Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Info Source: Western Economic Diversification Canada

Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information

Table of Contents

Introduction

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act(Link 1) and the Privacy Act(Link 1). It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The Introduction(Link External) and an index of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Background

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was established to help lessen the West's (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) economic dependence on natural resources.

A department of the Government of Canada, WD was established in 1987 under Bill C–113 to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada. WD is governed by the Western Economic Diversification Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Health, and the Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification).

Since 1995, WD has directed its core resources towards working in collaboration with many partners including all levels of government, universities, financial institutions, the private sector, and the not-for-profit sector. Key partners in the not-for-profit sector include members of the Western Canada Business Service Network, which is comprised of over 100 points of service, including: Community Futures Development Corporations, offices of the Women's Enterprise Initiative, Francophone Economic Development Organizations and Canada Business Centres.

Responsibilities

Under the Western Economic Diversification Act, the Department is mandated to "promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and to advance the interests of Western Canada in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation".

In order to achieve this mandate, Western Economic Diversification Canada has worked with, and on behalf of, western Canadians to address a wide range of issues that affect the region's long-term prosperity and the ability of its communities to prosper economically.

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Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

Business Development and Innovation

This program supports western Canadian businesses, industry and research organizations to enhance business innovation, productivity, and global engagement. Value-added production is strengthened through the introduction of new products, technologies, or innovations to existing processes, as well as through efforts to pursue global markets and increase investment in Western Canada. Additionally, this program supports some members of the Western Canada Business Service Network and related partners to provide business services and access to capital in Western Canada in support of increased entrepreneurism. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Women's Enterprise Initiative and the Western Diversification Program. Funding support for the Canada Business Network is comprised of operations and maintenance funding.

Business Productivity and Growth

This program supports western Canadian businesses, business service providers, industry, and research organizations to undertake initiatives to enhance business productivity, competitiveness and growth of western Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises. This is achieved through promoting awareness and adoption of sound management and business practices, and current technology, as well as access to skilled labour. In addition, this program supports some members of the Western Canada Business Service Network and related partners in providing business services and access to capital to targeted client groups such as women, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal people. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Women's Enterprise Initiative and the Western Diversification Program. Support of the Canada Business Network is provided through is operations and maintenance funding.

Innovation Capacity Building

This program strengthens the overall innovation system in the West through capacity building in support of commercialization of knowledge-based products, processes and services. It supports research institutions in acquiring necessary space and equipment to engage in applied research and development or in the development of highly qualified personnel; or to conduct applied research and technology development from proof of concept to validation. It also supports not-for-profit institutions to undertake pre-commercialization activities such as triage, patenting, licensing, disclosures, and bundling of technologies; or to develop and demonstrate the potential of research in pre-commercial applications in order to engage commercial partners. In addition, it supports relevant industry skills training for engineers and scientists, as well as technology skills training for non-technical professionals. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

Technology Commercialization

This program aims to increase the commercialization of knowledge-based products, processes, and services. It supports either not-for-profit entities, which assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or SMEs directly to engage in advanced technology development, access incremental investments, or sell knowledge-based products, processes, and services. It supports the development and production of prototypes, and demonstration of products, as well as third party certification, testing and quality assurance of specific products. In addition, it supports outreach and promotional activities to attract investment. It also supports the validation of market potential and end-user acceptance, as well as facilitating market-ready knowledge-based products, processes, and services. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

Trade, Investment and Market Access

This program enhances western Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes and industry associations' international business engagement and attracts investment to the region, including opportunities linked to government procurement. It focuses on increasing Western Canada's participation in global markets (both to source and supply goods and services); strengthening international partnerships; and attracting new foreign investment, as well as Canadian Direct Investment Abroad, to support access to and participation in global value chains. It also strives to strengthen trade-related infrastructure to enhance trade flows in and out of Western Canada, and promotes Western Canada as an attractive destination for international visitors (tourists, students, researchers, and investors). In addition, it supports international research and development partnerships to enhance awareness of Western Canada's technology capabilities abroad. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program, the Community Futures Program, the Women's Enterprise Initiative Loan Fund, the Service Delivery Network Program, and the Loan and Investment Program.

Community Economic Growth

This program involves economic development initiatives that support communities to advance their economies, adjust to changing and challenging economic circumstances, and recover from depressed economic circumstances. This is achieved through both direct funding of projects, as well as funding support of the Community Futures organizations. Additionally, this program assists communities to assess community strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential for new economic activity, and to develop and implement community plans. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program and the Community Futures Program.

Community Development

This program strengthens the viability of the local economy, enhances community capacity, and increases the participation of community members by encouraging and supporting them in grass roots economic development. This program assists communities, including Official Language Minority Communities, to assess the communities' needs and develop a community strategic plan in response to those needs. It also provides funding for the implementation of projects, normally identified through community planning, that stimulate economic development and capitalize on the communities' capacity, strengths, and opportunities. This is achieved through direct funding support for community planning and development projects. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

Community Futures Program

This program builds the capacity of rural communities to realize their full economic potential by aiding the development and implementation of local solutions to local problems. This program provides financial support to Community Futures (CF) organizations to deliver a range of small business services including information, counseling, training, and referrals to stimulate small business growth and local employment. In addition, CF organizations provide repayable financing to new and existing enterprises, through locally controlled investments funds. In collaboration with partners and stakeholders, CF organization also assess the communities' needs, develop strategic plans in response to those needs, and implement community economic development projects identified in the plans. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Community Futures Program.

Infrastructure Programming

This program provides community infrastructure funding in Western Canada to meet the Government of Canada's commitment to growth and the quality of life of Canadians. It builds and renews infrastructure in rural and urban municipalities across Canada allowing them to compete in the regional, national, and global economy. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) delivers infrastructure programming directly or in partnership with Infrastructure Canada and the four western provincial governments. Transfer payments in support of direct delivery of this program are made through designated program authorities, excluding the Western Diversification Program. Transfer payments in support of delivery of this program in partnership are made through Other Government Suspense accounts originating from Infrastructure Canada under various funding authorities. WD receives operations and maintenance funding for the delivery of partnership programming.

Targeted Economic Initiatives

This program supports economic activity in western Canadian communities, on a temporary basis through targeted economic stimulus or adjustment, to provide timely responses to the most pressing local needs, consistent with government priorities. Through this program, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is able to support western Canadian communities facing economic shocks, natural disasters, challenging economic circumstances with potential adverse effects, depressed economic conditions, or development opportunities with anticipated positive impacts. WD provides assistance through dedicated, temporary supplementary funding from the Government of Canada or through the Department's own special allocations. Transfer payments in support of this sub-program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program, as a temporary and targeted measure only, as well as other program authorities, as necessary.

Policy, Advocacy and Coordination

This program arises from the Western Economic Diversification Act (1985) and empowers the Minister to advance the interests of Western Canada through policies and programs and by establishing cooperative relationships with key stakeholders. Policy, Advocacy and Coordination efforts enable Western Economic Diversification Canada to: provide a strong voice for Western Canada, which results in effective strategies, policies and programs that address economic development needs; lead federal and intergovernmental collaboration to pursue key opportunities for long-term growth and diversification in areas of federal or shared federal-provincial jurisdiction; and, enable economic analysis activities to be carried out, which ultimately assist with informing policy and program decisions. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

Advocacy and Coordination

This program aims to advance Western Canada's interests in national policies, priorities and programs through coordinating effective responses by key stakeholders reflecting improved understanding and awareness of regional issues and opportunities. Stakeholders may include other government departments, industry and industry associations, academia, and the not-for-profit sector. Efforts in this program lead to balanced, regionally-sensitive approaches to western Canadian priorities, coordinated economic development in the West, and increased procurement opportunities in Western Canada. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

Economic Analysis

This program strives to increase understanding of western Canadian challenges, opportunities, and priorities through conducting research and disseminating results to support internal and external policy and program development. This is achieved through externally generated research; or in-house research and analysis involving economic overviews, environmental scans, analysis of federal or other government documents, and sectoral or issue analysis that supports departmental policy, planning, or program development. It includes external consultation on key economic issues or opportunities facing Western Canada with leaders from both the private and public sectors. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

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Internal Services

Internal services constitute groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are management and oversight services, communications services, legal services, human resources management services, financial management services, information management services, information technology services, real property services, materiel services, acquisition services, and travel and other administrative services. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Acquisition Services

Acquisition services involve activities undertaken to acquire a good or service to fulfill a properly completed request (including a complete and accurate definition of requirements and certification that funds are available) until entering into or amending a contract.

Communications Services

Communications services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. The communications management function ensures that the public—internal or external—receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Financial Management Services

Financial management services involve activities undertaken to ensure the prudent use of public resources, including planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

Human Resources Management Services

Human resources management services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, allocating resources among services and processes, as well as activities relating to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies and plans.

Information Management Services

Information management services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

Information Technology Services

Information technology services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity, and to enhance services to the public.

Legal services

Legal services involve activities undertaken to enable government departments and agencies to pursue policy, program and service delivery priorities and objectives within a legally sound framework.

Management and Oversight Services

Management and oversight services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction and allocating resources among services and processes, as well as those activities related to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies or plans.

Materiel Services

Materiel services involve activities undertaken to ensure that materiel can be managed by departments in a sustainable and financially responsible manner that supports the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Real Property Services

Real property services involve activities undertaken to ensure that real property is managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner, throughout its life cycle, to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Travel and Other Administrative Services

Travel and other administrative services include Government of Canada travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories.

Legend

  • Standard Classes of Records (CoRs)
  • Standard Personal Information Banks (PIBs)

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Classes of Personal Information

In the course of conducting the programs and activities of the department, personal information may be accumulated which is not contained in the specific information banks described in this entry. This information exists in a fragmented form throughout the subject files of the department. This information is stored as part of the general subject files, where records are not normally retrieved by the name of the individual or other personal identifier. This form of information is retrievable only if specifics are provided concerning the subject matter, the related departmental activity, as well as the date at which the information was received by the department and the name of the person to whom it was addressed. The personal information contained in these files is retained for the same period of time as the related subject information and disposed of according to the appropriate records schedules.

Correspondence

This class of information contains correspondence addressed to the Minister, Minister of State, Deputy Minister or other departmental officials from external organizations and individuals in the form of requests for information, complaints, opinions and other submissions related to a broad range of programs and policy issues pertaining to Western Economic Diversification Canada's activities. This correspondence contains some unsolicited personal information that has been provided by the correspondent. This form of information would be retrievable only if specifics of name, date of communication and subject were to be provided; it is not arranged or retrievable by personal identifiers. The retention periods of these classes of personal information are controlled by the record schedules of the general subject files in which they are stored.

Public Opinion Research

This class of personal information is generated by departmental officials who conducted public opinion research on a vast spectrum of topics related to the mandate and mission of Western Economic Diversification Canada. Retrievable records consist of data gathering instruments, such as, but not exclusively, questionnaires which may contain personal information that reveals the identification of the research subject. Data contained in this class of records are not used for administrative purposes. Individuals seeking access to these records must provide the title of the research project in which they participated, the location and the date of the search, and any other data that may help to identify and locate the personal information they are seeking.

Supplier Development Activities

This class of personal information is generated by departmental officials who use various mechanisms to connect private sector companies, associations and/or other supplier organizations in specific industry sectors to prime contractors on Major Crown Projects as part of the Government of Canada's Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) program. The personal information may include the names and contact information of western Canadian supplier officials. This information is not organized for retrieval by personal identifiers, nor is it used for an administrative purpose. WD may disclose company information to promote western Canadian companies through supplier development advocacy and promotion efforts, including these contact details. Individuals seeking access to these records must provide the title or description of the IRB project in which they participated and any other data that may help to identify and locate the personal information they are seeking.

Manuals

  • Access to Information Procedures Manual
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Finance and Professional Services Manual
  • Gateway User Manual
  • Privacy Protection Procedures Manual
  • Program Policy Manual

Additional Information

The Government of Canada encourages the release of information through requests outside of the ATIP process. You may wish to consult Western Economic Diversification Canada's completed Access to Information (ATI) summaries. To make an informal request, contact:

Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Suite 1500, Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue N.W.
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4H7
atip-aiprp@wd-deo.gc.ca

Additional information is available on the formal access procedures under the provisions of the Access to Information Act (Link 2) and the Privacy Act (Link 2).

Reading Room

In accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, the applicant may wish to review information in person. The address is:

Suite 1500, Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue N.W.
Edmonton, Alberta