simulations by The Conference Board of Canada, August 2013.

[iii] Centre for Special Business Projects, Statistics Canada, April 2014.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Not available: For the 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report, planned spending and planned human resources calculations are available only at the program level of the PAA. This detail at the sub-program level of the PAA will be available for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This applies to all “not available” mentions in this table.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] ACOA, 2013-14 Roll-up of business skills development (BSD) activities in Atlantic Canada, Spring 2014. (Survey description: a questionnaire is distributed to all participants in BSD activities, which is filled out on a voluntary basis. Out of the 8,603 questionnaires received, 8,251 participants responded “somewhat” or “very much” to the following survey question: “Were the skills acquired through this activity relevant to helping with the start-up or survival/growth of a business? Select one: not at all/somewhat/very much”.)

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] Centre for Special Business Projects, Statistics Canada, 2014.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Not available: For the 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report, planned spending and planned human resources calculations are available only at the program level of the PAA. This detail at the sub-program level of the PAA will be available for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This applies to all “not available” mentions in this table.

[xiv] Report on IBD Activities: Atlantic Canadian SMEs participating in ACOA-supported projects are asked to complete an exit survey following the completion of an activity as well as another survey one year later to gather additional information. The survey is not mandatory, but efforts are made to obtain as many completed surveys as possible.

[xv] Ibid.

[xvi] Centre for Special Business Projects, Statistics Canada, March 2014.

[xvii] Not available: For the 2013-14 Departmental Performance Report, planned spending and planned human resources calculations are available only at the program level of the PAA. This detail at the sub-program level of the PAA will be available for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This applies to all “not available” mentions in this table.

[xviii] Ibid.

[xix] Ibid.

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] Ibid.

[xxii] Ibid.

[xxiii] Ibid.

[xxiv] Kaizen is a Japanese word that means improvement. Kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. ACOA has adapted this process to address a particular issue over the course of a week by asking employees to evaluate a specific process with improvement in mind and implementing the changes during the same time period.

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