Ottawa (ON) - October 2, 2009 - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced that the Government of Canada has reconfirmed the mandate of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC). This represents a renewal and strengthening of the federal crown corporation’s leadership role in the economic development of Cape Breton.
The announcement comes as a result of a mandate review of the corporation, which was undertaken by a management consulting firm under the auspices of a steering committee comprised of senior management representatives from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Natural Resources Canada and third-party community stakeholders. ECBC reports to Parliament through the Minister of ACOA.
“ECBC's long record of success in helping Cape Bretoners address economic challenges and seize economic opportunities is why the corporation has enjoyed strong support from the people of this region,” said Minister MacKay. “Our Government recognizes the critical role ECBC plays in economic and community development in Cape Breton, which is why we have renewed and strengthened its mandate.”
Mandate reviews, such as the one undertaken for ECBC, are part of good governance, and help ensure crown corporations operate effectively and deliver services that are still relevant to Canadians. The ECBC mandate review concluded that:
•The ECBC mandate should be reconfirmed;
•The Corporation’s mandate continues to be relevant, given the current economic and demographic conditions in Cape Breton;
•The ECBC brand is strong and the corporation has the respect and confidence of the community it serves;
•The community wants ECBC to take an even stronger leadership role in commercial and community economic development; and
•While the corporation is efficient and cost-effective in delivering programs, it could further enhance its effectiveness by strengthening performance indicators to better evaluate its strategic directions.
The ECBC Mandate Review also suggested that efficiencies could be gained by integrating the Cape Breton Development Corporation (CBDC), another federal crown corporation commonly known as DEVCO, with ECBC. Minister MacKay and the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources confirmed today that the CBDC will be dissolved effective December 31, 2009 and all of its remaining assets and liabilities will be transferred to ECBC.
The CBDC was formed in 1967 by an Act of Parliament and comprised a coal division with a mandate to phase out uneconomic coal operations and an industrial development division with a mandate to diversify the economy of Cape Breton outside of coal. In 2000, the Cape Breton Development Corporation Divestiture Authorization and Dissolution Act was passed, authorizing CBDC to sell or otherwise dispose of its assets and wind up its affairs. In 2001, CBDC closed its last coal mine and concluded a sale of its surface assets.
“This is the logical, natural conclusion to the dissolution process initiated in 2000, and it only needed a final date for dissolution established by the Governor-in-Council,” said Minister MacKay. “This integration of the two Crown corporations will streamline operations by having one strong federal organization providing leadership in the economic development of Cape Breton.”
“DEVCO has made an enormous contribution to Cape Breton over the decades and this move will build on these past successes,” said Minister Raitt. “This integration enhances what we're achieving nationally by working with communities and industries to build strong economic development for the future.”
The Ministers provided assurances that the decision to integrate the two corporations would not compromise the ongoing remediation and monitoring of industrial land and the management of mine water; the exploitation and/or advancement of the economic development potential of the CBDC’s residual land assets; or federal government support for the obligations due former employees and their families.
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation reports to Parliament through the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. It offers programs in support of economic development initiatives and is responsible for delivering ACOA’s programs on Cape Breton Island and in the Mulgrave area.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
National Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced today that the federal government has reconfirmed and strengthened the mandate of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation. The announcement stems from a mandate review of the corporation undertaken by an independent management consulting firm, and overseen by a steering committee of government and community stakeholder representatives.
Minister MacKay said the review showed that ECBC’s mandate of federal leadership in the economic development of Cape Breton is clearly still relevant, and the corporation continues to be successful in helping Cape Bretoners tackle economic challenges. He stressed that the crown corporation enjoys a high level of confidence and respect from the community it serves.
Minister MacKay also joined Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt in announcing that the Cape Breton Development Corporation, commonly known as DEVCO, would be dissolved and folded into ECBC. The Ministers said this integration helps streamline government operations, creating one strong federal crown corporation to serve the economic and community development needs of Cape Breton.
The integration is a natural conclusion to a process for dissolving DEVCO that began in the year 2000 and it becomes effective December 31, 2009. The Ministers said ECBC will assume responsibility for all remaining DEVCO assets and liabilities, including remediation of former mine sites and obligations to former DEVCO employees.
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Peter MacKay
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Natural Resources Canada