Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more

 

Atlantic Innovation Fund - Voted

Start date: May 10, 2001

End date: Ongoing

Type of transfer payment: Contribution

Type of appropriation: Appropriated annually through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions: 2014-15

Strategic Outcome: A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy

Link to department’s Program Alignment Architecture: Enterprise Development; Innovation and Commercialization.

Description: The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) is a program designed to make strategic investments in research and development (R & D) initiatives that directly contribute to the growth of technology-based economic activity in Atlantic Canada.

The AIF helps businesses, universities, colleges and research institutions to develop and bring to market new products and services that lead to commercial success, the growth of strategic sectors, or new research and commercialization partnerships. Contributions to the private sector are conditionally repayable based on the success of a project. Contributions to not-for-profit entities are non-repayable.

Results achieved: The AIF program continues to be a catalyst in increasing the region’s capacity to carry out leading-edge R&D, and contributes to the development of new technology-based economic activity in Atlantic Canada. In 2016-17, the Agency approved 22 projects, for a total contribution of $63.6 million toward total costs of $107.3 million. The projects involved linkages between institutions, government entities and the private sector, with 43 key collaborations created in all.

The 22 AIF projects leveraged $43.7 million in funding from other sources, such as the private sector, universities and Atlantic provincial governments, including $3.5 million from national R&D programs.

Audits completed or planned: No audits were completed or planned during fiscal year 2016-17.

Evaluations completed or planned:

Planned:

Engagement of applicants and recipients: ACOA’s transfer payment programs (including the AIF) are designed, delivered and managed in such a way that they remain client-focused, are relevant to applicants’ and recipients’ needs, and achieve the expected results for which they are designed. To ensure the ongoing relevance of the AIF program, the Agency solicits feedback from clients, stakeholders and the AIF Advisory Board on an ongoing basis, whether through information sharing, consultations or collaborations.

Additionally, AIF information is continuously shared with applicants and recipients through ACOA’s website and ongoing communication between AIF program delivery staff and clients.

(dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2014-15
Actual
spending
2015-16
Actual
spending
2016-17
Planned
spending
2016-17
Total
authorities available
for use
2016-17
Actual
spending (authorities
used)
Variance
(2016-17
actual
minus
2016-17 planned)
Total grants 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total contributions 45,027,132 37,241,006 42,500,000 42,500,000 30,653,122 (11,846,878)
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 45,027,132 37,241,006 42,500,000 42,500,000 30,653,122 (11,846,878)

Comments on variance: The $11.8 million variance results mostly from delays encountered during the implementation of some AIF projects and from the transfer of AIF funds to the Business Development Program (BDP) in order to meet the increasing demand for BDP funding.

Business Development Program - Voted

Start date: July 25, 1995

End date: Ongoing

Type of transfer payment: Grant and Contribution

Type of appropriation: Appropriated annually through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions: 2010-11

Strategic Outcome: A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy

Link to department’s Program Alignment Architecture: Enterprise Development; Innovation and Commercialization; Productivity and Growth; International Business Development; Community Development; Community Investment; Community-based Business Development; Policy, Advocacy and Coordination; Policy.

Description: Through the Business Development Program (BDP), the Agency works to create opportunities for economic growth in Atlantic Canada by helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) become more competitive, innovative and productive. The Agency also works with communities to develop and diversify local economies, and champions the strengths of the region in partnership with Atlantic Canadians.

The objectives of the BDP are to:

In general, contributions to for-profit businesses are repayable, either conditionally or unconditionally. Under some of the BDP’s elements, non-repayable contributions to for-profit businesses may be permitted.

Contributions to not-for-profit organizations are generally non-repayable, but are conditionally repayable if a project results in what would normally be considered a commercial activity.

Results achieved:

Enterprise Development:

In 2016-17, through the BDP, the Agency approved $229.1 million in funding for 838 projects to help SMEs innovate, commercialize, expand, modernize, develop productivity, improve business skills and increase export activity. Of this amount, $223 million was for new projects toward costs of $482.4 million; every dollar invested by the Agency leveraged $1.16 from other sources such as the private sector, universities and research institutes, national programs and Atlantic provincial governments.

The innovation projects contributed to strengthening the Atlantic Canadian innovation and commercialization capacity by leveraging $0.82 for every dollar invested by ACOA. These investments helped Atlantic Canadian SMEs increase their productivity and improve their competitive position by developing new products, services or processes, adapting technologies, leveraging additional private-sector investments, or commercializing their ideas.

ACOA investments of $99.2 million in 558 productivity and growth projects, which leveraged $1.64 for every dollar invested, enabled SMEs to improve their productivity, acquire technology, expand or modernize their operations, hire new employees, train existing employees, implement new efficiencies and reduce waste, thereby stimulating growth and competitiveness. With these investments, SMEs were able to implement quality and productivity improvement programs, diversify their product lines, expand their customer base, and reduce operating costs.

ACOA’s efforts to promote trade and foreign direct investments, and to project a favourable image of the region in foreign markets, resulted in five foreign direct investment transactions being completed (i.e. deals closed) where ACOA’s financial support contributed to bringing the project to fruition. Further, 88.11% of SMEs expanded their international sales within 12 months of participating in an international business development activity.

Community Development:

The Agency also contributed to the development of dynamic and sustainable communities in Atlantic Canada. The BDP improved community capacity to respond to economic and business development opportunities and challenges by leveraging $1.10 from other sources for every $1.00 invested by the Agency. This leveraging was accomplished through ACOA’s approval of $28 million in funding for new projects, toward total costs of $58.9 million.

Audits completed or planned: No audits were completed or planned during fiscal year 2016-17.

Evaluations completed or planned:

Completed:

Planned:

Engagement of applicants and recipients: ACOA’s transfer payment programs (including the BDP) are designed, delivered and managed in such a way that they remain client-focused, are relevant to applicants’ and recipients’ needs, and achieve the expected results for which they are designed. Engaging key stakeholders in discussions regarding the creation or review of ACOA’s programming is part of the Agency’s operations. To ensure the ongoing relevance of programming, the Agency solicits feedback from clients and stakeholders on an ongoing basis, whether through information sharing, consultations or collaborations.

In ensuring that BDP elements (business establishment and expansion, innovation, skills development and trade activities) are designed for continuous improvement to support expected outcomes, ACOA engages the following stakeholders: the business sector; community-based economic development organizations and volunteer groups; universities and colleges; research institutes; other levels of government; First Nation communities and official language minority communities.

Additionally, BDP information is continuously shared with applicants and recipients through ACOA’s website and outreach events in communities across Atlantic Canada.

The Agency also consults its applicants and clients through periodic satisfaction surveys. These surveys provide the Agency with information on the importance of various service features and on areas for improvement.

Program: Enterprise Development
(dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2014-15
Actual
spending
2015-16
Actual
spending
2016-17
Planned
spending
2016-17
Total
authorities available
for use
2016-17
Actual
spending (authorities
used)
Variance
(2016-17 actual
minus
2016-17 planned)
Total grants 150,521 139,604 1,000,000 1,000,000 2,200 (997,800)
Total contributions 102,113,788 110,342,065 103,461,087 122,479,834 131,142,265 27,681,178
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 102,264,309 110,481,669 104,461,087 123,479,834 131,144,465 26,683,378

Comments on variance: There continues to be strong demand for BDP programming. Additional funding was made available from other programs such as the AIF, from reallocating BDP funds from Community Development, and from additional spending authorities that were made available from the collection of repayable contributions.

Program: Community Development
(dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2014-15
Actual
spending
2015-16
Actual
spending
2016-17
Planned
spending
2016-17
Total
authorities available
for use
2016-17
Actual
spending (authorities
used)
Variance
(2016-17 actual
minus
2016-17 planned)
Total grants 242,420 211,157 1,000,000 1,000,000 200,759 (799,241)
Total contributions 21,295,418 20,300,693 26,162,301 26,162,301 21,082,464 (5,079,837)
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 21,537,838 20,511,850 27,162,301 27,162,301 21,283,223 (5,879,078)

Comments on variance: During the year, ACOA regional offices responded to changing priorities by reallocating funding from Community Development to Enterprise Development as a result of delays in projects, which led to spending that was lower than planned.

Program: Policy, Advocacy and Coordination
(dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2014-15
Actual
spending
2015-16
Actual
spending
2016-17
Planned
spending
2016-17
Total
authorities available
for use
2016-17
Actual
spending (authorities
used)
Variance
(2016-17 actual
minus
2016-17 planned)
Total grants 50,000 0 0 0 0 0
Total contributions 3,216,434 2,497,426 1,553,000 1,553,000 5,047,667 3,494,667
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3,266,434 2,497,426 1,553,000 1,553,000 5,047,667 3,494,667
Total for all programs 127,068,581 133,490,945 133,176,388 152,195,135 157,475,355 24,298,967

Comments on variance: During the year, funds were reallocated to Policy, Advocacy and Coordination to provide funding for the Halifax International Security Forum.

Canada 150 Infrastructure Program - Voted

(also known as the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program)

Start date: April 1, 2016

End date: March 31, 2018

Type of transfer payment: Contribution

Type of appropriation: Appropriated annually through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions: 2016-17

Strategic Outcome: A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy

Link to department’s Program Alignment Architecture: Community Development; Community Investment

Description: The Canada 150 Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) is a $150 million cost-shared program aimed at the rehabilitation, renovation and expansion of existing community infrastructure such as community centres, recreational buildings, local arenas, cultural facilities, cenotaphs and other community infrastructure facilities, in support of ensuring a lasting impact of the 150th anniversary celebrations. Contributions are non-repayable.

Results achieved: In 2016-17, ACOA approved 415 projects under the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program, totalling $23 million in ACOA funding, to help municipalities, First Nation communities, economic development organizations as well as other non-profit organizations to modernize their existing community infrastructure facilities. For every dollar contributed by ACOA, $1.73 was leveraged by partners.

Audits completed or planned: No audits were completed or planned during fiscal year 2016-17.

Evaluations completed or planned: ACOA is not required to complete an evaluation of this funding program.

Engagement of applicants and recipients: ACOA collaborates with its partners and engages key stakeholders in discussions regarding community economic development to ensure that the Agency’s investments respond to the economic needs of the communities. Key stakeholders may include other levels of government, community leaders, financial institutions and private-sector organizations. Furthermore, CIP 150 information is shared with applicants and recipients through the Agency’s website.

(dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2014-15
Actual
spending
2015-16
Actual
spending
2016-17
Planned
spending
2016-17
Total
authorities available
for use
2016-17
Actual
spending (authorities
used)
Variance
(2016-17
actual
minus
2016-17 planned)
Total grants 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total contributions 0 3,481,221 8,300,000 16,600,000 12,535,250 4,235,250
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 3,481,221 8,300,000 16,600,000 12,535,250 4,235,250

Comments on variance: The variance in spending is due to an increase of $8.3 million in funding to support CIP 150.

Community Futures Program - Voted

Start date: May 18, 1995

End date: Ongoing

Type of transfer payment: Contribution

Type of appropriation: Appropriated annually through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions: 2009-10

Strategic Outcome: A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy

Link to department’s Program Alignment Architecture: Community Development; Community-based Business Development

Description: The program’s purpose is to help communities develop and implement local solutions to local problems. It provides non-repayable contributions to Community Futures Organizations (CFOs), also known in Atlantic Canada as Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs), and their associations.

Community-based governance is at the heart of the Community Futures program. The CBDCs are legally incorporated, not-for-profit, autonomous organizations that make decisions at a local level. Each CBDC is managed by local volunteer board members who make decisions that shape their organization, affect the lives of entrepreneurs and impact their community. They provide financial and technical support to SMEs and social enterprises in rural areas.

Results achieved: In 2016-17, CBDCs continued to provide an essential source of investment capital focused on rural businesses as well as business counselling and skills development. CBDCs assisted 1,335 businesses through their investment fund by approving 1,330 loans, representing a total direct investment in local SMEs of $74 million. These investments contributed to the creation of 1,793.5 new jobs in rural communities in Atlantic Canada. The Agency maximized the use of funds available to CBDCs as recipients of Community Futures funding in accordance with the Community Futures of Tomorrow model. ACOA continued to collaborate with the CBDC network to enhance governance practices when needed and provided ongoing training to board members. In 2016-17, a total of 12 training sessions were completed across the region, with a total of 170 participants. ACOA also supported the network in the development of a CBDC education and training strategy and a new performance reporting platform.

Audits completed or planned: No audits were completed or planned during fiscal year 2016-17.

Evaluations completed or planned:

Planned:

Engagement of applicants and recipients: The Agency continued to engage with and align its support to the CBDC network as part of the implementation of the Community Futures of Tomorrow model under a collaborative joint oversight committee. This maximized all resources available, including the funds provided by the Community Futures program. With a view to maintaining the long-term viability of the Community Futures program, the committee acts as a governance body by ensuring that the model’s objectives are being managed collaboratively among individual CBDCs, the Atlantic Association of CBDCs, and ACOA. As part of its due diligence processes and accountability to Parliament, the Agency has a responsibility to ensure that appropriate governance practices are in place with respect to organizations to which it provides operational support. ACOA continues to collaborate with the CBDC network and individual organizations to enhance governance practices, where required, and provide ongoing training to board members to ensure a continued understanding of effective governance and the importance of achieving desired results the right way.

ACOA continues to work with other federal regional development agencies, the Community Futures Network of Canada (CFNC) and the CBDCs to increase integrity and consistency as well as the collection of performance results, and to implement the Community Futures program’s performance measurement strategy. In collaboration with other federal government departments responsible for the management of the program, ACOA presents performance results for 2016-17 and continues to engage the CFNC in refining the collection and use of performance information needed by all stakeholders, including the CBDCs.

(dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2014-15
Actual
spending
2015-16
Actual
spending
2016-17
Planned
spending
2016-17
Total
authorities available
for use
2016-17
Actual
spending (authorities
used)
Variance
(2016-17 actual
minus
2016-17 planned)
Total grants 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total contributions 12,664,849 12,604,443 12,642,000 12,642,000 12,627,869 (14,131)
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 12,664,849 12,604,443 12,642,000 12,642,000 12,627,869 (14,131)

Comments on variance: n/a

Innovative Communities Fund - Voted

Start date: April 1, 2005

End date: Ongoing

Type of transfer payment: Contribution

Type of appropriation: Appropriated annually through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions: 2009-10

Strategic Outcome: A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy

Link to department’s Program Alignment Architecture: Community Development; Community Investment; Community-based Business Development

Description: The Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) is designed to make non-repayable contributions to strategic projects that build the economies of Atlantic Canada’s communities. The ICF focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in rural communities. Urban initiatives that stimulate the competitiveness and vitality of rural communities may also be considered on a select basis.

Results achieved: ICF capitalizes on the strengths of Atlantic communities and provides them with the tools needed to identify opportunities for sustainable economic growth. The overall expected result is to build dynamic and sustainable communities in Atlantic Canada while focusing on increased economic and business activity. In 2016-17, ACOA continued to work with communities and stakeholders on strategic projects related to economic development capacity as well as business-sector development. These efforts resulted in the Agency funding 126 projects under the ICF. These projects had total costs of $109.7 million, with an ACOA contribution of $47.7 million and $62 million leveraged from other sources. For every dollar invested by ACOA, $1.30 was leveraged by partners.

Audits completed or planned: No audits were completed or planned during fiscal year 2016-17.

Evaluations completed or planned:

Completed:

Planned:

Engagement of applicants and recipients: Eligible recipients for the ICF include municipalities and local organizations; First Nation communities; industry-related groups (e.g. industry or sector associations); and non-profit organizations.

ACOA’s transfer payment programs (including the ICF) are designed, managed and delivered in such a way that they remain client-focused, are relevant to applicants’ and recipients’ needs, and achieve the expected results for which they are designed. Under the ICF, the Agency continues to proactively engage with its partners and stakeholders, including community organizations, educational institutions, official language minority communities, First Nation communities and other levels of government, through discussions regarding strategic community development opportunities. These discussions ensure that the Agency’s investments continue to respond to the evolving economic needs and priorities of Atlantic Canadian communities. In addition, ICF information is continually shared with applicants and recipients through ACOA’s website.

(dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2014-15
Actual
spending
2015-16
Actual
spending
2016-17
Planned
spending
2016-17
Total
authorities available
for use
2016-17
Actual
spending (authorities
used)
Variance
(2016-17 actual
minus
2016-17 planned)
Total grants 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total contributions 41,646,990 40,951,128 36,756,518 36,756,518 47,669,438 10,912,920
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 41,646,990 40,951,128 36,756,518 36,756,518 47,669,438 10,912,920

Comments on variance: Additional funding was required under this program to meet increased demands in support of several community investment projects.

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