2021–22 Gender and diversity: Impacts of programs

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Gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) in federal programs

GBA Plus is an analytical tool used to support the development of responsive and inclusive policies, programs and other initiatives, and to understand how a range of factors affects access to and experience of government programs. The needs and experiences of different groups of people are influenced by intersecting parts of their identity, the context they are in and their lived experiences.

While not an exhaustive list, identity factors such as the following can directly or indirectly, in isolation or in combination, affect how individuals and communities access and experience government programs:

GBA Plus is based on the idea that all people should have access to quality government programs, services, facilities, spaces and opportunities that improve their lives. It should be applied not only to the development of initiatives, but also to their implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The Government of Canada continues to apply GBA Plus as part of its commitment to evidence-based decision-making.

Reporting the impact of programs on gender and diversity

The 2018 Canadian Gender Budgeting Act enshrined gender budgeting in the federal government’s budgetary and financial management process.

Gender budgeting means that federal departments and agencies must consider gender and diversity in their budgeting processes. The Minister for Women and Gender Equality provides guidance, best practices and expertise to support gender budgeting.

Under the Act, the President of the Treasury Board must make available to the public, every year, analysis of the impacts of existing Government of Canada expenditure programs on gender and diversity.

GBA Plus Supplementary Information Tables were introduced alongside Departmental Results Reports to profile the gender and diversity impacts of government programs. View the GBA Plus Supplementary Information Tables in the 2021–22 Departmental Results Reports.

The following are examples of federal programs that reported impacts on different groups of citizens:

Under the Act, the Minister of Finance furthermore has to table a report before Parliament on the gender and diversity impacts of all new budget and fiscal update measures.

The following are examples of previous gender and diversity impact reports tabled by the Minister of Finance:

The Minister of Finance must also, every year, make available to the public analysis of the impacts of tax expenditures on gender and diversity, such as tax exemptions, deductions or credits. The publication of the annual Report on Federal Tax Expenditures meets this requirement. The reports are available online:

How GBA Plus is helping to improve outcomes for Canadians

The following examples from different departmental GBA Plus Supplementary Information Tables show how the integration of GBA Plus into decision-making can help ensure that programs better serve all Canadians.

Engaging Indigenous Communities in the development of energy infrastructure

Canada Energy Regulator GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Indigenous Engagement

The Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER’s) Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) was established to meet commitments under the Canadian Energy Regulator Act. In 2021–22, the IAC’s work focused on building the committee’s foundation and advising the Board of Directors. This work has significantly impacted the strategic direction of the CER, for example by:

The first annual IAC Progress and Impact Report was released in March 2022, and the CER will continue to learn from the IAC about how it can incorporate Indigenous perspectives in the organization and its work.

Canada Service Corps program

Employment and Social Development Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

The Canada Service Corps (CSC) program creates, promotes and facilitates access to service placements for youth, particularly Indigenous and under-served youth, to engage them in civic participation and help them gain skills for the future.

During 2021–22, CSC delivered 1,802 micro-grants to organizations to advance program objectives. Based on participant data reported by organizations, 80% of CSC participants identified as Indigenous and under-served youth.

A further demographic breakdown of youth served by the program is as follows:

To expand the CSC program and strengthen diversity, the program additionally implemented the new Micro-Grants Diversity Stream, beginning fall 2022. This stream provides youth with access to organizations and mentors who have similar lived experiences.

outh are matched, as required, with organizations led by members of Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQ2+ or disability communities.

The CSC program also launched a new data collection method. This method collects participants’ demographic data further to surveying them. CSC consulted with funding recipients and the Internal Fact Find Service to build an Organization Data Input Window that meets the program’s data needs. With this new method, organizations collect more detailed demographic data, which is used to ensure that participants are reached and to understand how their identity factors affect their service experience.

Focusing the lens on diverse perspectives

National Film Board GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Audiovisual Programming and Production

In 2021–2022, the National Film Board (NFB) achieved gender parity as well as the objectives that it had set for production budgets allocated to Indigenous creators. The organization made progress on its commitments regarding diversity, equity and inclusion and is now working on setting clear targets for increasing diversity in front of and behind the camera.

The NFB’s Audiovisual Programming and Production initiatives for 2021–22 reported the following GBA Plus impacts:

The NFB continued to focus on its relations with official-language minority communities in Canada as well. Over the past year, the NFB held bilateral meetings with the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française and its members, as well as with the English-Language Arts Network and the Quebec English-Language Production Council. The NFB also contributed actively to the process of renewing the Collaboration Agreement for the Development of Arts and Culture in the Francophone Minority Communities of Canada, which expires in 2023.

Improving the representation of women in clean technology

Natural Resources Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Impact Canada – Women in Cleantech

Women are significantly under-represented in the area of clean technology. As part of the Impact Canada Initiative, in partnership with the MaRS Discovery District, the Women in Cleantech Challenge was designed to help mitigate this problem and supported the creation of six new, highly impactful, and globally significant clean technology companies founded and run by women. Following a national call and expert selection process, six finalists were chosen from almost 150 applicants to participate in an intensive 2.5 year program.

Each woman received up to $800,000 in support over 2.5 years, including:

At the conclusion of the challenge in 2021, a $1 million grand prize was awarded to Amanda Hall (CEO, Summit Nanotech), judged to have advanced the most during the challenge. All six women entrepreneurs made significant strides during the challenge, raising $52.2 million in investments and increasing paid employment by the ventures by 725%.

Promoting mental health among children, youth and caregivers

Public Health Agency of Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Health Promotion Program – Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund

The Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF) has applied an equity analysis to core elements of program design and implementation. For example, the 2021 Invitation to Submit a Funding Request built specific equity and cultural safety considerations into the process in order to support priority audiences, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, 2SLGBTQI+, and newcomer and refugee communities.

The MHP-IF also requires that all funded projects make specific efforts to address systemic health inequalities. In addition, projects complete annual reporting, which includes the collection of basic information for the distribution of benefits of funded interventions by age group and by priority group, where appropriate.

For 2021–22, the program reported the following GBA Plus impacts of intervention research projects:

Supporting supplier diversity

Public Services and Procurement Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Procurement Leadership

In 2021–22, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) launched its Supplier Diversity Action Plan, which outlines concrete steps to increase the participation of businesses owned by under-represented groups in federal procurement.

PSPC also enhanced the services delivered through Procurement Assistance Canada (PAC) to help under-represented groups successfully participate in federal procurement. In 2021–22, PAC piloted a new coaching service in partnership with Women Business Enterprises (WBE) Canada. This new service aims to provide assistance to experienced bidders from diverse socio-economic groups who have had limited success in bidding on federal government opportunities, via a series of personalized sessions.

PAC also continued to engage with under-represented groups to guide the department’s efforts to advance supplier diversity.

These measures have resulted in the following GBA Plus impacts for 2021–22:

Recruitment modernization at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Force Generation

Recruitment modernization is a key priority for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as it seeks to offer a career of choice for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and to diversify its talent pool by attracting applicants from Black, Indigenous, and other racialized groups.

Key initiatives completed and underway include:

As a result, the program has observed percentage increases in applications to the RCMP as follows:

However, the percentage of Indigenous applicants to the RCMP has remained the same at 4%.

Additional GBA Plus reporting on impacts of programs

Federal departments and agencies produce additional GBA Plus reports and analyses, beyond what is reported through their Departmental Results Reports’ GBA Plus Supplementary Information Tables. This additional reporting meets a variety of purposes and serves, for example, to:

Some examples of GBA Plus reporting are highlighted below.

Researching the impact of COVID-19 on the participation of women and girls in sport

Canadian Heritage GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Sport Development and High Performance

Sport Canada performed an impact assessment of their gender equity funding in summer 2021, after three years of funding. According to recipient reports, funded programs engaged over 17,500 athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, leadership, and staff in gender-equity initiatives.

Furthermore, E-Alliance, the research hub for gender and equity in sport based at the University of Toronto, in partnership with Université Laval, received $550,000 in 2021–22 to support knowledge transfer and exchange and research projects (grants) on gender equity in sport. Through this funding, E-Alliance and Canadian Women and Sport conducted and published a study examining the impact of the pandemic on sport participation for Canadian girls aged 6 to 18.

The COVID Alert: Pandemic Impact on Girls in Sport report was released in July 2021 and found that 1 in 4 Canadian girls who participated in sport at least weekly prior to COVID-19 are not committed to returning to sport once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Furthermore, by age 16, 1 in 3 girls drop out of sport, compared to 1 in 10 boys. This data is a cause for concern because sport is a powerful vehicle for mental health and well-being as sport can help reduce anxiety and depression, and improve self-esteem and cognitive function. The report identified barriers to participation, their implications, as well as recommendations to support girls’ return to sport.

The report also acknowledges the need for further research on an intersectional approach to understand the experiences of women and girls in sport.

Addressing systemic racism in health research and its funding system

Canadian Institutes of Health Research GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Investigator-Initiated Research

In 2021–22, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) published qualitative input to inform the co-development of an anti-racism action plan, including a summary of the findings from the environmental scan on systemic racism in health research in general and health research funding in particular, as well as a summary of results for the Online Dialogue on Systemic Racism.

As a result of the environmental scan, CIHR has highlighted key issues that its action plan will address, such as:

Furthermore, the online dialogue identified the following, among others, as solutions to address systemic barriers:

Providing disaggregated information on recipients of Canada recovery benefits

Canada Revenue Agency GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Benefits

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has collected and reported on statistics relating to the benefits administered by the agency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tables in the following links are broken down by unique applicants, total gross amounts, age group, gender, and the province or territory where applicants reside:

Post-market surveillance activities for monitoring the safety profile of COVID-19 vaccines

Health Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

In response to the pandemic, Health Canada put forth a number of enhanced post-market surveillance activities for monitoring the safety profile of COVID-19 vaccines and conducted expedited safety assessments that included Sex and Gender-based Analysis Plus (SGBA Plus), such as analyzing reported side effects each week and disaggregating them by sex to identify adverse events associated with vaccines (in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada).

Data on adverse events following immunization reports by age and sex highlight the following:

Engaging with community partners to legislate Privacy Act modernization

Department of Justice Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program name: Legal Policies, Laws and Governance

In 2021–22, the Department of Justice Canada held an online public consultation to obtain a broad variety of perspectives on ideas for modernizing the Privacy Act. Feedback received as part of the consultations was summarized and published in a What We Heard Report, and will help inform potential amendments to the Privacy Act.

In addition, the Department of Justice Canada also engaged with governments and organizations representing the distinct perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in the context of modernizing the Privacy Act. A What We Have Learned Report summarizing the input received from Indigenous partners who participated in engagement sessions with the Department of Justice Canada has been prepared and published online.

Reporting on access to justice for historically under-served communities in Canada

Department of Justice Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Legal Policies, Laws and Governance

The Department of Justice Canada contracted community-based researchers to conduct a series of qualitative studies to explore and report on the experiences of specific populations in different parts of Canada who have experienced a serious legal problem.

As a result, a number of reports providing an in-depth qualitative look at these problems and how the members of these groups dealt with them were published, including:

 To see all the reports, visit The Canadian Legal Problems Survey website.

Conducting research on the impacts of COVID-19 on the judicial system

Department of Justice Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) contributed to the Study of the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Judicial System, highlighting the impacts of the pandemic, which increased the risk of violence and victimization among diverse groups – specifically among Indigenous, racialized, disabled, and newcomer women, children, and people who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.

The OFOVC also commissioned external subject matter experts to explore topics relating to gender-based violence, specifically publishing papers such as the Femicide of Older Women in Canada.

Supporting collection of disaggregated data on newcomers

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table

Program: Resettled Refugees

In 2021, the annual voluntary newcomer outcomes survey included a question on race for the second time, resulting in the collection of disaggregated data on race for newcomers, both non-clients and clients of the Resettlement Assistance Program.

Throughout 2021–22, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada further continued to include disaggregated data in evaluations. For example, the Evaluation of the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program found that, of the surveyed applicants who reported needing referrals to specialized services, 14% required referrals to LGBTQ2 organizations, 9% to special schools (for example, hearing impaired, sight impaired, learning disabilities), and 7% to women’s shelters or transition houses.

Strengthening future GBA Plus reporting capacity

Canada is recognized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as being among the global leaders in intersectional analysis and gender budgeting.

Disaggregated Data Action Plan

Budget 2021 announced $172 million of funding to Statistics Canada, over five years, to implement a Disaggregated Data Action Plan that will fill data and knowledge gaps. This funding:

The Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics Hub allows data users to easily access and analyze Statistics Canada’s GBA Plus data holdings.

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat monitoring

In 2021–22, departments and agencies had almost 800 programs involving various types of activities, such as research, drafting regulations, and providing services to firms and individuals. Of all those programs, 65% have taken actions to collect data or report on their impacts on gender and diversity.

Many programs cite the protection of personal information and do not collect data to report on program impacts. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat recently released Privacy Implementation Notice 2023-02, which clarifies guidelines for departments and agencies on how to collect data, including personal information, for monitoring, evaluation, and reporting as part of program delivery and management. The notice sets out how to do so while protecting Canadians’ personal information. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat expects that these clarifications will be helpful in supporting the reporting obligations under the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act.

Approximately 35% of programs reported at least one quantitative indicator on gender and diversity. The indicators were disaggregated most frequently on the basis of gender or sex (212 programs), followed by indigeneity (116 programs) and age (108 programs). Furthermore, a handful (53 programs) reported indicators disaggregated by more than one identity factor. A number of GBA Plus Supplementary Information Tables cited aggregate program indicators without explaining what they meant with regard to impacts on gender and diversity. Of note, about a third of all programs reported qualitative impacts.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat will continue to provide guidance to departments and agencies on how to:

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