Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Programs

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) works to grow the western Canadian economy by helping to build businesses that are productive, innovative and export-oriented. WD’s reporting framework consists of three programs:

  1. 1) Business Development and Innovation;
  2. 2) Community Economic Growth; and
  3. 3) Policy, Advocacy and Coordination.

Program 1.1: Business Development and Innovation

Description

Business Development and Innovation 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 (WCBSN) 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 (WEI) and the Western Diversification Program (WDP). Funding support of the Canada Business Network is comprised of operations and maintenance funding.

Planning highlights

WD is committed to making Western Canada a more competitive place to innovate, grow a business, and create better jobs. In 2017–18, WD will pursue these objectives by focusing on two strategic priorities:

  • Innovation; and
  • Indigenous Economic Growth.
Key Actions
  • Under the Western Diversification Program, provide funding to not-for-profit organizations for projects that grow the clean economy and/or support Indigenous entrepreneurs to establish or expand their businesses or gain new skills.
  • Launch an intake of the Western Innovation Initiative to assist businesses to commercialize their new and innovative technologies.
  • Assist the growth of western Canadian clean technology and Indigenous organizations in international markets.
  • Assist women entrepreneurs to establish or grow their businesses through funding for the Women’s Enterprise Initiative.
  • Support the defence, security, marine and aerospace companies to take advantage of government procurement opportunities.
  • Provide access to coordinated support for businesses to expand globally by establishing federal-provincial Regional Trade Networks in the four western provinces in partnership with Global Affairs Canada.
  • Collaborate with Global Affairs Canada to develop and implement the Trade and Investment Strategy to help companies grow and diversify their exports.
  • Collaborate with other federal government departments and agencies to deliver the Accelerated Growth Service. This initiative assists firms with high growth potential to access federal government services to help them scale-up and expand globally.
  • Support the Western Canada Business Service Network to provide entrepreneurs with services to start or grow their businesses.
Western Canada Business Service Network
Includes:
  • Canada Business Network
  • Community Futures
  • Women's Enterprise Initiative
  • Francophone Economic Development Organizations
  • Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
  • Aboriginal Business Service Network

WD’s planned activities for 2017–18 respond to the recent Evaluation of Business Productivity and Growth that recommended that WD support western Canadian enterprises to adopt advanced technology and increase its focus on high growth firms. WD’s programming will also be adjusted based on the Evaluation of Technology Commercialization and Innovation Capacity Building when results are available.

WD’s actions under the Business Development and Innovation Program will grow innovative businesses, in particular, in the clean technology sector, help enterprises become more innovative and competitive, and create good quality jobs. Over the longer term, these actions will drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Western Canada.

 

Planned results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013–14
Actual
results
2014–15
Actual
results
2015–16
Actual
results
Western Canadian small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) are engaged in international business Value of international business activity facilitated by WD $346M March 31, 2018 $0* $72.8M $550M
Western Canadian SMEs are competitive Number of SMEs that increase gross margins 11 March 31, 2018 0* 25 10
Western Canadian SMEs are innovative Number of instances of protection of intellectual property exercised 32 March 31, 2018 10 24 9

Note: Not all WD projects report on these indicators and overall results are therefore understated. WD plans to revise its reporting framework to allow better reporting in the future.

* These performance indicators were introduced by WD for the first time in 2013–14. Historically, these types of indicators required more than one year to realize results.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
98,714,063 98,714,063 89,463,252 95,346,298

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
103 113 116

Note: The increase in human resources in 2018–19 reflects a reallocation of staff from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, which will be completed in 2017–18, to other departmental priorities such as the Accelerated Growth Service.

 


Program 1.2: Community Economic Growth

Description

Community Economic Growth 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 and funding support of the Community Futures organizations. Additionally, this program assists communities to assess community opportunities for new economic activity. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program (WDP) and the Community Futures (CF) Program.

Planning highlights

WD supports initiatives that promote inclusive community economic development in rural and urban areas. These initiatives help communities take advantage of local opportunities, diversify their economies, and adjust to challenging economic circumstances. A significant share of WD's community economic development program stems from its role as the western delivery agent for national programs such as the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

WD’s activities in 2017–18 will focus on strengthening business skills of rural and urban entrepreneurs, growing local businesses and creating good quality jobs.

Key Actions
  • Support Community Futures (CF) organizations across the West to grow rural economies by delivering business advisory services and providing access to capital. An analysis of CF lending activity demonstrated that between 2008 and 2013, CF-assisted firms outperformed a comparable group of non-assisted firms:
    • 7.7 percent versus 2.2 percent for employment growth;
    • 9.9 percent versus 3.7 percent for sales growth; and
    • 66 percent versus 45 percent for survival rates.
    In 2017–18, WD will build on this success and encourage CFs to adopt common approaches and efficiencies on a pan-western basis.
  • Assist Indigenous peoples to establish and grow companies and develop business skills by supporting the Aboriginal Business Service Network.
  • Deliver the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) for official language minority communities on behalf of the Government of Canada. The EDI strengthens innovation, entrepreneurship, partnerships, and diversification in official language minority communities across the West.
  • Support the Francophone Economic Development Organizations to provide advisory and training services to Francophone entrepreneurs and communities across Western Canada.
Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program
  • WD has invested in over 750 community-driven projects across Western Canada.
  • Projects are expected to be completed by March 31, 2018.
  • Deliver on the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program in Western Canada. These infrastructure investments will help sustain communities by supporting a clean growth economy, creating jobs and improving quality of life.
  • Support innovation networks, economic opportunities and technology development in communities across Western Canada.
  • Oversee the Churchill and Region Economic Development Fund, established in 2016–17, in response to the economic instability facing this region. The Fund will build on local assets by supporting projects that create new business and employment opportunities to diversify and sustain the regional economy.

 

Planned results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013–14
Actual
results
2014–15
Actual
results
2015–16
Actual
results
Western Canadian communities have strong businesses SME sales growth 10.0% March 31, 2018 13.97% 10.2% 9.9%
Western Canadian communities have capacity for socio-economic development Number of communities benefitting from Community Economic Growth projects 1,375 March 31, 2018 1,111 1,338 1,468
Western Canadian communities have the necessary public infrastructure to support economic growth Number of communities benefitting from federal public infrastructure investments 416 March 31, 2018 475 n/a* n/a*

Note: Not all WD projects report on these indicators and overall results are, therefore, understated. WD plans to revise its reporting framework to allow better reporting in the future.

* The results of WD’s work to support community infrastructure through programs delivered on behalf of Infrastructure Canada are reported through Infrastructure Canada. The target for 2017–18 represents projects to be completed under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.


Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
80,086,272 80,086,272 33,169,912 32,245,443

Note: The decrease in planned spending from 2017–18 to 2018–19 is due to the completion of funding for the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. Staff will be reassigned to other departmental priorities such as the Accelerated Growth Service.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
36 25 22

Note: The decrease in human resources from 2017-18 to 2018-19 is due to the completion of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

 

Program 1.3: Policy, Advocacy and Coordination

Description

Policy, Advocacy, and Coordination arises from the Western Economic Diversification Act 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 WD 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.

Planning highlights

The Policy, Advocacy and Coordination program includes a complementary set of activities to identify and respond to challenges and opportunities relevant to Western Canada.

WD gathers intelligence, undertakes analysis and develops advice to support the Department’s decision-making and advocacy activities. In 2017–18, WD will undertake economic research and analysis to enhance understanding of western Canadian economic challenges and opportunities. This includes engaging with external research organizations and conducting internal research and analysis (e.g., economic overviews, environmental scans, research on demand for new technologies) that support departmental policy, planning, and program development.

WD will advocate and provide a western Canadian perspective to decision-makers in the development and implementation of national policies, programs and strategies. This includes building relationships with key stakeholders and other federal organizations by sharing information and collaborating on economic development initiatives of interest to Western Canada.

In 2017–18, WD will convene and meet with stakeholders across Western Canada to identify opportunities for collaboration in support of inclusive economic development activities, including innovation and Indigenous economic growth. WD will work with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, other regional development agencies, and stakeholders to support high-growth firms, clean technologies, business innovation, and regional clusters. WD will also work with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and other federal departments to grow Indigenous participation in economic development, natural resource development and skills development.

In 2017–18, WD will connect global defence companies with industrial and technological benefits obligations to world-class western Canadian capabilities and technologies. This includes promoting western Canadian capabilities in response to supplier requests, and organizing business-to-business meetings, industry days, and supplier tours with global defence companies.


 

Planned Results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013–14
Actual
results
2014–15
Actual
results
2015–16
Actual
results
Policies that strengthen the western Canadian economy Percentage of key informants with the opinion that WD activities resulted in policies that support the economic development of Western Canada N/A March 31, 2018 82.7% 82.7% 82.7%
Programs that strengthen the western Canadian economy Percentage of key informants with the opinion that WD activities resulted in programs that support the economic development of Western Canada N/A March 31, 2018 87.0% 87.0% 87.0%

* Results are based on a 2014 WD survey. This survey will not be conducted this year as WD plans to revise its reporting framework to allow better reporting in the future.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
8,665,668 8,665,668 8,811,323 8,864,118

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
59 60 60

Information on WD’s lower-level programs is available on WD’s website and the TBS InfoBase.


Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are groups of activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups include:

  • Management and Oversight Services;
  • Human Resources Management Services;
  • Financial Management Services;
  • Information Management Services;
  • Information Technology Services;
  • Materiel Services; and
  • Acquisition Services.
Planning highlights

WD follows sound financial and human resource management in administering departmental resources. WD was designated one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers for being an exceptional place to work, offering progressive and forward-thinking programs. WD will continue to enhance its management practices to improve the efficient and effective delivery of its programs and services to Canadians.

WD will contribute to the Government of Canada's Blueprint 2020 initiative to build a world-class public service that can respond to emerging challenges. WD will support talent management through recruitment and retention strategies, including training and employee development. The further development of a high performing workforce will ensure that the Department can provide high quality program delivery, policy analysis and client service.

Consistent with the Government of Canada’s Federal Public Service Workplace Mental Health Strategy, WD will adopt the voluntary Psychological Health and Safety Standard. WD has healthy workplaces nurtured by its Values and Ethics Code of Conduct and mental health and wellness initiatives. Evidence of WD’s success in this area includes:

  • the lowest rate of reported harassment in the public service;
  • lower-than-average sick leave usage; and
  • positive Public Service Employee Survey (2014) results.

WD plans to repeat a 2013 baseline workplace health survey to measure the progress and effectiveness of its mental health and wellness initiatives.

Given WD’s broad mandate and focus on more efficient and effective internal processes, WD will continue to refine its role and program delivery model to ensure it achieves expected results. In order to provide high quality services to clients, WD will manage risks by adjusting its business processes and management practices, introducing new technologies, and training its employees. In 2017–18, WD will explore a list of new approaches to improve the delivery of services to clients and to ensure the efficient management of its internal resources and processes. WD will create a departmental innovation fund, estimated to cost up to $75,000, to fund new ideas presented by employees. Specific initiatives and associated budgets will be identified during the year.

To leverage resources, in 2017–18, WD will collaborate with other regional development agencies and departments on a common grants and contributions business system. This innovative initiative will provide improved services to the public through streamlined tools including online access to government services and common approaches to business needs. The project is under development and is expected to be completed in March 2019.

The Department also participates in the Government of Canada’s office modernization initiative. WD will create more sustainable workplaces with the modernization of the Winnipeg and Calgary offices in 2018. When the office modernization project is complete, the workplace will be greener, healthier and more affordable.

The Department produces high quality planning, reporting, financial, and communications products for Canadians, Parliamentarians, and for internal use. In 2017–18, WD will shift to the Canada.ca platform as part of the government-wide web renewal initiative to improve online service delivery to Canadians.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
12,153,056 12,153,056 11,424,572 11,413,200

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2018–19
Planned full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
85 85 85