2014-15 Departmental Performance Report
Ministers’ message and section I


Ministers’ Message

We are pleased to report on the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) key activities in 2014‑15. 

Our overarching goals within the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio are to help Canadian businesses grow, innovate and export so that they can spur economic development and create good quality jobs and wealth for Canadians in all regions across the country; to help small businesses grow through trade and innovation; to promote increased tourism to Canada; to promote and support scientific research and the integration of scientific considerations in our investment and policy choices. We are committed to working closely with colleagues and stakeholders from all of these diverse fields to achieve these objectives.

We are pleased to present the 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report for ACOA.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan
Minister of Science

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism


Section I: organizational expenditure overview

Organizational profile

Appropriate Minister:
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, PC, MP

  • The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, PC, QC, MP (responsible Minister for 2014-15)
  • The Honourable Rob Moore, PC, MP (responsible Minister of State for 2014-15)

Institutional Head:
Mr. Paul J. LeBlanc, President

Ministerial Portfolio:
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Year of Incorporation:

Enabling Instrument:
Part I of the Government Organization Act, Atlantic Canada 1987, R.S.C, 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), also known as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act. See the Department of Justice website for more information. 

Organizational Context

Raison d’être


Established in 1987 (Part I of the Government Organization Act, Atlantic Canada 1987, R.S.C., 1985, c.41 [4th Supp.], also known as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is the federal department responsible for the Government of Canada’s economic development efforts in the provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Minister Innovation, Science and Economic Development is responsible for this organization.

ACOA works to create opportunities for economic growth in Atlantic Canada by helping businesses become more competitive, innovative and productive, by working with diverse communities to develop and diversify local economies, and by championing the strengths of Atlantic Canada. Together with Atlantic Canadians, ACOA is building a stronger economy.



ACOA plays an important role in developing and supporting policies and programs that strengthen the region’s economy. Its responsibilities are stated in the Agency’s legislation, which mandates the organization “to increase opportunity for economic development in Atlantic Canada and, more particularly, to enhance the growth of earned incomes and employment opportunities in that region.”[i] Although the Agency’s policies and program tools have evolved since its inception, the overall goal remains constant. ACOA is dedicated to helping the Atlantic region realize its full economic potential in terms of productivity, innovation, competitiveness and growth. This is achieved by addressing structural changes in the economy, helping communities and businesses to overcome challenges, and capitalizing on opportunities. ACOA is committed to helping the region build its capacity and make the transition to a stronger economy.

The Agency provides services through its head office in Moncton, N.B., and throughout the four Atlantic provinces, with a regional office located in each of the four provincial capitals and 23 local field offices. Through its Ottawa office, ACOA ensures that Atlantic Canada’s interests are understood reflected in the policies and programs developed by other departments and agencies of the federal government.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

ACOA’s strategic outcome – a competitive Atlantic Canadian economy – and its program alignment architecture (PAA) can be found below. The PAA is based on the results of policy research and analysis, the periodic assessment of program relevance and performance, ongoing dialogue with stakeholders in the region, and the priorities and directions of the Government of Canada.

1.  Strategic Outcome: A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy

     1.1  Program:  Enterprise Development

           1.1.1  Sub-Program:  Innovation and Commercialization

           1.1.2  Sub-Program:  Productivity and Growth

           1.1.3  Sub-Program:  International Business Development

     1.2  Program:  Community Development

           1.2.1  Sub-Program:  Community Mobilization

           1.2.2  Sub-Program:  Community-based Business Development

           1.2.3  Sub-Program:  Community Investment

           1.2.4  Sub-Program:  Infrastructure Programming

     1.3  Program:  Policy, Advocacy and Coordination

           1.3.1  Sub-Program:  Policy

           1.3.2  Sub-Program:  Advocacy

           1.3.3  Sub-Program:  Coordination

Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

All organizational priorities support the Agency’s strategic outcome: a competitive Atlantic Canadian economy. This outcome reflects the Agency’s legislative purpose to enhance the growth of earned incomes and employment opportunities and to advocate on behalf of Atlantic Canada, affecting national policy.

Priority 1 Type[ii] Program
Focus ACOA’s programs and services on initiatives that encourage Atlantic Canadian businesses to become more innovative, productive and competitive in the global marketplace. Ongoing Enterprise Development,
with support from Community Development and Policy, Advocacy and Coordination
Summary of Progress
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014-15, ACOA reviewed its innovation programming in order to remain at the forefront of business innovation policy while enabling the region to best respond to strategic opportunities for growth. This led to the announcement in July 2014 of a streamlined application process for Agency programs and a more responsive Atlantic Innovation Fund.

The Agency also completed an evaluation of the Innovation and Commercialization sub‑program. It demonstrated a continued need for this sub-program and confirmed its alignment with federal roles and responsibilities. The sub-program stimulated investments in applied research and development (R&D) and commercialization activities, generated employment, facilitated skills development for students, helped develop partnerships and alliances, and led to the creation of new technologies, products, processes and services.

Throughout the year, ACOA supported a broad range of projects to enhance the competitiveness and productivity of businesses, leading to improved growth and increased wealth, thus ensuring dynamic and sustainable communities in Atlantic Canada.
  • The Agency approved $48.9 million toward 158 innovation and commercialization projects, including amendments to projects approved in prior fiscal years. This allowed ACOA to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) maximize their growth potential by developing new technologies and improving processes. Examples include:
    • making a $10 million investment through the Atlantic Innovation Fund in early intervention of the spruce budworm infestation using new techniques to prevent its spread, thereby helping protect the wood supply so crucial to numerous businesses in New Brunswick;
    • investing in the establishment of a new Centre for Engineering Design and Industry Partnerships (CEDIP) in the new School of Sustainable Design Engineering at the University of Prince Edward Island. The CEDIP will include an industry collaboration centre, a fab lab (a collaborative workspace with computer-controlled tools to bring ideas to fruition and build prototypes), four Research Centres of Excellence laboratories and four industry-driven clinic projects to address challenges facing Atlantic Canadian SMEs.
  • The Agency approved a further $74.1 million in 600 projects that contributed to the productivity and growth of SMEs in Atlantic Canada, including projects related to technology acquisition, expansion and modernization, domestic marketing, productivity and business skills, and business support. Examples include:
    • helping the Entrepreneurs Forum deliver 59 advisory sessions to entrepreneurs across the region, giving them an opportunity to discuss their challenges with business professionals and successful entrepreneurs;
    • supporting the Atlantic Venture Forum, held in Halifax, N.S., where Atlantic Canadian companies in the start-up information technology, clean technology and life sciences sectors were showcased. This event, in its second year, has become a fixture on the calendars of the tech start-up, angel investors and venture capital communities by offering insight into key issues, providing premium networking opportunities and giving companies, most of them ACOA clients, a chance to learn from world-class professionals in the investment community;
    • supporting rural manufacturing in Newfoundland and Labrador with the approval of a $500,000 loan to Superior Glove Works Ltd. to purchase specialized equipment and technologies to increase production capacity and enhance global competitiveness at its glove manufacturing facility in Point Leamington.
  • ACOA displayed leadership in assisting businesses to expand into the global marketplace by approving $14.8 million in 158 international business development activities, including support for an Atlantic Canadian delegation of 21 companies, universities and research organizations to attend the BIO 2014 International Convention held in San Diego, Calif. Delegates participated in over 125 prescheduled meetings, with initial results showing immediate sales of $1.9 million and anticipated sales of $5.2 million.
  • ACOA worked with Statistics Canada to produce an enhanced Survey of Innovation and Business Financing, thereby broadening the understanding of Atlantic Canada firms’ business strategies, innovation activities and involvement in global value chains.
  • ACOA worked with other government partners and industry stakeholders to identify opportunities to enhance market access for SMEs in order to maximize the benefits of recent and upcoming trade agreements, and it continued to support activities aimed at helping SMEs capitalize on procurement and development opportunities in the region related to shipbuilding.


Priority 2 Type Program
Develop and implement strategies, in response to the distinct economic needs and opportunities of Atlantic Canadian communities, with a particular focus on rural businesses. Ongoing Community Development,
with support from Enterprise Development and Policy, Advocacy and Coordination
Summary of Progress
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014-15, ACOA worked closely with numerous stakeholders to identify and develop key initiatives to strengthen and enhance the economic foundation and the sustainability of communities throughout Atlantic Canada.

  • ACOA continued to work closely with various partners to address the needs of communities, especially in rural areas, that are vulnerable to the out-migration of skilled workers and an aging population. For example, ACOA supported an initiative with educational institutions in New Brunswick to attract international students to the province, which is important in ensuring the continued availability of skilled labour required to sustain economic growth.
  • Community Business Development Corporations continued to invest capital in rural businesses and to offer business counselling and skills development training; investments resulted in over 1,400 new jobs created in rural communities of Atlantic Canada.
  • The Agency assisted in addressing the challenges faced by tourism and other resource sectors that are seeing fluctuations in the global market, and helped prepare strategies to grow those sectors.
    • Through the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership (ACTP), the Agency helped intensify the Atlantic region’s international tourism marketing efforts by generating efficiencies at the consumer, travel-trade and media-relations levels. Deemed a best practice in marketing partnerships, the ACTP enables the Government of Canada, the four Atlantic Provinces and the tourism industry to pool resources and penetrate markets that are largely inaccessible individually.
    • ACOA worked with the Municipality of the District of Argyle and the Société touristique Bon Temps in Nova Scotia to develop an astro-tourism industry aimed at economic development and diversification. This project hopes to achieve the UNESCO‑supported Starlight Tourism Destination and Starlight Reserve designations for an area to be known as the Acadian Skies and Mi’kmaq Lands.
    • The Agency supported and enhanced the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference and enabled this important milestone for the provincial economy. ACOA provided infrastructure support for the Confederation Centre of the Arts and the Celebration Zone at the Confederation Landing Park and supported PEI 2014 Inc.’s marketing efforts to increase visitation from the province’s primary tourism markets.
  • ACOA continued to serve the Atlantic region’s francophone official language minority community by working with Heritage Canada and 13 other federal departments to deliver the Economic Development Initiative under the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities.
  • The Agency continued to work with various indigenous parties, including the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat, to enhance entrepreneurial opportunities and capacity within indigenous communities as it relates to economic development.
  • ACOA worked with researchers to assess the needs of rural areas and projects that generate economic benefit and wealth in these areas. For example, research on tidal energy[iii] showed the potential for significant economic benefits from this new industry in rural areas. 
  • The Agency supported businesses and communities in developing the capacity to generate specific opportunities for wealth creation, particularly in rural areas.
    • The Agency worked with the Town of Channel-Port Aux Basques, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the private sector and Marine Atlantic to improve the downtown business district in the Town of Channel-Port Aux Basques, N.L. This investment, phase one of an award-winning master plan, will see investments in signage, street lighting, sidewalks and façade guidelines for local businesses.
    • ACOA supported the Cornwallis Park Development Association to undertake building and information technology upgrades to leverage new economic opportunities in the Annapolis and Digby counties of Nova Scotia, providing key community infrastructure and transforming an underutilized building into an economic development asset suitable for private sector tenants at Cornwallis Park.
    • The Agency provided funding for the development of a barge terminal facility in Saint John, N.B., to accommodate the export of large components through the construction of an access road, a lay-down area and a wharf bulkhead to provide access from the Spruce Lake Industrial Park to the shores of the Bay of Fundy, thereby increasing regional companies’ competitiveness and growth opportunities in the fabrication sector.
    • It also supported the Souris Harbour Authority Inc. to repurpose and retrofit a vacant former seafood processing facility in Souris, P.E.I., for use as a multi-purpose, multi-tenant facility creating new jobs and building capacity in the region. This ensured the sustainability and growth of a small rural community by stimulating development through targeted investments in infrastructure which supports diversification in a region identified as requiring special measures.


Priority 3 Type Program
Provide leadership through coordination, engagement and advocacy with business, government and other stakeholders throughout the region and with key decision-makers in Ottawa so that businesses are able to capitalize on emerging opportunities and address key challenges. Previously committed to Policy, Advocacy and Coordination,
with support from Enterprise Development and Community Development
Summary of Progress
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014-15, ACOA conducted rigorous analysis and research to ensure the Atlantic region’s economy capitalized on opportunities. ACOA built engagement and developed strategies to address opportunities and challenges in areas such as innovation, community development and the energy sector, including clean energy, major projects, international business development, local infrastructure, resource sectors and key growth sectors such as aerospace and defence. Examples include:

  • Research was initiated to examine the evolving competitive position of the region’s manufacturing sector and to provide greater context of the European Union market, including opportunities and challenges for Atlantic firms.
  • An evaluation of the Atlantic Policy Research Initiative indicated that this program is relevant. There is an ongoing need for policy research funding to address critical gaps in knowledge about the future of economic development in Atlantic Canada. ACOA plays a key role in supporting the development of economic policy research and networking opportunities in this region as well as in mobilizing knowledge for decision-makers.
  • Through continued advocacy, ACOA maintained strong relationships with central agencies and other departments in the federal policy environment to ensure appropriate reflection in specific files of national and regional interest. It supported its president in deputy-minister-level meetings and on Government of Canada economic and social priority files; and it participated in various tiger teams to further develop concepts and initiatives such as the following.
    • As a participant in Industry Canada’s Tiger Team, ACOA identified and documented a number of successful strategies that SMEs have used to penetrate global value chains. As a result of this exercise, ACOA’s evidence-based analysis of Atlantic case studies fed into the policy development process of other departments.
    • ACOA worked with other federal departments to advance an initiative to help counter a pending spruce budworm infestation that threatens Atlantic Canada’s forests and the forestry industry, through the development of an innovative biologically-based pesticide.
    • ACOA promoted opportunities on upcoming defence procurements through the engagement of more than 350 Atlantic SME participants from all four provinces in various initiatives strategically aimed at readying, educating and pre-positioning them.
    • The Agency facilitated over 250 direct business-to-business meetings between Atlantic industry and prime contractors to explore specific direct and indirect industrial benefit opportunities on procurements.
    • ACOA helped regional SMEs position themselves to take advantage of upcoming opportunities related to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. In 2014-15, ACOA activities reached over 150 Atlantic participants and facilitated approximately 120 business-to-business meetings with marine and defence contractors.
  • ACOA facilitated the development of the Atlantic energy sector by coordinating efforts between federal and provincial partners in support of the development of new energy projects in the region.
  • The Agency assisted in the development of a foreign trade zone task force for the Halifax Logistics Park to provide single window access to government services and support the promotion of the facility in international markets.
  • ACOA also worked with federal and provincial partners to maintain a high level of engagement and combined resources through the International Business Development Agreement to increase exports, thus generating economic wealth for the region.
  • ACOA continued to work with provincial partners, industry, associations and stakeholders to maximize the economic benefits that may accrue in the region in relation to emerging opportunities.
    • In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Agency pursued work with the Gros Morne Cooperating Association, other government departments and key stakeholders to advance the Gros Morne Cultural Blueprint and to develop and begin implementation of a national outreach strategy.
    • Through the Nova Scotia Energy Initiative, ACOA and the Atlantic Energy Office planned and worked with other federal departments, central agencies and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy to outline key opportunities that will impact the full development of the energy sector in Nova Scotia.
    • In New Brunswick, a strategic initiatives pilot was introduced to work in collaboration with other government departments and industry to more effectively support the advancement of targeted initiatives that demonstrate strategic potential for the regional economy.
    • In Prince Edward Island, the Agency, in co-operation with the provincial government, supported a panel discussion focusing on European markets, which was delivered to an audience of over 130 Prince Edward Island businesses.
  • ACOA supported the Government of Canada’s engagement on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Regional Development Policy Committee (RDPC) and the Working Party on Rural Policy, with a key achievement being the successful renewal of the RDPC's five-year mandate (2015-19). The Agency also led the coordination of regional development agencies (RDAs) for Canada’s involvement in the 10th OECD Rural Development Conference, and contributed to the development of a presentation to the OECD on Canada’s RDA model.
  • Finally, ACOA coordinated work with other federal departments in the region to complete the transition to a new model and launched the Atlantic Federal Council.


Priority 4 Type Program
Continually improve the internal management of the organization and maintain employee engagement to excel in serving Canadians. Ongoing Internal Services
Summary of Progress
What progress has been made toward this priority?

In 2014-15, ACOA implemented transformational and organizational initiatives to strengthen and improve the Agency’s capacity to deliver excellent programs and services and to seek opportunities for increased collaboration. For example:

  • ACOA continued to support the implementation of key efficiency improvements and whole-of-government IT initiatives such as the new Human Resources (HR) management system (MyGCHR), the Shared Travel Services solution and the new Treasury Board Secretariat Performance Management Directive.
  • The Agency worked collaboratively with other RDAs to define a business and information model for a common grants and contributions management system that will help RDAs further achieve a whole-of-government approach.
  • ACOA pursued its focus on employee engagement and continued to use employee-driven process improvement initiatives.
  • In addition to supporting the transition of economic development activities within its operations following the dissolution of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC), ACOA provided former ECBC staff who became ACOA employees with the support, tools and training required to ensure their effective integration into the Agency.

ACOA ensured appropriate mitigation of the Agency’s key risks. The Agency promoted and strengthened risk management and results-based management capacity and culture within the organization by ensuring that risk management was integrated into the Agency’s planning and decision-making process.

The implementation of ACOA’s Values and Ethics Strategy supported the objective of ensuring that values and ethics remain at the foundation of the Agency’s corporate culture and promoting open dialogue at all levels of the Agency.

ACOA has maintained strong HR practices by:

  • supporting an enhanced HR planning process to ensure better alignment with business needs;
  • as part of the implementation of ACOA’s Official Languages Action Plan, raising awareness of the Official Languages Act and employees’ rights and responsibilities relating to official languages;
  • implementing activities and objectives that are part of the Employment Equity and Diversity action plan (2011-15), such as raising employee awareness and encouraging an environment that embraces cultural diversity, employment equity and a respectful workplace; and
  • actively promoting the Public Service Employee Survey 2014 – the Agency’s results were favourable – through various forms of communication.

Throughout 2014-15, the Agency continued to actively support the Blueprint 2020 initiative. ACOA’s pursuit of the Blueprint 2020 vision has become a cross-Agency endeavour, spawning new, employee-driven initiatives with a common goal of making employee engagement “business as usual” while seeking out efficiencies and streamlining processes in order to deliver the best service possible to Atlantic Canadians.

Risk Analysis

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to PAA
Portfolio Management
There is a risk that existing capacity for project selection, evaluation, monitoring and portfolio management activities may not be sufficient to fully achieve program objectives, which could impact on the Agency’s overall effectiveness.
ACOA improved work processes and enhanced guidance and reference materials that support program delivery. The Agency expanded the availability and adequacy of tools and frameworks to better support monitoring and oversight of portfolio activities. Continued focus was placed on training activities, sharing lessons learned and enhancing integration and collaboration across the Agency. The Agency also continued to develop and enhance dashboards to support management information needs. Enterprise Development;

Community Development

Organizational Change Management
There is a risk that the Agency’s efforts to manage significant ongoing change may not be sufficient to sustain productivity, effectiveness and employee engagement.
ACOA supported opportunities for dialogue and engagement around change management, including ongoing implementation of Blueprint 2020 initiatives. The Agency continued to integrate change management principles into its planning and management approach. The Agency ensured that managers were properly equipped to manage performance, engage employees and assume responsibilities resulting from organizational changes. The Agency created new working groups to ensure alignment with new and future Treasury Board Secretariat directives. Dialogue, collaboration and a high level of employee engagement was also encouraged through the sound use of technology and social media. Finally, frameworks, tools and processes were improved through employee-driven initiatives (e.g. kaizen events) as well as collaborations with other government departments. This contributed to efficiency, productivity and effectiveness in program delivery and internal operations. Enterprise Development;

Community Development;

Policy, Advocacy and Coordination;

Internal Services

Information Tools and Systems
There is a risk that an up-to-date suite of modern, compatible information tools and systems may not be developed and implemented in a timely manner, which may affect the Agency’s productivity.
The Agency continued to focus on enhancing internal communication to ensure understanding of business and information needs as well as capacity. The use of existing systems and tools was optimized through training and awareness, collaboration with other government departments and enhanced internal communications. Enterprise Development;

Community Development;

Policy, Advocacy and Coordination;

Internal Services

External Factors

After posting a solid performance in 2013 due to a rebound in crude oil production and business investment, Atlantic Canada’s real gross domestic product (GDP) moderated in 2014. Atlantic Canada’s real GDP decreased by 0.2% in 2014,[iv] compared to an average increase of 2.4%[v] nationally, mainly due to weaker economic activity in Newfoundland and Labrador resulting from lower production of oil and iron ore. Economic growth in the other three Atlantic provinces improved, with real GDP advancing by a combined 0.9%.[vi]

The world economy continued to expand in 2014. However, economic performance remained uneven across major economies. Growth in advanced economies picked up in 2014, while growth in emerging economies decelerated slightly. Notwithstanding, Atlantic Canadian exports increased in 2014, with Nova Scotia registering the largest gain in terms of commodity exports nationally.

Additionally, increased global competition is requiring businesses in Atlantic Canada to become more competitive and productive. The R&D performance in Atlantic Canada (an indicator in understanding innovation and productivity levels) rose by an annual average of 4.1% from 2002 to 2012, exceeding the national increase of 2.9% – with improvement occurring in the private and higher education sectors.[vii]

Internal Factors

During fiscal year 2014-15, ACOA focused on creating an environment in which both opportunities and challenges could be addressed. With a focus on innovation and continuous improvement, a strengthened risk management function and an alignment with the whole-of-government approach, ACOA was able to deliver its programs and services while ensuring progress toward its strategic outcome and organizational priorities.

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

Main Estimates
Planned Spending
Total Authorities Available for Use
Actual Spending (authorities used)
(actual minus planned)
288,486,384 288,486,384 308,113,877 305,273,091 16,786,707

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs)

(actual minus planned)
566 570 4

Budgetary Performance Summary for Strategic Outcome and Programs (dollars)

and Internal
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Total Authorities Available for Use
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
(authorities used)
Strategic Outcome 1: A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy
1.1 Enterprise Development 164,581,549 164,581,549 171,221,612 169,937,144 180,673,455 173,992,156 180,674,018 179,856,451
1.2 Community Development 87,408,010 87,408,010 89,727,582 89,368,367 90,536,110 90,659,999 94,103,327 88,520,093
1.3 Policy, Advocacy and Coordination 11,351,591 11,351,591 11,774,749 11,715,659 10,851,899 12,444,235 10,634,165 12,403,955
Subtotal 263,341,150 263,341,150 272,723,943 271,021,170 282,061,464 277,096,390 285,411,510 280,780,499
Internal Services Subtotal 25,145,234 25,145,234 25,861,046 25,837,379 26,052,413 28,176,701 28,746,598 34,881,448
Total 288,486,384 288,486,384 298,584,989 296,858,549 308,113,877 305,273,091 314,158,108 315,661,947

In 2014-15, planned spending of $288.5 million increased by $19.6 million, resulting in total authorities of $308.1 million. This occurred due to the following changes in authorities:

From total authorities of $308.1 million, actual spending was $305.3 million, resulting in a surplus of $2.8 million. From this surplus, $1.0 million relates to a portion of the funding received to support projects in innovation, commercialization and community development in New Brunswick. Since one of these projects will not move forward, these funds will be lapsed. The balance of $1.8 million is part of the Agency’s operating budget carry forward.

Alignment of Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2014-15 Actual Spending with the Whole of Government Framework (dollars)

Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2014-15
Actual Spending
A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy 1.1 Enterprise Development Economic Affairs Strong Economic Growth 173,992,156
1.2 Community Development Economic Affairs Strong Economic Growth 90,659,999
1.3 Policy, Advocacy and Coordination Economic Affairs Strong Economic Growth 12,444,235

Total Spending, by Spending Area (dollars)

Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 263,341,150 277,096,390
Social Affairs 0 0
International Affairs 0 0
Government Affairs 0 0


This graph illustrates the Agency’s actual spending from 2012-13 to 2014-15 and planned spending from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

The Agency’s planned spending levels stabilized in 2015-16 after declining since 2012‑13, largely due to the sunsetting of the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund and as a result of the strategic savings identified in Budget 2011 and Budget 2012. The forecast spending levels will increase during 2016-17 and 2017-18 due to the funding received in support of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program announced in Budget 2015. The Agency continues to identify and implement cost efficiencies as well as to improve the effectiveness of operations and programs to ensure value for taxpayers’ money.

Estimates by vote

For information on ACOA’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2015 on the website of Public Works and Government Services Canada


[i]Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 41, 4th Supp.

[ii] “Type” definitions:

[iii] Gardner Pinfold Consultants Inc. and the Acadian Tidal Energy Institute, Value Proposition for Tidal Energy Development in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada and Canada, April 2015, prepared for the Offshore Energy Research Association.

[iv] Statistics Canada, Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by NAICS, Provincial and Territorial (Table 379‑0030). Data retrieved on May 12, 2015. Calculations by ACOA.

[v] Statistics Canada, Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by NAICS, Monthly (Table 379‑0031). Data retrieved on May 12, 2015. Calculations by ACOA.

[vi] Statistics Canada, Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by NAICS, Provincial and Territorial (Table 379‑0030). Data retrieved on May 12, 2015. Calculations by ACOA.

[vii] Statistics Canada, Gross domestic expenditures on research and development (Table 358-0001). Data retrieved on May 12, 2015. Calculations by ACOA.

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