Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Ongoing Actions to Renew the Public Service

In 2013, WD launched an internal engagement initiative (WD2015) that used sustained dialogue, and collective problem solving, to determine how best to strengthen WD programs and services for western Canadian stakeholders. WD2015 helped identify the necessary support required for a high performing workplace and enhanced employee development. The vision and initiatives set out by WD2015 have carried over into the Department’s Blueprint 2020 engagement efforts. 

WD is committed to maintaining momentum for an open dialogue with staff on the future of both the Department and the Public Service. Throughout the past three years, WD has engaged staff on developing and delivering concrete actions, in order to achieve the vision of the future as outlined by both WD2015 and Blueprint 2020.

Below are some key actions that highlight how WD continues to help renew the Public Service.

  • Results and monitoring products
    Within WD, providing scope and flexibility to staff to develop results monitoring and reporting products has resulted in the development and internal dissemination of new useful tools that leverage existing technologies (e.g. sector dashboard, performance dashboard). By providing easy access to timely information on projects, officers are able to undertake ongoing monitoring and pursue discussions or corrective measures with clients during the year rather than waiting to year’s end. Improved results management tools serves Canadians by making available results information that is more accurate, timely, accessible, and supports better management of government funding by results, rather than activities.
  • Call for Proposals
    The introduction of the Call for Proposal (CFP) process is providing improved service delivery to Canadians by providing clients with clear direction and guidance on WD’s funding parameters and priorities. This in turn allows clients to prepare more targeted proposals that are better aligned with WD’s priorities with stronger scope for funding consideration. Consultation with selected groups in advance of the launch of program intakes serves to inform the development of WD’s application parameters, and ensures that WD’s funding programs better reflect client needs.
    • The Western Diversification Program (WDP) is one of the programs through which WD makes strategic investments in initiatives that enhance and strengthen the economy of Western Canada. The WDP Call for Proposals (WDP-CFP) process is a widely accepted business process whereby interested parties develop project proposals and apply for funding. The WDP-CFP process allows for a comparative analysis of projects against clear criteria; strengthens the Department’s responsiveness to economic trends and industry needs; and ensures alignment to the Government of Canada plans and priorities.
    • The Western Innovation Initiative (WINN) offers repayable contributions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with operations in Western Canada, to help move new and innovative technologies from the later stages of research and development to the marketplace. As an example of employee engagement and collaboration, WD program officers took the initiative to develop an analysis piece around buyouts and project benefits. As part of this outreach strategy with external stakeholders, WD officers invited private enterprises to share information with the team about private investment options and to explain their due diligence process. WD also held a session with two clients to obtain input and feedback on the Department’s processes and the elements being assessed. Afterwards, staff held a team think-tank and developed a document with their ideas and recommendations which was presented to WINN management to help in the project assessment process.
  • Western Canada Business Service Network (WCBSN)
    In 2015/16, WD accomplished significant systems development with the creation and roll-out of the WD Web portal, and the enhancements made to WD’s Client Relationship Management system. These systems support the capture of targets and results data, and allow for the electronic submission of target and reporting data directly from Community Futures organizations, Women’s Enterprise Initiative organizations, and Francophone Economic Development Organizations. The new online reporting system provides a more streamlined reporting process for WCBSN partners.
  • New intranet site launched (WDnet)
    WD has worked to bring a new, responsive, and modern intranet website to the Department. The new WDnet, launched in September 2016, uses Sharepoint and allows authorized users to add and edit a web page with little training required. It is a place to connect with fellow colleagues and be informed of what's new at WD. To foster this, the site contains integrated social media features such as a live Twitter feed and buttons to connect via LinkedIn, GCConnex, GCForums, GCPedia, and blogs. The new homepage displays trending information in WD with image slideshows, news bulletins, featured content icons, and a list of WDnet's top 5 most visited pages. The WDnet platform can also adapt to multiple devices, allowing for easy accessibility through the use of a Surface Pro tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
  • 2016/17 Corporate Business Plan and Service Management Strategy
    Making these two essential documents available to employees through WDnet, as well as hosting a learning session to discuss and respond to questions has fostered an environment of openness and accountability.
  • GCDOCS training videos
    GCDOCS has been implemented across the Department and is fully operational. It has helped WD better manage and share information. To support this initiative, IMT has developed training videos to help employees learn and refresh their understanding of the GCDOCS system.
  • Social media
    Maintaining communication with communities of interest is an important aspect of any successful initiative. By increasing departmental social media use, WD has made it easier to promote programs and highlight project successes. Twitter has become a primary channel to reach audiences and WD’s use of this social media platform is growing. LinkedIn has also become an important tool for WD’s recruitment, and has been used to communicate and to communicate and exchange information with stakeholders.
  • National and international tradeshows
    WD participated in a number of national and international tradeshows this year, including Farnborough, CANSEC, Eurosatory, Western Innovation Forum (WIF), and WestDef. This allowed senior delegations the opportunity to:
    • Engage prime contractors that have current and potential supplier and investment opportunities in Western Canada;
    • Meet with leading western Canadian aerospace companies and other key Canadian stakeholders regarding opportunities and challenges facing the western Canadian aerospace/marine/defence and security industries; and
    • Represent Western Canada at official Canadian networking events and provide remarks at regional collaboration events to reinforce the importance of Western Canada’s aerospace/marine/defence and security sectors.

A notable success at WD is the hosting of WIF 2015, where WD’s influential social media presence assisted in making the conference hashtag (#WIF2015) among the top hashtags trending in Canada at the time of the Forum. For this year’s WIF, WD continued to show support with our new DM leading a panel discussion on the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda.