2018-19 Departmental Results Report
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Table of contents
- Minister’s message
- Results at a glance
- Results: what we achieved
- Analysis of trends in spending and human resources
- Supplementary information
- Appendix: definitions
I am pleased to present the 2018-19 Departmental Results Report for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
Over the past year, the various organizations in the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Portfolio have together worked hard to make Canada a global innovation leader and to build an economy that works for everyone.
Our primary objectives were, and continue to be, to develop a knowledge-based economy and empower businesses to reach their innovation potential to compete in the global marketplace. We helped Canadian entrepreneurs from across the country, and from diverse backgrounds, grow and reach new markets.
In 2018-19, WD continued to deliver on our core mandate to partner with westerners to develop western Canada’s economy and advance its interests in Ottawa. We supported the creation of new high quality jobs that will last into the future. We were also there for westerners facing economic challenges. We helped workers and communities adapt to the move away from coal, restored the Hudson Bay rail line to Churchill, Manitoba and supported communities in British Columbia recover from devastating wildfires.
These are just a few examples of WD’s work on behalf of Canadians through collaboration, dialogue and partnerships across the country. We invite you to read this report to learn more about how we are working with and for Canadians to build our innovation nation.
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Results at a glance
|What funds were used?
(2018-19 Actual Spending)
|Who was involved?
(2018-19 Actual Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
In 2018-19, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) achieved the following key results:
- WD-assisted innovation and business growth projects reported the creation of 3,219 jobs, including 805 highly qualified personnel (HQP) jobs, in support of the department’s cluster growth priority and the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan.
- The Community Futures Program and Women’s Enterprise Initiative created, maintained or expanded a total of 4,819 jobs through investment loans to western Canadian businesses.
- WD invested $32.2 million in 34 clean technology projects in support of the department’s cluster growth priority and the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan.
- WD invested $14.8 million in 164 women-led projects in support of the department’s priority to promote inclusive economic growth.
- WD invested $15.7 million in 30 Indigenous economic growth projects in support of the department’s priority to promote inclusive economic growth.
- WD-assisted projects reported $837.5 million in export sales in support of ministerial mandate letter commitments and the Government of Canada’s Trade and Investment priority.
- Based on the latest available data from Statistics Canada, western Canadian firms that accessed lending services through the WD-funded Community Futures (CF) program increased their sales by 6.88 percent and grew their employment by 8.53 percent annually, compared to non-CF clients whose sales increased by 2.35 percent and whose employment grew by 1.86 percent annually from 2011 to 2016.ii
- WD played a key role in the restoration of the Hudson Bay rail line to Churchill and reopening the Port of Churchill. The rail line is a critical piece of transportation infrastructure facilitating the affordable supply of food, fuel, and other essentials to an estimated 30,000 residents of 41 communities in northern Manitoba and seven communities in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. The Hudson Bay rail line and the Port of Churchill, Canada’s only deep-water Arctic port, support the long-term economic development of the region and are key infrastructure elements of the Arctic Gateway Trade Corridor.
- The 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons were the worst in British Columbia's history. WD provided $1.84 million towards the Wildfire Business Transition Project, which allowed the Community Futures Development Association of BC to work with its network of Community Futures offices to give local small business custom support to rebuild in their communities. By the end of 2018-19, the project helped over 3,500 businesses that were impacted by the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. That included 912 women-led enterprises and 625 Indigenous businesses.
For more information on the WD’s plans, priorities, and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.
Results: what we achieved
Economic development in western Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) promotes growth and diversification in the western Canadian economy by enhancing innovation, improving business competitiveness, promoting the adoption of clean technologies and inclusive growth.
Based on WD’s core responsibility, the department works towards achieving its mandate through fulfilment of the following three departmental results:
- Businesses are innovative and growing in western Canada.
- Communities are economically diversified in western Canada.
- Businesses invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in western Canada.
WD sets annual targets for all performance indicators at the departmental results and program inventory level in the departmental performance measurement framework (PMF). WD tracks progress against targets during the fiscal year. In addition, WD collects information on several non-PMF performance indicators to support accountability and programming decision making.
In 2018-19, WD focused its efforts on two departmental priorities to advance the diversification and the development of the western Canadian economy. The department supported economic growth by building new relationships, strengthening existing ones, and increasing collaboration centered on key economic clusters of strength in western Canada. WD also made strategic investments to encourage an innovative and market-driven business ecosystem. At the same time, WD advanced its priority of promoting an inclusive economy that is representative of western Canada’s population. WD worked to create economic opportunities for under represented groups, such as women, Indigenous Peoples and youth, enabling them to enhance their contributions to western Canada’s economy.
WD’s three departmental results are interrelated and are not mutually exclusive. To simplify the presentation of WD’s performance story, the department has intentionally structured this report to present a program’s results achieved under only one departmental result even though it may contribute to more than one. Results achieved are presented in the following manner:
- The businesses departmental result presents programming delivered indirectly to businesses, through third parties, such as not-for-profit organizations or post-secondary institutions.
- The technologies departmental result presents programming delivered directly to businesses.
- The communities departmental result presents programming delivered through other funding mechanisms, including the Western Canada Business Services Network and targeted economic adjustment investments.
Departmental Result: Businesses are innovative and growing in western Canada
WD tracks the following four indicators to capture the impact of this departmental result:
- value of exports of goods from western Canada;
- revenue growth rate of firms supported by WD programs;
- value of exports of clean technologies from western Canada; and,
- number of high-growth firms in western Canada.
WD met or exceeded its targets for the first two of these performance indicators (see results achieved table below). The third indicator, relating to the value of exports of clean technologies from western Canada, is a new indicator and a strategy to obtain data on an ongoing basis is under development. For the last indicator, number of high-growth firms in western Canada, the target will be revised in the 2020-21 Departmental Plan to reflect changes in Statistics Canada’s methodology.
In 2018-19, WD funded projects under innovation and business growth programs reported
- 3,219 jobs created
- $837.5 million in export sales
- $232 million in business sales growth resulting from commercialization
in support of the Government of Canada Innovation & Skills Plan.
In 2018-19, WD approved $88.1 million in multi-year assistance for 82 projects under the Western Diversification Program (WDP). These projects supported ministerial mandate letter commitments and WD’s cluster growth and inclusiveness priorities, with a particular focus on life sciences and advanced manufacturing clusters. The projects aim to strengthen western Canada’s innovation ecosystem, enhance business scale-up and productivity, and assist businesses in commercializing technology.
Federal Budget 2018 consolidated innovation programming across regional development agencies in response to recommendations from the horizontal innovation review. WD implemented the new Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Initiative, a nationally coordinated, regionally tailored program designed to foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth, and competitiveness. This program focuses on two key areas to support business need: business scale-up and productivity; and creating, growing, and nurturing inclusive regional innovation ecosystems.
In November 2018, WD launched the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) stream, and subsequently approved $31.2 million in multi-year assistance for 27 projects, with a particular focus on the value-added agriculture sector, as well as inclusive economic growth for Indigenous Peoples.
With the launch of the RIE, WD revised the application form used by not-for-profit organizations in order to gather information regarding the gender and diversity composition of the project management team.
Federal Budget 2018 also announced $23.6 million in investment over four years to the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), in support of a strategy to continue to advance its leading spinal cord injury research and care programs, initiatives, and network, in collaboration with Canadian and global stakeholders. A summative evaluation of the last project funding, $35 million from 2013-18, was completed in July 2018 and found that the project enhanced the awareness, training, as well as adoption of best practices in all areas of spinal cord injuries care. The evaluation also reported that the project led to the development of two patent-pending technologies.
In March 2019, WD hosted the Western Innovation Forum (WIF) in Vancouver, British Columbia in collaboration with the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada Pacific. This industry-oriented event connected western Canada's aerospace, marine, defence, and security industries to innovation-driven investment, partnership, and business opportunities. It attracted more than 350 participants from across Canada and internationally. The event included a popular business-to-business meeting component which enabled WD to organize more than 250 business-to-business and business-to-government meetings. Based on a survey of their participation at WIF, 94 per cent of respondents stated that they would attend a future WIF.
In Alberta, WD invested $1.07 million in the Trade Winds to Success Training Society to support the expansion of pre-apprenticeship training for Indigenous Peoples. The Society helps Indigenous youth and women develop their job skills and prepare for careers in a wide range of trades. WD’s investment contributed to 436 Indigenous Peoples completing skills certification or training (including 96 women) and 229 Indigenous Peoples were hired as a result of skills certification or training. Furthermore, the Trade Winds to Success Training Society developed new partnerships with the North Eastern Alberta Apprenticeship Initiative and the Northern Lights School Division Trades Exposure Centre to recruit and place more Indigenous Peoples into trades training.
In Manitoba, WD supported the Information and Communications Technologies Association of Manitoba with $2.5 million of funding under the Western Diversification Program. This project supported the participation of western Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at targeted international trade shows, including specialized pre-event training and briefings, the development of company profiles, and the organization of business-to-business to maximize partnership opportunities. This resulted in the participation of 168 SMEs attending trade shows, whose participation is estimated to result in over $400 million in export sales, based on post-event surveys.
Departmental Result: Communities are economically diversified in western Canada
WD tracks the following two indicators to capture the impact of this departmental result:
- Percentage of SMEs that are majority-owned in western Canada by:
- Indigenous Peoples;
- visible minorities; and,
- persons with disabilities.
- Amount leveraged per dollar by WD in community projects.
WD met or exceeded its targets for three of the four target groups for the first performance indicator (see results achieved table). The share of majority-owned youth SMEs missed its target. Recent economic uncertainty could be a factor in the declining share of new youth-owned businesses. In the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s Report on Youth Entrepreneurship, youth’s perception of entrepreneurship opportunities has decreased since 2013. The last target group of the first indicator, persons with disabilities, is a new indicator and a strategy to obtain data on an ongoing basis is under development. The second indicator, amount leveraged per dollar by WD in community projects, did not achieve its target due to lower leveraging from a few key projects.
The Western Canada Business Service Network (WCBSN) is a group of independent organizations that receive WD funds to help western Canadians start, grow and expand their businesses. WCBSN partners provided 48,695 business advisory services to entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses in rural and urban areas to help them grow and prosper. They also provided business training to 39,946 participants. WCBSN impacts included 4,819 jobs created, maintained or expanded through lending. In addition to the WCBSN results, WD partnered with the Canada Business Network in the West, which provided over 67,800 business information and advisory services.
The Community Futures (CFs) provided 1,395 loans to rural businesses worth $73.9 million that leveraged an additional $69.1 million. Of those loans in which entrepreneurs self-identified, 396 loans were made to women, 268 to Indigenous clients, and 176 to youth. The CFs served a total of 23,309 clients over the course of the year. Of the clients served that self-identified, 4,154 identified as Indigenous, 6,817 as women, and 1,975 as youth.
A 2018-19 analysisxiii of data from CFs regarding its loan clients, compared to similarly sized and located companies contained in Statistics Canada’s database, demonstrated continued outperformance by CFs, as follows:
- In terms of employment growth from 2011 to 2016, CF-assisted firms collectively increased their number of employees by 8.53 percent compounded annually compared to a 1.86 percent in non-assisted firms.
- In terms of sales growth from 2011 to 2016, CF-assisted firms exhibited 6.88 percent compounded annual sales growth rate compared to 2.35 percent for non-assisted firms. In addition, CF loan clients were able to withstand initial shocks due to economic activity better than firms without CF assistance. Sales growth of CF assisted firms also tends to outperform sales growth of comparable firms during period of economic slowdown.
- CF-assisted firms exhibited significantly stronger longevity at 67 percent for a 5-year survival rate than non-assisted firms at 46 percent.
The Women’s Enterprise Initiative (WEI) provided 91 loans to women-owned businesses worth $7.1 million. These loans in turn leveraged an additional $15.5 million from other funding sources, including financial institutions. The WEIs served a total of 7,857 clients over the course of the year. Of these, 291 self-identified as Indigenous Peoples.
WD also continued to support the Indigenous Business Development Services, the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP), and the Francophone Economic Development Organizations (FEDOs) in western Canada. This programming, along with CFs and WEIs, contributes to the department’s inclusive growth priority. It enhances the ability of targeted groups such as women, Indigenous Peoples, Francophones, persons with disabilities, and rural clients to start, grow and expand their businesses.
In 2018-19, WD renewed its three-year operating agreements with all four FEDOs. This will enable FEDOs to continue their important work for Francophone entrepreneurs, businesses and communities across the four western provinces. FEDOs served 2,553 clients and of the clients that self-identified, 825 identified as women, 39 as Indigenous clients, and 1,009 as youth.
WD also established three-year contribution agreements with nine Entrepreneurs with Disabilities (EDP) service providers across western Canada. The EDP is delivered in rural communities in the West through Community Futures organizations and by local non-government organizations in urban centres in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, and Vancouver. EDP service providers served 229 clients and of the clients that self-identified, 112 identified as women, and 14 as Indigenous.
In 2018-19, WD approved one project for $80,000 under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) for Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs). During 2018-19 there were seven active EDI projects that reported creation of 18 jobs, $2.1 million in export sales, delivery of 153 training sessions, provision of 147 business advisory services, and created, maintained or expanded nine businesses.
Under Federal Budget 2018, Canada’s regional development agencies (including WD) received $150 million to deliver the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). As part of the Strategy, in September 2018, the WES Ecosystem Fund was launched to strengthen capacity and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs. In October 2018, the Women Entrepreneurship Fund was launched to help women-owned and led businesses grow and reach export markets. WD launched the two WES programs, and subsequently approved $6.5 million in assistance for 66 business growth projects. Effective collaboration and coordination amongst ISED and the regional development agencies were paramount to the successful delivery of this national initiative.
Also under Federal Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced amendments to regulations to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030. Federal Budget 2018 provided $25 million over five years to support the transition of workers and communities in western Canada to a low carbon economy. In 2018-19, WD engaged with affected communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan to establish projects to support economic diversification initiatives.
On October 31, 2018, the first train in almost 18 months arrived in Churchill, MB. WD played a key role in the restoration of the Hudson Bay rail line to the community. The rail line benefits an estimated 30,000 residents of 41 communities in northern Manitoba and 7 communities in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, and supports the long-term economic development of the region.
In support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to the communities in northern Manitoba, WD played a key role in the restoration of the Hudson Bay rail line and reopening of the Port of Churchill. In August 2018, WD signed agreements with Arctic Gateway Group Limited Partnership to provide for the acquisition, repair, and ongoing operation of the rail line and port of Churchill terminal assets. An estimated 30,000 people who live in areas of northern Manitoba and Nunavut were seriously affected by discontinuance of the Churchill port and rail line service. On October 31, 2018, the first train in almost 18 months arrived in Churchill. As of March 31, 2019 the rail line, port and tank farm have created 71 jobs and facilitated the resupply of food, fuel and other essentials. The Hudson Bay railway and Canada’s only deep-water Arctic port support the long-term economic development of the region and are key infrastructure elements of the Arctic Gateway Trade Corridor.
The 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons were the worst in British Columbia's history. The 2017 fires burned an area twice as large as Prince Edward Island and displaced over 65,000 people. The 2018 fires surpassed this record by burning 2,000 hectares more than the 2017 fires. While several government agencies and the Red Cross focused on basic short-term needs of residents, many rural entrepreneurs in areas hardest hit by the wildfires faced barriers to rebuilding. WD provided $1.84 million towards the Wildfire Business Transition Project, which allowed the Community Futures Development Association of BC to work with its network of Community Futures offices to give local small businesses customized support to rebuild in their communities. By the end of 2018-19, the project helped over 3,500 businesses that were impacted by the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. This included 912 women-led enterprises and 625 Indigenous businesses. It also allowed over 3,700 jobs to stay in the community, which helped re-build the local economy.
Departmental Result: Businesses invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in western Canada
WD tracks the following three indicators to capture the impact of this departmental result:
- value of business expenditures in research and development (BERD) by firms receiving WD program funding;
- percentage of professional jobs (including science and technology) in western Canada; and,
- percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in western Canada.
WD met or exceeded its targets for the first two performance indicators (see results achieved table). For the third indicator, relating to the percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in western Canada, no target was set due to unavailability of baseline data in 2017-18. This is a new indicator and data will be available on an ongoing basis going forward.
WD completed its final intake of the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative, a program that provided repayable contributions to SMEs to support the commercialization of technologies or products. During WD’s five-year funding of the initiative (2013 to 2018), WINN played an important role in helping western SMEs accelerate the commercialization of technologies and stimulate greater private sector investment.
In 2018-19, WD approved $58.2 million in multi-year assistance under WINN for 46 projects in support of its ministerial mandate letter commitments and its cluster growth priority, with a particular focus on clean technologies, life sciences, and digital technology sectors. As of March 31, 2019, the department has invested $149.5 million under WINN which resulted in the creation of 1,037 jobs (including 827 jobs for highly qualified personnel) and over $302.5 million in sales growth resulting from commercialization.
WD invested $1.17 million through the WINN to support Vancouver-based Appnovation Technologies Inc. to commercialize its software allowing organizations to implement unified enterprise systems with new and existing software platforms. As of March 31, 2019, results include creation of 27 highly qualified personnel jobs, $7.2 million in business sales resulting from commercialization, and revenue growth of $34.4 million. In November 2018, Appnovation ranked as the 420th Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500™.
WD is also helping technology firms access capital funding, business scale-up support and talent. For example, WD supported Saskatoon-based Vendasta Technologies Inc. WD invested $3.34 million in funding to help Vendasta commercialize a cloud marketplace platform for agencies and media companies. As of March 31, 2019, results include the creation of 28 jobs for highly qualified personnel, $3.7 million in business sales growth resulting from commercialization, and the attraction of $8 million in incremental private sector investment.
WD also invested $32.2 million in 34 clean technology projectsxxvi in support of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan and the department’s cluster growth priority.
In response to recommendations from the horizontal innovation review and the new innovation program announced in Federal Budget 2018, WD commenced a shift from primarily supporting technology commercialization projects, to placing greater emphasis on scale-up and productivity projects. With the consolidation of innovation programming across regional development agencies, 2018-19 saw WD implement the new Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Initiative, a nationally coordinated, regionally tailored program designed to foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness. This program focuses on two key areas to support business need: business scale-up and productivity; and creating, growing, and nurturing inclusive regional innovation ecosystems.
In December 2018, WD opened the first call for proposals for the REGI business scale-up and productivity (BSP) stream. Through the BSP stream, WD is focusing its for-profit innovation investments on late stage commercialization (technology readiness levels 7-9), productivity improvements, and business scale-up and growth. The launch of BSP was informed by lessons learned from WINN. Modifications included greater engagement with applicants and improvements to program delivery that resulted in operational efficiencies.
WD also launched the REGI Steel and Aluminum Initiative for small and medium-sized steel and aluminum manufacturers and users, with $24.99M to be distributed by WD. This initiative, launched on March 11, 2019, supports projects that enhance productivity, increase competitiveness, and create more highly skilled jobs through the adoption of new and innovative technologies in order to help grow and modernize sectors heavily dependent on steel or aluminum. This will help downstream western Canadian SME steel and aluminum users remain competitive as global market dynamics evolve.
WD assisted technology firms with high growth potential through the Government of Canada's Accelerated Growth Service (AGS). The AGS provides firms with access to federal government services to help them expand and become more globally competitive. WD’s efforts to support high-potential firms through the AGS continue to increase the department’s reach within the business community, thereby promoting WD programming while facilitating stronger collaboration and interaction with other federal departments. WD successfully supported 38 AGS teams in 2018-19.
The following departmental results and indicators are common across all regional development agencies, and support the planned results for the Innovation and Skills Plan within the Innovation, Science, and Economic Development portfolio.
|Departmental Results||Performance indicators||Target||Date to achieve target||2018-19 Actual results||2017-18 Actual results||2016-17 Actual results|
|Businesses are innovative and growing in western Canada||Value of exports of goods from western Canada ($)||$156.7B||March 31, 2019||$207.7B||$181.8B||$153.5B|
|Revenue growth rate of firms supported by WD programs||9.4%||March 31, 2019||12.3%1||4.1%1||9.6%1|
|Value of exports of clean technologies from western Canada ($)||TBD2||March 31, 2019||n/a3||n/a3||n/a3|
|Number of high-growth firms in western Canada||5,8004||March 31, 2019||n/a4||n/a4||n/a4|
Communities are economically diversified in western Canada
|Percentage of SMEs that are majority-owned by women, Indigenous people, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities in western Canada||Women owned = 14.7%
Indigenous owned = 1.5%
Visible minorities owned =10.8%
Youth owned =17.0%
|March 31, 2019||Women owned = 15.1%5
Indigenous owned = 2.2%5
Visible minorities owned =15.1%5
Youth owned =15.7%5
|Women owned = 14.3%6
Indigenous owned = 1.4%6
Visible minorities owned =10.6%6
Youth owned =16.8%6
|Women owned = 14.3%6
Indigenous owned = 1.4%6
Visible minorities owned =10.6%6
Youth owned =16.8%6
|Amount leveraged per dollar by WD in community projects||1.2||March 31, 2019||1.19||1.3||1.2|
Businesses invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in western Canada
|Value of business expenditures in research and development by firms receiving WD program funding ($)||$5.5M||March 31, 2019||$21.3M||n/a7||n/a7|
|Percentage of professional jobs (including science and technology) in western Canada||31.6%||March 31, 2019||32.4%||32.1%||31.6%|
|Percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in western Canada||TBD2||March 31, 2019||8.8%8||n/a3||n/a3|
1 Actual results are based on 3 year data lag.
2 To be determined (TBD). Target was not set because baseline data was not available in 2017-18.
3 Actual results data were not available for this year.
4 This target will be revised in the 2020-21 Departmental Plan to reflect changes in Statistics Canada’s methodology.
5 Actual results are based on the latest available data from 2017 Statistics Canada survey on financing and growth of SMEs.
6 Actual results are based on the data from 2014 Statistics Canada survey on financing and growth of SMEs.
7 Actual results were not available for this year because this indicator was new commencing in fiscal year 2018-19.
8 Actual results are based on the latest available data from 2017 Statistics Canada survey of innovation and business strategy.
9 Actual results exclude investments to restore the rail line to Churchill because their primary objective was supporting a community in need and not leveraging.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Total authorities available for use
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
Note: Additional funding received was provided for the restoration of the Hudson Bay rail line and reopening of the Port of Churchill; Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Initiative; the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy; the Rick Hansen Institute project; and the Canada Coal Transition Initiative.
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Planned full-time equivalents
Actual full-time equivalents
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
Note: Actual FTE utilization is higher than planned because of increased activities to support Federal Budget 2018 initiatives.
Information on WD’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.
Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:
- Acquisition Management Services
- Communications Services
- Financial Management Services
- Human Resources Management Services
- Information Management Services
- Information Technology Services
- Legal Services
- Material Management Services
- Management and Oversight Services
- Real Property Management Services
WD contributes to the Government of Canada's Beyond 2020 initiative and the Government of Canada’s Federal Public Service Workplace Mental Health Strategy as demonstrated by the following WD results from the 2018 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES):
- 93 percent of respondents feel that people they work with value their ideas and opinions (compared to 77% for the public service);
- 89 percent would recommend WD as a great place to work (compared to 67% for the public service);
- 87 percent feel encouraged to be innovative or take initiative at work (compared to 78% for the public service);
- 89 percent indicated that WD respects individual differences (e.g. culture, work styles, ideas) (compared to 78% for the public service);
- 83 percent indicated that in the work unit, every individual is accepted as an equal member of the team (compared to 72% for the public service); and,
- 88 percent indicated that WD raises awareness of mental health in the workplace (compared to 71% for the public service) and 84 percent describe workplace as being psychologically healthy (compared to 59% for the public service).
Western Economic Diversification Canada was the top place to work among Canada’s major federal agencies based on 2018 PSES surveyxxxv. WD was also selected as one of Alberta’s Top 75 Employers in 2019 due to its commitment to employee health and well-being, and its employee innovation fund to help spark innovation among its workforce.
WD continues to modernize the delivery of grants and contributions programs, which will enhance business processes and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its program delivery as well as services to Canadians. For example, WD collaborated with other regional development agencies in the development of a common client-centric grants and contributions project management system (GCPM). GCPM implementation will commence next year and will provide improved services to the public through streamlined tools including online access to services, greater transparency through a web portal along with timely responses to client queries. GCPM will replace multiple legacy systems and provide capability for full project life cycle management.
WD invested in experimentation and innovation to improve its business practices. For example, WD is experimenting with co-working: sharing its workspace with other government departments. Learning alongside people who are doing different work from ourselves can spawn innovation. In addition, WD invested in using LEAN techniques to improve its various internal business processes such as taxpayer funds modernization, automating entry of travel card charges, and improving accuracy, quality, and consistency in parliamentary questions procedures.
WD met or exceeded its targets for all the grants and contributions client service standard results in 2018-19. WD also participates in the Government of Canada’s Open Government initiative by making relevant data accessible to the public and the businesses community through the Government of Canada's Open Data Inventory portal. The portal provides one-stop access to the Government of Canada’s searchable open data and open information, and supports ministerial mandate letter commitments. It increases transparency and accountability, as well as strengthens the foundation for collaboration between government and citizens, which ultimately contributes to better results for Canadians.
WD completed the modernization of its Winnipeg office and commenced the modernization of its Vancouver office towards Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 standards that create modern workplaces by putting in place open, flexible office spaces and mobile digital tools to promote the ability to work from anywhere at any time. Each WD staff member shall have height adjustable work surfaces and office ergonomic training to create a more active workplace. The new work environment promotes collaboration between employees and fosters knowledge sharing between WD teams.
In addition, WD continued to expand the use of video conferencing, web-based tools, and other wireless connectivity technologies for participating in, and conducting, inter-regional meetings, training sessions, and day-to-day activities. This aligns WD with the government’s workplace modernization and Destination 2020 strategy.
WD participated in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) and contributed to the Greening Government Operations targets through the Internal Services program. The department contributed to the following target areas of Theme IV (Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government) of the FSDS: e-waste, printing unit reduction, paper consumption, green meetings, and green procurement. For additional details on WD's departmental sustainable development strategy, please see the list of supplementary information tables in section III.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
|2018-19 Main Estimates||2018-19 Planned spending||2018-19 Total authorities available for use||2018-19 Actual spending (authorities used)||2018-19 Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
Note: Authorities of $1.1 million were used in relation to Workplace 2.0 in the British Columbia region. The remaining amount is attributed to additional funding received related to the operating budget carry forward, reimbursement of eligible paylist expenditures and collective bargaining agreement adjustments.
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
|2018-19 Planned full-time equivalents||2018-19 Actual full-time equivalents||2018-19 Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
Note: Actual FTE utilization is higher than planned because of increased activities to support funding received for Federal Budget 2018 initiatives.
Analysis of trends in spending and human resources
Departmental Spending Trend Graph
The figures presented in the chart above reflect the impact the Federal Budget 2018 had on the department’s overall spending. Actual and planned spending increased in 2018-19 and 2019-20 as a result of Federal Budget 2018 initiatives related to the restoration of the Hudson Bay rail line and reopening the Port of Churchill; Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Initiative; the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES); the Rick Hansen Institute project; and the Canada Coal Transition Initiative.
Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
|Core Responsibilities and Internal Services||2018-19 Main Estimates||2018-19 Planned spending||2019-20 Planned spending||2020-21 Planned spending||2018-19 Total authorities available for use||2018-19 Actual spending (authorities used)||2017-18 Actual spending (authorities used)||2016-17 Actual spending (authorities used)|
|Economic Development in western Canada||137,648,489||137,648,489||240,112,839||193,780,857||230,799,054||228,742,960||213,955,950||177,930,185|
Planned spending of $149.6 million for 2018-19 increased by $94.0 million through receipt of new authorities. WD received $45.3 million for the restoration of the Hudson Bay rail line and reopening of the Port of Churchill, $38.1 million related to Federal Budget 2018 items, $5.0 million for Manitoba’s aerospace sector, $3.2 million in receivables, $1.7 million in operating budget carry forward, $0.4 million for collective bargaining agreement adjustments, and $0.3 million for the reimbursement of eligible of paylist expenditures.
Actual human resources
Human resources summary for Core Responsibility and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
|Core Responsibilities and Internal Services||2016-17 Actual full-time equivalents||2017-18 Actual full-time equivalents||2018-19 Planned full-time equivalents||2018-19 Actual full-time equivalents||2019-20 Planned full-time equivalents||2020-21 Planned full-time equivalents|
|Economic development in western Canada||200||202||200||212||211||211|
Human resource levels in WD increased in 2018-19 to support the Federal Budget 2018 initiatives, namely the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Initiative, Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) and Canada Coal Transition Initiative.
Expenditures by vote
For information on the WD’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2018-2019.
Government of Canada spending and activities
Information on the alignment of the WD’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.
Financial statements and financial statements highlights
The WD’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019, are available on the departmental website [ Departmental Plans & Reports ].
Financial statements highlights
Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2019 (dollars)
|Financial information||2018-19 Planned results||2018-19 Actual results||2017-18 Actual results||Difference (2018-19 Actual results minus 2018-19 Planned results)||Difference (2018-19 Actual results minus 2017-18 Actual results)|
|Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers||143,395,159||206,165,412||210,705,434||62,770,253||(4,540,022)|
Total expenses were $206.2 million in 2018-19, a net decrease of $4.5 million (2 percent) over 2017-18. This year-over-year net decrease is attributed primarily to decreased transfer payment expenses under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program ($55.8 million) and the Drywall Anti-Dumping Duty Relief Program ($7.3 million), offset by increased expenses for the restoration of the Hudson Bay rail line and reopening of the Port of Churchill ($58.3 million) and the Canada Coal Transition Initiative ($0.3 million).
Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2019 (dollars)
(2018-19 minus 2017-18)
|Total net liabilities||48,109,533||73,228,863||(25,119,330)|
|Total net financial assets||45,610,919||70,749,828||(25,138,909)|
|Departmental net debt||2,498,614||2,479,035||19,579|
|Total non-financial assets||1,044,504||545,092||499,412|
|Departmental net financial position||(1,454,110)||(1,933,943)||479,833|
Total net liabilities were $48.1 million at the end of 2018-19, a net decrease of $25.1 million (34 percent) over 2017-18. This year-over-year net decrease is attributed to (i) reductions in accounts payable funded under the and the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program ($16.9M) and the Western Diversification Program ($12.0 million), and to (ii) the establishment of accounts payable balances for the Western Innovation Initiative ($1.7 million), the Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) stream ($1.0 million), and the Canada Coal Transition Initiative ($0.3 million).
Total net financial assets were $45.6 million at the end of 2018-19, a decrease of $25.1 million (35 percent) over 2017-18. The year-over-year decrease in these assets primarily consists of the "Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund" ($45.4 million), which is used to discharge WD's liabilities. Given WD's liabilities were lower than the previous fiscal year, the "Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund" has also decreased.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development:
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.
Institutional head: Dylan Jones
Ministerial portfolio: Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Western Economic Diversification Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.11, (4th Supplement)
Year of incorporation / commencement: 1987
Headquarters - Edmonton, Alberta
Offices - Vancouver, British Columbia
Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta
Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was established in 1987 to promote the development and diversification of the economy of western Canada and to advance the interests of the West in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is responsible for this organization.
Mandate and role
WD’s mandate, derived from the Western Economic Diversification Act, is to grow and diversify the western Canadian economy. This broad mandate allows WD to deliver a wide range of initiatives across the West, and make strategic investments to build on regional competitive advantages and help grow the western economy. WD also contributes to the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, other government-wide priorities, and ministerial mandate letter commitments.
WD has offices in each of the four western Canadian provinces and in Ottawa. Its western base enables the department to foster strong partnerships with business and community organizations, research and academic institutions, Indigenous Peoples, and provincial and municipal governments. These connections help WD reflect western perspectives in national decision-making.
WD supports western Canadian economic diversification and inclusive growth through investments under the new Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Initiative to fuel economic growth through innovation and create high quality personnel jobs. It has two program streams, the Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) stream, and the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) stream. The Business Scale-up and Productivity stream supports businesses seeking to accelerate their growth, scale-up, and be more productive and competitive in both domestic and global markets. The Regional Innovation Ecosystems stream aims to create, grow, and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum.
WD will also continue to foster community economic development and diversification opportunities in western Canada through the Western Diversification Program (WDP).
In addition, WD supports the Western Canada Business Service Network (WCBSN), which is a network of over 100 independent organizations providing business services to foster inclusive sustainable growth of small businesses across the West. The WCBSN network includes the Canada Business Network (CBN), Community Futures program, Women's Enterprise Initiative, Francophone Economic Development Organizations, Indigenous Business Development Services program, and Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program.
Further, WD serves western Canadian stakeholders by delivering national initiatives on behalf of the federal government in western Canada. These include:
- the Steel and Aluminum Initiative that supports SMEs operating within western Canada steel and aluminum supply chains, helping them to respond to global market dynamics that impact their competitiveness;
- the Canada Coal Transition Initiative that supports skills development and economic diversification activities to help communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan transition to a low-carbon economy. This will assist Canada in achieving its goal of 90 % non-emitting electricity by 2030;
- the Strategic Partnerships Initiative that coordinates the Government of Canada’s investments across a range of departments to boost Indigenous participation in economic development opportunities; and,
- the Economic Development Initiative that supports economic development in western Canadian Francophone communities.
For more general information about the department, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report.
For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.
Operating context and key risks
Information on operating contexts and key risks is available on the WD website (Operating Context and Key Risks).
WD’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2018–19 are shown below:
Departmental Results Framework
Core Responsibility: Economic development in western Canada
Indicator: Value of exports of goods from western Canada ($)
Indicator: Number of high-growth firms in western Canada
Indicator: Value of exports of clean technologies from western Canada ($)
Indicator: Revenue growth rate of firms supported by WD programs
Indicator: Percentage of SMEs that are majority-owned by women, Indigenous people, youth, visible minorities and persons with disabilities in western Canada
Indicator: Amount leveraged per dollar by WD in community projects
Indicator:Value of business expenditures in research and development by firm receiving WD program funding ($)
Indicator:Percentage of professional jobs (including science and technology) in western Canada
Indicator: Percentage of companies engaged in collaborations with higher education institutions in western Canada
Program: Business Growth
Program: Business Services
Program: Community Initiatives
Supporting information on the Program Inventory
Financial, human resources and performance information for WD’s Program Inventory is available on the GC InfoBase.
Supplementary information tables
The following supplementary information tables are available on WD's website:
- Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
- Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more
- Gender-based analysis plus
- Response to parliamentary committees and external audits
- Up-front multi-year funding
- Performance measurement framework methodologies
Federal tax expenditures
The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.
Organizational contact information
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Suite 1500, 9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4H7
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on an appropriated department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2018-19 Departmental Results Report, those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada’s Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s) or Departmental Results.
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.
- Endnote 2
Based on the latest available Round Nine (2011-16) data provided by the Centre for Special Business Projects, Statistics Canada, July 2019
Return to endnote ii referrer
- Endnote 13
Based on the latest available Round Nine (2011-16) data provided by the Centre for Special Business Projects, Statistics Canada, July 2019
Return to endnote xiii referrer.
- Endnote 26
Includes investments in non-for-profit organisations through Western Diversification Program (WDP) and Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE)
Return to endnote xxvi referrer.
- Endnote 35
The Hill Times Article: When it comes to federal workplaces, West is best, https://www.hilltimes.com/2019/05/29/when-it-comes-to-federal-workplaces-west-is-best/201711
Return to endnote xxxv referrer.
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