2.2 Organizational Structure
The Corporation operates from its main office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, with a satellite office in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. Internally, ECBC is organized into a number of administrative units that report to the CEO. The administrative units include commercial programs, development, internal audit, corporate services, communications and access to information.
During 2003-2004, the Corporation reactivated its subsidiary DARR (Cape Breton) Limited, as a real estate holding and development company. DARR manages the Corporation’s real property assets: the Point Edward Resource Centre, the Port Hawkesbury Business Facility, Silicon Island Art and Innovation Centre, MacDonald House and the Northside Facility.
Activities and results for DARR are reported directly through ECBC.
In August 2000, the CBGF was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of ECBC. The CBGF was established to administer the economic adjustment fund established by the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia in the wake of the federal government’s decision to discontinue the coal mining operations of DEVCO. The CBGF is a transitional corporation designed to commence winding up its operations on or before March 31, 2008.
2.3 Risk Management
ECBC conducted a risk assessment in the spring of 2005, which was recently updated and subsequently approved by the ECBC Board of Directors in November 2007. The focus of this initiative was to establish the foundation for a risk framework that would assist ECBC’s management in the implementation of an ongoing integrated risk management process. During the assessment, ECBC developed a profile of its current corporate risk areas and developed a risk framework to clearly define and document risk areas and fully integrate with strategic and operational processes. This process leveraged the Integrated Risk Management Framework (IRMF) that was established by the Treasury Board Secretariat in 2001.
The risk framework is continuously revisited to be rationalized with the changing operational environment of ECBC and will be presented annually to the ECBC Board of Directors for review and recommendations.
2.4 Federal Identity Program (FIP)
ECBC acknowledges the decision to strengthen federal presence and visibility and has incorporated the Canada wordmark into its corporate and promotional materials. ECBC also acknowledges the contributions made by the Government of Canada, where appropriate, through its funding agreements, signage, brochures, promotional material, advertisements and media releases, as well as the ECBC website.
2.5.1 ECBC Receivables
The Corporation provides a mix of investment instruments to clients, including loans, grants and conditionally repayable contributions, in order to achieve the appropriate balance required by clients to grow and expand their businesses, while rationalizing the return on capital for the Corporation. Loan instruments include forgivable loans, interest-bearing loans, non-interest bearing loans, preferred shares and conditionally repayable contributions. In the first three quarters of 2007-2008, the Corporation committed $1.45 million in loans to clients, in addition to grants and contributions under the various programs administered by ECBC.
2.5.2 ACOA Receivables
Over the past four years, ECBC had an average delinquency rate of 1.6% on the ACOA business development program, one of the lowest rates in the region.
2.6 Corporate Administration
The primary function of corporate administration is to ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently and that administrative systems and services are in place to enhance management decision making, managerial accountability and operational control.
Corporate administration includes a wide array of administrative activities that support ECBC programs and management. Functions include:
• Corporate Services
• Access to Information
• Internal Audit
• Human Resource Management
• Information Management and Technology Services
2.6.1 Corporate Services
The primary work of the Corporate Services unit is to provide financial oversight and advice to ensure that the Corporation makes the best possible use of its assets.
The Finance unit is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the Corporation’s accounting systems and procedures. It provides all accounting, reporting and financial internal control services for the Corporation. The unit is the primary contact with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.
ECBC’s Communications unit is a service provider within the administrative structure of the Corporation. Its purpose is to support and advance the Corporation’s objective to provide employment and to broaden the base of the economy.
The unit’s objective is three-fold:
• to increase the public’s understanding of the Corporation’s role, its activities and impact;
• to effectively communicate, both internally and externally, the progress being made in the effort to “broaden the economic base” of Cape Breton Island; and
• to work in collaboration with the other units of the Corporation to address (plan and co-ordinate) their communications needs.
2.6.3 Access to Information and Privacy
ECBC became subject to the Access to Information Act (ATI) and the Privacy Act in September 2005. The purpose of the ATI Act is to extend the present laws of Canada to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution. In the interests of transparency and accountability, government information should be available to the public, and necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific.
The Privacy Act serves to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to the collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal information held by a government institution. It provides individuals with a right of access to that information.
In response to the extension of the Acts to include ECBC, the Corporation has trained personnel in the application of the ATI Act and the Privacy Act. ECBC officials have been briefed on the impact of these Acts on their work, as well as their respective roles and responsibilities in to responding to requests.
2.6.4 Internal Audit/Audit Committee
ECBC’s Internal Audit unit works in conjunction with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, which is the official auditor for the Corporation. As part of its commitment to improvements to the internal functioning of the Corporation, ECBC continues to incorporate an internal audit function, the principal objectives of which are to:
• assist management in achieving and maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in its operations with due regard to economy;
• report the degree of compliance with established policies, plans and procedures, applicable laws and regulations; and
• review control over assets and expenditures.
The Board’s Audit Committee oversees the Internal Audit unit. The Audit Committee comprises four outside directors, one of whom acts as Chair. An annual operational plan, which outlines the major internal audit work to be completed in each year, is presented to the committee for approval. Regular updates on the status of the plan are made to the committee throughout the year.
2.6.5 Human Resource Management
ECBC’s human resource development initiatives address both current and long-term needs of the organization. The Board of Directors regularly reviews human resource policies.
22.214.171.124 Public Service Renewal
Changing demographics present challenges to societies at all levels, particularly as they relate to the labour market. The Public Service of Canada, which is aging at a faster rate than the Canadian population, is feeling the impact of these demographic trends and is thus focusing efforts on public service renewal.
ECBC is an employer of choice in Cape Breton and, historically, has experienced low turnover rates. To date, attracting qualified individuals has not been a significant issue for the Corporation. As part of public service renewal, the Corporation will concentrate its efforts on staff development.
2.6.6 Information Management and Technology Services
In 2004-2005, ECBC entered into a MOU with ACOA for the provision of Managed Information Management and Technology Services (IMTS). Under this agreement, ACOA assumes the responsibility for the management of IMT infrastructure services for ECBC. The cost of this service, on an annual basis, is $72,500.
This partnership in service delivery represents a rationalization of services between both organizations, resulting in cost savings for the Government of Canada. The MOU is in line with the
Government of Canada’s objective to improve value-for-money for taxpayer investments.
3.0 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
3.1 Sustainable Development
ECBC is helping to transform Cape Breton’s economy to ensure that there are sustainable, healthy communities for future generations. To this end, ECBC is committed to promoting sustainable communities and businesses on Cape Breton Island and to setting an example in the environmental management of its operations. Sustainable development is aimed at achieving social and economic goals without harming the environment on which present and future generations depend. It involves the creation of more competitive, resource-efficient and sustainable businesses on Cape Breton Island.
ECBC ensures that all projects it supports are subjected to appropriate environmental assessment. Since June 2006, ECBC is subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).
Through the terms and conditions of future assistance agreements between ECBC and applicants, the Corporation will encourage clients to examine energy costs and sustainability issues when carrying out capital projects.
The Corporation will continue to integrate sustainable development principles into its program delivery and internal operations.
3.2 Official Languages Act (OLA)
ECBC works to ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act (OLA). A close working relationship has been developed, and is maintained, with the minority language communities on Cape Breton. The Corporation employs bilingual officers who specifically serve the two Francophone communities on the Island.
With regard to section 41 of the OLA, the Corporation also participates in the development of ACOA action plans that are produced in consultation with local community groups and province-wide Francophone associations. In accordance with recent amendments to the OLA, ECBC is developing program policies to ensure compliance with its obligation under section 41 to enhance the vitality of the linguistic minorities, to support their development, and to foster the full recognition and use of English and French. The Corporation has assigned an OLA champion who liaises with other Crown corporations.
3.3 Human Rights
ECBC employees and clients are entitled to have their dignity as human beings respected and to work in an environment free of intimidation, hostility or offensiveness. ECBC is committed to creating and maintaining a work/business environment that is free of harassment and discrimination on prohibited grounds.
4.0 OPERATING ENVIRONMENT
4.1 Economic Impacts
According to the Bank of Canada, growth in the Canadian economy has been stronger in 2007 than projected, with strong momentum in domestic demand projected to continue. It is anticipated, however, that a weak U.S. economy, along with an appreciated Canadian dollar, will exert a significant drag on the economy in 2008 and 2009, particularly for the manufacturing sector.
Cape Breton Island continues to redefine its economy after the closure of the Island’s two main industries, coal and steel, at the turn of the millennium. Heavy investment in these industries for many years crowded out other potential areas for growth, leaving the Island at a relative disadvantage compared with other regions. Building economic capacity takes time as investment and growth are a long-term process. Efforts to develop and diversify Cape Breton have been yielding results. Pockets of development have emerged, which build a foundation for further development and growth.
In 2007, PharmEng International Inc. opened a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Cape Breton. The facility will initially employ 65 workers and is anticipated to grow to in excess of 150 workers within three years.
The tele-services industry has expanded and employs over 3,000 people in a number of communities throughout the Island.
Work is currently underway for the remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds and will continue for at least nine years, at a cost of about $400 million. The remediation will create up to 150 construction jobs, providing opportunities for local, national and international companies.
A decision on the $300-million Donkin coal mine project is due early in 2008, once the feasibility work is complete. Xstrata PLC, a Swiss multinational mining firm, was selected to revive the abandoned Donkin coal mine. If the project proceeds, it will be two to three years before the mine is operational, and could employ up to 300 people.
The tourism industry continues to be one of the main economic drivers for the Island. A $300-million tourism development – Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa – is currently underway.
Cape Breton saw a decline in both the labour force and employment in 2007. From a longer term perspective, employment levels over the past three years continue to be much higher than they have been since the late 1980s.
The decline in the labour force can be attributed in part to retirements and the steady out-migration of workers to other labour markets. The aging labour force and out-migration are significant issues for Cape Breton. The number of employed between 25 and 44 years of age now represents 39% of total employment, down from 54% in 1987.
The most recent income data available for the Island show growth in employment income per earner at a steady pace. In 2005, employment incomes per earner grew by approximately 2.7%.
4.2 Operational Impacts
ECBC employees obtained certification with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) in July 2007. The collective bargaining process is scheduled to begin mid-February 2008.
Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation
ECBC has been granted the authority to wind-up the operations of its subsidiary, the CBGF on or before March 31, 2008, and to dissolve the CBGF as soon as practical thereafter.
During 2007-2008, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) began a mandate review of ECBC, as requested by the Treasury Board of Canada. The review will be completed 2008-2009. A steering committee has been established with representation from Natural Resources Canada, ECBC, and ECBC’s stakeholders/clientele. Central agencies are also providing guidance.
4.3 The Planning Process
To ensure consistency with the Government of Canada’s priorities, ECBC’s planning process takes into consideration the Government of Canada’s plans and priorities, as outlined in documents such as Advantage Canada and the Speech from the Throne, among others. The planning process for the 2008-2009 corporate plan consisted of:
• an environmental scan carried out by the ECBC Policy unit;
• a review of ECBC's quarterly performance reports;
• two strategic planning sessions organized with ECBC staff;
• strategic planning session carried out by ECBC Management;
• consultation with ECBC's Board of Directors; and
• a review of research carried out by the Corporation.
Government, business and community stakeholders are consulted on a regular basis in order to keep their concerns at the forefront of planning decisions for ECBC. Meetings were held throughout the year with regional development authorities, various municipal governments and the Aboriginal and Francophone communities on the Island to ensure their economic development needs are heard.
5.0 PROGRAM ACTIVITIES
The Program Activity Architecture (PAA) is the structure of program activities upon which federal government organizations report expenditures and results to the Treasury Board and Parliament. The PAA identifies the strategic outcomes of the organization, describes the activities supporting these outcomes and how the organization is structured to manage them.  Each department’s PAA consists of two main elements: clearly defined and appropriate Strategic Outcome(s); and a complete program inventory that links all departmental programs and program activities so that they roll up to these Strategic Outcome(s). For ECBC, the PAA consists of a single Strategic Outcome: Community Economic Development that contributes to achievement of the Corporation’s mandate.
Within the overall structure of the PAA, ECBC will focus its attention over the next five years on seven areas of activity. They are: Provision of Services for the Government of Canada; Support to Business; Support to Communities; Business Recruitment, Trade and Investment; Policy and Research; Property Management; and Advocacy.
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation
Program Activity Architecture (PAA)
Each of the program activities and sub-activities are discussed in turn. The discussions set out the key objective, plans, activities and expected results.
Additional information on ECBC’s activities can be found on the Corporation’s website at www.ecbc-secb.gc.ca/.
5.1 Provision of Services for the Government of Canada
The following has been established as the key objective for the Provision of Services:
To deliver programs and services, on behalf of the Government of Canada, in an effort to increase the opportunity for a co-ordinated approach to economic development on Cape Breton Island and, specifically, to enhance the growth of both earned incomes and employment opportunities in the region.
5.1.1 Program Sub-activities
The programs expected to be delivered or supported by ECBC over the coming years are summarized below.
126.96.36.199 Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
The delivery of ACOA programming on Cape Breton Island encompasses a significant portion of the Corporation's overall activities. Between April 2002 and September 2007, ECBC delivered $117 million in programming on behalf of ACOA, funding more than 571 projects.
The following programs and services are delivered by ECBC on behalf of ACOA.
• Business Development Program (BDP)
• Consultant Advisory Services (CAS)
• Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF)
• Community Futures Program
• Atlantic Investment Partnership (AIP)-Second Wave
- Investing in Innovation
- Investing in Communities
- Investing in People
- Investing in the Business climate
As a delivery agent for ACOA on Cape Breton Island, ECBC supports ACOA's structure of program activities. A more detailed account of ACOA's activities can be found in the Atlantic
Canada Opportunities Agency Estimates: Report on Plans and Priorities, which is available at www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/.
188.8.131.52 Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO)
ECBC and DEVCO have a history dating back to 1967. Through its legislation, ECBC is a continuation of the Industrial Development Division (IDD), formerly the economic development arm of DEVCO. When ECBC was created as separate Crown corporation in 1987, the mandate of the IDD was transferred to ECBC.
The Cape Breton Development Corporation, formed by an Act of Parliament in 1967, closed its last remaining coal mine in the fall of 2001. The new mandate of DEVCO is to conduct the activities necessary to windup of the Corporation.
In addition to the land transfer process, both organizations will work together on the following initiatives over the coming year:
Centre of Excellence: Institute of Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (ISEE)
Remediation requirements of DEVCO and the Tar Ponds have provided the backdrop for a Centre of Excellence at Cape Breton University. ECBC and DEVCO are working together to develop the Institute of Sustainability.
Prosperity Gap Model
ECBC is working closely with DEVCO on the development of a prosperity gap model for Cape Breton. This is an economic model used to benchmark a specific region against its peers. This model can then be used as a predictive economic tool to generate “what if” scenarios tailored to reflect the economy of Cape Breton Island.
5.2 Support to Business
The following has been established as the key objective for Support to Business:
To grow the economy by encouraging private sector investment in projects that enhance the competitiveness of commercial enterprises and increase trade opportunities to produce long-term, sustainable jobs.
5.2.1 Program Sub-activities
ECBC pursues a broad range of strategies to assist small and medium-sized enterprises on Cape Breton Island. ECBC strategies complement other forms of economic development programming in the region. They include access to capital, e-commerce, entrepreneurship and business skills development initiatives. A brief description of each activity is provided below.
184.108.40.206 Access to Capital
Access to capital remains an impediment to business growth on Cape Breton Island. Businesses continue to face a number of challenges due to a weak economic environment. The economic environment has dictated a market value for assets that is lower than that found in most regions of Nova Scotia. In particular, investments in Cape Breton present a higher level of risk for banks and other financial institutions, which has led them to limit their capital support.
ECBC recognizes access to capital as an issue that needs to be addressed. Over the next five years, the Corporation will provide commercial enterprises with access to capital in various forms including, but not limited to, equity, secured and unsecured loans. Whenever possible, ECBC works in partnership with other funding bodies to leverage investment dollars. Through its funding partnerships (e.g. Service Canada, Nova Scotia Economic Development, regional development authorities, Rural Partnership and community business development corporations), ECBC has the ability to increase the availability of business capital/services in both the urban and rural areas around the Island. Assistance will be targeted at new start-ups, expansions and modernizations. Assistance will also be provided to commercial enterprises and associations engaged in export evelopment activities.
Over the coming year, the Corporation will focus on innovation supporting commercialization and value-added production; the creation of and growth of knowledge-based research and development businesses, particularly information technology and environmental technologies; manufacturing; aquaculture (finfish and shellfish); life sciences; and projects related to the oil and gas industry. The Corporation will also focus on various product development initiatives in the tourism sector, as well as providing support to accommodation upgrades, with the exception of those that include new rooms. Over the coming year, ECBC will develop a green energy initiative offering incentives to businesses that adopt sustainable development practices.
220.127.116.11 Human Resource Initiative
Lack of appropriate skills to grow companies has presented a challenge to businesses on Cape Breton Island. In an effort to address this problem, the Corporation will assist companies in hiring senior management personnel such as Chief Financial Officers, Chief Executive Officers, Human Resource Managers, Marketing Managers, as well as other highly skilled workers.
This initiative will be targeted at companies with annual growth potential. The Human Resource Initiative has two main components:
• Assistance provided to companies to attract required skills; and
• Assistance provided to companies for in-house training/mentorship and/or to hire individuals to carry out training.
18.104.22.168 e-Commerce Initiative
One of the key recommendations in the study entitled, Knowledge-based Economy: Situational Analysis, commissioned by the CBGF, is that an initiative should be established to assist entrepreneurs or small businesses, to conduct e-business.
Within a very short period, e-commerce has transformed the way business is conducted in every sector of the economy. Businesses that make investments in e-commerce reduce costs, increase efficiency, expand markets and are more service-oriented. Many are now incorporating e-commerce as an integral part of the business planning process.
The e-Commerce Initiative assists local businesses adopt an Internet presence in the form of an informational website and/or fully functional e-commerce website. The websites allow business to do more sophisticated marketing and merchandising, ultimately resulting in more revenues and jobs. The websites build a strong technology infrastructure, giving businesses on Cape Breton Island a competitive edge by making locally produced products more accessible to international markets. Although, the initiative is available to a number of sectors on Cape Breton, the focus over the coming year will be on tourism and manufacturing.
During 2006, ECBC commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of the e-Commerce Initiative. The study concluded that every one dollar spent on e-commerce generates $50.70 in sales.
Over the coming year, the Corporation will continue to assist local businesses to adopt an Internet presence in the form of an informational website and/or fully functional e-commerce website.
Expected Results – Support to Business
*Companies assisted by ECBC
2008-2009 to 2012-2013
60 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs**
400 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs**
$5 million in leveraged funds
$25 million in leveraged funds
$2 million in new export sales
$10 million in new export sales
Assist 10 companies through the
Assist 50 companies through the e-Commerce Initiative
** This includes FTEs created as a result of ECBC activities under Support to Business and Support to Communities.
5.3 Support to Communities
The following has been established as the key objective for Support to Communities:
To help communities plan and implement community development projects that has a direct link to long-term, self-sustaining economic activity.
5.3.1 Program Sub-activities
The driving force behind ECBC’s support to communities is to encourage sustainable economic activity within communities. ECBC continues to maintain a presence in many communities around the Island, through its rural visits and its satellite office in Port Hawkesbury.
22.214.171.124 Community Capacity Building
The Corporation works closely with a number of community economic development organizations to achieve the specific economic development goals identified and spearheaded by the communities. Community capacity building affects all aspects of community life. It places emphasis on the existing strengths and abilities inherent in each community.
Activities range from developing and implementing overall strategies for economic development to supporting the business environment, skill development activities, and new or and improved community infrastructure. ECBC will work collectively with community groups to identify specific community infrastructure projects that assist the community in creating an environment supportive of commercial activity.
This activity will assist a community project to become more sustainable, thus decreasing its reliance on government support.
126.96.36.199 Festival and Events Initiative
The Corporation recognizes the importance of the tourism industry as an economic driver for the Cape Breton economy. In an effort to increase tourism revenues in the peak and shoulder seasons, the Corporation supports a number of initiatives that target the tourism sector. One such initiative is the Festival and Events Initiative, which is designed to build capacity and provide a quality tourism product enhancing both the tourism and arts and culture sectors on the Island. The Corporation launched the Festival and Events Initiative in fiscal year 2002-2003. Since that time, ECBC has provided approximately $1.15 million in funding assistance to 382 festival and events throughout Cape Breton and Mulgrave area. The Corporation will target 80 festivals and events during 2008-2009.
188.8.131.52 Convention and Sporting Events Initiative
Areas that provide potential for growth during the “off-season” include the meetings and conventions travel market, and sporting events. To capitalize on the growth opportunities in these areas, the Corporation will continue to provide support to sporting and convention events that demonstrate potential to generate significant economic benefits for the area, particularly in the off-season. Preference will be given to activities that attract registrants from national and international markets.
184.108.40.206 Aboriginal Community Economic Development
Cape Breton has the largest population of First Nation peoples in Nova Scotia. ECBC works in partnership with a number of First Nation communities on Cape Breton toward the achievement of economic development initiatives. The Corporation, through its programs, makes investments in Aboriginal businesses and communities. All investments are directed to the priority areas identified by Aboriginal business owners and community stakeholders, including entrepreneurship and business skills development and infrastructure development, as well as improvements in productivity, expansion of markets, innovation and financing.
Over the next five years, the Corporation will continue to work in partnership with First Nation communities on Cape Breton to help ensure the economic viability of these communities.
Expected Results – Support to Communities
2008-2009 to 2012-2013
$500,000 in leveraged funds
$2.5 million in leveraged funds
80 Festivals and Events
400 Festivals and Events
Through the Convention and Sporting Events Initiative, increase the number of off-Island visitors and assist in increasing overall tourism revenue
Through the Convention and Sporting Events Initiative, increase the number of off-Island visitors and assist in increasing overall tourism revenue
5.4 Business Recruitment, Trade and Investment
The following has been established as the key objective for Business Recruitment, Trade and Investment:
To attract new business investment to Cape Breton Island and to increase the number of new exporters and export sales in current
and growing markets.
5.4.1 Program Sub-activities
ECBC’s focus on trade is aimed at enhancing the capabilities of businesses to establish export markets and expand trade activity. In addition, ECBC will focus on investment related activities that also bring much-needed economic benefits and skills to the area.
220.127.116.11 Reverse Trade Mission
Over the coming year, the Corporation will organize a reverse trade mission that will promote Cape Breton products. Reverse trade missions bring foreign organization and businesses to Cape Breton providing more Cape Breton companies with exposure to international markets than could ever be achieved through participation in a traditional trade mission.
18.104.22.168 Promotional Activities
It is important that accurate, factual information about the business climate and lifestyle of Cape Breton Island be available to ensure that decision makers, investors and individuals are aware of investment opportunities. Over the next five years, the Corporation will provide support to investment activities, primarily through targeted promotional campaigns and the production of investment-related promotional material.
Expected Results – Business Recruitment, Trade and Investment
2008-2009 to 2012-2013
$2 million in new investment on Cape Breton Island
$10 million in new investment on Cape Breton Island
5.5 Policy and Research
The following has been established as the key objective for Policy and Research:
To help provide a sound basis for the Corporation’s policy priorities and programs.
5.5.1 Program Sub-activities
The Policy and Research function contributes to all activities within the Corporation. Research undertaken provides a sound basis for the Corporation’s strategic direction and policy development activities.
ECBC maintains a forward-looking research plan that encourages the participation of outside interests on working groups. This approach will reflect and support:
• emerging local economic issues;
• structural challenges and opportunities;
• sector specific considerations;
• federal policies;
• ECBC’s program and development initiatives; and
• the need for ongoing performance management and evaluation.
Activities related to Policy and Research will include research that is internally driven, research carried out with external partners, and attendance at various seminars relating to economic development policy.
22.214.171.124 Economic Analysis
To ensure that current and accurate economic data and analysis are available for informed decision making, ECBC updates, on an annual basis, customized data from Statistics Canada, including Census Data, Labour Force Data, Small Area and Administrative Data, Business Register Data, Population Projections and other data, as required.
Expected Results – Policy and Research
2008-2009 to 2012-2013
4-6 research studies (dependent upon individual study costs) that help provide a sound basis for the Corporation’s policy priorities and programs
20-30 research studies (dependent upon individual study costs) that help provide a sound basis for the Corporation’s policy priorities and programs
The following has been established as the key objective for Advocacy:
To advocate for Cape Breton Island interests, priorities and concerns.
5.6.1 Program Sub-activities
Advocacy is performed at various levels, including specific actions to promote Cape Breton interests as well as activities other than project support performed by staff that are designed to strengthen communities and business groups.
Advocacy as a program activity contributes to all activities carried out by ECBC. It has four components.
• Providing advice on issues that can affect the opportunities for economic development on Cape Breton Island through participation in meetings, working groups and committees.
• Ensuring awareness of the interests, priorities and concerns of Cape Breton Island on the part of other government departments and agencies through partnerships/networking.
• Ensuring an effective two-way process of information sharing and bring insight and knowledge of policies, perspectives and priorities on and off the Island.
• Working co-operatively with other government departments on mainland Nova Scotia and in Ottawa.
The advocacy agenda will focus on four areas of priority for the Corporation during 2008-2009. They include:
• the Atlantic Gateway Strategy;
• environmental Initiatives and Energy Sustainability;
• entrepreneurship awareness; and
• board governance training for businesses and organizations.
5.7 Property Management
The following has been established as the key objective for property management:
To manage the Corporations real property holdings and to acquire and dispose of properties for Economic Development Purposes.
5.7.1 Program Sub-activities
Property management has become a significant part of the activities carried out by the Corporation. During 2003-2004, the Corporation reactivated its subsidiary DARR (Cape Breton) Limited, as a real estate holding and development company. DARR was established in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of ECBC’s corporate predecessor, DEVCO. It was transferred to ECBC when the Corporation was established in 1988 and, as such, it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of ECBC.
DARR manages the Corporation’s real property assets and deals with the acquisition and disposition of properties that can be used to lever economic development benefits for Cape Breton. In 2002-2003, the Corporation entered into an MOU with DEVCO, to transfer properties with economic development potential from DEVCO to ECBC.
As part of the property management activities, ECBC is also involved in environmental site assessments on its economic development projects. The Corporation has made investments in staff training to carry out environmental assessments and to ensure that all projects are assessed for environmental impact.
Surplus revenues from real property leases and from 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 to businesses and organizations in an effort to foster economic development opportunities. Both activities serve to support the economic development mandate of the Corporation.
6.0 PROGRAM MONITORING AND EVALUATION
6.1 Project Monitoring
The Corporation monitors projects on a regular basis. Project monitoring is intended to objectively assess and record a client's progress toward achieving expected results. It enables the Corporation to assess the overall progress of a project to ensure that the Government of Canada is receiving value for its money.
Monitoring for commercial (individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, co-operative and a body corporate) and non-commercial projects (a not-for-profit organization or association) also involves assessing a client’s operational performance on an ongoing basis. Increased awareness of the project status enables the Corporation to introduce whatever means or interventions are necessary in order to ensure that the project achieves its greatest success.
6.2 Performance Management
A performance management framework was developed by ECBC, in consultation with the Treasury Board Secretariat, in fiscal year 2000-2001.
Through this corporate planning process, the Corporation brings forward a clearly defined link between the Corporation’s mandate, mission and program activities. This link has been accomplished by establishing objectives for each of the program activities along with specifying key results to be accomplished throughout the year. Through the performance management framework, the mechanisms (data collection) for reporting against the objectives have been established and are being implemented. This corporate plan sets out the roles and responsibilities and the resource allocation for program delivery.
ECBC has in place, a results-based, performance-evaluation framework. Establishing plans and priorities and expected results for the Corporation’s program activities through the planning process is the necessary first step to a results-based evaluation. The performance monitoring and evaluation exercise serves to:
• verify that the Corporation is achieving what it set out to achieve;
• provide feedback on corporate goals and outcomes for management planning; and
• provide a basis for public reporting and accountability.
In 2007-2008, ECBC issued a request for proposals to review the Corporation’s performance management framework. It is anticipated that the work will be completed in early spring 2008.
ECBC uses two methods to report performance outcomes.
• A quarterly report to the Board of Directors provides an account of how the organization is achieving its performance objectives to date.
• An annual report that measures the Corporation’s performance against its objectives. The ECBC annual report won the Auditor General’s 2005 Award for Excellence in Annual
Reporting by Crown Corporations in the smaller corporation’s category. The Corporation had been runner-up for the award for two years consecutively before winning. The annual report is posted to the Corporation’s website which can be found at: www.ecbc-secb.gc.ca/.
The performance management framework established for ECBC requires that the Corporation report on:
• achievements against expected results;
• where and how investments are being made; and
• program activities and sub-activities.
Reporting achievements against expected results simply means that the performance management exercise is expected to verify that the Corporation is achieving what it set out to achieve.
Another purpose established by the performance management framework for reporting on results is to provide feedback on the Corporation’s goals and outcomes for management planning. Certainly one aspect of this is an examination of achievements against expected results, but the Corporation should also understand where and how its investments are being made. Information, with respect to where program support is being directed, is tracked and reported against the following:
• number of projects funded and the average project size;
• number of jobs created and the average amount of assistance per job created;
• amount of other monies leveraged as a result of program support;
• ratio of commercial to non-commercial projects;
• ratio of repayable contributions to non-repayable contributions;
• number of projects with an export focus;
• number of new start-ups;
• number of new entrepreneurs; and
• value of total commitments by industry sector.
In its quarterly reporting, ECBC includes a section that describes the non-quantifiable activities undertaken by the Corporation as they relate to each of the strategic activities.
In addition to reports regarding ECBC programming, information is contained in the quarterly reports regarding all ACOA programs.