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Program Activities

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“Program Activities” are formally defined according to Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)’s Program Activity Architecture (PAA) as a Treasury Board-approved inventory of the department’s programs, activities, performance indicators and expected outcomes.

This section outlines the five program activities WD uses to measure its progress with respect to expected outcomes, alignment with Government of Canada initiatives, key activities and benefits to Canadians. The Strategic Planning Framework (next page) links the department’s program activities with its vision, mandate, priorities and strategic outcome.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan (CEAP) has also been included in this section to provide further details on planned spending, staffing level and performance indicators. However, it is not considered a program activity under WD’s PAA.

A department-wide summary of planned spending and human resource allocations by program activity can be found in Annex A. A summary of the performance indicators that the department tracks to measure the success of its program activities are provided in Annex B.

Text Version (1): Strategic Planning Framework 2010-2011
Strategic Planning Framework

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Business Development

Planned Spending ($ thousands) and Full-time Equivalents (FTEs)
2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

65 FTEs

78 FTEs

78 FTEs

Benefits to Canadians

  • Job creation and maintenance
  • Productivity growth
  • Increased competitiveness

WD works with western Canadian businesses, industry and research organizations to support initiatives to enhance business productivity and competitiveness; to increase the penetration of western Canadian technologies, services and value-added products into international markets; and to improve access to capital. Through this program activity, WD partners with other stakeholders, such as the provincial governments, to provide business programs and services to entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This program activity is linked to two program priorities: trade and investment and business productivity and competitiveness.

WD plans to undertake the following key activities in 2010-2011:

  • Invest in business development projects in conjunction with business associations and organizations, as well as encourage and enable industry-led solutions to productivity challenges.
  • Support international business development and investment promotion projects (e.g. launch pan-western investment marketing tool) with a specific focus on Western Canada’s emerging technology and value-added manufacturing sectors.
  • Supporting the adoption of leading-edge world-class technologies in order to increase efficiencies and accelerate product development and lean manufacturing practices.
  • Initiate a pan-western pilot in selected sectors or clusters that are ready to implement productivity enhancements, and continue to support skills development initiatives.
  • Advance Western Canada’s advocacy, trade and investment, and science and technology interests in the United States and Mexico through participation in the North American Platform Program.
  • Coordinate and plan activities that will enable western Canadian aerospace and defense companies to access federal procurement and industrial regional benefits opportunities through supplier development activities.
  • Build connections between SMEs and major international aerospace and defense companies.
  • Make strategic investments in infrastructure and collaborative projects and promote value-added opportunities related to Western Canada’s trade gateways and corridors (e.g. Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridors Initiative).
  • Continue to support the delivery of entrepreneurship programs and services through the Western Canada Business Service Network (Canada Business service centres, Community Futures organizations, Women’s Enterprise Centres and Francophone Economic Development Organizations), including ensuring availability of risk capital to SMEs. As part of its ongoing assessment process of grants and contributions, including renewal of program terms and conditions, WD will work with its business service network to ensure that funding furthers government priorities and achieving results for Canadians.
  • Review the department’s role in providing export readiness/advisory information and access to capital services to SMEs to determine the most appropriate type of future support required.
  • Examine new approaches to strengthen linkages and collaboration between departmental committees that carry out complementary activities, and to ensure that the department factors trade and investment into WD’s other priorities and activities.

How we will measure our results:

  • SME revenue (Target: $322M - stable revenue)
  • SME employment (Target: 2.5M - stable employment level)
  • Annual international trade: value of exports excluding primary production sectors (Target: $47B)

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Planned Spending ($ thousands) and Full-time Equivalents (FTEs)
2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

54 FTEs

54 FTEs

54 FTEs

Innovation is the process of translating knowledge into new or improved products, processes and services for economic and social benefit. Successful innovation starts with a new idea and moves through the research and development (R&D) stage into a ready-for-market product.

Benefits to Canadians

  • More diversified, knowledge-based economy
  • Increased productivity and competitiveness
  • Increased standard of living

The innovation process is not linear, but involves a web of interconnected activities and actors that is called an innovation system. WD works with universities, research institutes, other federal departments, provincial governments and industry associations to strengthen the western Canadian innovation system. This program activity is linked to two program priorities: trade and investment and technology commercialization.

WD’s approach to innovation is consistent with the federal Science and Technology Strategy, which prioritizes knowledge advantage (knowledge infrastructure and R&D), entrepreneurial advantage (technology commercialization) and people advantage (skills, community innovation and linkages). The federal sector priorities of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), health and related life sciences and environmental technologies mirror WD’s sector priorities.

WD plays a key role representing western interests on the national agenda. Budget 2010 provided support to science, technology and innovation. WD will pursue opportunities to participate in and enhance western Canada’s opportunities in new federal programming such as the $40 million SME technology demonstration program, the review of federal R&D and the development of the digital economy strategy.

In 2010-2011, WD plans to undertake the following key activities that target key technology cluster development and growth:

  • Continue to support capacity building that enables the facilitation of technology commercialization and bringing products to markets. Potential approaches include helping firms and organizations get technologies to the marketplace through demonstration, first use or unsolicited proposals. This support will enable firms to prove their products in the marketplace, penetrate domestic and international markets and assist firms in attracting scarce venture capital.
  • Create effective linkages among players in the innovation system in order to facilitate the commercialization of technologies into new products and services.
  • Explore approaches to improve the performance of firms in getting technologies to the marketplace.
  • Make strategic investments in knowledge infrastructure to support industry and build sector capacity in the key areas of life sciences, ICT and clean energy.
  • Create an innovation environment conducive to retaining, nurturing and growing our small and mid-tier technology firms into successful and competitive multinationals.

How we will measure our results:

  • Total income from the commercialization of intellectual property (Target: $28.14M - stable growth rate)
  • Business expenditure on research and development as a % of total employment (Target: 0.55% - stable growth rate)
  • Employment in natural and applied science and related occupations as a % of total employment (Target: 7.0% - modest increase)

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Community Economic Development

Planned Spending ($ thousands) and Full-time Equivalents (FTEs)
2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

76 FTEs

73 FTEs

73 FTEs

WD supports economic development and diversification initiatives that enable both rural and urban communities to sustain or grow their economies and adjust to changing and challenging economic circumstances. This includes facilitating economic recovery and public infrastructure investments in Western Canada to meet the Government of Canada's commitment to strong economic growth and improving the standard of living of all Canadians. Furthermore, it ensures that economic, social and environmental considerations are taken into account in initiatives designed to foster community growth through community-based consultations or facilitation and planning. The program activity strives to integrate federal programs, services and horizontal initiatives directed towards western Canadian communities.

Benefits to Canadians

  • Job creation and maintenance
  • Economic growth
  • Cleaner environment
  • Improved community infrastructure

WD plans to undertake the following key activities in 2010-2011:

  • Support projects in rural areas to help communities diversify and strengthen their economies.
  • Invest in initiatives that enhance Aboriginal participation in the economy.
  • Continue to deliver, monitor and evaluate the Community Economic Diversification Initiative and Airport Improvements Initiative components of the federal Mountain Pine Beetle response in British Columbia.
  • Support Community Futures organizations and Francophone Economic Development Organizations to provide community planning and development services to rural and Official Language Minority Communities.
  • Continue to work with Infrastructure Canada to improve the administration of national infrastructure programs such as the Infrastructure Canada Program, Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and Building Canada Fund.
  • Complete western delivery of the CAF and RInC under CEAP.

How we will measure our results:

  • Number of new jobs created (Target: 39,000)
  • Net migration (international and domestic) rate (Target: 95,000 – stable migration)
  • Percentage of key informants with the opinion that WD delivery of infrastructure programs resulted in investments that reflect western Canadian infrastructure priorities (Target: 50%)

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Policy, Advocacy and Coordination

Planned Spending ($ thousands) and Full-time Equivalents (FTEs)
2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

60 FTEs

60 FTEs

60 FTEs

WD’s policy, advocacy and coordination activities include the following: supporting policy research and consultation in order to better understand issues facing the West; leading federal and intergovernmental collaboration to pursue key opportunities and strategic investments for long-term growth and diversification in areas of federal or shared federal-provincial jurisdiction; and improving the targeting of investments through policy development related to the design and delivery of WD programming. This priority is linked to all three program priorities: trade and investment, business productivity and competitiveness and technology commercialization.

Benefits to Canadians

  • National priorities, policies, programs and procurements reflect western Canadian priorities

WD plans to undertake the following key activities in 2010-2011:

  • Work with western provincial Deputy Ministers responsible for economic development and innovation to identify opportunities and challenges across the West, continuing to lead or participate in western-based fora such as the Regional Federal Councils, the Senior Officials Forum on Innovation, and regional trade teams.
  • Continue WD’s partnerships with the four western provinces through agreements such as the Western Economic Partnership Agreements and other joint federal-provincial arrangements to identify and support significant investments in projects that support federal and provincial priorities.
  • Undertake informed advocacy on policy issues relevant to Western Canada, including key areas such as industrial regional benefits related to federal procurement, enhanced value from gateways and corridors, and strengthened trade and investment opportunities.
  • Support policy research that assists in the development of policy options for Western Canada, which will in turn improve the West’s competitiveness in the global economy.
  • Participation in interdepartmental fora to ensure that western interests and WD perspectives are reflected in national policies and programs.

How we will measure our results:

  • Percentage of key informants with the opinion that WD activities provide policies and programs that support the economic development of Western Canada (Target: 90%)
  • Percentage of WD projects completed this fiscal year that successfully met or exceeded performance targets (Target: 85%)

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Canada’s Economic Action Plan

Planned Spending ($ thousands) and Full-time Equivalents (FTEs)
2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

88 FTEs



Benefits to Canadians

  • Job creation and maintenance
  • New and improved local infrastructure

This program area is a major area of focus for WD for 2010-2011. See a description in the Key Priorities section earlier in this document.


How we will measure our results:

  • Number of jobs created or maintained (Target: 3,408 (CAF), 2,024 (RInC))
  • Number of public-private partnerships (CAF) (Target: 28)
  • Number of businesses created, maintained or expanded (CAF) (Target: 250)
  • Number of participants trained (CAF) (Target: 846)
  • Number of new and improved local infrastructure elements (RInC) (Target: 922)
  • Total infrastructure funding expended (federal, provincial, municipal and private) (Target: $258.6M)


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Internal Services

Planned Spending ($ thousands) and Full-time Equivalents (FTEs)
2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013

131 FTEs

131 FTEs

131 FTEs

WD’s delivery of key strategies and the ability to achieve its strategic outcome depends on the foundational support provided by internal services. These enablers ensure a well-functioning department through support to all programs. This includes WD’s governance and decision-making bodies, corporate functions and services and other departmental areas of focus that underlie or transcend departmental activities: values and ethics, Official Languages, citizen-focused service and web of rules.

Governance & Decision-Making

The Western Economic Diversification Act gives the Minister authority for the management and direction of the department. A Minister of State has designated responsibility for the day to day operations of the department.

The Deputy Minister is responsible for overall strategic direction and management of the department. WD is a geographically dispersed organization and its decision-making committees are organized around and in support of the department’s Executive Committee. This committee is chaired by the Deputy Minister and provides policy direction, strategic oversight and ongoing support for WD’s outcomes. The Executive Committee comprises the direct reports of the Deputy Minister plus the Executive Director, Corporate Policy and Programs, and the Director of Consultation, Marketing and Communications (see the following organizational chart).

Text Version (2):
Governance and Decision-making Organizational Chart

In support of Executive Committee at the corporate level are functional committees: Departmental Planning and Reporting Committee, Directors of Policy Committee, Directors’ General Operations Committee, Integrated Risk Management Steering Committee, Information Management Technology Council, and the Contract Review Committee. Within the regions, each Assistant Deputy Minister is supported by a regional senior management committee.

The department also has a Management Accountability Committee that provides direction and advice to the Deputy Minister on all issues related to implementing the Government’s overall management agenda, WD’s management priorities and the Management Accountability Framework. Providing independent advice and oversight is WD’s Departmental Audit Committee comprising up to three members appointed from outside the federal public service.

WD has a number of pan-western functional and operations teams or committees that provide support to the Deputy Minister and Executive Committee. They are in place for a number of strategic outcome or priorities areas such as sustainable development, official languages, trade and investment, innovation and management of the Western Canada Business Service Network.

WD also meets its management obligations through a departmental Labour Management Consultation Committee and Departmental Occupational Health and Safety Committee, both of which are supported by local committees in each of the four regional offices.

Corporate Functions and Services

The Policy and Strategic Direction sector7 includes the following key areas:

  1. The Corporate Policy and Programs branch is responsible for establishing strategic policy priorities for the department, providing corporate leadership in research and policy analysis and influencing national policy and program development as it relates to Western Canada. The branch is also responsible for the department’s planning, reporting and performance measurement and ensures that departmental standards for due diligence in grants and contributions management are followed. The branch includes the following four divisions: Planning and Programs, Policy, Performance Measurement and Economic Stimulus.

    Priorities for 2010-2011 include the following: coordinating the implementation of CEAP initiatives; leading the implementation of the department’s performance measurement and risk management priorities (see departmental management priorities in Section 4 of this plan); working with central agencies to access WD funding provided in Budget 2010; working with regional development agencies to renew the Community Futures terms and conditions; renewing Western Diversification Program terms and conditions; participating in departmental program reviews as part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing assessments of programs and services; and continuing to review strategic directions and opportunities to further western Canadian interests in national policy development.
  2. Corporate Secretariat – A Corporate Secretariat has been established in Ottawa to manage the Executive Committee’s agenda; manage ministerial and senior executive approval of reports, documents and correspondence; and provide oversight of the department’s overall forward agenda. Priorities for 2010-2011 include establishing an effective organizational structure and appropriate capacity, integrating functions and processes to optimize efficiencies and establishing useful performance measures.
  3. Corporate Consultation, Marketing and Communications is responsible for internal and external communications in support of WD’s strategic outcomes, priorities and results. In 2010-2011, WD will focus on the provision of strong strategic communication that is aligned with the Government of Canada Communications Policy and supported through the departmental Communications Plan. WD will also develop a sustainable approach to communications, continue to inform stakeholders and the public of CAF and RInC early results, maintain dynamic and up-to-date content on the Internet and focus on results reporting and accountability.
  4. Strategic Policy and Advocacy (SPA) is responsible for advocating and advancing the economic and policy interests of Western Canada in Ottawa. SPA works with WD Headquarters and the regional offices to provide strategic advice to the Minister on items going before Cabinet and other government priorities; leading and/or supporting WD engagement in the development of Memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions; representing WD and the interests of Western Canada on numerous federal decision-making fora; and providing leadership for the department in identifying potential Industrial and Regional Benefit (IRB) opportunities for western Canadian aerospace and defence industries from the procurement of major military and other federal projects.

The Finance and Corporate Management branch includes four key areas:

  1. Corporate Finance is responsible for ensuring the integrity of WD’s financial management system and the overall stewardship of the department’s financial resources.

    Corporate Finance continues to place a high priority on meeting expectations for financial governance, internal controls and financial management systems. In support of the branch’s ongoing stewardship responsibility, a financial monitoring framework has been developed for implementation in 2010-2011 to ensure compliance with financial legislative authorities and the new policies. In addition, Corporate Finance will implement the Readiness Assessment action plan which follows from an in-depth review of WD’s internal controls.

    Continuous improvement of timely financial reports and information provided through presentations on options, analysis and advice on resource utilization also remains a priority. Corporate Finance will also support sound decision-making throughout the payment phase of the CEAP programs, which will peak in claims processing volumes over the next twelve months.
  2. Corporate Administration provides the leadership and coordination of the development, implementation and monitoring of departmental administrative policies. This includes Access to Information and Privacy, corporate security, occupational health and safety, accommodations, procurement/contracting oversight, material and asset management, telecommunications, relocation and proactive disclosure of contracts over $10,000 and travel and hospitality expenses. Corporate Administration will also promote green procurement and the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Businesses. Further enhancements will also be made to procurement planning to ensure program plans, priorities and long-term investments are appropriately actioned.
  3. Human Resources provide the leadership and framework for the management of departmental human resources. WD is committed to excellence in people management, to Public Service Renewal, and to sustaining the necessary complement of qualified, motivated and knowledgeable staff to deliver on WD’s mandate and contribute to federal priorities. Priorities for 2010-2011 include responding to the four key risk areas that threaten WD’s ability to achieve its people management and public service renewal objectives: aging, high turnover, recruitment shortfalls and low rate of internal promotions.8
  4. Information Management and Technology’s9 (IMT) commitment to Internal Services is two-fold. First is to provide a safe, secure, reliable and available network infrastructure enabling employees to effectively use technology to communicate, collaborate and demonstrate results. Second is the priority to maintain existing corporate applications providing human resource services, financial services, project lifecycle management, results and reporting, document tracking, and the department’s public website. Ensuring availability of these systems requires the ongoing complementary internal services of both the IMT Help Desk and database management.

    With the renewed emphasis on Information Management as a departmental priority, IMT will strengthen its stewardship capacity to provide technology solutions that will both increase productivity by enabling staff to find existing information and develop new content more quickly and less expensively. This will also control the exponential growth of information through electronic document and records management, workgroup collaboration, automated workflow review and approval controls, and forms management.

    WD’s information holdings and proactive disclosures will realize improved collection and tracking processes to meet internal controls for accountability reporting.

Audit and Evaluation provides audit and evaluation services that help WD to achieve management excellence. The branch’s authority is drawn from internally assigned responsibilities as well as Treasury Board Secretariat instruments including the Policy on Internal Audit and the Policy on Evaluation. Pursuant to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, the Audit and Evaluation branch coordinates any necessary investigations and makes recommendations to the Deputy Minister of alleged wrongdoing. Internal audit provides assurance services on governance, controls and risk management processes. Evaluation analyzes the relevance and performance of government spending. Through consultations with various stakeholders, and by way of effective coordination, the branch regularly develops and updates a three-year rolling 2010-2013 Risk Based Audit Plan and a five-year 2009 – 2014 Evaluation Plan to guide its activities and performance. From 2010-2011 to 2012-2013, the Audit and Evaluation branch plans to work on 21 audits and 7 evaluations, all of which are listed in Annex D.

In 2010-2011, this branch’s auditing activities will focus on monitoring and payments for grants and contributions, governance and regional operations. Evaluation projects include the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Initiative, Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative and Canada Business service centres. Additional branch details and reports can be found at WD’s Audit and Evaluation webpage.

Other Departmental Areas of Focus

Values and Ethics - Conducting business in a manner that respects WD’s values and ethics is an integral part of the department’s culture. WD will continue to participate in government-wide values and ethics initiatives as well as initiatives that reflect our commitment to sound management and effective decision-making. Public Service Values and Ethics will continue to be integral components of project approval and payment processes, internal audits, recruitment and training efforts, performance appraisals and planning sessions.

A three-year action plan, effective last year, includes the following 2010-2011 planned activities:

  • Further increasing the profile and understanding of values and ethics expectations through training and workplace scenario sessions with staff in all WD offices;
  • Encouraging all staff participation in the annual Public Service Employee Survey; and
  • Conducting all staff sessions with an update to WD’s values statement, where applicable.

Official Languages Strategy - The WD Official Languages Strategy is based on the Official Languages Act and applies to all strategic priorities. Under this strategy, there are three priorities: provision of services in both official languages; fostering a work environment that encourages the use of both official languages; and supporting and facilitating the economic development of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC) in the West. WD received $3.2 million over five years through the Economic Development Initiative of the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-2013 to foster the development of new business expertise through innovation, entrepreneurship, partnerships and diversifying economic activities. By pursuing these priorities, WD is encouraging diversified, competitive and innovative OLMC economies that are sustainable. In 2009-2010, WD implemented an Official Languages lens as part of the due diligence process for all projects.

Citizen-Focused Service - WD delivers services, either directly or by third party, to assist western Canadians and organizations in key economic sectors to undertake activities to strengthen and diversify the western economy. These services include assistance to the public in gathering information relevant to a business venture, funding to assist the non-profit sector to undertake economic development projects, and financial partnering with provinces and municipalities to enhance strategic economic development.

In an ongoing effort to ensure services are designed and delivered based on client needs and expectations, WD will undertake a Client Satisfaction Survey to measure the quality of service delivery for the Western Diversification Program, the Western Economic Partnership Agreements, CAF and RInC. Results will be made available on WD’s public website and the National Library and Archives website.

In support of high quality service, WD is committed to:

  • Continuing efforts to establish a results-oriented service management system that tracks progress against results and service standards;
  • Setting priorities that consider service performance, risks, Government of Canada priorities and client needs and expectations; and
  • Making information on consultations available on the Consulting and Audit Canada website as appropriate, and posting results of its consultation activities on the WD public website.

Web of Rules - The objective of the Web of Rules initiative is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs through elimination of unnecessary and ineffective rules, reporting requirements, and government administrative processes that impair the ability of the public service to deliver services to Canadians. As part of its commitment to this Government of Canada horizontal initiative, WD will continue to implement previous commitments such as the expedited claims policy. Additionally, in 2010-2011, the department will develop two web-based tools to improve service provided to its clients: an electronic application form for new clients and a results reporting module to assist current recipients.


[7] The Policy and Strategic Direction sector was created on May 26, 2010 by combining the Ottawa-based Corporate Secretariat; Corporate Consultation, Marketing and Communications; and Strategic Policy and Advocacy with the Policy, Planning and Performance Measurement branch in Headquarters in Edmonton. The Policy, Planning and Performance Measurement branch was renamed the Corporate Policy and Programs branch.

[8] Additional information on WD’s human resource priorities is found in Section 3 of this report under Finance and Human Resources.

[9] Additional information on WD’s information management priorities is found in Section 4 of this report under Management Priorities.