Results: what we achieved

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Program 1.1: Service networking supporting other Government Departments

Description

This program supports Government of Canada programs by ensuring that Canadians have the information necessary to make informed choices about available programs and services, and the tools to access them, while supporting migration to preferred service channels. Canadians are able to: access information about ESDC and other Government of Canada programs and services in the most accessible and convenient way; have their questions answered quickly and accurately; and receive or be directed to the information or service they need. Under this program, information and services are delivered to Canadians through the Internet, through 1 800 O-Canada and its customized telephone services and through a network of in-person points of service.

Results

Improving in-person service

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) developed a strategy to enhance in-person access to service at a community level while leveraging opportunities to strengthen service delivery. This strategy included:

  • Launched In-Person Quality Monitoring Program (IPQMP) in 2017-18 to monitor the quality of service delivery in Service Canada Centres. Once complete, this program will enable the Department to improve the consistency of service experience across its points of service.
  • Partnering with other levels of government to provide in-person support to rural communities; and
  • Enabling access to services in remote areas, for example through visits in 613 indigenous communities*.

*Note: Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency visited 613 communities as part of a one-year intensive outreach initiative that resulted in the following service transactions: Income Tax and CCB applications, MyServiceCanadaAccount, Old Age Security applications, Employment Insurance applications, referrals to provincial or other services, Canada Pension Plan Applications, Referrals to provincial or other services, Canada Pension Plan applications, passport applications, Canada Pension Plan Disability applications.

Client Experience Management

Service Canada conducted a Client Experience Survey in 2017-18 for six major programs: Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Canada Pension Plan - Disability, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Social Insurance Number. The survey results indicate an overall 86% client satisfaction rate for the programs. Furthermore, to support the modernization of client experience and ensure that a client centric approach remains at the forefront, journey maps (visual representations of a client’s interaction with the organization) were developed. They are being used to help the department identify challenges and pain points from a client perspective and bring forward solutions to improve client experience. In the case of the Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPPD), back in the summer of 2017, journey maps served to confirm the direction of service enhancements by validating and confirming the redesign of the CPPD application process. The maps validated the need to overhaul the over 40 page complex application form into a simple and plain language document.

Web renewal

Employment and Social Development Canada is the Principal Publisher for the Government of Canada and is responsible for a number of enterprise tools, services, and processes that support the Government of Canada’s online web and social media presence. In this capacity ESDC provides training, support, and guidance to institutions leveraging the common services used to deliver Canada.ca and other services such as the centralized newsroom. As the Principal Publisher, the Department has been responsible for migrating priority web content to Canada.ca. This was completed in December 2017. The Government of Canada now has a single website where clients can locate information and services across the whole of Government. It includes priority content from many institutions, including: the Canada Revenue Agency, Health Canada, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Canada.ca provides greater security, and faster access in one enhanced, citizen-centred site. Common search functionality allows Canadians to locate information on general Government of Canada programs and services as well as detailed information on the programs and services offered through ESDC. Canada.ca has exceeded the Government of Canada Standard on Web Accessibility for persons with disabilities. New web analytics are being used by over 30 institutions to understand and optimize usage of the website. The search service now supports the internal search on Canada.ca and nearly all other government websites. Additionally, over 35 institutions have adopted the Canada.ca template for over 60 business applications. The department is also providing one social media management tool that supports over 3,000 social media accounts, making it easier to communicate with Canadians. Additionally, the web content representing about 70% of traffic to in-scope Government of Canada websites was migrated to Canada.ca.

E-account initiative

The objective of the E-account initiative was to develop a single point of entry for ESDC online services. In 2017, through design workshops stemming from the transformation agenda, ESDC identified opportunities to expand on E-account to deliver more online services than initially envisioned. As a result, the E-account initiative was closed and efforts realigned to OneAccount, which has since been included in the Service Transformation Plan.

1 800 O-Canada

The 1 800 O-Canada Call Centre successfully mitigated the immediate risks posed by its reliance on legacy Call Centre solutions. Thirty-five telephone lines, five email boxes, two fax lines and four TTY services have moved to a new, fully supported, interim call centre platform hosted by Shared Services Canada.

This migration occurred without interrupting service to Canadians while maintaining service level standards and quality. For example:

  • the 1 800 O-Canada telephone service answered 1.66 million calls with 81% of these calls answered within 18 seconds (exceeding the service target of 80%). Customized Information Services (CIS) delivered 40 telephone services and four email services on behalf of other government programs and services. CIS met the service level targets negotiated with 95% of its Government of Canada clients; and
  • the full knowledge repository that supports 1 800 O-Canada and the customized information services was updated and validated by departmental program experts, and was verified for the linguistic quality of French and English.
Results Achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results
Canadians are able to access information about Government of Canada programs and services in the most accessible and convenient way Percentage of Canadians with access to a Service Canada point of service within 50 km of where they live 90% March 31, 2018 96.2% 96.2% 96.2%
Percentage of 1 800 O-Canada calls answered 95% March 31, 2018 99.6% 99.6% 99.5%
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 61,037,812 61,037,812 64,868,610 63,558,378 2,520,566
Specified Purpose Accounts  0 0 0 0 0
Revenues netted against expenditures 5,000,000 5,000,000 5,000,000 3,693,234 (1,306,766)
Net Spending 56,037,812 56,037,812 59,868,610 59,865,144 3,827,332

No significant variance

Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents 2017–18 Difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
389 325 (64)

The program includes planned FTEs for which Actuals are presented under other programs. The difference between Planned and Actual FTEs results from a realignment of FTEs between programs to match variations in staffing and activity within the organization.

Information on ESDC’s lower-level programs is available on GC InfoBaseFootnote 15.

Program 1.2: Delivery of services for other Government of Canada programs

Description

This program provides service delivery, oversight and monitoring on behalf of other government department programs through service delivery agreements. It provides Canadians access to a range of Government of Canada programs, benefits and services in person, by phone, by mail and over the Internet through the provision of basic and detailed program and service information; application intake and review for completeness; client authentication and validation of identity documents; quick and direct access to specialized agents within the other department; and provision of space in the service delivery network for other departments. It enables a move from department and program siloes to the achievement of a seamless service delivery network, resulting in timelier, accurate and cost-effective service delivery to Canadians.

Results

Passport Modernization

The Department continues to work with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to modernize Passport services with the aim of improving service delivery and accessibility by providing more convenient services to Canadians.

Service Canada is the provider of domestic passport service delivery within Canada through all service delivery channels. Service delivery includes the provision of information, intake of applications, validation of identity, production of passports and their distribution to eligible applicants, on time and error-free.

In 2017-18, the Department also improved program efficiencies by:

  • working with IRCC towards replacing the program’s aging IT infrastructure by preparing for the deployment of a new passport issuance system, and the implementation of several service delivery approaches; and
  • offering passport services, including document validation services, across an expanded Service Canada network. Canadians may now visit a Service Canada Centre to apply for a passport.

Partnerships Framework

Budget 2018 included a proposal to amend the Department’s legislation to deliver services for partners, including federal institutions and other Canadian jurisdictions. The Department continues to evolve the partnership framework to support these new authorities.

Results Achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results
Other government department programs are delivered seamlessly with effective oversight in accordance with partnership agreements Percentage of customized information services meeting service level agreement standards 95% March 31, 2018 95% 98% 97.1%

The percentage of services that met Service Level Agreement standards set with clients (Customized Information Services) met the target of 95% in 2017-18, but achieved a final result slightly lower than previous years. The slightly lower results are due to fewer Customized Information Services this past year, some of which fell below target due to higher numbers of callers than forecasted and resourced for, having a proportionately greater impact on the overall performance level.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 178,192,378 178,192,378 198,352,674 164,695,524 (13,496,854)
Specified Purpose Accounts  0 0 0 0 0
Revenues netted against expenditures 157,537,909 157,537,909 179,390,050 145,808,750 (11,729,159)
Net Spending 20,654,469 20,654,469 18,962,624 18,886,774 (1,767,695)

No significant variance

Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18 Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
2,238 1,991 (247)

With the transfer of responsibility for the delivery of passport services to ESDC, the service was provided within dedicated FTEs. The difference is mainly due to Passport contingency reserve that was created for unexpected circumstances and increases in volumes, and was not used.

Information on ESDC’s lower-level programs is available on departmental website the GC InfoBaseFootnote 16.

Program 2.1: Skills and Employment

Description

The Department’s Skills and Employment program provide training and other supports to Canadians to find and keep jobs. In support of inclusive growth, these programs address barriers to full participation and promote mobility across the country. Initiatives in these programs contribute to the overall objectives of promoting skills development, enhancing labour market participation, and ensuring labour market efficiency.

Results

1. Inclusive growth - In fiscal year 2017-18, Employment and Development Canada (ESDC) developed and implemented measures to increase the labour market participation of Indigenous people and under-represented groups to help all Canadians succeed, strengthen the middle class, and improve Canada’s performance. These initiatives included:

Renewing and improving the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS)

  • Engaged extensively with Indigenous leadership, Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) service delivery organizations, academic institutions, and provincial and territorial governments to inform the development of the successor to the ASETS program;
  • Budget 2018 committed $2 billion over five years, and $408.2 million per year ongoing, to support the creation of the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program (ISET);Extended ASETS agreements to March 2019 to ensure continuity of services while co-developing the implementation of the ISET program during the 2018-19 transition year;
  • Supported enhanced training aligned with community needs through 14 pilot projects in the areas of housing construction, water treatment and child care;
  • Provided an additional $50 million to increase the capacity of service providers to meet the demand for skills development and job training;
  • Entered into a new ASETS contribution agreement with Tsawwassen First Nation and continued to discuss more flexible funding arrangements with other Indigenous governments; and;
  • In 2017-18, ASETS served a total of 57,442 clients. In the same year, the program helped 20,374 Indigenous people find employment and 10,158 return to school, surpassing the target of 14,000 to 16,500 clients employed after program participation

Promoting economic development in Indigenous communities and creating jobs for Indigenous people

  • Funded 50 new Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) projects to provide training-to-employment opportunities for Indigenous workers in areas of high demand and skills shortages, in partnership with employers and communities. Out of 1,973 clients participating in SPF projects, the program helped 545 Indigenous people find employment and 76 return to school;
  • Collaborated with Indigenous Services Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development and other federal and provincial partners to ensure a coordinated approach to increasing Indigenous economic development opportunities;
  • Leveraged existing programs and resources, such as the Indigenous Services Canada, Strategic Partnerships Initiative, Job Bank, and youth programming, to engage more Indigenous peoples in sustainable and meaningful employment through local economic development; and
  • Provided $44.3 million to support repairs and renovations, and other needs identified by child care centres as part of the $100 million in new funding towards Indigenous early learning and child care, as per the Social Infrastructure Fund announced in Budget 2016.

Designing the Canada Service Corps (formerly Youth Service Initiative)

The Canada Service Corps (CSC) supports a vision of Canada where youth serve their communities during their formative years, and carry this experience with them throughout their lives, fostering a culture of service, participation and active citizenship. Building on the exploratory work conducted by the ESDC Innovation Lab, the CSC is currently in its design phase, with plans to formally launch in 2019.

ESDC is guiding the collection of evidence and engaging with youth across Canada to ensure the CSC is an effective, sustainable, accessible and inclusive signature national program that is created for youth by youth. The Department is leveraging the ESDC Innovation Lab for this project to test prototypes with youth that were built over the design phase. These initiatives included:

  • Held co-creation sessions with youth groups, including those from under-represented groups (e.g., youth with disabilities, indigenous people, rural and remote, LGBTQ2, newcomers) to inform the development of the CSC, generating innovative ideas for digital supports, incentives and mentorship structures;
  • Tested innovative, immersive 6 to 12 months service opportunities where youth perform a minimum of 120 hours of service with national partners, as well as local service experiences with community-based regional partners;
  • Provided funding to a third party, TakingITGlobal, which has delivered over 590 micro-grants of $250, $750 and $1,500 to support youth-led service projects in their communities;
  • Partnered with Volunteer Canada to deliver a pan-Canadian matching service for up to 50,000 volunteer opportunities; and
  • Partnered with Statistics Canada to conduct a longitudinal survey to track outcomes for CSC participants. CSC continues to work with experts to better understand youth volunteerism and service in Canada.

Increasing support for youth employment and training

The Government of Canada expanded employment opportunities for young Canadians by investing an additional $395.5 million in the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) over three years, beginning in 2017-18, with the goal of:

  • Helping more than 33,000 vulnerable youth develop the skills they need to find work or go back to school;
  • Creating 15,000 new green jobs for young Canadians in sectors such as renewable energy and agriculture; and
  • Providing over 1,600 new employment opportunities for youth in the heritage sector.

In addition, 69,000 summer work placements were created in 2017-18 under the Canada Summer Jobs program. ESDC served over 82,000 clients through Career Focus, Skills Link and Summer Work Experience, including Canada Summer Jobs. As a horizontal initiative, delivered in collaboration with 10 other federal departments and agencies, the YES provided support to over 90,000 young people with training and employment services so that they could gain the skills, abilities and work experience needed to get a strong start in their careers.

The Department also engaged key partners and stakeholders in preparatory work to develop a modernized YES that is more responsive to evolving needs, informed by the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Youth Employment, which was released in June 2017.

2. Skills for the changing nature of work – ESDC supported graduates and apprentices in obtaining in-demand skills, experience and knowledge to succeed in the labour market of today and tomorrow. These initiatives included:

Implementing the Student Work Placement Program

The new Student Work Placement (SWP) program (formerly Student Work-Integrated Learning Program) created co-op placement for students in science, technology, engineering and, mathematics (STEM), and business programs in partnership with employers and post-secondary education institutions. In its first year of activities, the SWP supported the creation of over 1,100 new student work placements with employers in eight key economic sectors; 523 (46%) of placements were filled by students from under-represented groups, including women in STEM, Indigenous students, persons with disabilities, newcomers, and first-year students. The SWP was particularly successful in supporting women in STEM, with 367 placements being filled by women in STEM.

Supporting union-based apprenticeship training

ESDC launched the new Union Training and Innovation Program to support unions to purchase up-to-date training equipment and support innovative approaches to improve apprenticeship outcomes (e.g., enhanced skills to succeed in the trades, particularly for key groups, such as women and Indigenous people). A total of 34 projects were funded with approximately $10 million. Expected results of the projects include greater opportunities for training in remote communities and increased participation of key groups, including women, in the trades.

Determine an approach for improving apprentices’ outcomes through infrastructure investments

The Department worked with Infrastructure Canada (INFC), employers and workers to develop a target for hiring apprentices on federal infrastructure projects. This led to the inclusion of the Community Employment Benefit initiative in INFC Integrated Bilateral Agreements being negotiated and signed with provinces and territories (PTs) for infrastructure investments. PTs are to report annually on progress against project-level targets, which includes an option for reporting on employment of apprentices for all major infrastructure projects (from $10 million to $25 million).

3. Worker flexibility and adaptability – ESDC implemented key commitments to ensure Canadians have the skills required for a changing labour market and the supports they need during periods of transition and labour market adjustment. This initiative included:

A new generation of intergovernmental agreements to support skills training

ESDC negotiated with all provinces and territories a new generation of labour market transfer agreements for the provision of skills development and employment programming that is client-centred, outcome-focused, flexible and responsive to the needs of individuals, workers, employers and under-represented groups.

The Department streamlined and expanded existing agreements by:

  • Consolidating three transfer agreements (Canada Job Fund Agreement, Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities, and the former Targeted Initiative for Older Workers) into the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDAs);
  • Increasing federal funding by $2.7 billion over six years to PTs for skills training and employment supports through the Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and the new WDAs; and
  • Amending the Employment Insurance Act to broaden eligibility for skills training and employment supports, allowing more individuals to access Employment Insurance-funded measures under the LMDAs, and increasing flexibility for employer-sponsored training.

Signed agreements are in effect in most jurisdictions, with remaining negotiations to conclude in 2018-19.

A common Performance Measurement Strategy for the new WDAs and amended LMDAs was also developed, which will enable better reporting on the impacts of investments for Canadians, including underrepresented groups.

Improving the Employment Insurance program to meet the needs of Canadians in an evolving labour market

ESDC implemented changes on December 3, 2017, to make Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for caregivers and corresponding leaves under the Canada Labour Code more flexible, inclusive, and easier to access. This includes:

  • The new EI Family Caregiver Benefit, which provides eligible caregivers with up to 15 weeks of benefits to provide care or support to a critically ill or injured adult. The renamed and enhanced Family Caregiver Benefit for Children provides up to 35 weeks of benefits for the care of a critically ill child under the age of 18, and eligibility has been expanded to include any family member, rather than only parents; and
  • Improved access to EI Family Caregiver benefits and the EI Compassionate Care benefit, as both medical doctors and nurse practitioners are now able to sign the medical certificates.

In addition, more flexible EI maternity and parental benefits and corresponding leaves under the Canada Labour Code became available on December 3, 2017:

  • Parents now have more flexibility and can choose between two options: standard parental benefits of up to 35 weeks paid at 55% of average weekly earnings, which can be received over 12 months, or extended parental benefits of up to 61 weeks paid at 33% of average weekly earnings, which can be received over 18 months; and
  • Workers can now claim the EI maternity benefits earlier, up to 12 weeks before their due date, if they so choose.

4. Efficient labour market - ESDC contributed to ensuring a strong and responsive labour force to drive growth and innovation. This initiative included:

Reviewing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Advanced the Path Forward to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) so that it works for all workers, for businesses and for the Canadian economy. Specific achievements included:

  • Promoting jobs for Canadians: enhanced employer recruitment requirements for the TFWP, including the compulsory use of Job Bank’s Job Match service and an increase in required outreach to under-represented groups, to help ensure Canadians have the first opportunity at available jobs;
  • Strengthening worker protections: implemented a risk-based model for employer inspections; increased the number of on-site inspections; and implemented a new, more robust, housing policy for primary agriculture workers;
  • Improving Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) processing: launched the TFWP Quality Monitoring program and streamlined replacement and transfer worker processes to ensure responsiveness to Canadian labour market needs For example, the program waives the need for employers using the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the TFW Program from having to advertise positions for two weeks prior to submitting their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications for replacement or transfer workers; and
  • Fostering innovation and growth: launched the new Global Talent Stream pilot to support innovative employers and companies seeking highly-skilled foreign workers to help their business grow.

Improving labour market information for Canadians, including work with the Labour Market Information Council

  • The Labour Market Information Council (LMIC) was registered as a not for profit corporation. ESDC actively participated in the implementation of its Board governance, including the creation of the National Stakeholder Advisory Panel and Labour Market Information Experts Panel, and the development of plans and strategies to support the LMIC to achieve its priorities;
  • Work was advanced on a new interactive labour market information tool for local-level geographic areas to be launched in 2018-19;
  • Employment outlooks and prevailing wage data were made available through the Government of Canada website. Updates to employment outlooks and wage data occur annually, with additional updates when new information becomes available (e.g., a change in the minimum wage); and
  • ESDC funded industry-driven, sectoral labour market intelligence products and forecasts, which were distributed to various users, including employers, workers, students, and educators. These investments are complementary to the work of the LMIC.

5. Improving service delivery to Canadians. These initiatives included:

Automating Employment Insurance

In fiscal year 2017-18 the Employment Insurance automation project implemented a series of tactical changes designed to enhance the client experience and service quality. These included:

  • Infrastructure upgrade to Appliweb (EI online application) to ensure alignment to Government of Canada standards for accessibility and mobility via Web Experience Tool Kit version 4 (WET4) and Canada Theme Content Delivery network; and
  • The Alert Me feature, a proactive service that uses generic email notifications which prompts clients to log in to their secure My Service Canada Account when there are important new messages on their EI claims. As of March 31, 2018, the number of subscribers to Alert Me reached 322,292.

Enhancing auto-enrolment of Employment Insurance claimants in Job Bank services to provide tools for job seekers

Job Bank continued to work collaboratively with the Employment Insurance (EI) program on auto-enrolment features, including:

  • Adding a new optional field in the EI online application system (Appliweb) to collect email addresses from EI applicants - 77% of applicants provided an email address from December 2017 to March 2018; and
  • Automatically enrolling EI regular and fishing benefits applicants in Job Alerts if their email is provided in Appliweb - 21% of applicants who provided an email address completed their subscription to Job Alerts from December 2017 to March 2018 and, in total, 122,749 EI applicants subscribed to Job Alerts this way, which helped connect them to potential employment opportunities.

Working with stakeholders in the business and labour communities on strategies to reduce payroll reporting burden for employers, improve reporting compliance and increase the accuracy and speed of Employment Insurance payments

In response to the EI Service Quality Review recommendation to co-create a real-time payroll information-sharing solution (ePayroll) with businesses, ESDC has been engaging employers, payroll experts, labour and the Canada Revenue Agency with the support of the Commissioners for Employers and Workers, to identify the barriers and potential solutions required to enable an ePayroll service.

Results Achieved
  Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target Actual Results
2017–18          2016–17 2015–16
Workers have the flexibility and support to pursue employment opportunities or labour market transitions Percentage of the unemployed population who had paid EI premiums in the last 12 months and had a recent job separation that qualified under the Employment Insurance program 83.7% March 31, 2018 Not available* 85.4% 82.8%
Canadians, including under-represented groups and vulnerable workers, have the opportunity to acquire skills to find and maintain productive employment The proportion of clients employed following a completed employment program intervention under the following federally delivered programs: Youth Employment Strategy, Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, and Skills and Partnerships Fund 70%** March 31, 2017 72% 69% 71%
  • * Data not available until the release of the 2017-18 Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment report.
  • ** Target includes returns to school.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates*
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 2,600,702,386 24,578,109,363 22,693,239,959 22,619,945,850 (1,958,163,513)
Specified Purpose Accounts  0 21,977,406,977 19,734,461,501 19,734,461,501 (2,242,945,476)
Revenues netted against expenditures 817,186,633 817,186,633 945,908,143 935,887,615 118,700,982
Net Spending 1,783,515,753 1,783,515,753 2,012,870,315 1,949,596,734 166,080,981
  • The variance in Gross spending is mainly due to actual spending of Part I EI benefits being lower than originally planned due to an improvement in the labour market conditions, which resulted in a decrease in regular benefit payments.
  • * Employment Insurance benefits are excluded from the Department’s Main Estimates but included in planned spending.
Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18 Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
9,120 10,254 1,134
  • Additional FTEs were required for implementation and service delivery related to Budget 2017 EI measures such as changes to EI special benefits, to support the increase to call centre service standards and for NHQ transformation.

Information on ESDC’s lower-level programs is available on departmental website the GC InfoBaseFootnote 17.

Horizontal initiatives: Service and benefits improvements

Focus on innovation in 2017-18

In 2017-18, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) developed the Service Transformation Plan (STP) to support its move from strategy to implementation for transformation and modernization of its services for improved service delivery to clients.

The STP was co-developed with Canadians and employees across the Department to deliver solutions of high value to Canadians as quickly as possible. Under the STP, work has begun to develop solutions to transform the client experience, for example:

  • In January 2018, the Department launched a pilot of its video chat solution in the Atlantic Region. The Atlantic pilot, and further expansion in the Western Canada and Territories Region in March 2018, was based on the experiences learned from the Quebec region which had originally launched videochat in May 2016. The videochat service offers clients who visit a Service Canada Centre, the opportunity to be served by a Citizen Services Officer in another Service Canada Centre using videochat technology. As a result of the successful implementation of videochat, this service is currently available to clients in Saint-Léonard, Quebec, Fredericton, New Brunswick, and Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba. Further implementation is planned in the Ontario Region in September 2018.
  • In January 2018, enhancements were made to the Benefits Finder tool, which through a series of questions, provides clients with a listing of benefit programs that they might be eligible for before applying online.
  • In February 2018, a beta version of the Job Bank job search mobile app was launched on both iOS and Android (Apple App Store and Google Play store).
  • The Community Outreach and Liaison Service (COLS) is the ESDC in person service delivery mechanism which provides flexible service to vulnerable communities when geography, technology, culture, language and other barriers prevent access to service. The COLS toolkit, currently under development, will provide outreach staff with seamless access to guidance and tools to aid in the delivery of programs and services to clients in urban, rural and remote communities.
  • The Department began developing a Document Upload solution providing clients with the option to upload documents securely online for programs that require them.

The STP’s incremental approach allows for short-term results to occur while we continue to identify medium and long-term solutions.

Service standards

In 2017–18, the Department undertook reviews of its service standards for Employment Insurance (EI), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) programs in order to support improvements to the service experience of clients. The reviews involved a series of stakeholder consultations over the course of the fiscal year, including in-person focus groups and public opinion research surveys to gather feedback from clients, employers and Service Canada employees. The consultations focused on determining the relevance of current service standards, and gaining insight on what changes should be considered from the perspective of these groups.

While the reviews indicated that current service standards for these programs are meeting their intended objectives and the expectations of clients, they also suggested that further improvements could be made.

The Department is considering options to enhance service standards moving forward.

Benefits Delivery Modernization

The Department continued to advance the Benefits Delivery Modernization (BDM) initiative. BDM is focused on increasing client self-service and automation, streamlining business processes and addressing the risks associated with aging information technology, including software. Through the modernization of service delivery benefits, the Department will improve Canadians’ access to benefit services. In October 2017, ESDC began the Program Definition Phase of BDM, which will focus on delivering designs for modernized service delivery, co-developed with citizens and employees, and the detailed planning required to implement modernized technology solutions successfully.

Call Centre Improvement Strategy (CCIS)

In 2017-18, the Department worked with other government departments and the private sector to prepare for the migration of Service Canada Centres to a new Hosted Contact Centre Solution (HCCS) platform, a new modern IT platform that will provide enhanced functionalities. This work involved completing detailed discovery and migration plans as well as engaging with employees on vendor tools and practices. Improved Interactive Voice Response systems, as well as advanced routing of calls to agents with appropriate skill sets, will increase the potential for first contact resolution and ultimately enable a more positive client experience.

Modernization of grants and contributions programs

The Department has made significant progress to further enhance the online management of Grants and Contributions (Gs&Cs) to streamline its internal processes and to bring efficiencies in the delivery of Gs&Cs. The Gs&Cs modernization agenda ensures program delivery is simplified, integrated and automated and continues to provide excellent service for Canadians.

Key benefits include:

  • New Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) paper to online functionality was successfully implemented to allow those organizations that applied using a paper-based process to now manage agreements online.
  • The expansion of the electronic signatures for financial transactions and minor amendments was implemented to reduce the administrative burden for Gs&Cs practitioners by eliminating extra steps to input data for key financial transactions in the Common System for Grants and Contributions (CSGC) and streamlining internal processes for managing minor amendments for agreements.
  • Gs&Cs recipients can now submit and manage direct deposit information through a secure online environment.

Review of the Social Security Tribunal of Canada

In response to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities report, the Department completed a review of the Social Security Tribunal (SST) of Canada to ensure it remains efficient in meeting the needs and expectations of Canadians. The review included multiple cross Canada public consultations, stakeholder interviews, web surveys and extensive data analysis and research.

The Department released the final report on the Review of the SST on January 5, 2018. The report included seven key recommendations and the Department is developing a comprehensive action plan that will focus on improvements that are important to Canadians and stakeholders: providing a recourse process which is client-centric, faster and simpler. This action plan will be a continuation of the actions already taken to improve the appeals process.

Program 2.2: Learning

Description

Learning is composed of two programs:

  • the Canada Student Loans and Grants and Canada Apprentice Loans Program; and
  • the Canada Education Savings Program.

The Canada Student Loans and Grants and Canada Apprentice Loans Program aims to improve access to, and affordability of, post-secondary education, including apprenticeship programs, by providing supports to eligible apprentices through loans and to students with demonstrated financial need through grants, loans and repayment assistance measures. This program also provides non-repayable grants that are targeted to students from low- and middle-income families, students with permanent disabilities, students with dependents and part-time students from low-income families.

In addition, the Government recognizes the importance of helping Canadians to save for their children's future education. Through the Canada Education Savings Program, the Government encourages Canadians to use Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to save for a child's post-secondary education. The Government offers two education savings incentives linked to RESPs: the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) which is available to all eligible Canadians with higher CESG rates (termed "Additional CESG") for children from middle- and low-income families; and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) which is available for children from low-income families, born in 2004 or later and up to the age of 15, with no requirement that personal contributions be made.

Together, these programs help make post-secondary education more accessible to all Canadians, recognizing that education and training are key factors in building a strong economy and promoting a highly skilled, inclusive, productive and competitive workforce. These programs help families save for their children's education, provide financial assistance in the form of repayable loans and non-repayable grants to students, and ensure that debt loads are manageable. ESDC promotes the communication of information to support informed education and labour market choices that help secure good-quality jobs. ESDC works in collaboration with the provinces and territories, the voluntary sector, financial institutions, service providers and other key stakeholders to help Canadians pursue post-secondary education.

Results

Introduce a fixed student contribution model to determine eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants

The fixed student contribution replaces the previous system of assessing students’ estimated income and financial assets with a fixed amount based on family income and family size. The model allows students to work and gain valuable labour market experience without having to worry about a reduction in their level of financial assistance.

Canadians with identified employment barriers will now be exempt from making a fixed student contribution, including students who self-identify as Indigenous learners, students with permanent disabilities, students with dependent children, and current or former Crown wards. The fixed student contribution was implemented with provinces and territories beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

Introduce increased thresholds to determine eligibility for Canada Student Grants

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, the Canada Student Grants (CSG) for Students from Low-Income Families and the CSG for Students from Middle-Income Families were replaced by the Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students (CSG-FT). The CSG-FT is based on a more generous, progressive threshold, with grant amounts gradually decreasing based on income and family size. As a result, more students will now be eligible for more CSG funding and no student will receive less than what they would have received before. Nearly 145,000 students from low- and middle- income families are estimated to benefit from the CSG-FT. This includes approximately 46,000 students who are expected to become newly eligible for this non-repayable grant funding.

Improve the promotion of Registered Education Savings Plans and the Canada Learning Bond

In support of the Minister's mandate letter, ESDC is collaborating with a range of partners and stakeholders, including provinces, territories, and Indigenous peoples, to promote the benefits of early saving in a Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), which is available to children from low-income families. ESDC continues to focus on activities aimed at increasing awareness and access to the CLB so that children can take full advantage of the government education savings incentives.

As part of this work, the Department initiated a human-centred design project through the ESDC Innovation Lab to help increase uptake of the Canada Learning Bond, and to better understand dynamics of saving for post-secondary education among families with low to moderate levels of income. Insights from this work will contribute to future work to improve the uptake of the CLB.

ESDC worked in partnership with the Government of Ontario to incorporate an Education Savings Referral Service into ServiceOntario’s online birth registration service. Parents of Ontario newborns can now request a referral to a RESP promoter to help them start saving early for post-secondary education (PSE) by learning about and opening a RESP and subsequently requesting the education savings incentives.

To further increase RESP and CLB take-up, ESDC provides direct quarterly mailings to families of eligible children, and undertakes outreach activities in collaboration with partners and stakeholders through sign-up events, mailing trials and engagement on social media, leveraging Behavioural Insights expertise from the ESDC Innovation Lab. The Department coordinates the Education Savings Week, which offers a variety of activities undertaken to promote early savings for PSE and to raise awareness of the education savings incentives.

Ease access to the Canada Learning Bond

Effective as of January 1, 2018, amendments to the Canada Education Savings Act made it easier to access the Canada Learning Bond and the additional amount of Canada Education Savings Grant by allowing the cohabitating spouse or common-law partner of a child’s primary caregiver to request the education savings incentives. These amendments will ensure that more children who are eligible for the education savings incentives receive the support they need to pursue post-secondary education.

Focus on completing the Canada Student Loans Program Service Provider Re-procurement

In 2016, the Department established a new contract with the third-party service provider for the Canada Student Loans Program that includes an e-enabled service delivery model, consistent with the Departmental Service Strategy's goal of improving digital service offerings. In 2017-18, the Department initiated a transition to the electronic service delivery model under the new service provider contract using a phased approach. Phase I was launched April 3, 2018. This Phase allows full-time students to have their identity verified and receive and sign their student loan agreement online rather than having to authenticate and mail their documents at designated Canada Post outlets. Work continued in parallel to further develop the key improvements associated with Phase II, which will include a new online student portal that will provide real-time updates and an interactive "channel of choice" model communication approach.

Results Achieved
  Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target Actual Results
2017–18 2016–17 2015–16
Canadians have the skills and credentials to succeed in the labour market Canada's OECD ranking for the percentage of its population (aged 25-64) with PSE credentials 1st 2018 (using 2017 data) 2017: 1st 2016: 1st 2015: 1st
Percentage of the Canadian labour force (aged 25-64) who have attained a post-secondary education certificate, diploma or degree 70.9% December 31, 2017 2017: 71.0% 2016: 70.7% 2015: 69.8%
Canadians, including those from under-represented groups, can participate equitably in post-secondary education Percentage of Canadians (aged 17-21) who were attending university or college 44.7% December 31, 2017 2017: 45.1% 2016: 44.2% 2015: 43.4%
Canadians, including those from under-represented groups, have access to financing for their post-secondary education Percentage and number of full‑time post-secondary students (aged 15 to 29) in participating provinces/territories who used a Canada Student Loan and/or a Canada Student Grant and/or an in-study interest subsidy to help finance their participation in post-secondary education 47%
(534,000)
March 31, 2018 53%
(615,000)1
48%
(562,000)
2015-16: 50% (562,500)
Student loan borrowers can and do repay their loans The proportion of loan dollars that enter repayment in a given loan year (cohort) and default within three years +/- 3 percentage points from the last report year's actual results July 31, 2018 9%2 10% 11%
Canadians are able to finance their participation in post-secondary education using Registered Education Savings Plan savings Percentage and number of full- and part-time post-secondary students (aged 15 to 29) who used Registered Education Savings Plan funds to help finance their participation in post-secondary education 24.1% December 31, 2017 2017: 24.8% (431,009) 2016: 24.4% (419,611) 2015: 23.1% (395,027)
  • 1 The increase in the percentage and the number from 2016-17 to 2017-18 could be attributed to program enhancements announced in Budget 2016 and implemented August 1, 2017, such as expanded eligibility for the Canada Student Grant for Full-time Students and the introduction of fixed student contribution, which have significantly increased the number of students eligible for loans and grants in 2017-18.
  • 2 This indicator shows the three-year default rate of those Canada Student Loans borrowers who entered repayment in 2015-16 and will finish their third year of repayment in the current reporting year (2017-18). At the time of reporting, the 2017-18 loan year has not yet finished and the three-year default rate is projected using the data from the first two years.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 2,969,076,593 2,969,076,593 3,475,845,843 3,466,838,079 497,761,486
Specified Purpose Accounts  0 0 0 0 0
Revenues netted against expenditures 0 0 0 0 0
Net Spending 2,969,076,593 2,969,076,593 3,475,845,843 3,466,838,079 497,761,486

The variation is attributable to: Budget 2016 announcements which expanded eligibility thresholds for Canada Student Grants and introduced a fixed student contribution to determine eligibility for grants; loans that were written off by Employment and Social Development under Vote 7c from the Appropriation Act No. 5, 2017-18; and, more people taking advantage of education savings incentives, particularly the Canada Learning Bond, due, in part, to various initiatives to increase awareness/take-up.

Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18 Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
348 346 (2)

No significant variance

Information on ESDC’s lower-level programs is available on GC InfoBaseFootnote 18.

Horizontal initiatives: Secure service and seamless access for clients

Business Number Adoption

During the 2017-18 fiscal year the Department evaluated the results of the Business Number pilot project with Job Bank. This pilot provided a proof that the use of Canada Revenue Agency’s Business Number improved identity validation between businesses and the Job Bank program. An assessment of other programs and services was completed to identify those that would benefit from the use of the Business Number and an action plan for adoption was developed for these programs and services. As of March 31, 2018, work was underway to develop the specific requirements and technology that will allow businesses to use their Business Number as a means of communicating identity to the Department’s programs and services.

Service network collaboration with provinces and territories

ESDC collaborates with federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal (FPTM) partners to provide integrated service delivery by leveraging each other’s service delivery networks. In 2017–18, ESDC used geo-mapping, that combined points of service with sociodemographic information, to identify opportunities for FPTM partners, including Service Canada, to collaborate on in-person services. An evergreen Innovative Service Partnerships Inventory of pilots and innovation was created. Finally, a Service Partnerships Playbook was developed. Twelve jurisdictions and a number of municipalities are featured. The Playbook provides best practices and case studies from across the country which can be replicated or scaled up to improve how services are delivered to Canadians.

In 2017-18, the Department established a partnership with the Government of Alberta to issue, on their behalf, relief payments to assist workers who involuntarily lost their jobs due to the closing of a specified coal-fired power plant or mine, to help them transition to re-employment, retirement, and/or relocation.

Direct Deposit and Address Information Sharing Initiative

In November 2017, the Department, worked with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to implement the Direct Deposit and Address Information Sharing Initiative, which brings to life the “tell-us-once” Government of Canada approach. With the launch of the first phase, individuals only need to update direct deposit information once across both the CRA and ESDC’s Canada Pension Plan.

Identity and access management

The Department developed high-level business requirements to improve online services while protecting the privacy of Canadians. A Draft Request for Information was developed for online use starting in early summer 2018 in order to seek feedback from the vendor community on a single secure access point to Employment and Social Development Canada programs and services for real-time identity registration and authentication.

Canada’s Digital Interchange

Through the Canada Digital Interchange initiative, the Department worked closely with provinces to make it easier for Canadians to identify themselves digitally when seeking federal benefits and services online. For example, the planning and design of the MyAlberta Digital ID pilot, was advanced during the 2017-18 fiscal year. This pilot will allow Albertans wishing to access federal government benefits and services to use their provincially issued digital identity to identify themselves and register for a My Service Canada Account instead of having to create another username and password and waiting for a mailed access code.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada/ESDC Identity Linkages Project (ILP)

The project officially came to a close on June 14, 2017 as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) opted to proceed with this project using their own resources and technology.

Vital Events Linkages Project

Implementation of the Vital Events Linkages program has been deferred to a later date as the Northwest Territories first engaged in electronic exchange of information with Statistics Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency and need to reassess capacity to move this initiative forward with ESDC. Yukon has to undertake regulatory amendments to support the exchange of information. There has been no progress made by either ESDC or Statistics Canada/Canada Revenue Agency with Nunavut.

Death notification

In collaboration with provinces and territories, federal departments and agencies, ESDC completed a Death Notification Blueprint report including a jurisdictional plan on how to move to a simplified “tell-us once” approach for clients to inform multiple levels of government when a loved one has died. Additionally, a Client Journey Mapping exercise with federal and provincial partners was completed to better understand the client experience to help inform the development of a Bereavement Bundle Communication Tool to assist Canadians through the registration and notification process.

Social Insurance Register modernization

The Department examined current challenges to the Social Insurance Number (SIN) Program, including changing social contexts and technological innovation to develop options to modernize the SIN and help facilitate as well as improve how the Government of Canada provides services to Canadians.

Advance key measures to improve the integrity of programs and services

To support the integrity by design approach, the ESDC Fraud Framework was reviewed and updated to ensure that all relevant departmental activities are documented and that it reflects current best practices, as well as domestic and global trends. It now has a stronger emphasis on prevention activities which is aligned with the ongoing integrity by design approach.

Program 3.1: Labour

Description

The Labour Program contributes to social and economic well-being by fostering safe, healthy, fair and inclusive work environments and cooperative workplace relations in the federal jurisdiction. It does so by providing labour relations mediation services, safeguarding workers against hazards, enforcing minimum working conditions, promoting decent work and fostering respect for international labour standards.

Results

In 2017-18, the Department continued to promote good quality jobs and foster the concept of decent work in the federal jurisdiction. Engagement activities were held between spring 2017 and winter 2018 in support of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour’s mandate letter commitment to ensure that Canadians continue to have a robust and modern set of federal labour standards. The Canada Labour Code has been amended to eliminate unpaid internships in the federally regulated private sector that are not part of a formal educational program and ensure that unpaid interns whose internship is part of a formal educational program are entitled to certain labour standard protections, such as maximum hours of work, weekly days of rest and general holidays, to be specified through regulations. The amendments received Royal Assent on December 14, 2017. Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, was introduced in the House of Commons on November 7, 2017, to create a single, integrated regime that would protect federally regulated employees from harassment and violence in the workplace and extend occupational health and safety protections to parliamentary workplaces.

Implement a modern fair wages policy

As set out in the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour’s mandate letter, ESDC is working with Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat to implement a modern Fair Wages Policy that establishes a fair level of compensation for individuals working on federal government contracts and supports the creation of good-paying middle-class jobs.

Support fairness at work by developing options for proactive pay equity

As set out in the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour’s mandate letter, in collaboration with the Treasury Board Secretariat, Justice Canada and Status of Women Canada, ESDC is working to introduce a proactive pay equity regime in the federal jurisdiction that would replace the current complaint-based approach. Legislation will be introduced in fall 2018, as announced in Budget 2018. A proactive pay equity regime will contribute to reducing the gender wage gap for federally regulated private and public sector employers and will ensure that on average men and women receive the same pay for work of equal value.

Propose amendments to the Canada Labour Code to allow workers to formally request flexible work arrangements

Bill C-63, which received Royal Assent on December 14, 2017, amended Part III of the Canada Labour Code to: give employees in the federally regulated private sector the right to request flexible work arrangements from their employer, such as flexible start and finish times and the ability to work from home; create new unpaid leaves for family responsibilities, to participate in traditional Indigenous practices and to seek care if they are victims of family violence; and make bereavement leave more flexible.

Work to support timely passage of Bill C-4 to help restore a fair and balanced approach to labour relations

Bill C-4 was enacted on June 19, 2017 to restore the card-check union certification and decertification system. It also amended the Income Tax Act to repeal the financial reporting requirements for labour organizations and labour trusts and the offence in case of non-compliance.

Enhance service delivery to meet the evolving needs of Canadian workers and employers

ESDC continues to enhance the delivery of its services to Canadians to reflect the changing world we live in. In 2017-18, ESDC re-defined its service standards for services provided to employers and employees in the federal jurisdiction. Opportunities and barriers were also identified and will be addressed in the coming years.

The five-year plan is underway to implement the Integrated Labour System, a five-year project to develop and implement a single information technology system that can provide accurate, complete, timely and relevant data for our operations and enable interactions with clients using modern, accessible, adaptable and reliable technology. This year, ESDC focused on replacing the Federal Jurisdiction Injury Database and launching an external component to allow employers to submit their Employer Annual Hazardous Occurrence Report on-line.

Improve workplace conditions in Canada by continually enhancing new standards of safety

To make workplace conditions safer for Canadians, ESDC has made changes to occupational health and safety regulations. It amended the occupational exposure limits for chrysotile asbestos and included new requirements for employers to develop and implement an asbestos management program if any asbestos or asbestos-containing material does exist in a workplace, and there is the potential for fiber release. ESDC is also enhancing its standards relating to vaping as well as compliance and enforcement.

Improve workplace conditions by fostering respect for international labour standards

In 2017-18, ESDC held exploratory talks and/or active negotiations with China, MERCOSUR, Pacific Alliance and NAFTA partners on labour provisions of existing or potential agreements. Free-trade agreements came into force with Ukraine (August 1, 2017) and the European Union (provisional application on September 21, 2017), thereby launching the formal implementation of comprehensive labour chapters. Work related to the conclusion (signature on March 8, 2018) and anticipated entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was also undertaken.

Four technical assistance projects in Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru and with the Organization of American States were launched under the International Trade and Labour stream of the Labour Funding Program. These capacity-building projects support the modernization of labour policy and administration. These projects also foster better enforcement of labour laws and greater respect for fundamental labour rights.

On the multilateral front, the ratification of International Labour Organization Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining (June 2017) demonstrated Canada’s leadership and commitment towards decent labour and employment conditions for workers and fair and balanced labour relations at home and abroad. Canada’s active participation in the International Labour Organization (ILO) resulted in the reflection of Canadian interests in numerous outcome documents, including for the 331st and 332nd Sessions of the ILO Governing Body, the September 2017 ILO Standards Review Mechanism Tripartite Working Group meeting, the November 2017 IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour, and the adoption of Recommendation 205 - Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience, 2017. The ILO is also currently working with member states, employer organizations and workers representatives in developing a new international instrument addressing violence and harassment in the world of work. Canada is playing a significant role in leading this discussion by chairing the committee that is negotiating the form and content of this instrument. Canada is also working actively with other representatives in seeking to ensure that robust protections against violence and harassment in the world of work are included in any future instrument.

Results Achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results
Workplaces are safe and healthy Percentage annual (year-over-year) decrease in the disabling injuries incidence rate (DIIR) across all sectors in federal jurisdiction (combined) 2% decrease March 31, 2018 Decrease of 1.3% from reporting year 2015 to 20161 Increase of 3.2% from reporting year 2014 to 2015 Increase of 6.6% from reporting year 2013 to 2014
Percentage of all Occupational Health and Safety activities devoted to prevention 60% March 31, 2018 65% Not available* Not available *
Workplaces are diverse and inclusive Percentage of federally regulated private-sector employers whose representation equals or surpasses Canadian Labour Market Availability for 2+ designated groups or who demonstrated progress towards representation since the previous reporting period 65% Sept. 1, 2017 63%2 Not available * Not available *
Percentage of employment equity reports that are in compliance with the reporting requirements of the Act 95% Sept. 1, 2017 98% Not available* Not available*
Employment standards are met Percentage of all Labour Standards activities devoted to prevention 10% March 31, 2018 6%3 Not available * Not available *
Percentage of initial Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) payments and non-payment notifications issued within 35 calendar days 80%** March 31, 2018 97%4 98.9% Not available *
Percentage annual (year-over-year) decrease of monetary complaints backlog*** 10% decrease March 31, 2018 6% decrease5 Not available * Not available *
Labour relations are cooperative

Percentage of labour disputes settled under Part I (Industrial Relations) of the Canada Labour Code without work stoppages, where parties were assisted by the Labour Program officers

Data source: Administrative data

95% March 31, 2018 94%6 97% 94%
  • * Actual results from previous years are not available as this is a new performance indicator developed to enhance reporting on program results. The Department will continue to strengthen reporting to Canadians on results achieved as it implements the Treasury Board Policy on Results.
  • ** The target for the measure was changed from the previous 80% in 45 days to the current 80% in 35 days.
  • *** Backlog refers to complaints that are over 180 days.
  • 1 This is considered an aggressive target. The increase in this rate experienced in 2015-16 and 2016-17 is attributable to enhanced awareness and improved reporting practices in some industries, resulting in a higher number of incidents reported. However, ESDC continues to work towards a decrease in the number of disabling injuries in the federal jurisdiction and the results in 2017-18 demonstrate progress towards this goal. For 2018-19, this indicator has been revised to improve accuracy
  • 2 This new indicator assesses efforts in achieving progress towards creating equitable workplaces. The target for 2017-18 was estimated based on actuals for previous years, with the understanding it would have to be monitored and potentially revised in future years. It is important to note that actually achieving representation rates is not within the control of Workplace Equity as this is an employer obligation. However, activities will be explored to further increase the Department’s influence.
  • 3 Less proactive work has been undertaken in 2017-18 as resources were re-allocated towards addressing the backlog in monetary complaints and reactive activities increased during the fiscal year. While new Labour Standards Officers were hired in 2017-18, they have yet to become fully operational as it takes approximately 18 months for an officer to be fully trained. Additional officers will be hired and trained in 2018-19 to help raise the percentage of activities devoted to prevention
  • 4 For fiscal year 2017-2018, the target has been surpassed by 17 percentage points. ESDC will continue to monitor performance to determine whether further adjustment to the future target is required.  For 2018-2019, it is expected that changes to the WEPP and the receivership of Sears are likely to put pressure on the service standard and may represent a challenge in achieving future results.
  • 5 Additional financial resources to decrease the backlog of monetary complaints were received in 2017-18. Factoring the timing of funding (mid-fiscal year) and the time required to hire and train new officers (18 months), 6% is considered a reasonable result. ESDC is expecting that the target of 10% will be achieved in 2018-19 now that resources have been received and that training is advancing.
  • 6 There are multiple limitations and external factors that may both facilitate and hinder results achieved by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. These may include, but are not limited to: economic context and employer’s financial position; state of the relationship between union and management (mutual trust); willingness of parties to improving relationship; and, legal context.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 285,484,779 285,484,779 262,225,033 262,029,434 (23,455,345)
Specified Purpose Accounts  0 0 0 0 0
Revenues netted against expenditures 125,235,000 125,235,000 135,897,739 135,777,800 10,542,800
Net Spending 160,249,779 160,249,779 126,327,294 126,251,634 (33,998,145)

Annual program spending remains well below the statutory envelope allocated to the WEPP due to relatively low demand on the program year over year which explains the variance between Planned and Actual gross spending.

Human resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18 Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
638 651 13

Information on ESDC’s lower-level programs is available on departmental website the GC InfoBaseFootnote 19.

Highlighting innovation and experimentation to better support Canadians

Innovation and experimentation was a key component of the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) agenda in fiscal year 2017 to 2018. The Department’s innovation and experimentation efforts are driven by our commitment to serve the evolving needs of Canadians. ESDC’s approach to innovation includes improved delivery to Canadians, improved analytics to support program and policy development, and innovative ways to engage specific groups. The Department has also created a consultative body to provide a collaborative and collegial forum for discussion to share, advance and develop innovative projects within ESDC and across departments. The following provide examples of the Department’s approach.

Improved Service Delivery to Canadians

The Innovation Lab at ESDC has been working across the Department on projects large and small to support improved service delivery for Canadians. Smaller projects have included workshops and organizational interventions to provide expertise on client-centred approaches, design thinking and behavioural insights. Projects this fiscal year have included areas such as data sharing, gender diversity, policy and service initiatives. The Lab’s major initiative at ESDC this fiscal period blended behavioural insights and design thinking to help increase the uptake of the Canada Learning Bond, an important Government of Canada incentive for families living with lower incomes to support children’s post-secondary education. The project generated a range of opportunities that hold promise for increasing the uptake of the Bond and supporting the needs of families living in low income. During this time, the Lab ran a number of experimental initiatives including Randomized Controlled Trials and quasi-experimental methods to test the effectiveness of messaging approaches on increasing the take-up of the Canada Learning Bond. Lessons learned from these experimentation initiatives were implemented as a regular part of the program’s outreach strategy. Results from these efforts and additional testing are continuing.

From November 2016 to April 2017, the Department oversaw a transformation planning process, in which employees from across the Department co-created the Service Transformation Plan (STP) with clients and private sector experts through an interactive and agile process. This approach has enabled the Department to move forward by engaging employees, clients, the private sector and Canadians to find innovative solutions and improve services that deliver concrete results, such as a revised Benefits Finder tool, the Job Bank/Job Search Mobile App and piloting a video chat service to improve access to agents in Service Canada Centres.

Innovative projects to support program and policy development

The New Leaf project will develop, test and evaluate an intervention that proposes to provide conditional and unconditional $7,500 one-time cash grants to recently homeless clients identified by the LookOut Society shelter. This project will test direct-giving to demonstrate reduced shelter stays and how it promotes better employment, housing and psycho-social outcomes. Outcomes will be measured tor three groups: one receiving an unconditional cash grant, one receiving a conditional cash grant with motivational training and a control group receiving no cash grant. Results will be analyzed to inform policy development and the cost-effectiveness of different approaches to homelessness.

This project was part of an Innovative Solutions to Homelessness Call for Proposals seeking contribution projects to test innovative approaches to preventing and reducing homelessness. Approximately 500 proposals were received as a result of the call. Of those, 52 contribution projects and 18 grant projects were approved.

Innovative ways to Engage Specific Groups

The Meticulon social enterprise project received funding over four years (ending in March 2018) to leverage the unique gifts and capabilities of people with autism to create a self-sustaining, profitable enterprise in the IT sector. Meticulon was able to gainfully employ 34 participants.

A project with Prosper Canada over five years (from 2016 to 2020) seeks to employ social innovation concepts to raise awareness and address the financial vulnerability of Canadians. To date, Prosper has leveraged $1.35 from other sources for every dollar that ESDC has committed.

The Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP) is currently funding the Social Partnerships Initiative in English and French Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) under the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities. This funding is delivered through two intermediary organizations that have strong and broad engagement with OLMCs. Through extensive partnerships with their respective communities, the intermediaries, the Fédération des ainées et aînés francophones du Canada and the Quebec Community Groups Network are pooling expertise, government and other funding for redistribution to innovative projects in OLMCs that address community priorities for youth in transition (creating opportunities to retain youth in their communities), changing demographics (seniors’ needs), and vulnerable populations including families. The initial federal investment of $3.4 million through the SDPP has generated an additional $3.5 million in social finance investments since funding began.

Building on the November 2016 hackathon to develop solutions to reduce homelessness, ESDC presented the solutions to community homelessness collaborators to continue to build support and partnerships for the different approaches, as well as sharing the hackathon experience and lessons learned with other federal departments and governments.

In June 2017, the Government of Canada appointed a diverse group of 17 individuals, including 16 external stakeholders to a Steering Group with the mandate to develop recommendations for a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy (SI/SF) for Canada. The Steering Group led an extensive public engagement campaign in the fall 2017 and winter of 2018, which included more than 60 engagement sessions and two online public consultation processes, and reached out to more than 400 stakeholders, experts and practitioners representing 15,000 Canadians.

Program 4.1: Income security

Description

This program ensures that Canadians are provided with retirement pensions, survivor pensions, disability benefits and benefits for children through the Old Age Security program, the Canada Pension Plan and the Canada Disability Savings Program.

Results

Create a new mechanism to ensure OAS benefits keep pace with the cost of living seniors face

As indicated in the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development’s mandate letter and Budget 2016, the Government continued its commitment in 2017-2018 to ensure that Old Age Security program benefits keep pace with the actual cost of living faced by seniors. ESDC is working in close collaboration with Statistics Canada to assess if the cost of living faced by seniors differs from that of the general population

Renewal of Canada Pension Plan Disability Program

In February 2016, the Auditor General tabled a report on Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) which made recommendations to address concerns with the initial application process, the timeliness of decisions, consistency and quality of decisions, and the timeliness of appeals decided by the Social Security Tribunal of Canada. The Department agreed with all recommendations and continued to address them in 2017.

A comprehensive renewal of CPP-D is currently underway to modernize the delivery of the program. The Department continues to make good progress on its commitment to simplifying access to the program, improving the program’s timeliness, appropriateness and consistency of decision making, and openness to working with claimants and beneficiaries.

In 2017-2018, the Department successfully completed a pilot of a new Medical Adjudication Quality Assurance program to enhance the quality and sustainability of decisions. Further, a Client Engagement Pilot was deployed nationally in December 2017 to test the impact of increased communication with Canadians during the initial application stage.

Enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) continues to provide eligible contributors and their families with partial income replacement in the event of the retirement or death of a contributor. An evaluation of the program in 2017 concluded the CPP remains an important part of the household income of its beneficiaries.

Building on the June 20, 2016, decision to enhance the CPP, Canada’s Finance Ministers agreed to a package of CPP reforms. These reforms will increase the Plan’s support for young widows, individuals with disabilities, the families of lower-income workers and parents who take time out of the workforce to care for young children. This reform package was included in Budget 2018 and will take effect in 2019, to coincide with the phase-in of the CPP enhancement.

ESDC will undertake Phase 1 of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Enhancement. Deliverables of the Planning stage of Phase 1 have been initiated and continue to be developed, including coordination with the Canada Revenue Agency, the Department, and Retraite Québec to ensure consistent communication to Canadians, develop the detailed business requirements and conceptual design and complete assessments to support the organizational change required to ensure a successful implementation.

Strengthen pension workload management

In 2017-18, the Department began the implementation of a new pension workload management system to support the processing of CPP and OAS. The new workload management system is designed to enable the Department to manage its pension workload more efficiently and effectively on a day-to-day basis. The Department started the implementation in two of the four service-delivery regions and will be finalizing the national implementation in the other two regions in 2018-19.

In addition, national workload management strategies were put in place in 2017-18 that focused on key priorities (including the priority processing of Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits for low-income seniors) to better support healthy and sustainable workload inventories as well as strengthening the Department’s forecasting and monitoring of the overall delivery of the CPP and OAS programs.

Old Age Security Service Improvement Strategy

The Department continued to advance the Old Age Security (OAS) Service Improvement Strategy by expanding automatic enrolment to include the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for those people turning 64 in December 2017 who are auto-enrolled for OAS. By implementing GIS automatic enrolment, over 15,000 low-income seniors will be automatically enrolled each month for the GIS benefit without ever having to complete an initial application. Once auto-enrolled, recipients will be considered for the GIS each year based on their household income information included in their tax filing.

The Department has implemented the following e-Services to improve the client service experience. This includes:

  • the “View My Application Status” now allows a client to view the status of their OAS and CPP application; and
  • the “Consent to Communicate” functionality allows clients to view, change and delete the name of an authorized person who has consent to communicate with ESDC.

ESDC is developing an integrated OAS/GIS application to ensure that individuals are aware of, and apply for, the two benefits at the earliest point possible, eliminating the need to complete two separate applications. The application was piloted from April 2017 to September 2017 to assess its impacts on the overall client experience, as well as the operational business model. The implementation of the integrated application is scheduled for 2018-19.

The Department is introducing business process improvements, including the national implementation of an interactive OAS Program Toolkit, which was released on October 1, 2017, to assist third parties in supporting Canadian seniors and pre-seniors in obtaining OAS benefits. The toolkit explains the OAS program in simple language and makes it easy for non-government organizations to guide seniors in determining eligibility and application requirements.

In addition to improving OAS services, the Department continued working towards increasing the take-up for the GIS. Following the success of the 2016-17 targeted mail-outs of 99,000 letters, ESDC was able to put into pay an additional 50,000 low-income seniors, and sent another 93,000 letters late winter 2018. As a result of the normally high response rates to these mailings, the Department expects to continue to increase the take-up for the GIS in 2018-19.

Canada Pension Plan Service Improvement Strategy

The Department has continued to advance implementation of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Service Improvement Strategy by: developing a streamlined CPP Disability paper application, which is scheduled for implementation in 2018-19; using the Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurers Prototype to test the use of medical information provided by LTD Insurers to reduce client burden in obtaining additional medical information to support a CPP Disability application, thereby reducing file development time and increasing the timeliness of decision for these clients; and implementing e-Services to improve client service experience: “View My Application Status” which allows a client to view the status of their OAS and CPP application; and the “Consent to Communicate” functionality which allows clients to view, change and delete the name of an authorized person who has consent to communicate with ESDC.

Results Achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results
Canada's seniors have a basic level of income in retirement Percentage of seniors with an annual income above the Low Income Cut Off Contextual indicator Not applicable
(contextual indicator)
95.3%* 95.6% 96.1%
Eligible individuals with severe disabilities (and their families /guardians) open Registered Disability Saving Plans to save for the future Total number of registered plans since the inception of the program 162,000 December 31, 2017 168,567 150,726** 128,294**
  • *Contextual indicators are used by the Department to monitor overall social trends and inform policy development. Specific outcomes are not actively targeted in the areas measured by this indicator.
  • **Historical results have been revised as calculated by calendar year
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates*
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 52,144,690,865 97,929,274,126 96,068,368,839 96,051,202,359 (1,878,071,767)
Specified Purpose Accounts  0 45,784,583,261 44,460,329,397 44,460,329,397 (1,324,253,864)
Revenues netted against expenditures 228,503,236 228,503,236 245,290,358 228,254,647 (248,589)
Net Spending 51,916,187,629 51,916,187,629 51,362,749,084 51,362,618,315 (553,569,314)
  • At Gross spending level, Main Estimates do not include the planned statutory benefits of $45,784,583,261 related to CPP, whereas the other columns do. As for the difference between planned and actual spending, it is mainly attributable to a lower than planned average monthly benefit rate for OAS pension benefits, lower than planned CPP benefits, and higher than planned OAS benefit repayments.
  • * Canada Pension Plan benefits are excluded from the Department’s Main Estimates but included in planned spending.
Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18 Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
4,506 5,076 570

The increase in FTEs mainly reflects additional investments in processing-related activities to ensure that seniors have timely access to OAS benefits.

Information on ESDC’s lower-level programs is available on departmental website the GC InfoBaseFootnote 20.

Horizontal initiatives: Strategies for families, children and vulnerable groups

Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, in accordance with his mandate letter to lead and in collaboration with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, developed a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. This Strategy sets targets to reduce poverty, align with existing provincial/territorial and municipal strategies, and includes a plan to measure and publicly report on progress.

ESDC undertook a nationwide consultation process starting February 2017 - August 2017 to support the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. This process was part of the Government’s desire to reach out to Canadians to understand the needs and challenges faced by those most at risk of living with low income. Since then, ESDC undertook ministerial and community roundtables with local organizations, National Indigenous Organizations and people with lived experience of poverty across the country. A Poverty Reduction Strategy for youth contest was sponsored to solicit ideas for addressing the challenge of poverty, and online public submissions were received through a portal dedicated to poverty reduction. ESDC also hosted a National Poverty Conference which brought together academics, Canadians with lived experience of poverty, and other key stakeholders to discuss the results of the national consultations.

In February 2018, What We Heard About Poverty So FarFootnote 21 – a summary of what Canadians said they want to see in the Poverty Reduction Strategy – was released. The feedback and suggestions received informed the development of the Strategy, which was released on August 21, 2018

In September 2017, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced the members of a new Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty, which brought together a diverse group of 17 leaders, academic experts and practitioners working in the field of poverty reduction, and individuals who have experienced poverty first-hand.

Recognizing the importance of poverty data in evidence-based decision making by all levels of government, Budget 2018 provided an investment of $12.1 million over five years, and $1.5 million per year thereafter, to address key gaps in poverty measurement in Canada. This includes ensuring that poverty data is inclusive of all Canadians, data on various dimensions of poverty are captured, and the data is robust and timely.

Promoting good-quality jobs and protecting vulnerable workers

In 2017-18, the Government of Canada amended the Canada Labour Code (Code) to:

  • provide federally regulated private sector employees with the right to request flexible work arrangements from their employer;
  • introduce new unpaid leaves to allow employees to address family responsibilities, participate in traditional Indigenous practices and seek care if they are victims of family violence; and
  • make bereavement leave more flexible.

The Code was also amended to eliminate unpaid internships in the federally regulated private sector unless they are part of a formal educational program, and to ensure that unpaid interns whose internship is part of an educational program are entitled to labour standard protections such as maximum hours of work and weekly days of rest.

These amendments received Royal Assent on December 14, 2017 and will come into force after necessary regulations have been developed and education and outreach activities have been completed to ensure that employers and employees, as well as students and educational institutions, are aware of the changes. In addition, between spring 2017 and winter 2018, consultations were held with stakeholders, experts and the public on what constitutes a “good quality job” and how federal labour standards could be further updated to reflect the changing nature of work and better protect vulnerable workers.

Planned federal accessibility legislation

The Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities was mandated to develop and introduce new legislation that would help remove barriers and prevent barriers from being created for persons with disabilities in federal jurisdiction. Informed by one of the largest and most accessible national consultations on disability issues in Canadian history. Employment and Social Development Canada drafted the proposed legislation in collaboration with the Department of Justice, Transport Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Canadian Heritage, Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Privy Council Office.

On June 20, 2018, the Government of Canada introduced in Parliament Bill C-81 the Accessible Canada Act: An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. The tabling of the Bill signalled one of the most significant advances in the Government of Canada’s disability rights legislation in over 30 years. Working within federal jurisdiction, the purpose of Bill C-81 is to benefit all persons, especially persons with disabilities, through the progressive realization of a Canada without barriers. The Bill will achieve this through the proactive identification, removal, and prevention of barriers to accessibility in priority areas such as the built environment, employment, service delivery, procurement, transportation, as well as information and communication technologies

In tabling the Bill, the Government of Canada committed to provide funding of approximately $290 million over six years to further the objectives of the proposed legislation.

The Government of Canada will continue to work collaboratively with partners in both the public and private sectors to create opportunities for the full participation of people with disabilities in their communities and workplaces, and to help change the way society thinks, talks and acts about disability and accessibility.

Early Learning and Child Care

On June 12, 2017, federal, provincial and territorial governments reached a historic agreement on a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, which sets the foundation to work towards a shared long-term vision where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and childcare.* Governments have committed to increasing the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility, and inclusivity of early learning and child care, with consideration for families that need child care the most.

The implementation of this Framework, as well as a separate Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework being co-developed with Indigenous peoples, is supported by Government of Canada investments announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017 totalling $7.5 billion over 11 years.

ESDC has entered into three-year bilateral agreements with each province and territory that will provide $1.2 billion over three years for early learning and child care programs. Provinces and territories developed three-year action plans as part of their bilateral agreements that will demonstrate how they will invest federal funds consistent with the principles and objectives of the Framework.

These investments will support the creation of affordable, high-quality childcare spaces for low and modest-income families, which will in turn support parents returning to the workforce and encourage participation in education or training. Governments will report annually on progress made in relation to the Framework and bilateral agreements.

Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care

Throughout 2017, the Government and Indigenous partners undertook a comprehensive engagement process on Indigenous early learning and child care. Over 100 engagement activities were conducted across the country by Indigenous organizations and the Government of Canada, reaching over 3,000 participants through town halls, regional and national meetings, and online surveys.

Based on this engagement, ESDC has been collaborating with Indigenous partners to co-develop an Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework that reflects the unique cultures and needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children and families across Canada. The Indigenous ELCC Framework will be the foundation for ongoing collaborative work to achieve a shared path forward. It will be a guide for communities, program administrators, service providers, policy makers and governments to work towards achieving a shared vision that all Indigenous children have the opportunity to experience high-quality, culturally strong early learning and child care.

The Framework will inform additional investments of at least $130 million a year for 10 years to strengthen early learning and childcare programs and services for Indigenous children. Budget 2018 reiterated that a commitment of $360 million, starting in 2017-18, has been made towards the Framework over the next three years.

* While the Government of Québec supports the general principles of the Early Learning and Child Care Framework, it does not adhere to the Framework as it intends to preserve its sole responsibility in this area on its territory.

Program 4.2: Social development

Description

This program supports programs for the homeless and those individuals at risk of homelessness, as well as programs for children, families, seniors, communities and people with disabilities. It provides these groups with the knowledge, information and opportunities to move forward with their solutions to social and economic challenges.

Results

Tackling Homelessness

Budget 2016 provided an additional $111.8 million over two fiscal years (2016-17 and 2017-18) for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), including $12.5 million over two years for the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness initiative to enable communities across Canada to bolster their efforts in tackling homelessness. Since 2015-16, 36,422 individuals have been placed in more stable housing through HPS interventions.

In 2017-18, the HPS supported the development of toolkits for use in communities (e.g. the Landlord Engagement Toolkit and Individual Case Management Toolkit) and the provision of Housing First training and technical assistance. The HPS also supported communities in reporting results on their investments by providing data collection tools and offering training. The National Homelessness Information System (NHIS) funding stream of the HPS program invested in 22 projects across the country to support the implementation of the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS).

Building upon investments announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017, the National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $40-billion plan, of which $2.2 billion is directed to the HPS, which will give more Canadians a place to call home. The NHS will cut chronic homelessness in half, remove 530,000 families from housing need and invest in the construction of up to 100,000 new affordable homes. All agreements were amended to enable communities to maintain expanded efforts throughout the 2018-19 fiscal year. A planned launch of a renewed federal homelessness program is slated for April 1, 2019.

In June 2017, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development created an Advisory Committee on Homelessness to provide advice on the redesign of the HPS. Chaired by Parliamentary Secretary Adam Vaughan (Housing and Urban Affairs), the Committee was composed of 13 leaders and experts in the field of homelessness from across the country who represented diverse regions and cultures, Indigenous people, Canada's two official languages, and people who have lived experience of homelessness. During the summer and fall of 2017, members of the Committee engaged a diverse group of Canadians across the country including experts, communities, organizations, people with lived experience of homelessness and Indigenous organizations through a series of 10 roundtables. Based on its deliberations and feedback received throughout engagement activities, the Committee delivered its final report to the Minister in spring 2018.

National Seniors Council

The National Seniors Council (NSC) engages with seniors, stakeholders and experts to provide advice to the Government of Canada on current and emerging issues and opportunities related to seniors. The Council provides guidance to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Health. In 2017-18, a new Chairperson and four new members were appointed through the transparent and merit-based Governor in Council selection process. The Chairperson met with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development to discuss next steps for the Council. The Council met in-person on May 28-29, 2018, and will reconvene, via teleconference, in early July 2018. Based on these initial discussions, the NSC will present advice regarding potential work priorities for ministerial consideration late summer 2018.

Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy

The Government is committed to developing a Social Innovation and Social Finance (SI/SF) Strategy to find new innovative approaches that improve the well-being of Canadians and help communities address their most difficult problems. In the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Government of Canada worked with stakeholders to develop recommendations for an SI/SF Strategy. In June 2017, a SI/SF Co-Creation Steering Group comprised of 16 diverse leaders, practitioners and experts from multiple fields, including the community, philanthropic, financial and research sectors were appointed to the steering group. The Steering Group in partnership with ESDC undertook extensive consultations with Canadians including more than 60 in-person engagement sessions and two online public consultation processes that reached out to more than 400 stakeholders, experts and practitioners representing over 15,000 Canadians. ESDC will work closely with other federal departments to ensure a whole-of-government response to the Steering Group recommendations.

A strategic consideration for the Government for the implementation of the SI/SF Strategy is to ensure key stakeholder groups (e.g., women, immigrants, visible minorities, people with disabilities, seniors, youth, official language minority communities, and other groups) are involved in the design and implementation of subsequent initiatives. Indigenous groups clearly stated that the Government must continue to engage and partner with Indigenous organizations and support Indigenous-led processes, at a pace determined by Indigenous communities.

Enabling Accessibility Fund

Over 600 projects were funded across the country. The average value of projects was lower than anticipated ($26,000 vs $30,000), which allowed the program to fund a greater number of projects.

Targeted actions to increase uptake from northern Canada were also conducted under the Small projects component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF). These actions included targeted promotional activities and adjustments to funding parameters. As a result, 15 projects from northern Canada were approved for funding in 2017-18, compared to 8 projects funded across the seven previous calls for proposals combined.

Also, the EAF experimented with a new approach to increase accessibility in communities through youth-driven projects. In 2017, the new Youth Innovation Component of the EAF launched as a pilot initiative to engage youth in working with community organizations to address accessibility barriers in their communities. As a result, nine youth-driven projects were funded, enabling youth to have a direct impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

Breaking down barriers to social and economic inclusion for people with disabilities

In spring 2016, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities committed to the renewal of the Social Development Partnership Program - Disability (SDPP-D) with the goal of designing and implementing a Performance and Accountability Framework. In 2017-18, work to renew the program was conducted in collaboration with 28 representative organizations in the disability community.

These consultations identified four key performance indicators that will help measure the results of SDPP-D operating funding in contributing to the health and maturity of the disability sector and ultimately in advancing the social inclusion of Canadians living with disabilities. The performance indicators will measure organizational capacity in the following four areas: Governance and Accountability; Effective Leadership and Operations; Developing and Maintaining Partnerships; and Measurable Impact.

Results Achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results
Homelessness is prevented and reduced Number of people placed in more stable housing through HPS interventions, including Housing First 15,000 2017-18 7,145 (As of July 9, 2018. Not all results are in for FY 2017-18) 14,327 (As of July 9, 2018. Not all results are in for FY 2016-17) 13,702 (As of July 9, 2018. Not all results are in for FY 2015-16)
Seniors participate in and contribute to communities Number of seniors who participated in community projects Baseline year* March 31, 2017 538, 142 ** 441,900 531,950
Number of seniors who have reported a reduction in social isolation Baseline year Date to achieve target will be determined when target is set Not available *** Not applicable Not applicable
Accessible communities and workplaces which allow people with disabilities to have access to programs, services and employment opportunities

Total number of Enabling Accessibility Fund projects that received funding

Source: Common System for Grants and Contributions (CSGC) and administrative data-project reports

525 March 31, 2018 609 575 459
  • *Updated Target from baseline year: 368,972
  • ** As of August 13, 2018. Not all results are available for FY 2017-18. Results based on 85% of projects funded.
  • *** This indicator is related to the Collective Impact projects scheduled to be completed in March 2019. Relevant data will be available fall 2019.
Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 311,001,403 311,001,403 712,793,002 695,357,869 384,356,466
Specified Purpose Accounts 0 0 0 0 0
Revenues netted against expenditures 0 0 0 0 0
Net Spending 311,001,403 311,001,403 712,793,002 695,357,869 384,356,466
  • The main reason for the variation is attributable to the fact that Planned spending at the time of the Departmental Plan did not include funding for Early Learning and Child Care. Funding was approved in spring 2017.
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18 Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
364 349 (15)
No significant variance

Information on ESDC’s lower-level programs is available on departmental website the GC InfoBaseFootnote 22.

Internal Service

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Data and Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Results

Develop and implement modern Information Technology infrastructure and platforms that enable effective, efficient and timely availability of information. This included:

The Desktop Software Refresh project (previously Desktop 2020) was established in fiscal year 2016-17 due to the fact that Microsoft will not support the Windows 7 operating system as of January 2020. The project now includes upgrades to the operating system, browser, Office Suite, Windows as a Service and System Center Configuration Manager. Planning was completed and approval was obtained in March 2018 from the Major Projects Investment Board to proceed with the project execution. In support of this initiative, a pilot program that tested the Windows 10 operating system on tablets was implemented in November 2017. Microsoft was engaged to validate application testing strategies to enable more efficient and productive application testing and co-ordination with Shared Services Canada to support the required infrastructure to update the Software Distribution Network on time and within budget.

The primary objective of the Application Portfolio Management (APM) – Maturing the Departmental Service Bus (DSB) initiative has been to create and implement a strategic process to manage the suite of applications and platforms that support delivering services to clients. During fiscal year 2017-18, work progressed on the development of a plan that involves utilizing departmental service transformation initiatives to keep the interoperability platform current. Additionally, all required documents for the Major Projects Investment System were prepared and delivered for the Major Projects Investment Board to review and approve.

Manage information and data to ensure their usability and accessibility. This included:

The Information Strategy which was approved in March 2018 included a first principle that stipulates that “Information is Open by Design”. This relates directly to Open Government, and has facilitated making it a priority in policies and programs relating to Information Management (IM).

A Proof-of-Concept which was comprised of testing workflows and onboarding methodology was completed for GCDOCS in fiscal year 2017-18. GCDOCS is the official Electronics Document Records Management System (EDRMS) to support organizations in their IM obligations for information lifecycle management. In fiscal year 2017-18 GCDOCS was incorporated in a high level roadmap which was a part of the Deputy Minister-approved Information Strategy.

ESDC has begun implementing the Department’s first enterprise-wide Data Strategy which will improve access to and security of the Department’s data. This strategy will better inform decision-making and enable ESDC employees and partners to perform analytics and research that will drive our policy and service mandates. The Department completed 15 pilot projects using analytic techniques to extract greater business value from data and enable increased use of the Department’s data assets. These projects successfully demonstrated the potential for longer-term benefits of including analytic techniques such as visualization, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in the process. The Department has released over 100 data sets to the public in support of Open Government, enabling research and supporting data exploration.

ESDC has also been exploring other ways to share data and information more openly, including proactive publication and open information to leverage opportunities to apply “open by design” principles across departmental initiatives, as well as co-creation activities to support policy, program and service delivery improvements. As an example, ESDC partnered with Saint Mary’s University and completed a hackathon as a means of sharing data and bringing together social policy, service and data science experts to work collaboratively on broad issues such as improving the delivery of service to Canadians.

ESDC has struck an intradepartmental working group to ensure departmental readiness to comply with the proposed Access to Information Act (ATIA) legislative requirements. The working group is mandated, among other things, to review business processes with a view to enhancing the daily administration of the ATIA and to prepare for the new proactive disclosure requirements. Early engagement has been conducted across the Department at various levels and the implementation plan is well underway.

ESDC has been working closely with officials from the Department of Justice on its Privacy Act reform initiative given its significance to ESDC in both its day-to-day activities and its transformation agenda. As well, the Department undertook an extensive internal consultation to identify opportunities that could be addressed in an updated Privacy Act that would help improve the Department’s programs and services for Canadians.

ESDC continued to advance a proactive, risk-based approach to privacy management and to support the development of a culture of stewardship within the Department for personal information under ESDC’s control through mandatory employee training, awareness initiatives and governance processes that address privacy issues. The Department promoted the integration of privacy into program design and project planning, including into the architecture of programs, systems, technologies and business processes. This year, an enhanced focus was placed on integrating these approaches into ESDC’s Service Transformation activities. In addition, a review of the privacy governance architecture was launched with the objective of enhancing the use of data while protecting the personal information of Canadians and ensuring that the Department is positioned to respond to the evolving nature of, and risks to, the use of personal information. Finally, ESDC continued to strengthen privacy risk identification, risk assessment and risk management oversight processes for the Department’s programs, initiatives and information sharing arrangements.

Development of people and fostering of a productive and effective workplace. This included:

The Department continued to support the development of people and fostering of a productive and effective workplace through the Workforce Strategy and Workforce Action Plan. In fiscal year 2017–18, the Department was named as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and was recognized as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers, demonstrating exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. As part of the Department’s focus on diversity and inclusion, LBGTQ2, Indigenous, Disability & Accessibility and Employment Equity networks have been established. Each of these four networks has a champion and was well-supported to deliver on various initiatives to serve these communities in 2017-18. The Department also created The National Student Onboarding Program to provide students with a meaningful work experience as students are a key component in developing a diverse and inclusive workplace.

With respect to increasing senior leadership capacity, the theme of ESDC’s Leadership Forum in 2017-18 was on Disruption in the Workplace. The forum provided leaders with knowledge and tools to effectively lead the organization in times of transformation and promoted engagement in external innovative practices from the public and private sectors. Additionally, ESDC launched an integrated approach to executive workforce management to support executive development and succession planning.

The department continued to focus on optimizing the use of surveys including the Public Service Employee Survey, Pulse Surveys, the Employee to Manager Feedback Questionnaire, Mental Health Surveys and an ESDC Culture Assessment to name a few. All of these surveys contributed to advancing various ESDC initiatives related to fostering a healthy workplace in 2017-18 and to support retention.

Workplace mental health continued to be a top priority during fiscal year 2017–18, the Department launched the Workplace-based Mental Health Peer Support Program, initiated the second ESDC Workplace Mental Health Survey and enhanced capacity and awareness through a multitude of resources and training options pertaining to workplace mental health.

Departmental management excellence and accountability

Employment and Social Development Canada implemented key elements of the Policy on Results in 2017-18, with approval of the Departmental Results Framework and Performance Information Profiles. The Department continued to work with programs to improve the quality of information on programs results. ESDC revised its Strategic Framework to include emerging priorities and initiatives. It also updated its Project and Program Management Foundation and Project and Program Management Framework, which define the roles and responsibilities of project stakeholders, as well as provide a set of standards applicable for all departmental projects. In addition, the Department put in a place an Investment Advisory Group to assess each investment proposal for its overall alignment and priority within the portfolio making recommendations to ESDC’s project and programme governance committees.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
  2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
Gross Spending 754,615,282 754,615,282 945,421,313 925,244,173 170,628,891
Specified Purpose Accounts 0 0 0 0 0
Revenues netted against expenditures 548,483,105 548,483,105 640,326,488 633,411,100 84,927,995
Net Spending 206,132,177 206,132,177 305,094,825 291,833,073 85,700,896
  • The variance in Gross spending can be explained by the recording of temporary costs for overpayments in relation with the Phoenix pay issue as well as payments for earnings to employees in relation with recent collective agreements signed. It is also explained by expenditures that were not part of the planned amount in the Departmental Plan and which cover for pressures related to the National Accommodation Plan, the financial system (SAP) and PeopleSoft.
Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18 Difference
(actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
4,218 4,114 (104)
  • No significant variance.
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