2019–20 Departmental Results Report

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Table of contents

Minister’s Message

Dan Vandal

Polar Knowledge Canada’s (POLAR) 2019-20 Departmental Results Report provides parliamentarians and Canadians with information on progress towards the results outlined in POLAR’s 2019-20 Departmental Plan and outlines the work accomplished over the past year. We describe the organization’s programs and services for Canadians and how POLAR’s work supported the fulfillment of mandate commitments and the government’s priorities.

POLAR operates the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) campus in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, a world-class hub for science, technology and innovation in Canada’s North. POLAR undertakes and supports scientific research, including environmental monitoring and the collecting of related baseline information, and tests new technology to help northern communities address the challenges of climate change and strengthen their resilience. 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 all partners, including Indigenous organizations, governments, individuals and other organizations in the Canadian and international polar science community is integral to POLAR activities. This helps create greater awareness of POLAR’s mandate, programming, and opportunities for collaboration.

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 good progress towards these broader priorities in the North, while strengthening Canada’s leadership in polar science and technology.

I am honoured to have POLAR as part of my portfolio and am pleased to provide this report on the work completed in the 2019-20 year.

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

President and CEO’s message

In the 2019-20 year, Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) made significant progress in establishing itself at its headquarters at the CHARS campus in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and advancing work on four priorities as approved by our Board of Directors. I would like to highlight some key successes from the 2019-20 year, including:

  • the official opening of the CHARS campus;
  • the release of the 2020-25 Strategic Plan and the S&T Framework; and,
  • the finalization and implementation of POLAR’s Human Resources Framework.

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 support evidence-based policy and decision making. Our Science and Technology team expanded baseline understanding of northern ecosystems and oversaw research on alternative and renewable energy and on the impacts of changing ice, permafrost and snow. Together POLAR’s teams contributed to horizontal Government of Canada policy initiatives, such as the development of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework and its public release in September 2019.

In addition, POLAR finalized its 2020-25 Strategic Plan and Science and Technology Framework. These two guiding documents are now available on POLAR’s website. As part of this work, POLAR established productive working relationships with Indigenous partners with an objective to co-develop the Implementation Plan for the Science and Technology Framework.

In accordance with its obligations under Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement, POLAR is committed to increasing the number of its Nunavut Inuit employees. This commitment underlies all of POLAR’s work, and is central to our recruitment and training efforts. It will remain a priority in the years to come.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on POLAR’s plans for the 2020-21 year, and has forced the postponement of most field-based research activities. POLAR is working closely with partners and stakeholders to ensure we are prepared to resume this work in 2021-22.

Julie Laghi, A/President and Chief Executive Officer

Results at a glance and operating context

The polar regions are undergoing significant social, environmental and economic changes that directly impact POLAR’s operations. Key influences at this time include:

  • Rapid environmental change occurring in the Arctic and Antarctic, including climate and weather extremes, through increased temperatures and the continuing loss of ice, glaciers, snow and permafrost.
  • High costs of doing research in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, as a result of the remoteness of the polar regions, logistical challenges, and extreme environmental conditions.
  • Increasing political and economic empowerment of Northerners, exemplified by the devolution of responsibility for lands and resource management to territorial governments and the gradual shifting of the control of the research agenda northward.
  • Ongoing advances in Indigenous self-government taking place throughout the region and positive effects on government policies, including how research is undertaken.
  • Educational attainment among Inuit, impacting preparedness for certain types of jobs at POLAR, with investments in capacity building and employee development being important for POLAR to meet its obligations under the Nunavut Agreement.

POLAR is a relatively small and new organization, established to advance Canada’s leadership in polar science and technology and establish the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) campus as a hub for scientific research in Canada’s North. The CHARS campus was designed and built to optimize innovation in Arctic science and technology, to welcome visitors and support a wide range of research and Indigenous Knowledge via technical services support.

POLAR’s organization and administration are overseen by a Board of Directors, which approves POLAR’s annual work plans and budgets. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the Board identified four strategic priorities:

  1. Develop and promote the POLAR “brand” across the north and nationally, leveraging the opening of the CHARS campus as a key milestone.
  2. Focus the intramural science mission and the effective operation of the CHARS campus, ensuring inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge to maximize impact of new knowledge.
  3. Solidify the organizational machinery of POLAR to position the Agency to create additional domestic and international research partnerships in the Canadian Arctic knowledge creation ecosystem.
  4. Prepare for the implementation of POLAR’s 2020-25 Science and Technology Plan and Strategic Plan.

In 2019-20, POLAR spent a total of $30,577,492, and had 78 FTEs. With these resources, POLAR promoted the agency internationally and domestically, including a focussed promotional effort in the North and the Central Arctic. Key to the fulfillment of its mission and vision, POLAR operated the CHARS campus, providing resources and services for in-house and visiting scientists and researchers .POLAR advanced work on the intramural science mission through collaboration and the operation of the CHARS campus, including science projects related to migratory birds, cryosphere change, clean energy and the collection of baseline data. A diverse range of science and technology projects and knowledge mobilization efforts were undertaken across the full breadth of POLAR’s pan-northern footprint area by the recipients of POLAR’s grant and contribution programs.

The official opening event of the CHARS campus was held on August 21, 2019, led by Parliamentary Secretary Yvonne Jones. This community-centric event filled the CHARS campus to capacity, featured cultural performances, knowledge sharing activities, and warm hospitality for more than 300 guests.

For more information on POLAR’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

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.

Results

Results achieved

The following is a summary of the key activities associated with POLAR’s Results Framework and denoted by aligned Board priorities:

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

Results Achieved:

  • In 2019-20, POLAR exceeded the performance indicator targets for the percentage of research publications led and supported by POLAR that are available online to the Canadian public and for the number of citations of research led and supported by POLAR.
  • POLAR published its research findings via the Polar Knowledge: Aqhaliat Report.
  • POLAR’s researchers and scientists published numerous articles in respected peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, POLAR synthesized a review of research in the Report on Research and Monitoring in the CHARS ERA: POLAR-led and supported projects 2017-2019.

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.

Results Achieved:

  • Throughout 2019-20, POLAR continued to engage with Northern and Indigenous partners to understand regional priorities and develop cooperative partnerships, including presentations at many planning meetings.
  • A number of POLAR’s funded projects were finishing in 2019-20 and, therefore, involved primarily administrative and reporting activities. The work that included Indigenous knowledge or involved northerners was undertaken in the earlier years of these projects. As a result, in 2019-20, POLAR did not meet the performance indicator targets established for the results related to the percentage of Arctic projects, led or supported by POLAR, that included Indigenous or local knowledge and/or involved Northerners. POLAR expects that these values will increase again once agreements are in place under the next Competitive Funding Process.

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 collaborations and, in turn, gain knowledge and expertise to address regional and circumpolar challenges.

Results Achieved:

  • In 2019-20, POLAR exceeded the performance indicator target related to the number of knowledge exchange activities or initiatives led or supported by POLAR.
  • POLAR also met the performance indicator target related to the percentage of projects led by POLAR that include external partners.
  • POLAR is on track to achieve the target associated with the ratio of leveraged investment by partners in POLAR-led and supported projects by March 2025.
  • POLAR continued to foster international partnerships including the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Indian National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research.
  • Domestically, POLAR engaged with Northern and Indigenous partners, collaborators and stakeholders at more than 20 different meetings across the North.

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. POLAR has specific initiatives delivered via the CHARS campus to encourage youth engagement, including science camps for local youth, summer employment, casual hires and student placements. POLAR also has early-career researcher exchange programs to build a base of early career polar researchers.

Results Achieved:

  • While POLAR has been tracking the performance indicators for this result, no targets were set for them as baselines had not yet been established. This indicator was amended for the 2020-21 year to the “percentage of POLAR-led or supported projects that involve youth or early career researchers.” Going forward, POLAR will be tracking performance against this new target.
  • POLAR supported over 350 students at more than 36 Canadian universities in conducting research via the Northern Scientific Training Program

Gender-based analysis plus

In 2019-20, female participants accounted for more than half of the reported instances of Indigenous, northern, and youth participation in POLAR’s transfer payment supported projects and activities. In particular, POLAR had high participation from female Indigenous and female northern-based individuals in its Science and Technology program-supported projects. The participation rates were 74% and 73%, respectively.

In 2019-20, POLAR designated a GBA+ focal point in its Internal Services sector. This focal point liaises with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) to share resources and information related to GBA+ with POLAR’s staff. The designation of a focal point and connection with officials at CIRNAC has increased POLAR’s capacity for GBA+, including training and oversight.

Experimentation

POLAR did not plan experimentation for the 2019-20 fiscal year. As a relatively new and small agency, focused on establishing itself and stabilizing operations in the North, POLAR did not have the capacity for experimentation.

It should be noted that experimentation in this context does not refer to POLAR’s science and technology activities, but is specific to testing program activities related to the core responsibility.

Results achieved
Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results1 2018–19 Actual results 2019–20 Actual results
Canada’s polar science and technology research is publicly available and being applied Percentage of research publications led and supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that are available online to the Canadian public 30%2 March 2025 N/A 56% 61%
Number of citations of research led and supported by Polar Knowledge Canada 100 March 2025 N/A 126 3383
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 knowledge4 90% March 2020 N/A 80% 76%
Percentage of Arctic projects led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada that involve Northerners5 90% March 2020 N/A 92% 67%6
Canada fosters domestic and international knowledge exchange and partnerships in polar science and technology Number of knowledge exchange activities or initiatives led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada7 100 March 2020 N/A 657 3488
Ratio of leveraged investment by partners in Polar Knowledge Canada-led and supported projects 100% March 2025 N/A 126% 38%9
Percentage of projects led by Polar Knowl- edge Canada that include external partners 75% March 2025 N/A 63% 78%
The next generation of Canadian polar researchers is developed Number of youth involved in activities led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada No target was set for this indicator. The indicator was amended for the 2020-21 year. N/A N/A 10503 334310
Number of early career researchers, technicians, and support staff involved in projects led or supported by Polar Knowledge Canada No target was set for this indicator. The indicator was amended for the 2020-21 year. N/A N/A 426 427

Notes:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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%).
  3. This Performance Indicator is a 3-year aggregate, with 2019-20 being the third year of this result being measured. One would expect an increase from year 1 to 2 and again from year 2 to 3 (i.e. from 2017 to 2018, and again from 2018 to 2019). However, in FY2019-20, a levelling off of this value would be expected, particularly as 2017 data is removed from the calculation and 2020 is added (i.e., maintaining a 3-year dataset).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. A number of POLAR’s funded projects were finishing in 2019-20 and, therefore, involved primarily administrative and reporting activities. The work that included Indigenous knowledge or involved northerners was undertaken in the earlier years of these projects. As a result, in 2019-20, POLAR did not meet the performance indicator targets established for the results related to the percentage of Arctic projects, led or supported by POLAR, that included Indigenous or local knowledge and/or involved Northerners. POLAR expects that these values will increase again once agreements are in place under the next Competitive Funding Process.
  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. For this result, the 2019-20 value is less than the 2018-19 value because there was a lower number of funded projects that continued into 2019-20. As well, there were a number of funded projects that were finishing in 2019-20 resulting in more administrative activities rather than knowledge exchange activities. POLAR expects that these values will increase again once agreements are in place under the next Competitive Funding Process.
  9. In FY2019-20, many projects were entering into their last year of a 3/2-year funding cycle as POLAR transitions to a new funding cycle for 2020 to 2023. In some cases, projects were given additional funding or were amended for an additional year with only funds from POLAR being provided. In these cases, the FY2019-20 portion of the funding was not dependent on matching external funds as the project leaders would not have forecasted for additional resources.
  10. For this result, the 2019-20 value is less than the 2018-19 value because there was a lower number of funded projects that continued into 2019-20. As well, there were a number of funded projects that were finishing in 2019-20 resulting in more administrative activities rather than youth involvement activities. It should also be noted that in 2018-19, there was a single project, the Actua project that had approximately 5000 youth participants that did not continue into 2019-20.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
16,342,429 16,342,429 17,249,811 15,282,156 (1,060,273)

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
28 36 8

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

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 service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • Acquisition Management Services
  • Communication Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Legal Services
  • Material Management Services
  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Real Property Management Services

To support POLAR’s programs in achieving the results outlined in its Departmental Results Framework, Internal Services completed POLAR’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, and developed a plan for its implementation, including training for employees.

To support the achievement of POLAR’s Departmental Result that the next generation of Canadian polar researchers is developed, the following human resources related activities were performed in fiscal year 2019-20:

  • Continued to support the areas of staffing, classification, compensation, labour relations, performance management and learning and training.
  • Finalized and implemented POLAR's updated Human Resource Policy Framework.

In preparation for the transfer of the CHARS campus to POLAR and the full operation of the campus, POLAR continued to develop and refine its hybrid corporate services delivery model in partnership with key service providers such as Public Services and Procurement Canada and other federal government departments.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used)* 2019–20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
16,459,179 16,459,179 16,668,736 15,295,336 (1,163,843)

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20 Main Estimates2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
34 42 8

Results: what we achieved

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

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

Departmental spending trend graph

The increase in planned voted spending from 2018-19 to 2019-20 is primarily due to additional funding announced in Budget 2018 to support the transfer of operational and management responsibilities of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) from CIRNAC to POLAR. As POLAR approaches a steadier state of operations, it continues to assess its ongoing resource requirements to support achieving planned results.

Core responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2020–21 Planned spending 2020–22 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2017–18 Actual spending (authorities used) 2018–19 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used)
Polar science and knowledge 16,342,429 16,342,429 16,784,156 16,784,156 17,249,811 16,524,322 15,642,340 15,282,156
Subtotal 16,342,429 16,342,429 16,784,156 16,784,156 17,249,811 16,524,322 15,642,340 15,282,156
Internal Services 16,459,179 16,459,179 14,393,461 14,700,855 16,687,736 5,003,805 9,014,331 15,295,336
Total 32,801,608 32,801,608 31,177,617 31,485,011 33,937,547 21,528,127 24,656,671 30,577,492

The difference of $2.2 million in 2019-20 in actual versus planned spending is mainly due to delayed schedules of major projects for operation and maintenance of the research station, challenges staffing positions in the timelines originally envisioned, and the initial curtailing of activities during the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, POLAR received a carry forward from 2018-19 to 2019-20 of $1.1 million.

The increase in spending from 2017-18 to 2018-19 ($3.1 million) was attributed to the growth of the organization.

During 2019-20, the organization continued to grow. There was an increase of $5.9 million in spending from 2018-19 to 2019-20. This increase in expenditures is mainly attributed to the transfer of housing units and operational responsibilities for the campus from CIRNAC to POLAR and to salary and benefits for a growing workforce.

Actual human resources

Human resources 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 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2020–21 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents
Polar science and knowledge 31 33 28 36 48 48
Subtotal 31 33 28 36 48 48
Internal Services 24 34 34 42 57 57
Total 55 67 62 78 105 105

Full-time equivalents (FTE) have increased over the past year. The increase was due in part to additional capacity needed to support the development of programs, manage the expanded grants and contribution program, reduce reliance on external Human Resources services and manage the CHARS campus facilities. As POLAR approaches a steadier state of operations, it continues to review its staffing levels to better understand its resourcing requirements in support of achieving planned results.

Expenditures by vote

For information on POLAR’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2019–2020.ii

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of POLAR’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in GC InfoBase.iii

Government of Canada spending and activities

Financial statements

POLAR’s financial statementsiv (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019, are available on the departmental website.

Financial statement highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2020 (dollars)

Financial information 2019–20 Planned results 2019–20 Actual results 2018–19 Actual results Difference (2019–20 Actual results minus 2019–20 Planned results) Difference (2018–19 Actual results minus 2019–20 Planned results)
Total expenses 33,401,058 31,673,499 25,151,210 (1,727,559) 6,522,289
Total revenues 0 0 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 33,401,058 31,673,499 25,151,210 (1,727,559) 6,522,289

POLAR’s Future-Oriented Statement of Operations can be found at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/polar-knowledge/reports/supplementary-information-tables-2020-2021/future-oriented-statement-of-operations-2020-21.html

Total expenses for 2019-20 increased by $6.5 million compared to 2018-19. The majority of this increase is attributed to salaries and employee benefits for $1.6 million, an increase of $2.2 million in transportation and telecommunications, an increase to repairs and maintenance of $1.9 million, as well as an increase of $1.4 million in utilities, materials and supplies. The increase in spending is attributed to the growth of the organization as well as the transfer of housing units from CIRNA to POLAR.

Total expenses for POLAR were $31.7 million in 2019-20 of which $6.8 million or 21% was spent on transfer payments, $10.2 million or 32% was spent on salaries and employee benefits, $4.2 million or 13% was spent on transportation and telecommunications, $3.1 million or 10% was spent on professional services fees and $2.4 million or 8% was spent on repairs and maintenance. The balance of $5 million or 16% of POLAR costs was spent on other operating expenses such as machinery and equipment, utilities, materials and supplies as well as rentals.

Based on POLAR’s financial statements, total expenses were $31.7 million in 2019-20. $15.9 million or 50%, were spent on Polar Science and Knowledge; while Internal Services represented $15.8 million or 50% of total expenses. This distribution reflects the fact that the considerable costs of operating and maintaining real property in the high Arctic are captured within Internal Services.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2020 (dollars)

Financial information 2019–20 2018-19 Difference (2019–20 minus 2018–19)
Total net liabilities 5,506,897 4,639,097 867,800
Total net financial assets 4,750,305 4,452,358 297,947
Departmental net debt 756,592 186,739 569,853
Total non-financial assets 1,745,343 1,946,499 (201,156)
Departmental net financial position 988,751 1,759,760 (771,009)

Total net liabilities were $5.5 million at the end of 2019–20, which is an increase of $0.9 million from the previous year's total net liabilities of $4.6 million. The accounts payable and accrued liabilities represent the largest portion of liabilities, at $4.6 million (84%) of total liabilities. Other liabilities include vacation pay and compensatory leave and future employee benefits for a total of $0.9 million (16%).

Total net financial assets were $4.8 million at the end of 2019–20, which is an increase of $0.3 million from the previous year's total net financial assets of $4.5 million. The assets due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund accounted for $4.4 million (92%) of total financial assets and accounts receivable accounted for the remaining $0.4 million (8%).

Additional information

Organizational profile

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

Institutional head: Julie Laghi, A/President and Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial portfolio: Minister of Northern Affairs

Enabling instrument[s]: Canadian High Arctic Research Station Actv

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 Agency’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 letteriv.

Reporting framework

POLAR’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.

Reporting framework

In 2019-20, POLAR amended its DRF indicators. In 2020-21, POLAR will report against these amended indicators. These minor amendments were made to clarify the results POLAR is reporting. Specifically, POLAR amended the indicator “Percentage of Polar Knowledge Canada-led or supported projects that involve youth or early career researchers”. The new indicator combines the two indicators previously under the Result “The next generation of Canadian polar researchers is developed”. The combination of these indicators avoids double-counting between events targeting youth and early career researchers. 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). The amended DRF for 2020-21 is 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

Supporting information on the program inventory

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

Supplementary information tables

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

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.xii This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Federal tax expenditures

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

Email: info@polar.gc.ca

Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/polar-knowledge.html

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 an appropriated department over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority (priorité)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. 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 quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.
departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that connects the department’s core responsibilities to its 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, for whom and in what circumstances. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from 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. For a particular position, the full time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person’s collective agreement.
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 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2019 Speech from the Throne, namely: Fighting climate change; Strengthening the Middle Class; Walking the road of reconciliation; Keeping Canadians safe and healthy; and Positioning Canada for success in an uncertain world.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where 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 to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in 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 the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.
result (résultat)
A 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.
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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