Departmental Plan 2020-2021

Table of contents

From the Minister

The 2020-21 Departmental Plan for Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) outlines the activities the organization plans to perform and the results we are seeking to achieve in this fiscal year.

POLAR operates the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) campus in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut to provide a world-class hub for science, technology and innovation in Canada’s North. POLAR undertakes and supports scientific research, including environmental monitoring and the collection of related baseline information, as well as technology testing and adaptation to help address the challenges of climate change and strengthen the resilience of northern communities. POLAR is working to ensure that scientific research and Indigenous Knowledge inform decision making in the North to support environmental stewardship, sustainable development and job creation.

Knowledge mobilization, outreach and capacity building are also key areas of work for POLAR. Engagement with northern Indigenous organizations and governments as well as other individuals and organizations in the Canadian and international polar science community is, and will continue to be, an integral part of POLAR activities. This will help to create greater awareness of POLAR’s mandate, programming, and collaboration opportunities.

The Government of Canada is committed to renewing the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, tackling the challenge of climate change, promoting economic development, and creating jobs for the middle class. POLAR is making great strides towards these broader priorities in the North, while strengthening Canada’s leadership in polar science and technology across the globe.

I am honoured to have this agency as part of my portfolio and look forward to seeing it deliver on its very exciting mandate.

The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P., Minister of Northern Affairs

From the President and CEO

Since our inception on June 1, 2015, POLAR has made significant progress in establishing itself at its headquarters at the CHARS campus in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

Our Science and Technology team is continuing to expand the baseline knowledge of northern ecosystems and the impacts of changing ice, permafrost and snow; oversee research on alternative and renewable energy; and, build partnerships in support of improved design and construction of northern infrastructure. These multi-year research partnerships continue to advance knowledge and bridge community and environmental wellness as the projects move forward.

POLAR fulfills a brokering role, strengthening connections between Canadian science-based departments and agencies, northern and Indigenous organizations, academia, industry and the private sector within Canada and internationally. With oversight from POLAR’s Board of Directors, POLAR has developed a 2020-25 Science and Technology Framework and a broader agency-wide Strategic Plan to guide future funding, programming and activities in line with Government of Canada priorities. Input received from engagement with Northerners, including Indigenous Peoples, and other Canadians, as well as from the engagement undertaken to inform Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, was critical to the development of these plans.

Our Knowledge Management and Engagement team has successfully expanded public awareness of Arctic and Antarctic research and is continuing to build partnerships to strengthen and mobilize polar research findings through the development of products that inform decision makers and support evidence-based policy development. It is also building Canada’s northern research capacity by supporting opportunities that enhance northern and Indigenous leadership in research, engage youth in science dialogue, and support the next generation of polar researchers through training initiatives and student employment. POLAR will continue to partner with other federal agencies in pursuit of Government of Canada policy priorities in areas such as climate change, environmental stewardship, and open science data, both within Canada and internationally. POLAR will also continue to engage northern and Indigenous communities to ensure its priorities align with their needs and to ensure that Indigenous Knowledge is respectfully and collaboratively incorporated in our research efforts.

Underlying all of POLAR’s work, and central to our recruitment and training efforts, is our commitment to increasing representation of Nunavut Inuit employed by POLAR in respect of federal obligations under Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement. This will continue to be a priority in the years to come.

David J. Scott, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Plans at a glance

In December 2019, POLAR’s Board of Director’s approved POLAR’s Strategic Plan. The Plan provides high-level guidance and a decision-making framework to help POLAR align its resources and objectives with its long-term vision: A sustainable future guided by knowledge and collaboration.

To achieve this vision, POLAR will focus its efforts on collaborative and interdisciplinary science that is purpose-driven by the needs of northern communities and the key questions that are significant to Canadians. To create unique value, POLAR will synthesize information to generate broadly accessible knowledge products and provide the scientific and technological insights needed to support evidence-based policy development and decision-making. POLAR will continue to work with Indigenous groups to ensure that Indigenous knowledge is incorporated into the policies developed and the decisions made by the organization. As part of this strategic planning exercise, POLAR has set the following targets for 2020-21:

  • POLAR is engaged with rights holders, local organizations and key pan-northern stakeholders to build relationships, strengthen partnerships, and mobilize relevant polar knowledge;
  • Researchers are using the CHARS campus laboratories and facilities to perform collaborative research and science aligned with POLAR's Science and Technology Framework; and,
  • POLAR is leveraging partnerships to advocate for Canada's interests in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Within the framework of its Strategic Plan, POLAR has planned the following key activities for 2020-21 to achieve the results outlined in POLAR’s Departmental Results Framework.

Canada’s polar science and technology research is publicly available and being applied
The polar science and technology research performed at the CHARS campus will be publicly available and shared within Canada and internationally through a wide range of publications, data repositories and practices, events, meetings and knowledge products.

Key Activities: In support of this result, in 2020-21, POLAR will implement a Knowledge Mobilization Implementation Plan to strengthen the application of polar research results and collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the polar research community. POLAR is also planning to deploy a system for storing and disseminating data and knowledge products from its research activities (e.g., reports, data, publications, maps, knowledge products) and participate in initiatives to support accessible and interoperable polar data management in Canada. POLAR will also develop knowledge mobilization products about Canadian Antarctic research, and implement a communications strategy to further promote Canadian contributions to Antarctic research.

Canada’s Arctic science includes Indigenous and local knowledge
POLAR will ensure that Indigenous and local knowledge is incorporated into the research that it performs and funds, and will provide opportunities to advance Inuit employment and training in science, policy and administrative positions, which will support POLAR in meeting the Government of Canada’s Inuit employment obligations under Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement.

Key Activities: In support of this result, in 2020-21, POLAR will continue to implement its Inuit Employment Plan and participate in interdepartmental working groups led by Pilimmaksaivik, the Federal Centre of Excellence for Inuit Employment in Nunavut. In this way, POLAR will continue to support the development and implementation of whole-of-government measures to reduce barriers to employment for Nunavut Inuit while also recruiting and retaining Inuit employees. Through its grant and contribution funding, POLAR will support research projects that involve Indigenous and local knowledge. POLAR will continue to advocate for Indigenous/northern voices to be included at Arctic science and research decision-making tables, both domestically and internationally. POLAR is co-leading, with Global Affairs Canada and the National Research Council, an interdepartmental working group on Arctic Science and Indigenous Knowledge.

Canada fosters domestic and international knowledge exchange and partnerships in polar science and technology
Operating and maintaining the CHARS campus as a world-class centre for polar science will allow POLAR to strengthen and expand national and international research collaboration and, in turn, gain knowledge and expertise to address regional and circumpolar challenges.

Key Activities: In support of this result, in 2020-21, POLAR will build upon its polar science partnerships both in Canada and internationally. POLAR will continue to partner with other federal departments and Indigenous organizations, to advance federal science priorities, including the implementation of Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. In 2020, POLAR will coordinate Canada’s participation in the third Arctic Science Ministerial.

The next generation of Canadian polar researchers is developed
POLAR’s grant and contribution programs and the CHARS campus will continue to support students in technical, science and research programs at colleges and universities and early career researchers pursuing professions related to polar science and technology.

Key Activities: In support of this result, in 2020-21, POLAR will continue to support and encourage interest in polar science and technology opportunities, through financial support to external partners for capacity building initiatives and activities for early career researchers. POLAR will also continue to develop youth interest in polar science and technology through science camps for children, “science weeks” at the CHARS campus, and support for early-career researcher internships. In addition, POLAR will develop a scholarship for early career Antarctic researchers.

For more information on POLAR’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results and resources” section of this report.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources, and key risks, for core responsibilities

This section contains detailed information on the department’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities. It also contains information on key risks related to achieving those results.

Polar Science and Knowledge

Description

Polar Knowledge Canada is Canada’s polar science agency operating out of the world-class Canadian High Arctic Research Station campus in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Polar Knowledge Canada performs and publishes multi-disciplinary polar research. Through our grants and contributions program, we fund external partners such as academia, northern communities and organizations who conduct research and related projects. Polar Knowledge Canada aims to include Indigenous and local knowledge wherever possible, and increase domestic and international research coordination and collaboration by leveraging resources with partners. Through workshops, conferences, social media, and other tools, Polar Knowledge Canada shares and promotes the exchange of knowledge across polar scientific and policy communities and the general public. Throughout all of its core activities, Polar Knowledge Canada aims to fund and train the next generation of polar research personnel, with a focus on northern youth.

Planning Highlights

The following are POLAR’s planned highlights for fiscal year 2020-21:

  • Perform polar science at the CHARS campus and the adjacent Environmental Research Area (ERA) through partnerships with Canadian and international researchers related to the outcomes identified in POLAR’s Science and Technology Framework:
    • Improving knowledge of dynamic northern terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in the context of rapid change;
    • Increasing understanding of the connections between northern community wellness and environmental health; and,
    • Advancing energy, technology and infrastructure solutions for the unique environmental, social and cultural conditions in the North.
  • Support polar science and technology through grant and contribution funding for external partners who conduct research aligned with POLAR’s Strategic Plan and Science and Technology Framework. Through these funded programs, POLAR will strive to include Indigenous and local knowledge wherever possible, and increase domestic and international research coordination and collaboration by leveraging resources with partners.
  • Enhance methods of disseminating polar knowledge by:
    • Implementing POLAR’s new Knowledge Mobilization Implementation Plan to strengthen the application of polar research results and collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the polar research community;
    • Continuing to develop a system for storing and disseminating outputs from POLAR’s research projects (e.g., reports, publications, maps); and,
    • Developing knowledge mobilization products about Canadian Antarctic research, and implementing a communications strategy to further promote Canadian contributions to Antarctic research.
  • Support Inuit employment and capacity building through:
    • Implementing POLAR’s Inuit Employment Plan;
    • Continuing to participate in interdepartmental working groups led by Pilimmaksaivik related to whole-of-government measures to reduce barriers and increase Nunavut Inuit employment
  • Increase the use of Indigenous Knowledge in research performed and supported by POLAR and advocate for Indigenous/northern voices to be included at Arctic science and research decision-making tables, both domestically and internationally.
  • Encourage youth to pursue polar science and technology-related careers through:
    • Providing financial support to external partners for capacity building projects and activities (e.g., workshops, training) geared towards early career researchers;
    • Supporting science camps for children and youth;
    • Supporting the science ranger program to focus on and promote Inuit-led research; and,
    • Delivering the Arctic Council-affiliated Arctic Remote Energy Network Academy program aimed at developing and growing remote community energy champions.

Gender-based analysis plus

POLAR is committed to an established integrated approach to GBA+ implementation that is directly informed by the continuous refreshing of GBA+ information initially compiled in FY2018-19. POLAR compiled a comprehensive GBA+ analysis in 2018-19 on programming that informs the current mitigation responses for the organization where that analysis highlighted the gender and Indigenous employment gaps, and challenges in the limited local labour pool for science in the North.

Additionally, GBA+ analysis is used to support POLAR’s work to meet its obligations under Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement. Although POLAR will continue to give preference to applicants who self-identify as Inuit under the Nunavut Agreement, increasing Inuit representation remains challenging given that there are science-specific classifications and degree or post-graduate (M.Sc., Ph.D.) education requirements for many of POLAR’s positions. The risk of not meeting this obligation is compounded by the fact that the CHARS campus is in a small, northern community with a limited local labour pool for science- and policy-focused positions. There is also a risk that stakeholder expectations regarding the benefits derived from the CHARS campus cannot be met as they are extremely high in terms of employment opportunities for local people, economic development in Nunavut, and support for local businesses and organizations. POLAR is seeking to mitigate these risks through the mitigation activities listed below.

POLAR continues to use GBA+ as both an analytical process and as a tool for meaningful engagement to provide information, data and trends that will inform mitigation measures and activities in support of departmental results. Specifically, in order to increase Indigenous participation in their activities, POLAR committed to:

  • Providing in-kind and financial support to research projects that include Indigenous and local knowledge;
  • Encouraging and facilitating engagement between researchers at the CHARS campus and community decision-makers; and,
  • Supporting data and information management systems to document Indigenous knowledge to support local and integrated decision-making.

In order to increase the number of youth pursuing polar science and technology-related careers, POLAR has committed to:

  • Providing support for science camps in northern communities, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) programs;
  • Supporting visiting scientist presentations; and,
  • Making available educational tools (such as maps of the polar regions) to support curriculum development.

Furthermore, GBA+ integration will continue to be undertaken on all Treasury Board Submissions, Cabinet documents, budget submissions, and in policy and program architecture and implementation.

Key risks

POLAR has identified key risks to the achievement of results related to its core responsibility. These risks and measures to mitigate them are as follows:

  • Community buy-in - Northern communities may not see direct benefits (including jobs) of the activities undertaken. This risk will be mitigated by:
    • Performing community outreach and engagement activities;
    • Involving communities in the decision making, planning and outputs of projects;
    • Developing local capacity, including through summer jobs for students;
    • Hiring of local graduates from Nunavut Arctic College Environmental Technology Program;
    • Fostering an interest in polar science and technology in northern youth through science camps and other youth activities; and,
    • Continuing to engage and consult with key stakeholders and partners.
  • Pan-northern delivery - Inability to deliver on objectives of the pan-northern science and technology program. This risk will be mitigated by:
    • Enhancing partnerships to conduct science and technology projects across the North; and,
    • Increasing cooperation between other federal departments to leverage resources towards current initiatives.
  • Meeting obligations under Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement - The interest, availability and preparedness of Inuit and other factors will have implications for POLAR’s ability to meet its obligations under the Nunavut Agreement to work towards 85% representation of Inuit across job groups and levels. This risk will be mitigated by:
    • Implementing POLAR’s Inuit Employment Plan;
    • Continuing to support Pilimmaksaivik in the development and implementation of a whole-of-government approach to Inuit employment and training; and,
    • Developing and implementing a training and mentorship program at the CHARS campus in collaboration with schools and colleges.
  • Staff recruitment and retention - POLAR struggles to attract and retain scientific and technical staff to work in Cambridge Bay. This risk will be mitigated by:
    • Targeting vacant positions towards Nunavut Inuit and both early and late career scientists and personnel;
    • Ensuring appropriate transition period between temporary and permanent staff;
    • Implementing POLAR’s Inuit Employment Plan;
    • Continuing to support Pilimmaksaivik in the whole-of-government approach to Inuit employment and training;
    • Funding of programs targeting Inuit youth to increase interest in science-based positions; and,
    • Supporting staff in the development and implementation of a training and mentorship program in parallel with program delivery.

The following table provides a summary of the results outlined in POLAR’s Departmental Results Framework and the indicators associated with these results. The targets for the indicators presented in the table were set during fiscal year 2019-20 based on data collected over the past year. POLAR will be reviewing its targets over the next year to ensure they can accurately track the results.

Planned results for Polar Science and Knowledge

Departmental results Performance indicators Target1 Date to achieve target 2016-17 Actual results2 2017-18 Actual results2 2018-19 Actual results
Canada’s polar science and technology research is publicly available and being applied Percentage of research publications led or3 supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that are available online to the Canadian public 30%4 March 2025 Not available Not available 56%
Number of citations of research led or3 supported by Polar Knowledge Canada 100 March 2025 Not available Not available 126
Canada’s Arctic science includes Indigenous and local knowledge Percentage of Arctic research projects led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that include Indigenous or local knowledge5 90% March 2025 Not available Not available 80%
Percentage of Arctic projects led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that involve Northerners6 90% March 2025 Not available Not available 92%
Canada fosters domestic and international knowledge exchange and partnerships in polar science Number of knowledge exchange activities or initiatives led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada7 100 March 2025 Not available Not available 657
Percentage of leveraged investment by Polar Knowledge Canada-supported projects 100% March 2025 Not available Not available 126%
Percentage of projects led by Polar Knowledge Canada that involve external partners 75% March 2025 Not available Not available 63%
The next generation of Canadian polar researchers is developed Percentage of Polar Knowledge Canada-led or supported projects that involve youth or early career researchers8 80% March 2025 Not available Not available Not available9

Notes:

  1. Other than the first indicator, targets had not been set in the 2018-19 Departmental Plan; however, they have since been developed and have been included here.
  2. As POLAR’s Departmental Results Framework was only approved in April 2018, actual results have not been tracked prior to this time and, therefore, no information is available for the “2017-18 Actual Results.”
  3. Originally this indicator read “…led and supported…”. It has been updated to “…led or supported…” to clarify the indicator and the results on which POLAR is reporting. This amendment does not change the data reported, but merely makes more clear the results POLAR is reporting.
  4. Note: 30% is a conservative estimate based on a range of approximately 30-50%, depending on the definition of openly accessible scientific publications utilized. This includes whether a journal itself is open-access (typically closer to 30%), or if the specific article is openly available online in any fashion (typically closer to 50%).
  5. Indigenous or local knowledge can be considered practical knowledge built up by communities over generations or knowledge specific to a particular location. This may include, but is not limited to, projects in which locally based expertise is used as one source of historical or baseline data, and/or is used to formulate research questions or hypotheses, and/or is used to inform the analysis of research findings. More specifically, the project is developed and carried out in collaboration with an Indigenous organization or community; an Indigenous organization or community leads the project; the project responds to a need identified by an Indigenous organization or community and that organization or community participates in the research; information from Indigenous sources is essential to carrying out the project (the project focuses on Indigenous perspectives or expertise); the project integrates information from both scientific/academic and Indigenous knowledge sources; and/or the project gathers original information or uses existing information from Indigenous sources (individuals, information holdings, other material).
  6. Northerners include individuals of any age who are based in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik or Nunatsiavut. Projects include both scientific research and non-scientific projects. Meaningful involvement can include activities such as scientific studies, workshops, camps, or other training-related activities that would have a significant impact or important effect on the youth involved.
  7. Knowledge exchange initiatives include, but are not limited to, projects or activities such as workshops or working groups, conferences, and community-based information sharing meetings.

  8. This indicator is amended. It combines the two indicators previously under this Result. Youth include individuals who are 30 years of age or younger. Early career researchers, which includes technicians and support staff, refers to individuals currently pursuing studies in a field related to polar research at a territorial college, or undergraduate, graduate or post-doctoral program, or have recently completed their studies (i.e., within two years).
  9. Results for this new indicator are not yet available.

Financial, human resources and performance information for the POLAR’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.i

Planned budgetary financial resources for Polar Science and Knowledge

2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020–21 planned spending 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending
16,784,156 16,784,156 16,784,156 16,784,156

Financial, human resources and performance information for the POLAR’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.ii

Planned human resources for Polar Science and Knowledge

2020–21 planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents
48 48 48

Financial, human resources and performance information for POLAR’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.iii

Planned results for Internal Services

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 services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communications Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Management Services
  • Materiel Management Services
  • Acquisition Management Services

Planning highlights

The following are POLAR’s key planned internal services highlights for fiscal year 2020-21:

  • Establishing a new contract for the provision of facilities management and maintenance services for the CHARS campus; and,
  • Continue the roll-out of standardized corporate processes and procedures in human resources, financial administration and planning and reporting.

Planned budgetary financial resources for Internal Services

2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020–21 planned spending 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending
14,393,461 14,393,461 14,700,855 14,826,586

Planned human resources for Internal Services

2020–21 planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 planned full-time equivalents
57 57 57

Spending and human resources

This section provides an overview of the department’s planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years, and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years’ actual spending.

Planned spending

Departmental spending 2017–18 to 2022–23

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.

Planned spending

The graph illustrated POLAR’s spending trend over a six-year period starting in 2017-18 and ending in 2022-23. The graph is based on two years of actual spending, one year of forecast spending and three years of planned spending.

In fiscal year 2017-18, the actual spending was $0.8 million coming from statutory spending and $20.8 million from voted spending. In 2018-19, actual spending was $1.0 million from statutory spending with $23.7 million in voted spending.

In fiscal year 2019-20, the forecasted spending is $1.5 million from statutory spending with $30.6 million in voted spending.

In 2020-21, the planned spending is $1.7 million for statutory spending with $29.5 million in voted spending. For 2021-22, planned spending is $1.7 million for statutory spending with $29.8 million in voted spending. In 2022-23, the planned spending is $1.7 million for statutory spending with $29.9 million in voted spending.

Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned spending for POLAR’s “Polar Science and Knowledge core responsibility and for Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18 expenditures 2018–19 expenditures 2019–20 forecast spending 2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2020–21 planned spending 2021–22 planned spending 2022–23 planned spending
Polar Science and Knowledge 16,524,322 15,642,340 14,612,989 16,784,156 16,784,156 16,784,156 16,784,156
Subtotal 16,524,322 15,642,340 14,612,989 16,784,156 16,784,156 16,784,156 16,784,156
Internal Services 5,003,805 9,014,331 17,446,336 14,393,461 14,393,461 14,700,855 14,826,586
Total 21,528,127 24,656,671 32,059,325 31,177,617 31,177,617 31,485,011 31,610,742

From 2017-18 to 2018-19, POLAR’s expenditures increased by $3.1 million primarily due to obtaining additional funds approved in the original Treasury Board submission for equipment and the on-going operations of the CHARS campus in Cambridge Bay. The organization also increased its internal capacity to undertake several initiatives in support of achieving the organization’s objectives.

The increase in planned spending in 2019-20 ($7.4 million) is related to the transfer of operational responsibilities for the CHARS campus to POLAR from CIRNAC, impacting the Science & Technology for the North and Polar Knowledge Application programs, as well as Internal Services. Included in these responsibilities was the award of POLAR’s first contract for the repair and maintenance of the campus. The timing of the final transfer of assets with full responsibilities for the governance and maintenance of all facilities has not yet been determined.

Planned human resources

The following table shows actual, forecast and planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each core responsibility in POLAR’s departmental results framework and to Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.

Human resources planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2017–18 actual full time equivalents 2018–19 actual full time equivalents 2019–20 actual full time equivalents 2020–21 planned full time equivalents 2021–22 planned full time equivalents 2022–23 planned full time equivalents
Polar Science and Knowledge 31 33 38 48 48 48
Subtotal 31 33 38 48 48 48
Internal Services 24 34 46 57 57 57
Total 55 67 84 105 105 105

Estimates by vote

Information on the POLAR’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2020-21 Main Estimates.iv

Condensed future-oriented statement of operations

The condensed future oriented statement of operations provides an overview of POLAR’s operations for 2019-20 to 2020-21.

The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.

A more detailed future oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the POLAR’s website.

Condensed future oriented statement of operations for the year ending March 31, 2021 (dollars)

Financial information 2019–20 forecast results 2020–21 planned results Difference (2020–21 planned results minus 2019–20 forecast results)
Total expenses 33,123,611 32,636,543 (487,068)
Total revenues 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 33,123,611 32,636,543 (487,068)

Total expenses for the 2019-20 planned results do not include amortization of the CHARS campus as the actual date of its transfer from Crown-Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to POLAR is not yet set. In addition, the value of the CHARS campus transfer has yet to be determined.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister(s): The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.

Chairperson: Mr. Richard Boudreault

Institutional head: David J. Scott, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial portfolio: Minister of Northern Affairs

Enabling instrument(s): Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act

Year of incorporation / commencement: 2015

Other: POLAR is overseen by a nine-member Board of Directors, including a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. The Board approves the organization’s science and technology plan and annual work plans and budget. The Board is accountable to the Minister of Northern Affairs. All members are appointed by Order-in-Council to hold office for terms not exceeding five years, and are eligible for re-appointment for a second term of office. Members of the Board of Directors hold office on a part-time basis.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on POLAR’s website.

For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the “Minister’s Mandate Letter”.

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on POLAR’s website.

Reporting framework

POLAR’s approved Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2020-21 are as follows:

Core Responsibility: Polar Science and Knowledge

Departmental Result Indicator
The next generation of Canadian polar researchers is developed
  • Percentage of Polar Knowledge Canada-led or supported projects that involve youth or early career researchers
Canada fosters domestic and international knowledge exchange and partnerships in polar science
  • Percentage of projects led by Polar Knowledge Canada that involve external partners
  • Percentage of leveraged investment by Polar Knowledge Canada supported projects
  • Number of knowledge exchange activities or initiatives led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada
Canada’s Arctic science includes Indigenous and local knowledge
  • Percentage of Arctic research projects led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that include Indigenous or local knowledge
  • Percentage of Arctic projects led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that involve Northerners
Canada’s polar science and technology research is publicly available and being applied
  • Percentage of research publications led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that are available online to the Canadian Public
  • Number of citations of research led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada

Program Inventory:

  • Science and Technology
  • Knowledge Management and Engagement
  • Internal Services

Changes to the approved reporting framework since 2019–20

POLAR made minor amendments to its indicators since 2019-20. These amendments were made to clarify the results POLAR is reporting, and are explained in detail in the notes under the “Planned Results Table” on pages 10-12 of this document.

Supporting information on the program inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to the POLAR’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.v

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on POLAR’s website:

Federal tax expenditures

POLAR’s Departmental Plan does not include information on tax expenditures that relate to its planned results for 2020–21.

Tax expenditures are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, and the Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for government wide tax expenditures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.vi This report provides detailed information on tax expenditures, including objectives, historical background and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are solely the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

  • Cambridge Bay Headquarters:
    • Polar Knowledge Canada - Canadian High Arctic Research Station Campus
    • 1 Uvajuq Road
    • P.O. Box 2150
    • Cambridge Bay, NU, X0B 0C0
    • Tel.: (867) 983-7425
  • Ottawa Office:
    • Polar Knowledge Canada
    • 170 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 200
    • Ottawa, ON, K1P 5V5
    • Tel.: (613) 943-8605

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of a department over a 3 year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority (priorité ministérielle)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Departmental priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a departmental result.
departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that consists of the department’s core responsibilities, departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare, the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works and what doesn’t. Experimentation is related to, but distinct form innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.
full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. Full time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people experience policies, programs and services based on multiple factors including race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2020–21 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative in which two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.
result (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

Endnotes

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