Strategic outcome and program descriptions

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Department

Strategic Outcome 11

A competitive Atlantic Canadian economy.

Program 1.1 — Enterprise Development

Despite recent economic progress and some promising opportunities on the horizon (e.g. energy, shipbuilding), some significant challenges remain for the region to maximize positive growth. One of the most telling indicators of this is that, in a number of sectors, productivity remains significantly lower than in leading countries and other regions of Canada. The Agency works in partnership with Atlantic Canadian businesses, stakeholders, industry and institutions to improve the growth and productivity of Atlantic Canada's economy, leading to increased competitiveness, higher earned incomes and job creation. The Agency works to improve the capacity of Atlantic Canada's rural and urban areas for economic growth through a variety of strategically focused mechanisms: assisting businesses, particularly small and medium‑sized ones, to start, expand or modernize and to establish or expand export activities; partnering with universities and other institutions to increase the region's research and development capacity, commercialization and productivity; and promoting and participating in the region's transition to a knowledge economy.

Program 1.2 — Community Development

The Atlantic economy is built on the region's many geographic, linguistic and cultural communities. From rural areas to larger urban centres, the opportunities and challenges vary significantly. Communities are the foundation of economic development and are critical for economic prosperity. The Agency recognizes the importance of communities and supports their efforts to develop the resources they need to contribute fully to their economic development. For those reasons, the Agency focuses community development efforts and strategies to create dynamic and sustainable communities with increased economic and business activities as well as quality public infrastructure. The Agency develops and delivers programming that meets the unique economic development needs of rural areas in Atlantic Canada and that contributes to a stronger region. The Agency collaborates with the private sector, other levels of government, other federal government departments, educational institutions, non‑profit organizations and communities to leverage support, coordinate economic development, identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities and react to economic challenges across the region. This requires a flexible approach based on the realities of a given community's capacities, strengths and challenges.

Program 1.3 — Policy, Advocacy and Coordination

The Agency's Policy, Advocacy and Coordination (PAC) program is central to identifying and effectively responding to opportunities and challenges facing the regional economy. PAC provides intelligence, analysis and well‑grounded advice on a broad range of issues and topics, and it informs and supports Agency and ministerial decision making. PAC helps carry the Agency's agenda forward and ensure that ACOA overall remains relevant and responsive to the opportunities and challenges in Atlantic Canada by offering strategic, researched policy positions that reflect the region's potential, by influencing national policies and programs that affect Atlantic Canada's development and interests, and in coordinating other policies and programs within the region to form integrated approaches to development.

Strategic Outcome 22

The following program supports all strategic outcomes within this organization.

Program 2.1 — Internal services

The Internal services program supports all strategic outcomes and is common across government. Internal services are 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.

Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation

Strategic Outcome 11

A competitive and sustainable Cape Breton economy.

Program 1.1 — Property Development

Through this program, the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) has the ability to purchase, lease and sell land, and to hold mortgages. The development and management of property holdings are used by the Corporation as a development tool to complement funding programs. Surplus revenues from real property leases and land sales go directly into economic development projects within ECBC's mandate area. In addition, as part of the land transfer/disposal process, the Corporation makes lands available for lease or sale to businesses and organizations in an effort to foster economic development opportunities. Both activities serve to support the economic development mandate of the Corporation. In addition to land holdings, ECBC's real property assets include the Corporation's head office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Point Edward Resource Centre (agricultural property), the Port Hawkesbury business facility (office space) and the New Waterford business facility (office space). As a result of the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Cape Breton Development Corporation (CBDC) to ECBC upon CBDC's dissolution, ECBC now owns and operates a number of water treatment and storage facilities. It also owns and operates the Dominion Coal Yard and leases space from a salvage operation in Sydney Mines, both required to support the former CBDC's contractual obligation to sell coal to current and former employees.

Program 1.2 — Commercial Development

Due to the size and makeup of the Cape Breton economy and its distance from major markets, access to capital remains one of the greatest challenges for businesses. The ability to access capital from traditional lenders, venture capitalists and other levels of government is limited. Recognizing the challenges faced by small and medium‑sized enterprises, the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, through this program, works with potential and existing entrepreneurs to assess and to provide, as appropriate, various forms of assistance, including but not limited to equity, secured and unsecured loans, as well as non‑repayable contributions. The Corporation provides both direct and indirect support to business. Direct support to business includes access to capital, export development, training and skills development, planning, business counselling and marketing. Indirect support to business includes support to non‑commercial or non‑profit organizations, including industry organizations that provide services in support of market and trade development, investment, entrepreneurship, skills development, planning, business information, business counselling and advice. The goal for commercial development is to foster a business climate that will encourage private‑sector investment, business growth and increased productivity.

Program 1.3 — Community Development

Structural adjustment has been taking place in the Cape Breton economy over the past decade due to the closure of the Island's major industries and the downsizing of the fishing industry. The economic climate on the Island has presented significant challenges for many communities in terms of attracting investment and realizing opportunities. Through this program, ECBC works to engage and empower communities to take control of their destiny by pursuing opportunities leading to sustainable economic development. Working in co‑operation with communities and community‑led organizations, activities pursued in support of this program range from developing and implementing overall strategies for economic development and skill development activities to supporting the business environment, and new and/or improved community infrastructure.

Program 1.4 — Policy and Advocacy

Fundamental to ECBC's mandate is the Corporation's policy and advocacy role, which assists in identifying the opportunities and challenges facing the Island, as well as informing and supporting decision making both within and outside the Corporation. ECBC's policy and advocacy function focuses on a range of activities, including research, analysis, planning and reporting, as well as working to advance the interests, priorities and concerns of Cape Breton Island in government decisions and actions. The policy and advocacy function exists to inform and support decision making by the Corporation, providing intelligence, analysis and well‑grounded advice on a number of issues and topics. The policy and advocacy function helps carry the Corporation's agenda forward, plays an integral role in developing focused and adaptable approaches to issues, and helps ensure that the Corporation overall remains relevant to the opportunities and challenges facing Cape Breton. In developing the advocacy agenda for Cape Breton, ECBC works to ensure that national and provincial officials are aware of the needs of the region and that Cape Breton interests, priorities and concerns are considered when policy is developed. Research and analysis are required to understand the economic challenges and opportunities facing Cape Breton and to guide the policy and advocacy making activities of the Corporation.

Program 1.5 — Environmental Stewardship

As part of the transfer of the CBDC assets and liabilities to ECBC, the Corporation assumed stewardship responsibility for all former land holdings of the CBDC. This included all environmental obligations related to these sites. ECBC is required to comply with environmental laws and regulations as they pertain to current activities as well as the activities of certain predecessor companies that were expropriated when the CBDC was formed in 1967. To properly meet these obligations, ECBC entered into a strategic partnership arrangement with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), similar to that previously in place between CBDC and PWGSC. As part of this relationship, projects were planned and managed by PWGSC with oversight, monitoring and funding provided by ECBC. PWGSC completed the assessment and implementation of remedial activities on the 53 identified contaminated mining‑related sites in 2012–2013. It is anticipated that all of the long‑term environmental obligations will be completed by 2055 except the mine‑water obligation, which may require management indefinitely. ECBC also works with numerous partners, such as the Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University, the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency, the Province of Nova Scotia, Environment Canada, and the private sector to explore alternative sources of energy related to the former CBDC's land holdings that could potentially lead to commercial development opportunities. This includes research into the production of green fuel crops, geothermal energy from mine water, and the potential for clean coal energy opportunities of the residual coal within the Sydney coal field.

Program 1.6 — Human Resource Obligations

The programs included under Human Resource Obligations are nondiscretionary items that ECBC is required to deliver to former CBDC employees following the dissolution of the CBDC. They are ongoing liabilities, some of which will continue beyond 20 years. They are a result of post employment benefits and various human resource strategies (operation closure). They include early retirement incentive programs, liability for future employee benefits, workers' compensation obligations and a domestic coal subsidy program.

Program 1.7 — Regional Service Delivery

Through this program ECBC is responsible for the program delivery of the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency's (ACOA) programs on Cape Breton Island such as the Business Development and Community Futures Programs. Based on ECBC's unique delivery model for economic development, ECBC and ACOA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 1995 under which ECBC delivers ACOA's programming on Cape Breton Island and in the Mulgrave area. The MOU allows ECBC to design its programming and economic development strategies to complement ACOA programming. The MOU is renegotiated every five years.

Strategic Outcome 22

The following program supports all strategic outcomes within this organization.

Program 2.1 — Internal services

The Internal services program supports all strategic outcomes and is common across government. Internal services are 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.

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