Supplementary Information Tables 2019-2020

Table of contents

Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

1. Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2016 to 2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) adheres to the principles of the FSDS, and while not bound formally by the Act, supports reporting on the implementation of the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.

2. Sustainable development in POLAR

POLAR is bound by the Policy on Green Procurement and by the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and, therefore, is providing details in Section 3 related to its initiatives supporting a low-carbon government.

3. Departmental performance by FSDS goal

Low-Carbon Government: The Government of Canada leads by example by making its operations low-carbon

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve it by 2025 Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement
  • POLAR uses Public Services and Procurement Canada’s consolidated procurement instruments, which include environmental considerations and enable Departments and Agencies to purchase more environmentally preferable goods and services.
To be determined. Not yet available. Not yet available.

4. Report on integrating sustainable development

During the 2019–20 reporting cycle, Polar Knowledge Canada had no proposals that required a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and no public statements were produced.

Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more

General information

Name of transfer payment program Transfer Payments to support the advancement of Northern Science and Technology
Start date June 2015
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grants and Contributions
Type of appropriation Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2015-16
Link to the department’s Program Inventory Polar Science and Knowledge
Description The purpose of this transfer payment program is to provide an integrated suite of grants and contributions that support Canadian Arctic science and technology for POLAR. The contribution programs support calls for proposals to solicit projects that will help address specific aspects of POLAR’s mandate, while the grant programs support student researchers, recognize significant achievement and coordinate northern scientific university-related activities. The provision of support to the advancement of northern science and technology is essential to deliver on POLAR’s mandated themes and the objective of Article 23 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement “to increase Inuit participation in government employment in the Nunavut Settlement Area to a representative level. It is recognized that the achievement of this objective will require initiatives by Inuit and by Government.” To this end, POLAR uses Multi-Stakeholder Review Committees to engage Indigenous peoples/groups and northerners on the review of funding proposals.
Results achieved

In FY 2019-20 POLAR provided transfer payments totalling $5,132,570 in support of the expected results under this transfer payment program.

Through this funding, POLAR continued to enable various academic institutions, Indigenous organizations, northern communities and other not-for-profit organizations to carry out projects that encompassed the following key elements:

  • Respectful incorporation of both science and Indigenous Knowledge in project design, research and knowledge dissemination;
  • Leadership and involvement of Northerners, including communities and Indigenous peoples;
  • Integration of training and capacity building at the local or community-level; and,
  • A coordinated, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach.

POLAR’s transfer payment programs complement POLAR’s own research and science-based activities to further key objectives and support meeting results targets. These projects were instrumental in POLAR achieving the following results in 2019-20 related to its Departmental Results:

  • 61% of publications resulting from projects led or supported by POLAR were available online to the Canadian public;
  • Research resulting from projects led or supported by POLAR was cited in the scientific literature 338 times;
  • 76% of projects led or supported by POLAR included Indigenous or local knowledge;
  • 67% of arctic projects led or supported by POLAR involved Northerners;
  • 348 knowledge exchange activities or initiatives were led or supported by POLAR;
  • 38% of projects led or supported by POLAR leveraged investments by partners;
  • 78% of projects led by POLAR included external partners;
  • 3343 youth were involved in activities led or supported by POLAR; and,
  • 427 early career researchers, technicians, and support staff were involved in projects led or supported by POLAR.
Findings of audits completed in 2019–20 Not applicable.
Findings of evaluations completed in 2019–20 Not applicable.
Engagement of applicants and recipients in 2019–20 POLAR solicits proposals from potential applicants through open calls for proposals posted on POLAR’s website, as well as targeted calls for proposals. As part of its recent Call for Application 2020-2023, POLAR provided clear and detailed information and instructions to applicants, and regularly communicated updates on the status of results. POLAR used an “agency-wide” approach to communicate with recipients, ensuring consistent messaging and timely responses. POLAR monitors recipient compliance with the terms of active funding agreements through in-depth review of financial and project progress reports that are submitted in accordance with the approved project reporting plan.

Financial information (dollars)

Type of transfer payment 2017–18 Actual spending 2018–19 Actual spending 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) Variance (2019–20 actual minus 2019–20 planned)
Total grants 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 0.00
Total contributions 9,152,366 7,194,858 4,227,749 5,122,570 5,122,570 894,821
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 9,162,366 7,204,858 4,237,749 5,132,570 5,132,570 894,821
Explanation of variances In 2019-20, POLAR transferred funds from O&M to contributions to fulfill commitments.

Gender-based analysis plus

Institutional GBA+ Capacity

POLAR collects disaggregated data on projects supported by its transfer payment programs. POLAR requests that funding recipients complete surveys and report information to POLAR to help POLAR understand the impacts and results of its funding. The gender disaggregated data collected through these surveys includes reported instances of participation in projects by the following groups: Northern-based individuals; Indigenous people; Early Career Researchers; Technicians / Support staff; and, Youth.

When reading the data highlights below, it is important to understand that POLAR is unable to track individual participants. Rather, POLAR tracks instances of participation, as reported by funding recipients in their project surveys.

As a small organization, POLAR has limited capacity in GBA+, but is actively working to increase capacity. In 2019-20 POLAR designated a position responsible for GBA+ as part of their duties. As such, POLAR now has 0.1 FTE responsible for GBA+.

Highlights of GBA+ Results by Program

Knowledge Management and Engagement
  • In 2019-20, POLAR transferred funds from O&M to contributions to fulfill commitments.
    • Northern-based -- 59% female, 41% male
    • Indigenous -- 59% female, 41% male
    • Early Career Researchers -- 40% female, 60% male
    • Technicians / Support Staff -- 47% female, 53% male
    • Youth -- 52% female, 48% male
Science and Technology
  • In 2019-20, reported instances of participation in Science and Technology transfer payment projects had the following reported gender ratios:
    • Northern-based -- 73% female, 27% male
    • Indigenous -- 74% female, 26% male
    • Early Career Researchers -- 42% female, 58% male
    • Technicians / Support Staff -- 55% female, 45% male
    • Youth -- 54% female, 26% male; 18% non-binary*
    • * This is the only category where there were respondents who did not self-identify as either male or female.
Internal Services
  • POLAR’s Planning and Reporting Unit has been assigned the lead on GBA+, as of January 2020. Additional commitments were included in the 2020-21 Departmental Plan as a result.
  • This has increased POLAR’s overall capacity for GBA+, including training and oversight.
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